- Entry requirements: Related 2:1 degree (or equivalent)
- Full-time: 12 months
- Part-time: 24 months
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Whether you simply enjoy Victorian literature or are looking to prepare for PhD research in the future, the Victorian Literature MA pathway provides rigorous and comprehensive training in nineteenth-century literature and culture.
Taught and studied in perhaps the best-preserved of all Victorian cities, Victorian studies at the University of Liverpool has a long history of combining a strong literary focus with a commitment to innovative critical techniques and interdisciplinary study. On this MA pathway, you will look at topics as diverse as the Victorian supernatural, the way the Victorians imagined the end of the world, the reinvention of the medieval in the Victorian period (the same reinvention that is still embodied in so much of Liverpool’s nineteenth-century architecture), Victorian thinking about murder and serious crime, and what literature in the Victorian period meant to readers at the time, and the wide variety of meanings it might have for us now.
With superb Victorian collections and institutions in easy visiting distance (the Walker and Lady Lever art galleries, Sudley House, Gladstone’s Library, to name only a few), the Victorian MA pathway aims to provide a study of Victorian literature that is thoroughly rooted in writing and ideas, but also in the felt experience and physical reality of the Victorian period.
Please note: when applying, please choose ‘MA English Literature’ from the list of programmes. You should specify the specific pathway which you wish to study in your personal statement.
The MA in English Literature provides students with rigorous academic training in the broad interdisciplinary field of literary history, theory and culture. The professional skills that students will develop upon completion of the programme will prepare them well for a wide range of potential employment areas.
Departmental support includes:
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.
If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.
Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.
Students opting for the Victorian Literature pathway are required to take at least 60 credits from the specialist modules listed below (including compulsory modules Yore Victorians and Reading the Victorians) in addition to the core modules (Research Skills and Practice, Dissertation Preparation Project, Dissertation). The remaining 30 elective credits can be taken in any other pathway run by the Department of English.
Please note: programme and module details are illustrative and subject to change.
Reading was woven into the fabric of the Victorian world. Thanks to urban living, cheaper printing, and vastly increased rates of literacy, Victorian society was one of the first societies where you might not have known your neighbours very well, but in which you were surrounded by vast swathes of paper and print – a forest of words. This module not only aims to investigate how the Victorians thought about reading – what they read, how they read it, and how reading itself was thought about and portrayed in literature; but also how we read the Victorians today – who reads them, how and where they are read, how that reading is perceived and constructed, and what insights and benefits our reading of the Victorians in the contemporary moment might gift to us.
Research Skills and Practice introduces students to the practices, contexts and real-world applications of academic research. Through regular seminars and a variety of assessment methods, it provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in advanced literary study, independent research and para-academic activities. The knowledge and skills practised through this module provide a foundation for the world after Master’s study.
This module examines the literary representation of murder and other serious crimes in the Victorian period. Students will examine the interrelation of different genres in the period (such as court and newspaper reports, essays and the novel). The module considers these topics in relation to wider cultural and intellectual developments such as evolving ideas about psychology and forensic evidence, and in particular how such matters may be reproduced in literature so as to allow the reader a window into the world of crime. Students will be encouraged to consider the significance of genre when thinking about Victorian representations of murder and to engage with a wider range of primary sources. They will develop appropriate research methods and understanding of theoretical perspectives, and combine these with detailed textual analysis in the development their critical reading and writing skills.
In ENGL701 Dissertation Project, students lay the groundwork for the dissertation they will complete in the following term. This module does not require students to write or produce a finished dissertation. Rather, it requires them to conceive, carefully and self-reflectively, an original topic for their dissertation before going on to develop a plan and outline of the piece informed by secondary research. They will then deliver an oral presentation on their plans to their peers and to staff, including their supervisor (who will be assigned in the course of the module), reflect on the feedback they receive and, finally, create an audio-visual recording, such as a narrated slideshow, based on their presentation. Not only does this module provide structure and guidance in the crucial early stages of developing an extended work of literary analysis, it also offers an opportunity to practise vital skills, such as public speaking, responding to feedback and developing digital resources.
Victorian literature and culture revived, reconstructed, and reimagined the Middle Ages. The nineteenth century’s fascination with days of yore saw a new word – “medieval” – invented to reflect the upsurge of interest in, and romanticisation of, the Middle Ages in art, architecture, literature, philosophy, politics, and religion. This module interrogates the ways in which the Victorians made the medieval through their literature and material culture. Students will encounter a variety of texts and objects of the Victorian revivals (medieval, Gothic and classical), through archives, art collections, digital resources, and architecture unique to the city of Liverpool. Attention will be given to the profound implications of the Victorian medieval revival on shaping ideas of England and Englishness locally and globally, past and present, showing students how they are still Victorians today.
How we imagine the end of the world tells us not only what we fear, but what we value – the study of apocalypse is not simply a study of endings, it is a study of revelation. The Victorians had every reason to be pre-occupied with the apocalypse: theirs was a culture facing the advent of new technologies, a changed experience of time, shifts in religious belief, and profound ecological concerns. On this module, we will study a range of Victorian apocalyptic texts across a range of forms and genres (both historical and literary), and we will consider the contexts and controversies from which they emerge. Lively discussions about what the end of the world meant to the Victorians, and what it still means to us, are at the heart of this module.
On this module, we will explore the strange, the uncanny and the supernatural in Victorian literature. We will examine the range and variety of Victorian Gothic writing: its hauntings, supernatural terrors and sensational stories. We will consider the literary, cultural and technological contexts of Victorian Gothic, including its relationship to realist literature, to shifting beliefs about religion, nature and the human, and to new and emerging technologies. We will also explore current critical debates in Gothic studies and introduce key theoretical approaches to the genre. Expect lots of discussion of the fears and thrills that kept Victorian readers awake at night.
The final dissertation, comprising a 14,000-15,000-word thesis on a subject devised by the student and agreed with their supervisor, is written over the summer. Some students take this opportunity to explore in more depth a theme, idea, or author studied in one of the taught strands; others strike out in a wholly new direction. This module is a culmination of previous modules studied on the MA, in which students, under the supervision of a tutor, bring to bear the skills, knowledge and confidence they have developed over the course of the Master’s programme.
Teaching on the MA in English Literature is delivered through a combination of seminars and tutorials held on campus. Depending on which module options are taken, there may be lectures and separate seminar sessions scheduled, but all classes will take place on campus in person. Class sizes for Masters programmes in the Department of English tend to be small, and a typical class in English will include between 8-10 students.
Students on the English MA will for the most part be assessed by a combination of formative and summative coursework. This will take a number of different forms, including essays, essay plans, research proposals, and a dissertation. In addition, students will be assessed by presentations in certain modules. Other assessment formats may apply also depending on the options modules taken.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Dr David Hering, Programme Lead for the English Literature MA gives an overview of the course.
From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:
The MA is particularly suitable for graduates looking to pursue careers in the arts, culture, creative and heritage sectors, including journalism, copywriting, management in arts and culture organisations and teaching.
Graduates wishing to continue academic studies will find a supportive and nurturing research environment that prepares them well for doctoral-level research activities. Career pathways that follow this route include employment in higher education (teaching and/or research), or teaching at secondary and further education levels.
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)|
|Full-time place, per year||£10,800|
|Part-time place, per year||£5,400|
|Full-time place, per year||£22,400|
|Part-time place, per year||£11,200|
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.
If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..
We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.
Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
|Postgraduate entry requirements||
You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree, or above, or equivalent. This degree should be in English studies or a related subject.
You will be asked to submit a sample of your written work as part of the application process. This could be an essay from your undergraduate studies or a similar piece of writing. We will contact you to request this after we have received your application.
If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MA, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.
You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.
|English language qualification||Requirements|
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
Higher Level (Grade 5)
|TOEFL iBT||88 or above with minimum scores in components as follows: Listening and Writing 19, Reading 19, Speaking 20.|
|INDIA Standard XII||National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.|
|Hong Kong use of English AS level||B|
Last updated 18 October 2023 / / Programme terms and conditions