Duration: 1 year full time or 2 years part time
Institution code: R72
UK fees*: £10,600
International/EU fees**: £21,700
Victorian Literature, Art and Culture (MA)
Taught by experts from the Centre for Victorian Studies, this course offers you the opportunity to study nineteenth-century literature and art history in the midst of the outstanding Victorian architecture of our Egham campus. With the magnificent Victorian Founder’s Building and unique resources including the College’s own Victorian Picture Gallery and archives you couldn’t ask for a better location in which to study this fascinating period.
A central element of the course is the study of Victorian London; you will explore a variety of texts from a range of perspectives, from Dickens to the phenomenon of the department store; from the painters of fashionable life to the panic surrounding the Whitechapel murders. With London just a short train ride away from the main College campus, you will benefit from first-hand experience of the Victorian cityscape and access to archives.
You will also complete three other courses covering specialist areas of this rich period of literature and art and immerse yourself in a topic of your choice when completing the dissertation.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
This module is designed to introduce you to a number of key topics related to the methods of postgraduate research, and to some of the resources and materials that will be useful to your studies.
This module provides a point of coherence for the interdisciplinary study of Victorian Culture. You will be introduced to the theories and methods of a variety of humanities disciplines through the medium of an in-depth study of the literature, history, geography, and visual culture of nineteenth-century London. You will be asked to reflect critically on your own approach to the material studied, through engagement with both primary materials and a variety of recent secondary sources.
This module aims to equip you with a systematic understanding of the scope and range of the mid nineteenth-century novel in the context of Victorian publishing, reading and critical practices. We study a range of novels in depth, and discuss recent critical approaches to each text in order to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the critical techniques and discourses that will be applicable to your own advanced scholarship in the assessed essay and final dissertation.
This module aims to equip you with a systematic understanding of the scope and range of the Pre-Raphaelite Movement in the context of Victorian art criticism, attitudes to gender and poetics. The first five-week block concentrates on poetry and the visual arts in the first decade of the movement; the second five-week block deals with the second generation of Pre-Raphaelites and their links with Aestheticism.
This will be a piece of original written work, of between 12,000 and 15,000 words. The topic of the dissertation will be agreed between you and whichever member of staff is allotted as your supervisor and is normally required to be submitted by the beginning of September in the year of the completion of the programme.
This module explores the relationship between Victorian literature and the ‘climates’ of the British Empire: its ecologies, social systems, aesthetics, politics, and histories of slavery, resource extraction, wealth, and violence. In addition to introducing students to one of the liveliest critical fields in Victorian Studies at present, the module will encourages students to reflect on the imbrication of Empire into a seemingly ‘domestic’ canon of Victorian literature and culture to rethink what (or where) we mean by the term ‘Victorian’, and to bring our analysis of the nineteenth century into the present day by engaging with contemporary culture and discussing how we continue to grapple with the legacies of nineteenth-century colonisation.
This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.
Teaching & assessment
For full-time students the course lasts an academic year from September to September; part-time students pursue the course over two years, completing ‘Victorian London’ and one or two other courses in their first year; the remaining course(s) from the four required in total and the dissertation in their second year.
All courses are taught by means of a weekly structured two-hour seminar and each course lasts for a term of 11 weeks in total. A full time student thus has four hours of seminars for two terms and then further dissertation workshops and discussion groups in the summer term, in addition to individual supervision in the process of completing dissertations. Students will be invited to prepare in-course presentations, will receive feedback on draft essays submitted at the beginning of the Spring term, and can see staff individually during their office hours. All students on the programme are also encouraged to attend the regular Nineteenth-Century Studies Reading Group meetings and the research seminars organised by the Centre for Victorian Studies.
All taught courses are examined by an essay of 5,500-6,000 words. Coursework essays may be based on seminar presentations, or be original pieces of work. Essays written in the first term must be submitted by the first day of Term 2. These essays may be rewritten in the light of the tutor's comments and discussion and resubmitted in a final draft. Essays written in the second term and revised first term essays are submitted in the fourth week of the summer term.
The dissertation will be a piece of original written work, of between 12,000 and 15,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices). The topic of the dissertation will be agreed between the student and whichever member of staff is allotted as supervisor. Dissertations are submitted in the first week of September. Students may also be required to complete an unassessed research proposal and bibliography during the summer term.
Full details of course requirements, assessment regulations, and marking criteria are available in the MA course booklets.
UK Lower Class Honours degree (2:2) or equivalent in a related subject.
Candidates with professional qualifications or relevant professional experience in an associated area will also be considered.
Academic writing samples, could be an extract from a dissertation or two shorter essays, showing the ability to analyse literature.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
- IELTS: 7.0 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 69 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE IV.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL iBT: 97 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
- Duolingo: 130 overall, 135 in Literacy, 135 in Production and no sub-score below 100.
Your future career
The Department has an impressive record for placing graduates in academic jobs and in prominent position outside academia. In the field of Shakespeare and Renaissance studies alone, our postgraduates have recently secured positions at the Universities of Edinburgh, Sussex and Leeds, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the National University of Ireland. Recent postgraduates in America literature, modern and contemporary literature and theory have secured prestigious appointments in London.
The English Department also prepares postgraduates for successful careers in a variety of the other areas, such as:
- writing and journalism
Fees, funding & scholarships
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £10,600
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £21,700
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.
All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration). This means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year.
** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25. Find out more
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.