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MA Victorian Literature and Culture – University of Reading

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MA Victorian Literature and Culture

Explore the fascinating ideas of modernity in the Victorian culture and literature.

Course overview

You will examine the role of scientific thinking in the formation of intellectual culture, the significance of national and imperial identities, the development of discourses of sexuality and identity, and transformations in the material conditions of cultural production and consumption. A wide range of texts, including poetry, fiction, and non-fictional prose, will be studied in relation to these major cultural, social, and political changes.

The syllabus consists of four taught units: Materiality and Textuality; Modern English Studies- The Nineteenth Century; Nation and Empire; and Science, Sex and Crime, and two of these will be taught in each of the first two terms, though arrangements will be different for the part-time degree. You will use the final term to concentrate on a 20,000 word dissertation, the subject of which will have arisen from, but not be constrained by, the course.

Teaching is by seminars and tutorials, followed by a period of independent research for the dissertation of 20,000 words. You are also required to submit four assessed essays during the taught element of the course.

Why choose Reading?

  • Our MA teaching at Reading is highly rated for its friendliness and expertise. You will be taught in small groups, with lecturers and professors leading discussion and giving lectures. There are three teaching terms, and assessment is by essays, and a 20,000-word dissertation written over the summer. You will be given an expert supervisor for your dissertation, who will meet with you for a number of one-to-one advice sessions. Our MAs are taught courses but they also provide appropriate research training for those going on to PhDs. As a part of this, you will actively engage with the University's world-leading archives and special collections.
  • As an MA student in this thriving and dynamic Department, you will be welcomed at a number of special events, including research seminars and guest lectures.
  • We offer a distinctive range of MA courses, each of which has taught components, followed by dissertation supervision: we have concentrated expertise in Early Modern Studies, Samuel Beckett, Children's Literature, and Writing and Publishing History. We hold unique archival collections in all of these areas, with which our MA students engage throughout their time with us.

Career prospects

Our students continue, or return to, careers in teaching, publishing, the media, the civil service, the charity sector and advertising, as well as going on to do PhD research. Students report that their careers are supported by the skills they have acquired on the MAs in terms of not only subject expertise, but also critical thinking, reading closely and with advanced understanding, and writing well.

Visit the University Order a prospectus

Entry requirements

Our MAs are open to those whose undergraduate degree is in English or in a discipline in which the study of literature has formed a substantial part. We would normally expect a good second-class honours degree or higher. 

Contact us

Postgraduate Secretary

Mrs Jan Cox

Course fees

View our full list of course fees.

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