Victorian society and culture was a contradiction – an era of bold vision and technological wonders entwined with deep social fears and cultural anxieties.Why do we associate the Victorians with darkness, sin, hypocrisy and monstrosity? Why does the Gothic seem to best encapsulate how we think about and remember the Victorians? These are some of the questions you'll explore on this course.

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About

This MA explores not just 19th-century Gothic cultures but, more generally, the fears, wonders, and dark imagination of the Victorian era. Through a rich and fascinating range of historical, literary and folkloric texts, themes and approaches, you'll probe the darker side of the Victorian age.

The course gives you access to a wealth of online resources and digitised archival material relating to Victorian culture and draws on local literary and cultural resources, such as the Conan Doyle Collection (Lancelyn Green Bequest) in Portsmouth’s Central Library. You'll have the freedom and scope to pursue your own areas of interest and research via an individual research project and 15,000-word dissertation.

 

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Be taught by experts from both the history and English departments at the University of Portsmouth
  • Develop your research skills, critical thinking and literary analysis
  • Work through 2 core content modules, focussed on the cultural tensions between Victorian anxieties (crime, poverty, slums, and degeneration) and Victorian enchantment (stage magic, spiritualism and the occult, the development of Victorian celebrity culture, the struggle of intellect to break from folkloric magic and supernatural superstition in a ‘modern’ age)
  • Use our Library’s wealth of online archival material including London Low Life, Victorian Popular Culture, The Old Bailey Online, The Charles Booth Archive, and the British Library Newspaper Archive
  • Have opportunities to undertake research in the Charles Dickens Collection and Arthur Conan Doyle Collection (Lancelyn Green Bequest), both housed in the Portsmouth Central Library, Portsmouth
  • Get to study any topic of interest within the broad scope of the Victorian Gothic and the history of Victorian culture
  • Be able to base your studies around more recent Neo-Victorian re-imaginings of the nineteenth century in their research projects, exploring areas such as crime or supernatural fictions, or steampunk culture
  • Get to take optional field tripsCareers and opportunities

    As well as giving you greater expertise in the field of Victorian Gothic literature, this course also enhances your knowledge and skill in other areas. During this course, you'll:

    • develop the skillset required to work in the heritage industry, the arts and media
    • develop a strong grounding for pursuing more advanced levels of academic study, including PhDs and careers in academia
    • have the opportunity to gain experience in event organisation, voluntary work, management and promotion, such as for local cultural events, for example, Portsmouth DarkFest
    • improve your broader academic skills, such as the ability to analyse, assess, synthesise and evaluate
    • develop your archival and research skills, as well as data analysis and interpretation abilities
    • improve your oral and written communication, time and workload management, and other transferable skills

    After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Programme Structure

If you study this course over 1 year, you'll study the following units:

  • Victorian Anxieties (content module 1)
  • Theories and Approaches (critical skills and archives module)
  • Victorian Enchantments (content module 2)
  • Independent Project
  • Dissertation

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date September, January
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    Full-time
    • Full-time duration 12 months
    Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 24 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go to the programme website

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English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:

    6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

    Studyportals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

  • A good second-class honours degree, or equivalent, in History, English, or a relevant subject, or a Master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. Applicants may be subject to interview.
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Living costs for Portsmouth

  • 710 - 1100 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.

Funding

Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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