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MA Literary Studies: Pathway in Romantic & Victorian Literature and Culture

MA Literary Studies: Pathway in Romantic & Victorian Literature and Culture

Different course options

Full time | Goldsmiths, University of London | 1 year | 25-SEP-23

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Nineteenth Century English Literature Social History Cultural Studies

Course type


Course Summary

This pathway of the MA in Literary Studies aims to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the literature of nineteenth-century Britain and its relationship to a wide variety of cultural, intellectual, geographic and historical contexts.

Why study the MA Literary Studies: Romantic and Victorian Literature pathway at Goldsmiths?

  • You will compare texts which are closely connected yet often taught as the products of two distinct periods; you’ll see how genres and themes develop and explore relationships between authors and texts.
  • You’ll study literary elegies and the afterlife of Romanticism; Wordsworth’s influence on the fiction of Eliot and Hardy; connections between the conversation poem and the dramatic monologue; London in literature; what Gothic and sensation novels tell us about the anxieties of the period.
  • We’ll help you understand the impact of cultural, intellectual, and historical contexts: the reception of classical antiquity; the emergence of realism; radicalism and the French Revolution; Orientalism; urban Romanticism and Decadence.
  • Our flexible pathway system enables you to focus on Romantic and Victorian literature and culture, with a related option module in European Decadence and the Visual Arts which will introduce you to the work of the Decadence Research Centre.
  • You can also choose modules in other areas of literary studies, such as American literature, Caribbean writing, modern and contemporary literature, comparative literature or critical theory.
  • You'll be able to further develop your interest in Romantic and Victorian literature and culture through a 15,000-word dissertation to be submitted at the end of your programme of study.


You'll develop transferable skills, including:

  • enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts
  • the ability to analyse and evaluate different textual materials
  • the ability to organise information; the ability to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments


Graduates of this programme have gone on to pursue careers in:

  • publishing
  • journalism
  • public relations
  • teaching
  • advertising
  • the civil service
  • business
  • industry
  • the media


This core module for the 'Romantic and Victorian Literature and Culture' pathway of the MA in Comparative Literary Studies examines the current debate in nineteenth-century studies about connections between Romantic and Victorian literature and the persistence of a Romantic tradition throughout the century. During this module, you'll be able to develop your interests in two key literary periods and to question the usefulness of traditional periodisation. In each seminar we will compare texts from both periods on the basis of genre and theme, and examine the ways in which individual texts relate to, derive from, or influence other texts. We will study the intense reactions to the deaths of the Romantic poets in the 1820s, shaping the early careers of writers who would later be read as Victorian; responses to the textual and material relics of the Romantic poets as a cliche of Victorian tourism; Wordsworth's insistence on portraying simple people and rural life, and his influence on the novels of Eliot and Hardy; a revolution in literary language; gender and class identities and conflicts; versions of social and political radicalism in the wake of the French Revolution; publication in a changing literary marketplace; popular genres such as Gothic and sensation fiction.
Dissertation (60 Credits) - Core

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Entry requirements

Students should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. Students might also be considered for some programmes if they aren’t a graduate or their degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that students have the ability to work at postgraduate level.