Victorian Studies

MA, 1-2 years, full- or part-time

This is for you if... you want to explore Victorian life in a truly interdisciplinary way with the option of specialising in a huge range of topics including Victorian writing about women, regional societies and the representation of science in literature

Course Description

The MA in Victorian Studies provides an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of the Victorian period. The Victorian Studies Centre draws on a number of research areas, including History of Art and Film, History, English Local History, Urban History and English. They are able to offer a broad and fascinating range of perspectives on Victorian literature, art and society in the light of modern cultural and literary theories. These perspectives, which may take into account feminist or postmodernist reading of texts, will offer a fresh outlook on familiar (or not so familiar) works.

See what students from our postgraduate English courses have said about their time at Leicester. 

This course offers you an ideal platform to delve into the areas of Victorian life that interest you the most, offering you greater depth and insight than previous studies. You will also be exposed both to canonical works and hidden gems of the time, giving you an excellent grounding in this fascinating period of history.

Because you study the Victorian Society module in your first semester, you will be fully equipped with a knowledge of the Victorian era, while becoming familiar with both the major developments and the nuances of the period. This knowledge will be invaluable throughout the rest of your MA in all core and option modules.

The option modules available to you reflect the huge range of our academics' research interests - from 19th-century literature to social history and the history of science. You are bound to uncover unique and fascinating aspects of Victorian life whilst doing this MA.

Particular research strengths are in life writing, microhistory (year studies), urban and rural history, and Victorian science and medicine.

Key Facts
Start date
September each year

Course director
Dr Claire Brock

Course enquiries

Victorian Studies Centre website

Why Leicester?

Our teaching staff are leaders in their disciplines. All of our lecturers publish on their own specialist subjects, meaning that your teaching will be informed by the very latest research.

We are home to the renowned Victorian Studies Centre and to the Medieval Research Centre. We are also a major contributor to American Studies at Leicester.

If you have an interest in creative writing, you can take part in events run by our innovative Centre for New Writing.

There are numerous opportunities throughout the year to hear from celebrated novelists, poets, and playwrights. Recent speakers at the annual Literary Leicester festival include Fay Weldon, David Crystal, Jacqueline Wilson, Philip Reeve, David Olusoga, Anne Fine and Louis de Bernières.

Course Structure



Core modules

  •  Bibliography, Research Methods and Writing Skills
  • Approaches to Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Victorian Society

Option modules

Choose three option modules from:

  • Evolution and Entropy: Representations of the Sciences in Victorian Literature
  • Victorian Lives: Life-Writing in the Victorian Period
  • Women in Literature, Culture and Society, 1850-1900
  • The Brontës
  • The English Country House in Literature
  • The Victorian Art World: People, Movement and Museums

Plus your Dissertation

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Teaching and Assessment

During the course you will be taught through a range of methods, including:

  • seminars
  • workshops
  • individual supervisions
  • presentations
  • directed and self-directed study, writing, and research time.

In seminars, a small group of students (usually between 3 and 13 participants) is led in a discussion of texts and issues by a tutor. For each seminar you will read the set texts and prepare other work, which may include a presentation. For workshops on the ‘Research Methods’ core module, you will be taught together with students from other MAs in English, working together on problem-solving, research, and presentation skills.

Assessment on a module usually consists of one or two pieces of written work. Common types include essays in response to a choice from set questions, editorial exercises, and critical reviews of recent work in a field. Some modules may feature oral presentations.

For your dissertation, you will have one-to-one supervision from a member of staff with an interest in your chosen topic. The diverse research interests of staff means that we can

Part-time students

Part-time students take the core modules in their first year and the optional modules in their second year.

In addition to the teaching for modules, we organise a number of extra-curricular research seminars, at which academics and researchers from around the country present their latest work. Research seminars are an excellent way to hear about new, unpublished ideas and to develop your own understanding of a field. As well as a long-established Victorian seminar series, events are also run for the Medieval, Early Modern (Renaissance), and Modern periods, and for Linguistics. There is also a Victorian Studies Centre Annual Lecture, usually held in November. Previous speakers have included: Matthew Sweet; Kathryn Hughes and Jenny Uglow.

Entry Requirements

2:1 honours degree in a related area (or equivalent).

You will be asked to provide a personal statement (up to 500 words) as part of your application, explaining why you have chosen this course.

Where appropriate, you may be asked to submit an essay as part of our admissions process. We will contact you if this is the case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • This is the total course fee.

    Starting in 2018

    • £7,835

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

    Did you know you can apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000, subject to eligibility?

    Waddington Scholarship

    The Waddington Scholarship is an award of £1,000, awarded on the basis of academic merit. It is open to full-time and part-time students from anywhere in the world.

  • This is the total course fee.

    Starting in 2018

    • £15,405

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

    Waddington Scholarship

    The Waddington Scholarship is an award of £1,000, awarded on the basis of academic merit. It is open to full-time and part-time students from anywhere in the world.

Career Opportunities

A Masters degree in Victorian Studies is an excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. As well as deepening your knowledge in your chosen areas, you will also develop transferable skills, such as research, analysis, and presentation skills.

Completing an MA can be the first step in an academic career in Higher or Further Education, whilst also enhancing your career options outside the field of academia.

One popular career choice is teaching English, either in the UK (having completed a PGCE) or abroad (with a TEFL or TESOL qualification). Many of our students go on to careers as journalists on local, national and specialist newspapers and magazines. The fields of publishing, advertising, arts administration, PR, television, the film industry and other media-related jobs are also ideal destinations for English Studies graduates.

Previous graduates have gone on to careers as:

  • archivists
  • civil servants
  • librarians
  • parliamentary researchers
  • social workers
  • IT consultants
  • accountants
  • solicitors or barristers after completing a Law conversion course

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Victorian Studies MA 1 year full-time September each year Apply Now
Victorian Studies MA 2 years part-time September each year Apply Now
Victorian Studies
1 year full-time
Start Dates
September each year
Victorian Studies
2 years part-time
Start Dates
September each year

Not what you're looking for?

arrow-downarrow-down-3arrow-down-2arrow-down-4arrow-leftarrow-left-3arrow-left-2arrow-left-4arrow-rightarrow-right-3arrow-right-2arrow-right-4arrow-uparrow-up-3arrow-up-2arrow-up-4book-2bookbuildingscalendar-2calendarcirclecrosscross-2facebookfat-l-1fat-l-2filtershead-2headinstagramlinkedinmenuMENUMenu Arrowminusrotator-pausepinrotator-playplayplussearchsnapchatthin-l-1thin-l-2ticktweettwitterwechatweiboyoutube