Taught course

Victorian Gothic: History, Literature and Culture

Institution
University of Portsmouth · School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature
Qualifications
MA

Entry 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.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Overview

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.

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 trips

Careers 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.

Units being studied:

1 Year (full time) version:

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

Victorian Anxieties (content module 1)

Theory, Skills and Approaches (critical skills and archives module)

Victorian Enchantments (content module 2)

Independent Project

Dissertation

2 Year (part time) version:

If you study this course part-time over 2 years, you'll study the following modules:

Year 1

Victorian Anxieties

Theory, Skills and Approaches

Independent Project

Year 2

Victorian Enchantments

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.

Work experience and Career Planning:

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your CV.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12-24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
    flexible
    12-24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    12-24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Admissions Team
Email
admissions@port.ac.uk