Taught course

Nineteenth-Century Studies (English Literature)

University of Sheffield · School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Entry requirements

At least a 2:1 or the international equivalent in English, or a combined degree including a substantial element of English Literature. For the Literary-Linguistics pathway, you need a 2:1 in English literature, language or linguistics – or a related subject such as history, philosophy or modern languages.

Months of entry


Course content

About the course

This interdisciplinary course will give you a firm grounding in nineteenth-century British and European culture. You’ll complete one core module that will introduce you to key concepts by examining literary, artistic or historical texts. You’ll also take optional modules and complete a dissertation.

Your career

You’ll examine early modern texts, language and culture. Staff expertise includes palaeography, rhetoric, news writing, the sermon, drama, and issues of political, sectarian and national identity between 1400 and 1700. Modules (including modules from History) can be tailored to suit your interests. You’ll complete one core module, optional modules and a dissertation.

Cultural life

There is always something going on, and there are plenty of chances to get involved. We have extensive links with arts and heritage organisations including Arts Council England and Sheffield Theatres. Recent poetry readings featured Carol Ann Duffy and Ciaran Carson. Our Arts/Science Encounters events bring together musicians, writers, architects and academics to explore ideas. The English Society, run by our students, organises theatre trips, guest lectures, and seminars. Students also get the chance to take part in drama and readings.

First-rate facilities

We’re based in a brand new building at the heart of the campus. There are computer workstations especially for postgraduates and a DVD library with viewing facilities. Our theatre workshop is a fully equipped teaching/performance area with excellent film-viewing facilities and audio suites.

Specialist resources

The University Library subscribes to the major periodicals and full-text electronic archives, including Early English Books Online and Eighteenth-Century Collections Online. Special collections include an outstanding collection of Restoration drama, the Hope Collection of eighteenth-century periodicals, the Jack Rosenthal scripts collection, and papers of contemporary writers such as Anita Brookner, Marina Warner, Fay Weldon and Peter Redgrove.


There are a number of studentships and fee bursaries available, funded by the University. Deadlines for funding applications are usually in winter/early spring. For details, see our website.

Research training for PhD

If you intend to progress to a PhD, your course can be tailored to include essential research training. The same applies to students on the online course.

Part-time study

Part-time students usually take one taught module in each semester. In the second year, you’ll also take a dissertation module. For most courses, you’ll need to come in for one half-day per week. The MA Creative Writing is taught in the evening. Some modules, such as Theatre and Performance, may require greater time commitment. We try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the different needs of our students.

Core module

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Nineteenth- Century Studies.

Examples of optional modules – literature

May include: The Rise of The Gothic; Fiction and Reality; Poetry and History; Language and Literature in the Workplace; Study of Texts; Murderers and Degenerates: contextualising the fin-de- siècle Gothic; Humans, Animals, Monsters and Machines: from Gulliver’s Travels to King Kong. You can also take School of English research methodology seminars.

Examples of optional modules – other departments

May include: The Fin-de-Siècle; Nineteenth-Century German Literature; The Scramble for Africa; Jacksonian America 1828–1846.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching takes place through seminars. You’ll be assessed on your essays and a 15,000-word dissertation.

Modern languages modules

In addition to your course modules you can take optional 15-credit modules in the Modern Languages Teaching Centre in Arabic, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Assessment of these modules ties your language learning to your research interests.

Information for international students

Overall IELTS grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Fees and funding

There are a number of studentships and fee bursaries available, funded by the University. Deadlines for funding applications are usually in winter/early spring. For details, see our website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Dr Madeleine Callaghan
+44 (0)114 222 8461