Course information


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

This pathway of the MA in Literary Studies aims to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the literature of 19th-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.

Talk to the pathway convenor

Do you have questions about the Romantic and Victorian Literature and Culture pathway of the MA Literary Studies that you'd like to discuss with the convenor? Book a meeting slot with Dr Isobel Hurst for an online one-to-one conversation.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Isobel Hurst.

What you'll study

Module title Credits
Nineteenth-Century Literature: Romanticisms 30 credits

You also take three options from the selection below, in addition to the compulsory module and dissertation.

Module title Credits
Introduction to Modern and Contemporary American Literature and Culture 30 credits
Literature in the World: Encounters, Comparison, Reception 30 credits
Modern and Contemporary Literary Movements 30 credits
Theories of Literature & Culture 30 credits
Historicising the Field of Black British Writing: From the Romans to the Present 30 credits
American Science Fiction: 1950 Onwards 30 credits
The Contemporary American Novel in the Era of Climate Change 30 credits
Contemporary Indigenous Literatures: Place, Politics and Identity 30 credits
Interculturality, Text, Poetics 30 credits
Modern and Contemporary Women's Writing: 1920s To Present 30 credits
Genre and Aesthetics: Contemporary Black British Writing 30 credits
Postmodern Fiction 30 credits
Literature and Philosophy 30 credits
European Decadence and the Visual Arts 30 credits
Literature of the Caribbean & its Diasporas 30 credits

You can also choose options from a range of Linguistics and Translation modules.

Module title Credits
Discourse and Identity in Spoken Interaction 30 credits
Thinking Translation: Introduction to Translation Theory 30 credits
Decolonising English Language Teaching 30 credits
Language in its Sociocultural Context 30 credits
Intercultural Discourse & Communication 30 credits
Core Issues in English Language & Linguistics 30 credits
English in a Multilingual World 30 credits
Language & Ideology in Written Discourse 30 credits

Download the programme specification.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9630
  • Home - part-time: £4815
  • International - full-time: £18560

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.


This programme is eligible for one of the department's fee waivers. Find out more about how to apply.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online. Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement
  • An essay (written in English), as an example of your academic writing

When applying, please indicate your preferred pathway.

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Please submit an essay (written in English) together with your application, as an example of your academic writing.

Talk to the pathway convenor

Do you have questions about the Romantic and Victorian Literature and Culture pathway of the MA Literary Studies that you'd like to discuss with the convenor? Book a meeting slot with Dr Isobel Hurst for an online one-to-one conversation.

Find out more about applying.



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

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Suggested reading

  • Nineteenth-Century Literature: Romanticisms (Compulsory module) – Romantic afterlives: Shelley, Adonais; Tennyson, In Memoriam.
  • Rural life and realism: Wordsworth, poems and preface from Lyrical Ballads; George Eliot, Adam Bede.
  • Literary London: selected essays by Leigh Hunt, Charles Lamb; Dickens, selection from Sketches by Boz; Conan Doyle, ‘The Twisted Lip’; Amy Levy, poems from A London Plane-Tree.
  • Gothic and sensation: Keats, ‘Isabella’; Austen, Northanger Abbey; Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White.
  • The Artist's Model and the Pygmalion myth: William Hazlitt, Liber Amoris, or The New Pygmalion; George du Maurier, Trilby.

Some other seminar topics are the Romantic conversation poem and the Victorian dramatic monologue; Orientalism; Hellenism; the French Revolution. If you would like more suggested reading for these topics, please email for further details.

Suggested reading for the option module European Decadence and the Visual Arts (texts are read in English translation for seminars)

  • Symons, ‘The Decadent Movement in Literature’
  • Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du mal)
  • Huysmans, Against Nature (À rebours)
  • Rachilde, Monsieur Vénus
  • Oscar Wilde, Salomé
  • D'Annunzio, Pleasure (Il piacere)
  • Rodenbach, Bruges-la-morte
  • Mann, Death in Venice (Der Tod in Venedig)


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