MA Victorian Studies

Drawing on Birkbeck’s position as a world-leading centre in the field of nineteenth-century studies, this MA offers you the chance to take a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to studying the literature, culture and history of Victorian Britain. Students will encounter a compelling range of nineteenth-century texts on a course that seeks to do justice to the energy and variety of the period.

Two core modules introduce some of the most significant events, ideas, writers and debates of the long nineteenth century, and offer students the chance to develop new critical approaches to Victorian studies. Weekly seminars and workshops take students from the French Revolution to the Boer War and investigate topics such as the discovery of geological time, bodies and machines, movements for social and political reform, the aims and limits of realist fiction, the Great Exhibition, Darwinism, aestheticism, the religious imagination and the Gothic revival.

Students can also choose from an unparalleled range of Option modules, offered by the School of Arts and the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology.

You will be exposed to new research methodologies and offered the chance to develop your archival skills in a series of classes based around our unique Farrer collection, a preserved ‘Gentleman’s Library’ of nineteenth-century scientific, literary and travel books.

Watch this video to listen to some of our students talking about their experiences on this programme:

For further information, please contact our Course Director, Carolyn Burdett (, or programme administrator Bryony Freemantle (

You can find a copy of our online prospectus here.

Download our most recent handbook here.

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