MA Literature, Culture and Society: 1700-1900


Join staff and students from around the world in the School of English. The variety of fresh perspectives you’ll find here will make your masters a unique experience.

MA Eighteenth Century Studies

World-class teaching and facilities

The MA offers readings of texts and contexts across the entire breadth of the period. You can take modules on the early eighteenth century and the Romantic and Victorian eras, as well as the beginnings of modernism. The award is closely associated with the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies which holds regular seminars and conferences, and provides a forum for its numerous postgraduate students.

It will deepen your grounding in the field and provide ideal preparation for research study at MPhil/PhD level, if that is your goal.

Your future

This MA can help develop the range of transferable skills at your disposal, giving you a wide variety of career options. Some of our modules have been designed specifically to provide opportunities for reflecting on the role of English in the public sphere and to enable you to develop different kinds of skills and experience. These can be especially valuable for those considering a career in English outside academia.

Meet Elizabeth who is studying on the MA Nineteenth Century StudiesStudent profile

Elizabeth is examining how Nineteenth Century literature responded to the social discourse surrounding mental illness.

Read Elizabeth's profile

Fast facts

Title: MA Literature, Culture and Society: 1700-1900

Award: Master of Arts

Duration: Full-time - 1 year, Part-time- 2 years

Entry: Minimum 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent. Overall IELTS grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.


In our taught course we include a mix of core and optional modules. In addition, you’ll research your own interests in an extended dissertation.

You’ll attend lectures, seminars and tutorials. During your dissertation you’ll be supervised by one of our academic staff, who’ll provide you with guidance on your topic and methodology. You will have access to a dedicated computer room for students.

Assessment is by coursework assignments and a dissertation.

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You will take one thirty-credit module, Reimagining the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This module will address the diverse thematic approaches which can be applied to the novel, poetry, and other media such as life-writing, published between 1700-1900. Students are then free to choose 90 credits worth of modules, divided more or less equally between the Autumn and Spring semesters. These modules are designed to give multiple perspectives on the literature and culture of the period and to equip students to undertake their own research projects, both for their Masters dissertation and at doctoral level. A 15,000-word dissertation, worth 60 credits, is completed over the summer.

Full-time structure

A full-time student will follow the model of study below:

Semester one
Core module and one optional module.

Semester two
Two optional modules and write a dissertation over the summer.


Core module: Reimagining the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (30 credits)

Reimagining the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is the core module of the MA Literature, Culture and Society 1700—1900. The module will address the diverse thematic approaches which can be applied to the novel, poetry, and other media such as life-writing, published between 1700-1900. The module reflects the range of expertise of the teaching team in these areas and this research-led module will introduce students to current research approaches and methods.

Optional modules:

The Romantic Gothic
Foundlings, Fostering and Adoption in Literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
Rebels, Heroes, and Reactionaries: Poetry of the Enlightenment and Romantic Period
Victorian Bodies
Love and Lyric
I want a hero: Romantic and Victorian Epic
Humans, animals, monsters and machines: from Gulliver’s Travels to King Kong
Murderers and Degenerates: Contextualising the fin de siècle Gothic
Work placement module


You will also complete a 15,000 word supervised dissertation (60 credits).

Course content: Course content refers to academic year 2017/18. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Our campus and how we use it: We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.


Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree (GPA 3.0) in English literature, language, linguistics, or a related discipline (e.g. history, philosophy, modern languages) is usually required. Find out more about EU and international student entry requirements.

English language requirements:

For applicants whose first language is not English, IELTS is the preferred test of language. You need an overall IELTS score of 7.5, with at least 6.5 in all the component tests. Further information can be be found here.

English language support

The English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) provides language support and development for students whose first language is not English. See their services here.

Disability support

We welcome applications from disabled students and students with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia. Information for disabled applicants.

Fees and funding:

Find information on fees and the sources of funding that can help you pay for your postgraduate studies.

Faculty of Arts & Humanities scholarships.

How to apply:

Apply online

Applying to start in over 12 months time?

Please feel free to submit your application via our online system, however please note that we will not be able to process your application for this course until 12 months before your proposed start date.

Visit us:

If you’re considering a postgraduate programme at Sheffield, you are very welcome to visit us. You can attend an open day or a visit afternoon, which will include a tour of the University campus and the department, or contact the department directly ( to arrange a personal visit to meet with the director of your chosen programme.

More information and booking.

Further information:

If you have questions about the academic content of this course please contact Dr Hamish Mathison.

If you need further information about studying at Sheffield, visit AskUS to browse our frequently asked questions or to ask a question.

For any other queries please contact Jane Lowe, or email, T: +44 (0)114 222 2900


Core teaching staff:

Staff profiles

Dr Anna Barton (Victorian poetry and liberalism)
Professor Joe Bray (Eighteenth-Century prose fiction, rise of the novel, Language and Literature, portraiture in the novel) 
Dr Madeleine Callaghan (Romantic poetry, Eighteenth-Century poetry) 
Professor Jane Hodson (French Revolution, Dialect and the Novel during the Romantic period) 
Dr Hamish Mathison (Eighteenth-Century poetry with a special emphasis upon Scottish poetry, Enlightenment, newspaper culture)
Dr John Miller (ecocriticism, animal studies, colonialism/postcolonialism/globilization) 
Dr Amber Regis (Victorian literature, auto/biography, gender and sexuality, adaptation studies )
Professor Andrew Smith (Nineteenth Century literature, gothic, literature and science)
Professor Angela Wright (the rise of the Gothic in the Eighteenth-Century, the French and English Eighteenth-Century novel, translation in the Eighteenth-Century, the Romantic novel)