2020 start

Literature, Culture and Society 1700-1900

School of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

This exciting interdisciplinary course examines the key literary and cultural events of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. You can tailor the course via your choice of optional modules.
PhD student in meeting with two supervisors

Course description

Through this cross-disciplinary MA, you'll study texts and contexts across the entire breadth of the period, taking modules on the early eighteenth century and the Romantic and Victorian eras, as well as the beginnings of modernism.

You'll take one thirty-credit core module, Reimagining the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, which addresses the diverse thematic approaches which can be applied to the novel, poetry, and other media such as life-writing, published between 1700-1900. This research-led module reflects the range of expertise of the teaching team and will introduce you to current research approaches and methods.

You'll also choose from our range of optional modules and complete a dissertation. Optional modules are designed to give multiple perspectives on the literature and culture of the period and to equip you with the knowledge and skills to undertake your own research projects, both for your Masters dissertation and at doctoral level, if that is your goal.

The transferable skills you will develop through this MA will give you a wide variety of career options when you graduate. 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.

You will have access to regular seminars and conferences through the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, which also provides a forum for its numerous postgraduate students.

Teaching and learning changes for 2020-21

Due to the coronavirus pandemic we have made some changes to teaching and learning for this course in the 2020-21 academic year.

Apply now


Core modules

Reimagining the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Optional modules

Optional modules may include:

  • Love and the Lyric
  • I want a hero: Romantic and Victorian Epic
  • Romantic Gothic
  • Murderers and Degenerates
  • Victorian Bodies
  • Confession
  • Foundlings, Fostering and Adoption in Literature of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
  • Humans, Animals, Monsters and Machines: From Gulliver’s Travels to King Kong.
  • Work Placement


Teaching takes place through seminars.


You'll be assessed by essays and a 15,000-word dissertation.


  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time
Profile picture of MA student Elizabeth Gass.

The University of Sheffield stood out for me because of its wonderful English programme and facilities for students. Being a postgraduate in the department has been a challenging and fantastic learning experience

Elizabeth Gass
MA English student

Entry requirements

At least a 2:1 honours degree in English literature, language, linguistics, or a related discipline (eg history, philosophy, modern languages).

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Fees and funding


There are a number of studentships and fee bursaries available, funded by either the University or the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Deadlines for funding applications are usually in winter/early spring.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now


+44 114 222 0236

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.