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MA Literature of the Romantic Period, 1775-1832

Investigate the innovative and diverse literature of the Romantic period​

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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Find your own path through the literary and cultural history of the period. Develop an understanding of the engagement of Romantic writing with a range of political, social and aesthetic issues in the period.

You'll investigate the cultural meanings and associations of the variety of styles and genres in which Romantic writing was produced, and study a range of different critical perspectives about Romantic literature.

You’ll engage with the wider research culture of the Department of English, one of the UK's largest research centres in modern English, and the interdisciplinary Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. There will be a diverse schedule of seminars, conferences and reading groups for you to attend. You’ll also be part of the Humanities Research Centre, a vibrant interdisciplinary hub which will enable you to form close social and intellectual bonds over the course of your study.

World-leading research

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, we had the highest proportion of world-leading (4*) research of all UK English departments.

Global top 30

English at York is ranked top 30 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018.

Course content

You'll examine the selected literary and aesthetic works in the light of the historical circumstances in which they were produced, and will develop a broad view of the major changes in sensibility and ideology of the period. 

You'll study one core module (20 credits) and choose three modules (20 credits each) from a range of options offered by the Department of English and Related Literature and other arts and humanities departments. You'll study two short research skills training modules (10 credits each), and complete a research dissertation (80 credits). The total number of credits for the course is 180.

Harewood House, North Front by Thomas Malton Jr (1788)

Modules

 You can investigate contemporary issues such as:

  • the representation of landscape or revolution
  • the place of women as writers
  • the role of the periodicals as a cultural medium and the importance of ideas of Empire and the Orient
  • Romantic aesthetic theory and poetic practice

You'll be introduced to key voices and themes from the Romantic period. Taught by scholars who specialise in the period, our seminars will explore some of the literary conversations, debates, hopes and disappointments which were produced by this age of revolution and innovation. You'll also learn valuable research, writing and presentation skills. Topics may include using library and online research resources, use of archives, academic writing and how to get work published.

Core modules

Option modules

You'll choose three option modules:

You'll be given priority for some modules if they are available, for example:

  • Changes of Meaning, Narratives of Change 
  • From Wollstonecraft to Jane Austen 
  • Literature, Medicine, Metropolis, 1780-1850

You may also choose available modules from other arts and humanities departments and the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

Your dissertation offers you the chance to examine a topic in depth and to develop your research skills.

In Summer Term and over the vacation you'll work on a 14,000-16,000-word dissertation with regular supervision from a member of staff (80 credits).

You'll submit your dissertation in September. Recent dissertation topics have included:

  • Representations of Prostitutes in Romantic period novels
  • Indian mythology in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poetry
  • Representations of men in Jane Austen’s novels
  • Perceptions of the body in French and British Revolutionary Women’s Writing
  • Images of Breath in the work of Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Romantic poetry and astronomy
  • Constructing the French ‘other’ in the 1790s

 

 

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • analyse significant literary and cultural texts from the Romantic period closely and critically, interpreting them with reference to the social, political, economic and/or aesthetic contexts in which they were produced, reproduced, and received
  • evaluate and contribute to scholarly debates around literary Romanticism, and around Romantic-era literary and cultural production and print culture
  • deploy knowledge of specialist fields within the broader remit of Romantic literature and culture – for example Romantic aesthetic theory and poetic practice, political revolutions, the place of women as writers, ideas of Empire and the Orient, the representation of landscape – in order to ask and answer innovative questions about the literary production of this period
  • initiate, conduct, and take responsibility for independent research, drawing on skills honed by graduate-level research training, research-led teaching, and the completion of a substantial dissertation project
  • communicate sophisticated written arguments in a clear, accurate and persuasive fashion, synthesising evidence from multiple sources so as to convey information creatively and convincingly
  • engage in verbal discussion of complex textual material, demonstrating versatility, rigour, and confidence in the reception, appreciation, and articulation of high-level ideas and perspectives
  • direct their own development, bringing new knowledge and skills to bear upon a range of contexts including (but not limited to) doctoral study in modern English literature and related fields

Field trips

Join us for regional trips – destinations have included Whitby, Castle Howard, Shandy Hall at Coxwold and Fountains Abbey.

Rich local resources

You’ll benefit from the exciting collections of Romantic period texts and images at the King’s Manor Library, Minster Library and Borthwick Institute.

Research strengths

These include Romantic period radical print culture, empire and orientalism, fashion and material culture, Romantic science and medicine, and dissenting literary communities.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

You'll need copies of the texts set for each module. Where possible, we will provide digital access. We'll let you know which texts and editions you'll need to buy (whether new or second-hand) before the start of each term.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Department scholarship information

Further information about funding for English.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Everything I’ve experienced so far has been wonderful and made me really glad I chose to come here. The Humanities Research Centre is a fantastic concept, but what’s really made my time at York so different is just how friendly and inclusive the Department is, from academics letting me pester them with my ideas to the wide range of research seminars and guest lectures.
Emily, MA in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Read more from our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Over the course of the year, you'll give regular seminar presentations and attend research seminars and day conferences hosted by the Department and Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. Many of these events will be organised through the Humanities Research Centre, a state-of-the-art facility unique to York.

Facilities

​​Writers at York is a lively programme of readings and workshops, and aims to celebrate and explore the work of both emerging and established contemporary writers.
Writers at York is supported by the University of York's External Engagement Awards and the Festival of Ideas.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of English and Related Literature on Campus West. Around half of your contact hours will be in locations nearby on Campus West, while the other half will be based in King's Manor in the city centre.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll submit an essay for each module of approximately 4,500 words. The Postgraduate Life in Practice module will be assessed on the completion of a series of tasks connected to your core work for the MA. Your final assessment is a dissertation of 14,000-16,000 words.

Historic library collection

Careers and skills

Our postgraduates go into academia and teaching, arts administration, journalism, broadcasting, public relations, social work, politics, the civil service, and management consultancy. Many alumni have also gone on to become successful novelists, poets and playwrights.

Career opportunities

  • Advertising, marketing, and public relations
  • Arts administration
  • Civil and diplomatic services
  • Film, radio, social media, television, and theatre
  • Journalism and broadcasting
  • Law
  • Government
  • Academia
  • Publishing
  • Teaching

Transferable skills

You'll develop a range of transferable skills including:

  • Developing your creativity
  • Improving your ability to filter and analyse complex information
  • Intellectual independence and independent working
  • Time management and people skills
  • Communicating your research
  • Methodological skills
  • Intercultural awareness

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Degree

You should have, or be about to complete, a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification.

We will consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules or appropriate professional experience.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, or want an informal chat about whether this course would be suitable for you, please contact us.

The international equivalents of UK qualifications are shown on our country-specific pages. You can also contact the international team for guidance.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

Pre-sessional courses in English Language skills, to be taken before the commencement of the degree courses, may be recommended or required.

  • IELTS: 7.0, no less than 6.0 in Listening and Speaking, a minimum of 6.5 in Reading, and of 7.0 in Writing
  • PTE: 67, with no less than 55 in Listening and Speaking, a minimum of 61 in Reading and of 67 in Writing
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 185, with a minimum of 169 in Listening and Speaking, a minimum of 176 in Reading, and of 185 in Writing
  • TOEFL: 96, with a minimum of 21 in Listening and Speaking, a minimum of 23 in Reading, and of 24 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Distinction in all components

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Mary Fairclough

Learn more

Department of English and Related Literature

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