English Literature: Eighteenth-Century Literature and Romanticism

MA ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )


The pathway in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Romanticism investigates the history of genres and authorship, and literature’s connections with philosophy, politics, history, and visual culture.

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This MA pathway combines close reading of canonical and non-canonical writers with interdisciplinary study of the broader culture of the 18th and early 19th centuries, examining the history of literature and criticism alongside developments in philosophy, politics, history, and other art forms. We explore the popular culture of the coffee house and tavern, the political world on the street and in parliament, the vocations of women poets and polemicists, polite society and its management of the emotions, epistolary culture, religious dissent, and the metropolitan life of London. We also study the origins and impact of the Romantic movement, poetics and manifestos, generic innovation and experiment, periodical culture, Romantic science and medicine, relations between British and European Romanticism, the French Revolution and its aftershocks, and the literary and artistic culture of the Regency.

The pathway combines specially-designed core and elective modules with the opportunity to select further options from across the whole range of MA modules on offer in the Department of English. You may also opt to take a cognate elective module offered by other Schools in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and by other Colleges of the University of London.

The Department of English has notable research and teaching strengths in both the eighteenth century and Romanticism, with the highest concentration of staff in these fields anywhere in London and one of the highest in the UK. Recently appointed staff in Romanticism include Pamela Clemit, an authority on William Godwin and Mary Shelley, and David Duff, author of Romanticism and the Uses of Genre and editor of The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism. They join Paul Hamilton, a renowned scholar and theorist of British and European Romanticism, James Vigus, author of Platonic Coleridge and series editor of the Henry Crabb Robinson Project, and Shahidha Bari, author of Keats and Philosophy and a well-known broadcaster.

Staff working on eighteenth-century topics include Markman Ellis, author The Coffee-House: A Cultural History and The History of Gothic Fiction, Chris Reid, an expert on Burke, Sheridan and the history of oratory, Tessa Whitehouse, author of The Textual Culture of English Protestant Dissent 1720-1800, Isabel Rivers, founder of the Dissenting Academies Project, and Barbara Taylor, author of Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination. Matthew Mauger and Richard Coulton both work on the cultural history of London, their joint publications including (with Markman Ellis) The Empire of Tea: The Asian Leaf that Conquered the World and (with Chris Reid) Stealing Books in Eighteenth Century London. For further details see individual staff pages.

For more information please register your interest.


The MA in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Romanticism is currently available for one year full-time study, or two years part-time study.

Modules are taught in weekly two-hour seminars. The research-training module will involve visits to archives and galleries which may each take up an afternoon. The dissertation is supervised through sessions with a specially designated supervisor. In addition to the timetabled sessions, you will be asked to attend meetings with your adviser and course tutor. You will also need to undertake many hours of independent learning and research in order to progress at the required level. When coursework deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly.

You will take four assessed modules, an unassessed skills module training module as well as the 15,000-word dissertation. The dissertation is taught through a combination of workshops, supervisions, and offers an opportunity for you to present your ideas at the MA Conference which is held in June.


You will take four assessed modules (two in each semester), an unassessed skills training module and the 15,000-word dissertation.


We understand the need for flexibility for part-time students. In your first year, you take the compulsory core module, an unassessed skills module, and one optional module. In your second year you take two optional modules and the dissertation. The dissertation is taught through a combination of workshops, supervisions, and offers an opportunity for you to present your ideas at the MA Conference which is held in June. Teaching takes place during the day.


Compulsory modules:

Option modules:

You choose three modules from a list of options that changes from year to year (one can be from the range of modules offered across the MA English Studies curriculum). In 2019-20 we hope to offer the following. If members of our specialist research staff win research funding it will mean that their module won’t run, so for that reason this list is indicative only.  

You may, subject to availability and the approval of the School, take one of your option modules from across a range offered by other Schools in the Humanities and Social Science Faculty, or from other Colleges of the University of London.

In addition to taught modules, we run a range of research seminars to which all MA students are invited. Some of these are linked to our interdisciplinary Research Centres, such as the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, the Centre for Religion and Literature in English and the Centre for the History of the Emotions. Others are collaborations with other institutions, such as the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar. With visiting speakers from across the world, these seminars are an opportunity to meet other postgraduate students and members of staff and to learn about the latest developments in research.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Most applicants will have an undergraduate degree with a first or good upper second class honours (or the equivalent) in English or such related fields as history, cultural studies and media studies. Where a North American marking scheme is used, applicants should have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.5.

Promising applicants who do not meet the formal academic criteria but who possess relevant credentials and who can demonstrate their ability to produce written work at masters level will also be considered. Applicants may be invited to interview or asked to submit examples of written and/or creative work. We welcome applications from mature and non-traditional students.

International applicants: Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. You can find details on our English language entry requirements here: www.qmul.ac.uk/international/languagerequirements

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Learning and teaching


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2020/21 Academic Year

Full time £9,950
Part time £5,000

Tuition fees for International students

2020/21 Academic Year

Full time £18,000
Part time £9,000

Part time fees are charged per annum over two years for a two year programme and per annum over three years for a three year programme. A percentage increase may be applied to the fees in years two and three.

This increase is defined each year and published on the intranet and in the Tuition Fee Regulations. A 3% increase was applied to the unregulated university fees in 2019/20. Further information can be viewed on our University Fees webpage, including details about annual increases.


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079
email bursaries@qmul.ac.uk

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717



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