Victorian Studies MA

Single and Joint Honours, Full-time

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Key Details

  • 1 Years
  • Full Time
victorian studies

Overview

Overview

Newman’s MA programme in Victorian Studies fuses historical, literary and philosophical approaches to the Victorian period to provide you with a deep and holistic understanding of the Victorian era. Situated in the ‘leading Victorian city of the age’ (Asa Briggs, 1962), Newman provides the ideal setting to study the Victorians. The course will make use of the facilities of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, home of one of the finest nineteenth century art collections in the UK.

What will the course cover?

Most other masters programmes in Victorian Studies tend to take a predominantly literary approach to the period, with only one or two discrete modules addressing historical or theological approaches. By contrast, Newman’s MA offers a truly interdisciplinary perspective on this fascinating period of history.

New methods of cultural and linguistic analysis in history and theology have created an academic climate in which barriers between subjects have become more porous. This course will offer modules that genuinely cross traditional curricular boundaries to truly reflect current academic scholarship and to offer an innovative approach to the subject.

Assessment

The course will be assessed through a series of coursework tasks, initially submitted online. There will be compulsory seminars at which students will be required to present their interim research, and there will be a capstone dissertation project.

Attendance

The course will run one evening per week over 12 months with 4 to 5 Saturday sessions, along with additional online activities run via Newman’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). There will be a further 3 months for the completion of the dissertation. Evening classes will take place at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Saturday sessions will be taught at Newman.

Special Features

• Use of the facilities of the Birmingham and Midland Institute.

• Expert tours of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

• Fieldwork and use of the archival holdings at Newman University.

• Interdisciplinary modules taught by experts in social and political history, fine art, architecture, literature and theology.

• Online activities and assessment providing flexibility for you.

Entry Requirements

Good relevant first degree (2:2 or above).

Applicants may be invited to an interview.

Contact details

Contact: Contact for admissions enquiries Admissions Tel: 0121 476 1181 (Ext. 2386) Email: admissions@newman.ac.uk

ContactDr. Ian Cawood (Head of History) Tel: 0121 476 1181 (Ext. 2244) Email: I.Cawood@newman.ac.uk

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Course Fees

2017/18: UK/EU Students - £4,800

The above fees are the total for the course, with the fees being divided into instalments over the first 2 years of study.

Please note for 2018/19 the University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

For information regarding a Postgraduate Loan (PGL) for Master's study click here

Modules

As a full-time postgraduate student, you will study a total of 180 credits. Credits are made up of mandatory modules and you may have a list of optional modules to choose from. Please note, not all optional modules run every year.  All modules are listed below and you may not be required to complete all of these modules. Modules are 30 credits and the dissertation is 60 credits.

 

  1. INTERDISCIPLINARY VICTORIAN STUDIES
    (Optional) hsm701
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    Module Summary: The module is designed to help students engage with a range of approaches to the Victorian era, from the orthodox approaches of ‘classic’ social and institutional history to more contemporary post-structuralist methodologies, through a close reading of key texts. Changing contexts, philosophies and locations will be taken into account in trying to understand the ongoing task and challenge of interpretation. CATS Value: 30 ECTS Value: 15 Contact Hours: Scheduled: 25 Directed: 150 Independent: 125 Total: 300 Programmes for which this Module is Mandatory: MA in Victorian Studies Programmes where this Module may be taken as an Option: None Module Curriculum Led Outcomes: This module aims to: • Explore the nature of Victorian Studies as an inter-disciplinary approach to the period • Familiarise the student with recent debates in Victorian history, theology and literature • Analyse methods of interpretation (including of primary non-textual sources) and assess their relative merits and influence. Learning Opportunities: Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to: • Give a critical account of the nature of Victorian society and culture • Critically analyse major shifts in historical, theological and literary interpretation of the Victorian era • Illustrate the above with examples using critical analysis of primary texts and providing the necessary political, social and intellectual context in which they can be interpreted • Analyse primary sources, including artefacts, art and texts and critically contextualise these • Identify and differentiate between artistic, political and intellectual movements and their influences on Victorian society • Communicate systematically and effectively with fluency and authority via the written and spoken word so as to engage and challenge the assumptions of an audience • Show advanced interpersonal skills in presentations to groups and discussions • Extend their own learning skills and performance through disciplined self-study and research utilizing appropriate resources, planning and time management. Method of Assessment: Component 1: 30% Seminar presentation analysing a Victorian source (1500 words). The student will present an analysis of a text, source or local site at a group seminar Component 2: 70% A 4000 word essay critically exploring one author, reformer, or historical development and its influence on subsequent academic attitudes to Victorian Britain. Title to be confirmed in advance with tutor
  2. THE VICTORIAN URBAN SPACE: TOWNS AND CITIES IN AN AGE OF SOCIAL CHANGE
    (Optional) hsm702
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    Module Summary: The module is designed to help students engage with a range of structuralist and post-modern approaches to the Victorian urban environment. Issues of class, gender and race will be integrated into classic debates on politics, society and culture in the Victorian city providing a greater appreciation of the influence of the spaces of the 19th century city on the production, reception and consumption of contemporary ideas and behaviours. Contact Hours: Scheduled: 25 Directed: 150 Independent: 125 Total: 300 Programmes for which this Module is Mandatory: MA in Victorian Studies Programmes where this Module may be taken as an Option: None Module Curriculum Led Outcomes: This module aims to: • Explore the nature of the Victorian urban space as it affected society, literature, theology, politics and art • Analyse methods of interpretation and assess their relative merits and influence • Familiarise the student with contemporary research methods in Victorian urban studies. Learning Opportunities: Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to: • Give a critical account of the nature of Victorian urban studies • Critically analyse for major shifts in interpretation and representation of the Victorian urban milieu • Illustrate the above with examples using critical analysis of primary texts and providing the necessary political, social and intellectual context in which they can be interpreted • Analyse primary sources and texts and critically contextualise these • Identify and differentiate between social and intellectual movements and their influences on Victorian urban space • Communicate systematically and effectively with fluency and authority via the written and spoken word so as to engage and challenge the assumptions of an audience • Show advanced interpersonal skills in presentations to groups and discussions • Extend their own learning skills and performance through disciplined self-study and research utilizing appropriate resources, planning and time management. Method of Assessment: Component 1: 30% Presentation to the group of agreed topic on urban history (2500 words equivalent). The topic will be presented at an appropriate site Component 2: 70% A 5000 word essay on a current issue in Victorian urban history. Titles to be set in the module handbook
  3. RESEARCH METHODS IN HUMANITIES
    (Optional) hsm703
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    MODULE SUMMARY :

    This module will provide students with a critical appreciation and understanding of the different types of research resources, tools and techniques used for masters’ level Victorian Studies. The module is designed to enhance students’ ability to identify and locate and evaluate resources independently as well as providing them with a detailed knowledge and understanding of resources and tools which are readily available. As well as providing essential research skills the module also helps students to understand the unstable nature of evidence, helping them to understand the contingent nature of sources and of the political, social and intellectual context in which they can be interpreted. Where appropriate the issues surrounding ethics will be considered.

    Students will be required to reflect on their own skills in relation to relevant research skills through the applied tasks set throughout the module: these will teach students how to systematically develop independent research projects. They will also require students to formulate strategies for developing their research skills to levels appropriate for independent master’s level work. They will also discuss rival research methodologies, ethical considerations and approaches to research design.

    Skills and knowledge taught in this module will be essential for the Victorian Studies dissertation module.

    CONTACT HOURS :

    Scheduled : 25.00 Independent : 275.00 Placement : 0.00 Total :  300.00

    MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

    This module aims to: 

    • Develop in students a comprehensive understanding of the range of research resources, tools and
    • Techniques used for masters’ level humanities
    • Refine students’ ability to locate, use, analyse and evaluate scholarly and research resources relevant to Victorian studies and cognate fields
    • Develop students’ critical awareness of the variety of evidence and the unstable and variable nature of sources
    • Actively engage in a range of tasks which encourage self-reflexivity and personal development in relation to research skills.

    LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

    Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to: 

    • Demonstrate extensive knowledge and understanding of a wide range of research resources, tools, and techniques relevant to Victorian Studies.
    • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the variable nature of sources, their unreliability and of necessary political, social and intellectual context in which they can be interpreted
    • Show they can use, analyse and evaluate scholarly and research resources relevant to Victorian studies and cognate fields.
    • Evaluate critically a wide range of resources and to reference them appropriately
    • Apply knowledge about research methods and techniques to unfamiliar resources and in designing research projects
    • Reflect on their research competencies and how to improve and develop these.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

    Component 1 - 100% Portfolio of Tasks (5000 word equivalent)

  4. THE GOTHIC IN LITERATURE, DRAMA AND ARCHITECTURE
    (Optional) hsm704
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    MODULE SUMMARY :

    The module is designed to enable students to engage with a range of key cultural forms in the Victorian era. Changing contexts, philosophies and locations will be taken into account in trying to understand the ongoing task and challenge of interpretation.

    CONTACT HOURS :

    Scheduled : 25.00 Independent : 125.00 Placement : Total :  150.00

    MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

    This module aims to:

     

    • Critically assess the nature of the Gothic in a range of disciplines in the Victorian era

    •   Systematically analyse methods of artistic interpretation and assess their relative merits and influence

    •   Familiarise the student with contemporary research methods in literature and         architectural history.

    LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

    Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

     

    • Give a critical account of the nature of the Gothic revival in the 19th century
    • Critically analyse the major shifts in literary and artistic interpretation of the gothic in Victorian culture
    • Use secondary materials to explain the social and cultural context in which the primary materials (novels, poetry, drama and architecture) can be interpreted
    • Critically analyse primary sources (inc. literature, art and architecture) and contextualise these with confidence
    • Identify, differentiate and evaluate intellectual movements and changing cultural ideologies and their influences on literature, art and architecture.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

    Component 1 - 30% Analysis of a Literary Text (2500 words)

    Component 2 - 70% Essay (5000 words)

  5. THE EMPIRE, THE UNION AND IDENTITY
    (Optional) hsm706
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    Module Summary: The module is designed to help students engage with the scope of conflicting identities in Victorian Britain, through the reading of key political, historical, literary and journalistic texts. There will be a deliberate attempt to use the words of contemporary ordinary Victorians through the use of social surveys such as those carried out by Booth, Rowntree, Mayhew and parliamentary enquiries CATS Value: 30 ECTS Value: 15 Contact Hours: Scheduled: 25 Directed: 150 Independent: 125 Total: 300 Programmes for which this Module is Mandatory: None Programmes where this Module may be taken as an Option: MA in Victorian Studies Module Curriculum Led Outcomes: This module aims to: • Explore the nature of conflicting identities in Victorian Britain • Analyse methods of interpretation and assess their relative merits and influence • Familiarise the student with the issues surrounding the study of identity in the historiography of Victorian Britain. Learning Opportunities: Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to: • Give a critical account of the nature of Victorian self-identity and community • Critically analyse the major shifts in contemporary political interpretation • Illustrate the above with examples using critical analysis of primary texts and providing the necessary political, social and intellectual context in which they can be interpreted • Critically analyse primary texts and contextualise them with confidence • Identify, differentiate and evaluate intellectual movements and their influences on Victorian identity. Method of Assessment: Component 1: 30% Analysis of a primary text (2500 words). A political, literary, journalistic or religious text will be analysed for its conflicting sense of regional, national, global and other identities in the light of a shared critical discussion. Component 2: 70% A 5000 word essay critically exploring the problems of identity and historical development during the Victorian era. Title to be confirmed in advance with tutor.
  6. THE EXTRAORDINARY BODY IN VICTORIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
    (Optional) hsm708
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    MODULE SUMMARY :

    No information provided. Please inform the Quality Office of the text to be included within this section.

    CONTACT HOURS :

    Scheduled : Independent : Placement : Total :  0.00

    MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

    No information provided. Please inform the Quality Office of the text to be included within this section.

    LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

    No information provided. Please inform the Quality Office of the text to be included within this section.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

    Component 1 - 30% Analysis of a literary text, 2500 words

    Component 2 - 70% Essay exploring the representation of extraordinary bodies in at least one novel and another Victorian text. 5000 words

  7. VICTORIAN STUDIES DISSERTATION
    (Compulsory) hsm707
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    MODULE SUMMARY :

    This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to draw from and build upon subject knowledge acquired at undergraduate level, and developed in taught modules undertaken at masters level by undertaking a topic of personal interest and exploring this topic in an independent and original manner, appropriate to masters level. The student will be expected to demonstrate a systematic understanding of the topic and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the academic discipline and field of study.

    CONTACT HOURS :

    Scheduled : 20.00 Independent : 580.00 Placement : 0.00 Total :  600.00

    MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

    This module aims to: 

    • Conduct an extended piece of personal research in which the student works at the cutting edge of current thinking in contemporary Victorian studies
    • Ensure that the student identifies, analyses and utilises relevant primary sources in an original and imaginative way
    • Allow the student to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses
    • Encourage the student to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and resolving issues presented by the topic of the dissertation

    LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

    Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to: 

    • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of a topic in Victorian Studies and a critical awareness of the problems and new insights associated with the topic. It must be informed by the forefront of the academic field of study.
    • Show a comprehensive and critical understanding of traditional and contemporary approaches to the topic
    • Undertake a critical evaluation of current research and advanced scholarship in the topic selected.
    • Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively make sound judgements in the absence of complete data and communicate their ideas clearly to specialists and non-specialists
    • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

    Component 1 - 100% Dissertation (15000 words)