Romantic poetry. Victorian society. Popular culture. Expand your knowledge in nineteenth century studies with expert teaching, field trips, work-based projects, and independent study. You’ll develop specialist academic skills as you explore the exciting world of the nineteenth century, and gain experience in using your research in contexts from heritage and curation to teaching and public history.

Find out more.

Table with a top hat, a stereoscope, some Victorian leather-bound books and a leather briefcase. A man reads a Victorian newspaper in the background.


LIT1020: Ways of Reading

This first year introductory literature module uses Victorian literature to explore various ways to engage with and analyse literary texts. The module begins with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, introducing students to formalist, psychoanalytic, postcolonial and medical humanities approaches to this classic novel. The module then explores Victorian poetry, the detective fiction of Arthur Conan Doyle, and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.

HIS2032: Digital Detectives

This second year optional history module explores the development of crime and punishment in the 18th and 19th centuries. It begins with a discussion of the ‘bloody code’ and public executions, before tracking transformations in punishment such as the introduction of transportation and imprisonment. It also considers the representation of crime and criminals in Victorian popular culture. The module is taught in computer labs and makes extensive use of digital tools and archives.

LIT2050: Romanticism

This second year literature period survey introduces students to the literature and culture of the Romantic period, 1750-1850, exploring representations of home and abroad, the literature of sensibility, the spirit of the age, as well as childhood, gender, and animal rights. Canonical Romantic poetry is studied alongside lesser-known examples of Romantic drama and historical fiction.

LIT2046: British Children’s Literature

This second year optional literature module explores British children’s literature from the eighteenth century to the present day, analysing significant constructs of childhood from the Romantic child to the Victorian waif and beyond. Students study classics of the genre such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland as well as more modern examples such as Julia Golding’s The Diamond of Drury Lane, a historical novel focusing on life in 1790s London.

HIS3038: Special Subject – History of Interpersonal Violence

This year-long module examines the history of interpersonal violence in 19th and 20th century Britain. It begins with a broad theoretical examination of the definitions of violence, moral panics, the rise of new journalism, and the nature of masculinity. These theories will then be applied to historical analysis of particular forms of interpersonal violence. The module encourages students to examine the extent to which interpersonal ‘violence’ is framed and defined less by everyday experience and more through the discourses and operation of the law and the print media.

LIT2051: Special Author

Our Special Author modules allow students to study in depth the writings of a single author. The module is taught by staff who are experts in the works of the featured author. Featured authors in recent years have included: Jane Austen, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and the Brontes.

HIS3038: Special Subject – Read All About It

This year-long research module explores the history of journalism and print culture, with a particular focus on the Victorian era. It examines the emergence of the popular press and discusses topics such as women’s magazines, investigative journalism, the provincial press, and the so-called ‘Harmsworth Revolution.’ In the second semester, students undertake research on a project of their choice linked to the history of journalism. The module is taught in computer labs and makes extensive use of digital newspaper archives.

LIT3040: Victorians

This third year literature period survey analyses major Victorian authors like Charles Dickens and the Brontës in relation to significant cultural questions of the time, from evolution and empire to women’s rights. At the same time, the module also explores 19th-century popular culture and Victorian tastes for scandal, sensation, the supernatural, sex, and adventure.

LIT3054: Special Topic – Vampire Fiction

Why does each generation feel the need to resurrect the vampire? This module explores how fictional vampires have embodied the fears and fantasies of society, from Victorian anxieties about sexuality, medicine, and money to modern vampires as romantic leads.

HUM3000 Hosting a Festival

This third year optional module offers students the opportunity to develop, plan, and host an event on a theme of their choice. The format could range from an exhibition to a poetry slam, or from a film festival to an event in collaboration with one of our heritage partners.