The University of Southampton
HumanitiesPostgraduate study

V100 MA Eighteenth-Century Studies (1 year)

The MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies (Chawton) is an interdisciplinary programme for the study of eighteenth-century British culture which draws on modules in literature and history, and has contributions from all subject-areas in the Faculty of Humanities.

Introducing your course

Are you fascinated by the eighteenth century? Are you passionate about its culture and wanting to know more about the impact it had on the modern world? Then take a Masters in Eighteenth-Century Studies and kick start your future as an expert on the past. Graduates of this masters degree course have gone on to PhD research and academic posts, secondary school teaching, librarianship, publishing and roles in the heritage industry.


The MA allows you to specialise in the history and the visual and material culture, as well as the writing of the period. You will be introduced to the literary, political, philosophical and cultural issues of 18th-century Britain through options that explore the rise of the novel, gender and the social order, race and empire, the consumer revolution, modernity, and analyses of art, taste, gender, and politeness. The MA encourages students to work across disciplines and to use archival sources.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

To apply for a postgraduate course please visit the How to Apply page or click on the apply button below.

Application process and required supporting documents

  • University online application including a personal statement
  • Transcript
  • 2 references
  • Sample of written work
  • English language (if relevant)

If you have a question or would like further information, contact our admissions team:
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8062

Programme Structure

This programme is divided into 180 credits.  105 credits are obtained from taught modules with the remaining 75 credits relating to the dissertation.

Key Facts

Duration: 1 year (full time); 2 years (part time)

Start date: September

Funding: Arts and Humanities Research Council Block Grant; Humanities studentships may be available

Closing date: 1st September (an application decision cannot be guaranteed in time unless a complete application is received by this date - students requiring a visa to study should also allow extra time for visa processes)

Dissertation Length: 20,000

International students

The Southampton pre-Masters can be taken if you have qualifications or grades that do not meet University of Southampton direct entry criteria but meet the minimum entry criteria for the pre-Masters further details). You will be guaranteed a place on your chosen masters degree programme subject to successfully completing the pre-Masters. Visit our pre-Masters Programme to find out more about these degree programmes.

Chawton House belonged to Jane Austen's brother Edward
Chawton House Library

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements


First- or upper second class honours degree or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in English literature or a cognate discipline

English Language

IELTS 7.0 overall, with minimum of 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in reading, listening and speaking, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Selection process

Intake: 25

Average applications per place: 2

Academic entry requirements: First or upper second class honours degree, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in English literature or a cognate discipline.

English language entry requirements:   IELTS 7.0 overall, with minimum of 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in reading, listening & speaking, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Selection process: Online application

Interview may be required on a case by case basis to assess suitability of course

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The programme in the first semester comprises two core modules ('Approaches to the Long Eighteenth Century’, the first of two 'Research Skills' modules) and one option. Three further optional modules from the Chawton MA 18th-century modules and related modules in other MA programmes are taken in the second semester, together with the second Research Skills module. Alternatively, an Individually Negotiated Topic based on resources at Chawton, the Hartley Library, or other 18th-century archives may be substituted for one option. The MA culminates in a 20,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Year 1

Semester One

Students may choose options from any other MA module offered by Humanities. Students wishing to choose a non-English module should consult with their MA Convenor in the first instance.

Students must ensure at least three of their modules are History and/or English modules.

Core Options

Students must choose 30 credits from either: 

  • ENGL6103 – Research Skills Part A (15 credits) (S1) - Core
  • ENGL6104 – Research Skills Part B (15 credits) (S2) – Core


 HIST6081 – Research Skills and Dissertation Preparation (30 credits) – Core


  • MUSI6031 – Research Skills 1 (15 credits) (S1) – Core
  • MUSI6032 – Research Skills 2 (15 credits) (S2) – Core
Poetry and the City
Eighteenth Century Fiction and the Rise of the Novel
Unknown Jane Austen
Writing For Children and Young People
The Art and Craft of Fiction Part 1
War, Rebellion and Race in the Early American Republic
English Social and Cultural Life in the Long Eighteenth Century
Latin Language (Accelerated Course): Stage 1 and 2
Research Skills Part A
Modernisms and Modernities
War and Conflict in Literature and Film
Research Skills 1 (M)
Semester Two

Students may choose options from any other MA module offered by Humanities. Students wishing to choose a non-English module should consult with their MA Convenor in the first instance.

Students must ensure at least three of their modules are History and/or English modules.

Victorian Readers and the Politics of Print
Literature and Law
War and Conflict in Literature and Film
Latin Language (Accelerated Course): Stage 1 and 2
Research Skills Part B
Research Skills and Dissertation Preparation
Research Skills 2 (M)

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour). Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. You will be given a printing allowance of £1 per 7.5 ECTS FREN towards the costs of printing lecture handouts and/or practical scripts. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here: £0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory equipment and materials: All laboratory equipment and materials are provided.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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