Eighteenth Century Studies is taught with the British Museum and by teachers from eight departments in the School of Arts & Humanities. Explore constructions of the Enlightenment through race, gender, class, intellectual networks and material culture. Analyse ideas, objects, texts and arts. Access to unique, diverse and rich collections. Ideal foundation for PhD study.
- New joint degree with the British Museum.
- Unrivalled access to British Museum expertise.
- Unrivalled location for access to London's cultural collections.
- Located in the heart of London.
It is expected that some students will go on to research, while other possible roles might be in arts administration.
Professor Clare Brant, Department of English Language & Literature
King's College London
Credit value (UK/ECTS equivalent)
UK 180/ECTS 90
One year FT, two years PT, September to September.
Strand Campus; the British Museum; other museums and galleries in central London.
Year of entry 2013
School of Arts and Humanities
1 July 2013.
Please note that applicants wishing to apply for funding (e.g. AHRC) must submit their application by the relevant funding deadline, which is usually early in the year. Please see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources/index.aspx
for information on the available funding opportunities and deadlines.
No set number.
PT Home: £3950 (2013)
PT Overseas: £8125 (2013)
FT Home: £7900 (2013)
FT Overseas: £16250 (2013)
Postgraduate Officer, Centre for Arts & Sciences Admissions (CASA)
tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2765 / 2232 / 7232
fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200
Provides teaching and research training in a wide variety of disciplines relating to the study of the 18th century. As the programme will be offered jointly with the British Museum special emphasis will be placed on relevant collections held by that institution. Includes opportunities for training in any of the basic technical skills necessary for those who wish to go on to study for a PhD in 18th century subjects.
The MA in Eighteenth Century Studies is offered under the joint auspices of King’s and the British Museum. Drawing on the expertise of scholars from eight Departments in the School of Humanities at King’s, and senior staff at the British Museum, the MA offers exciting opportunities to explore 18th century textual, material and visual cultures.
The MA consists of a core module, a dissertation and (normally) four modules chosen from a wide range of options, including ones taught by the Departments of English, History, Comparative Literature, French, German, Music, American Studies and Philosophy. The core module is taught in part by experts from the British Museum, with special reference to the Enlightenment Gallery and its history. Students will also be able to engage with the unique, diverse and rich collections of cultural institutions in central London, all close to King’s, including the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Society, the Foundling Museum, and Sir John Soane’s Museum.
The core module explores constructions of Enlightenment, then and now, through frameworks such as race, gender, class, the body and intellectual networks; it invites students to analyse ideas, objects, texts and arts of the 18th century. A focus on ideas of the Enlightenment and about the Enlightenment is combined with the freedom to research a wealth of 18th century materials under the guidance of world-leading curators and experts.
We particularly welcome applicants who may continue to a PhD, and those looking to deepen their understanding of the 18th century through creative interdisciplinarity.
Core programme content
Indicative non-core content
- Representing the 18th Century
Options may include:
- The Body & Society in Early Modern Europe (History Department)
- Religion, Science & the Production of Knowledge (History Department)
- Eighteenth Century Writing Gender & Culture (English Department)
- Life Writings 1700-1850 (English Department)
- The Construction of Modern Heroism (History Department)
- Melancholia and Hypochondria in the 18th Century (German Department)
- Imagined Communities: Utopian Discourse & Political Dissent (French Department)
- Women and the Poetics of Liberty (English Department)
- Political Thought in the British Atlantic World (History Department).
FORMAT AND ASSESSMENT
Seminars; study sessions in museums and galleries; research skill workshops and visits to cultural institutions. Core and optional modules assessed by coursework, plus a dissertation.
ACADEMIC ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
General entry advice
Minimum 2:1 BA honours degree or equivalent in any appropriate discipline (e.g. English literature, European literatures, history, music, philosophy, history of art, some social sciences).
APPLYING TO KING'S
To apply for graduate study at King's you will need to complete our graduate online application form. Applying online makes applying easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.
King's does not normally accept paper copies of the graduate application form as applications must be made online. However, if you are unable to access the online graduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/School Office at King's for advice.
Your application will be carefully read by the convenor, and second read where appropriate by a second academic. We do not interview all applicants, but you are welcome to call the programme leader to arrange a visit. We aim to process all complete applications within four to six weeks although this may take longer in February and March, and over holiday periods.
PERSONAL STATEMENT & SUPPORTING INFORMATION
Please include a writing sample of your work of up to 4000 words preferably on an Eighteenth-Century Studies related topic and a personal statement that includes your reasons for applying to the course.
AHRC, Graduate School and School of Arts & Humanities studentships and bursaries, self-funded.
Eighteenth-Century Studies MA
When I applied for a place on the Eighteenth-Century Studies MA, there were two main reasons why the course appealed to me. Firstly, as an English Literature graduate, the interdisciplinary nature of the MA - the course covers early modern British and European literature, history, science, medicine, politics, philosophy, art, and more - would both enable me to develop my specific interest in the relationship between the arts and sciences during this era, and make me a better scholar of the period in general. Similarly, because the course was taught by both tutors from King's College and curators from the British Museum, it offered a unique opportunity to be around and improve my understanding of all the incredible artefacts - not just texts, but objects too - whose creation, or re-discovery in many cases, resulted from this ferment of ideas called the Enlightenment.
On starting the MA, I found that the course was everything I'd wanted it to be. British Museum curators taught the core modules, and in effect the Museum's showcase Enlightenment Gallery, which displays and interprets objects as eighteenth-century people might have made sense of them, became a vast classroom. King's College tutors taught the optional modules, and many of these were themed - the self, the body, liberty, melancholy, and so on - and ranged across a variety of media - conduct books, novels, philosophical treatises, diaries, portraits and more - to demonstrate how a number of disciplines informed the emergence of each particular idea or experience. The MA organizers were also really good at showcasing eighteenth-century London - there were trips to Kew gardens and Sir John Soane's house museum, amongst others, which was an unexpected bonus.
Aside from the course, the facilities at King's are very good. Its beautiful library is a two minute walk away from its main Strand campus, it has a big and cheap student bar with a view of the river, and it's next door to the Courtauld Institute and just over the river from the British Film Insitute on the south bank, two of my favourite places in London.