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Eighteenth-Century Studies MA



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.

Key benefits

  • 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

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September

Study mode Full-time,Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake No set number.

Course leaders Elizabeth Eger

Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2569 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact email

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of English


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language 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).

Application procedure

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 and supporting information

Please include a writing sample of your work of up to 4,000 words preferably on an Eighteenth-Century Studies related topic and a personal statement that includes your reasons for applying to the course.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


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 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.

Course purpose

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.

Course 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.


  • Required Modules

    • Representing the 18th Century

    • Dissertation

    Optional Modules

    Options may include:

    • The Body & Society in Early Modern Europe (History Department)

    • Religion, Science & the Production of Knowledge (History 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)


Career prospects

It is expected that some students will go on to research, while other possible roles might be in arts administration.



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,000 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£17,550 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,500 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£8,775 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


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