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Previous degree required


Distance/blended learning available?


Tier 4 visa

1 Year


Dr Peter Howell

Programme Director - English
020 8240 4124

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Gothic: Culture, Subculture, Counterculture offers you the chance to study this fascinating strand of culture in literature, film, architecture and at the 'Home of Gothic'.

Please note: Gothic: Culture, Subculture, Counterculture is not currently taking applications for 2018/19 entry.

Why study Gothic: Culture, Subculture, Counterculture?

This is a truly interdisciplinary programme on which you will benefit from the expertise of historians, literary critics, art critics, film theorists and ethnographers.

Why has the ‘Gothic’ been so prevalent in the fields of literature, art, architecture, film and music in the past 250 years? What does this tell us about ourselves, and the society in which we live? How has the genre changed, and how is it possible for us to define our identities within, and in relation to, the Gothic?

These are some of the questions you will be invited to consider on this course, which gives you the opportunity to study the fascinating subject of Gothic culture, in all its many forms, where it all began: on the site of Horace Walpole’s Gothic mansion in Strawberry Hill, South West London.

You will also be trained at postgraduate level in the research methods of these disciplines, preparing you for advanced study in the humanities disciplines.

Why St Mary's?

By studying this course you will have on-site access to the historic Gothic castle at Strawberry Hill, the birthplace of Gothic fiction and architecture.

There is also the unique resource of the Strawberry Hill Library, with collections relating to Horace Walpole, and to Gothic culture in general.

Taught by experts in the fields of literature, film, cultural studies, art and architecture, the course will encourage you to read and reflect on the tradition that starts with Horace Walpole and ends - for the time being - with True Blood and the Twilight saga.

Teaching methods

Most of the formal teaching takes place in seminars on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, supplemented by tutorials and study trips arranged at times to suit our students.

Assessment methods

The taught modules are assessed by a mini-research paper of 4-5000 words, together with other reports and in-class presentations. To complete the MA, students are required to complete 10,000 word dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with tutorial staff.

Key facts

  • Study at the 'Home of Gothic' with on-site access to Horace Walpole's Gothic mansion
  • A bespoke programme on which students' individual interests are catered for and enhanced
  • An interdisciplinary programme which will prepare students for higher research in the humanities and careers in the heritage industry
Please note: this programme is subject to revalidation.

Course content


  • Academic Orientation 
  • Gothic Origins 1750-1850 
  • Research Methods and Dissertation 
  • Researching Modernities 
  • The Contemporary Gothic 
  • The Modern Gothic 
Please note: information published on this webpage is subject to change before the programme commences. Please refer to the Programme Specification document (PDF) for an authoritative summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

The course is designed for those who have recently graduated in English, history, film studies, cultural studies, or a related discipline, as a sound route towards starting on doctoral studies and a career in academia. It is equally suited to those coming back to formal education after a period of time, and full support is given in the acquisition of the kind of research, analytic and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

The content of this course makes it of relevance to those wishing to pursue careers in heritage and arts management - and of course the kind of research, evaluation and advocacy you’ll be practicing are essential skills in today’s jobs market.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.


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Fees and funding

2018/19 fees

2019/20 fees

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants for 2018 and 2019 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


For guidance about financing your studies, including information about goverment-funded loans, please check out Fees & Funding section.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information

Previous dissertations

  1. Modernist Gothic: The Poetry of T S Eliot and the Uncanny.
  2. Walpole's Castle of Otranto and the Old Testament.
  3. William Faulkner and the 'Southern Gothic'.
  4. The Representation of Witches and Witchcraft in Contemporary American Cinema.
  5. Fin de siecle Gothic and Empire: Infection and Gloablisation.