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MLitt The Gothic Imagination

Immerse yourself in the scholarly appreciation of the Gothic on a Masters course devoted exclusively to the study of this dynamic and ever-expanding field.

The Gothic Imagination

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MLitt, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MLitt full-time: 12 months, MLitt part-time: 27 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

Contemporary culture highlights a reawakened interest in the Gothic – from the current vogue for horror film and the extraordinary success of writers such as Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer, to manifestations of an alternative Gothic impulse in fashion, music and lifestyle.

The University of Stirling’s MLitt The Gothic Imagination course gives you the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the scholarly appreciation of the Gothic. Ours is one of the few Masters courses worldwide that is devoted exclusively to the academic study of the dynamic and ever-expanding field of Gothic studies.

We provide a rigorous and intensive historical survey of the Gothic’s literary origins and developments, and chart its dispersal across a broad range of media and national contexts.

The course will equip you with the necessary theoretical vocabulary to address, and critically reflect upon, the Gothic as a complex and multi-faceted cultural phenomenon. It also prepares you for further postgraduate research in the rich and vibrant field of Gothic Studies. Graduates will leave with many invaluable transferable skills, including critical thinking, theoretical conceptualisation, historical periodisation and independent research.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    Long acknowledged as a centre of excellence for the study of the Gothic aesthetic worldwide, the division of English Studies at Stirling has historically been the home of leading Gothic scholars for the last two decades. That means you’ll have the opportunity to work closely with some of the leading researchers in the field. You’ll be encouraged to present your research in appropriate contexts, including conferences organised by the International Gothic Association.

    Our MLitt in The Gothic Imagination enjoys a strong international reputation, and we’re proud to have welcomed students from Argentina, Canada, Greece, Mexico, India, Indonesia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the USA.

    With high levels of choice and flexibility built into its course structure, our MLitt allows you to develop your own critical interests under the specialist guidance of recognised experts in the broad and exciting field of Gothic Studies.

  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), over 80% of our research for English Language and Literature was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate work experience are encouraged to apply.

    Gothic studies academics come from a wide range of disciplines, and we are keen to encourage applicants from a variety of arts and humanities backgrounds, including literature, history, creative writing, media, film, editing or publishing; or those with experience in a related industry.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS 6.0 with 5.5 in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 54 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill
    • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

This course consists of four core modules, two optional modules and a dissertation. The core modules allow you to ground yourself in key Gothic texts, critics and theories, while the optional modules provide an opportunity for you to develop your own interests. They also give you a rigorous training in research and employability skills. The modules offered vary depending on teaching staff.

The dissertation is a substantial piece of academic writing, which lets you demonstrate your engagement with the field over the year. The course aims to provide as rich and varied an exposure to the academic study of the Gothic as possible.



The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    You’ll attend two hours of seminars per module per week, plus individual consultations and supervisions with members of staff.

    The MLitt is connected to the International Centre for Gothic Studies, and you can expect to attend talks given by noted researchers in the field. You’re also encouraged to involve yourself in the work of the Centre.

  • Fieldwork

    Screenings and trips to events of interest to students in Gothic Studies are arranged.

  • Assessment

    Assessment is by means of a 4,000-word essay for each core module. A variety of skills-based assessments such as presentations, portfolios and blog-entries are used for the optional modules. All students complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice once optional and core modules have been completed.

  • Classroom hours

    The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.


    GOIPP23 Gothic Studies

    Wed 12.00-14.00 (weeks 1-6)

    GOIPP25 Monsters, Theory and Culture

    Wed 12.00-14.00 (weeks 8-12)

    GOIPP12 - Gothic and Gender


    GOIPP24 Modernity and Gothic

    Wed 12.00-14.00 (weeks 1-6)

    GOIPP26 New Directions in Gothic 

    Wed 12.00-14.00 (weeks 8-12)

    One of:

    GOIPP28 - Special Gothic Subject: Victorian Occulture


    GOIPP04 - Gothic Film

    Please note this is an illustrative timetable and not the timetable for 2019/20

  • Course director
  • Key staff

    The MLitt The Gothic Imagination gives you the opportunity to work closely with world-leading scholars in the field of Gothic studies. The primary tutor on the course, Professor Justin Edwards, is an active researcher, and regularly attends conferences and academic symposia both abroad and in the UK.

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships and funding
    Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

    The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study.

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

Our Masters equips you with many skills and abilities that are sought after by employers across the private and public sectors. These include the ability to:

  • process and reflect critically upon cultural forms
  • organise, present and express ideas clearly and logically
  • understand complex theoretical ideas
  • undertake extended independent research

The 15,000-word dissertation that is submitted towards the end of the course allows you to devise, develop, support and defend your own academic ideas across an extended piece of written work. It provides an excellent point of entry into more advanced forms of postgraduate research, including the Doctoral degree. Many previous graduates of the course have gone on to study a PhD.

Other graduates have pursued successful careers in such fields as teaching, publishing, research, academia, advertising, journalism and the film industry.

  • Employability skills

    We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the attributes that employers look for. In the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, we have a dedicated Employability and Skills Officer. The University of Stirling’s Career and Employability Service also works in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the most out of your University experience, and are ready for the employment market.

Megan Rachuy
I knew I couldn’t find a better location to study what fascinates me so much – and it helps that Stirling is noted for being the forerunner in the field.
Megan Rachuy
MLitt The Gothic Imagination
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The MLitt in the Gothic Imagination means being able to work alongside world-leading Gothic scholars at an institution which boasts stunning landscapes and provides its students with the means for intra-disciplinary further research.
Benjamin Noad
MLitt Gothic Imagination
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The course fulfilled all my expectations because it is so well and carefully designed. I made an unforgettable journey from the 18th century origins of the Gothic to the most updated literary trends of this mode, while enjoying a very coherent selection of readings.
Carolina Abello
MLitt in The Gothic Imagination
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