Jane Austen's England [c.1775 - 1817]*

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How to Apply

*Please note, this course will not be running in 2016/17.

Discover late Georgian and Regency England through this unique Master’s course.

  • Jane Austen's lifetime (1775-1817) spans a fascinating period of British history.
  • Discover Austen and her writings in her historical context.
  • Study in Bath and the surrounding area.

Why study Jane Austen's England [c.1775 - 1817]*?

Jane Austen, who referred to her own productions as ‘the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush, as produces little effect after much labour’ (1816), would undoubtedly have been surprised by her current global popularity as an author.

As an middling-sort, eighteenth-century, single woman who wrote – humorously, sensitively, and often acerbically – about the society in which she lived and moved, Austen’s life and works need to be understood in their historical context.

Course structure

You’ll pursue an in-depth study of late Georgian and Regency England, through the lens of the life-span of one of England’s greatest authors, Jane Austen.

You’ll extend your analytical and critical understanding of relevant historical and literary themes, debates and issues at the cutting-edge of historical knowledge. You’ll develop your research skills and demonstrate them through a variety of oral and written assignments, workshops and projects.

In so doing, you’ll develop skills which will transfer across disciplines and into the workplace. These will include:

  • analysis, criticism, selection, close reading and synthesis;
  • communication, orally and/or in writing, for a specific audience; and
  • autonomous learning, project management and planning.


You’ll complete 180 credits. Typically, a 30-credit module might require you to undertake:

  • Directed preparatory work (30 hours)
    You might be required to complete reading, research or a short formative assignment before a seminar.
  • Class-contact (Around 30 hours, depending on the module)
    This could include two to four three-hour workshops, a whole-day event, or participation in a series of online discussions/activities.
  • Visits to libraries, archives and record offices (40 hours)
    You’ll undertake comparative and contextual research
  • Self-directed study (200 hours)
    You’ll work on assessed assignments. Typically you’ll prepare one item of written work for each module.

Course assessment

Assessments will vary across modules. They may include any of the following: formal historical research essays; research projects; précis; gobbets; reviews; oral presentations; document or image analyses; portfolios; blogs; and reflective logs (which may be electronic).

Field trips

You’ll study in the World Heritage city that featured largely in Austen’s life and literature.

Wherever possible, we give you the opportunity to visit other locations of specific cultural and historical relevance to Austen and her works, including Chawton House and Lyme Regis.

Original eighteenth-century resources

We provide access to an extensive range of original long eighteenth-century resources under the stewardship of Bath Preservation Trust, or situated in institutions such as:

  • the Bath Record Office
  • the Bath Central Library
  • the Victoria Art Gallery
  • the Fashion Museum
  • Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute
  • the Holburne Museum of Art

You’ll also benefit from our outstanding online access to collections of primary and secondary source material.

Teaching methods

We’ll encourage you to participate in a wide variety of activities. Teaching will include a variety of lectures, workshops, tutorials and online activities. In seminars you’ll discuss concepts and interpretations, and develop your ideas.

All modules will be taught by specialists and may include guest speakers or other experts.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please email enquiries@bathspa.ac.uk

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally have a good first degree (2.i or above) in History. Applicants without a 2.i may be considered if they can demonstrate relevant experience; they may be asked to attend an interview.

Career opportunities

The degree cultivates research, writing, and analytical skills that can be applied to a range of careers, in areas such as education, journalism, finance, governance and the cultural sector. We also offer an excellent grounding for students interested in going on to a PhD in History or adjacent disciplines.

You’ll graduate with additional skills that are appealing to employers such as: time management; problem solving; team work; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using your initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, you’ll learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.

About 50% of master’s graduates enter careers that are open to graduates of any discipline but require a range of transferable skills gained from your academic, life and work experience. Some ‘any discipline’ areas include:

  • Heritage
  • General management
  • Financial services
  • Media
  • IT
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Public relations
  • Law enforcement