MA Crime and Gothic Fictions – Bath Spa University

Key facts

MA Crime and Gothic Fictions
School of Humanities (School of Study)
Campus or location
Corsham Court
Course length
One year full time. Two years part time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We are generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.

Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information:

Study two distinctive genres in this unique and specialist postgraduate course.

  • The only UK MA programme to integrate the study of both crime fiction and Gothic.
  • Interdisciplinary and international in its approach to both genres.
  • Led by tutors with established international reputations in their respective fields.

The MA Crime and Gothic Fictions will introduce you to the advanced study of two popular genres that have entertained and informed culture from the nineteenth century to the present day.

The programme is deliberately international and interdisciplinary. You’ll study an imaginative choice of texts from Britain, Europe and the Americas, as well as investigating cutting-edge research and relevant theory.

The MA is particularly suited to individuals who are interested in developing their critical and research skills in preparation for further study. It can also be pursued as an end in itself, if you’re interested in investigating crime writing and Gothic at taught postgraduate level.  

What you'll learn


You’ll explore the ways crime and Gothic enrich each other, focusing on both equally during the taught element of the MA. We’ll give you the opportunity to specialise for your final dissertation, if desired.

You’ll be taught the histories of the two genres to ensure you have a good grounding, before moving on to consider contemporary and international examples from both genres.

The programme will help strengthen your skills in comparison and criticism across genres, while allowing you to specialise in the genre of your choice.

Course structure

Full time

Trimester one

  • Research: Methods, Resources, Dissemination (30 credits)

  • Crime and the Gothic: Pasts and Presents (30 credits)

Trimester two

  • International Crime and Gothic (30 credits)

  • Crime Stories: From Page to Screen (30 credits)

Trimester three

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Part time

Year one

Trimester one

  • Crime and the Gothic: Pasts and Presents (30 credits)

Trimester two

  • Crime Stories: From Page to Screen (30 credits)

Trimester three

  • Dissertation (30 credits)

Year two

Trimester one

  • Research: Methods, Resources, Dissemination (30 credits)

Trimester two

  • International Crime and Gothic (30 credits)

Trimester three

  • Dissertation (30 credits)

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more details on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Research: Methods, Resources, Dissemination
  • Crime and the Gothic: Pasts and Presents
  • International Crime and Gothic
  • Crime Stories: From Page to Screen
  • Dissertation

How will I be assessed?

Modules are formally assessed primarily by essay, with the exception of the Research Methods module, which includes a bibliographical element.

Informal assessment may take the form of diagnostic essays, presentations and other exercises designed to enhance your research and presentation skills. The Dissertation module includes an assessed research proposal. There are no examinations.

How will I be taught?

This is a deliberately integrated programme of study; you’ll often work with crime fictions and Gothic texts within the same module. This will develop cross-disciplinary and cross-generic awareness, while still allowing you to specialise in the subjects that interest you most.

Teaching will take place in relatively small seminar groups, and will involve a variety of activities, including tutor-led discussion, small-group activities, individual and group presentations, consideration of non-literary texts, documents and artefacts, and possibly optional field trips to relevant exhibitions, screenings or lectures.


Field trips

Optional field trips may be organised in association with exhibitions, film screenings, and other events relevant to the programme.

Work placements, industry links and internships

The MA Crime and Gothic Fictions has close links to two central scholarly bodies, which encourage research across and between the two genres:

Placement opportunities may be available during the annual Captivating Criminality Conference, held at Corsham Court, and at International Gothic Association symposia in the UK.

You’ll have the opportunity to join the academic networks associated with your research interests, and these may facilitate further personal development opportunities. For example, you may have the opportunity to act as a student representative, guest-blog or review.

Faculty delivering the programme will make you aware of relevant external links and networks, relating to your work.


Career opportunities for graduates with an MA in Crime and Gothic Fictions include:

  • Working in cultural research and education
  • Academic and fictional publishing
  • Genre-related film, TV, and other media
  • Literary journalism
  • Dark tourism and the Gothic heritage industry.

Graduate conferences

We encourage students to present papers at graduate conferences and similar symposia, and to bid for student funding in connection with this activity from scholarly bodies such as the International Gothic Association.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As an MA Crime and Gothic Fictions student, you’ll be taught at Corsham Court campus. You’ll benefit from access to:

Library and computing facilities are also available at Newton Park campus.


The MA is excellently supported by online resources including databases, historical documents and study aids. The region also includes many locations associated with the authors, texts and genres featured on the MA.


UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2020/21 entry £7,400
2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021
2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022

International students full time

Course fees
2020/21 entry £13,700
2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021
2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for students who appreciate the complexity and challenging nature of so-called popular texts and genres.

We value interdisciplinarity and an awareness of the international nature of both crime fiction and the Gothic. An ability to appreciate the contemporary, as well as historical, implication of both genres is an important trait we look for in candidates.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Get ahead

Before beginning the programme, you should be aware of the broad history and development of both crime fiction and Gothic, and should appreciate the ongoing debate that surrounds the study of so-called "genre fictions".

The following texts, which are available in most university libraries, might be a useful aid to this end:


  • S.Knight, Crime Fiction 1800-2000: Detection, Death, Diversity (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)
  • L.Nilssen ed., Crime Fiction as World Literature  (London: Bloomsbury, 2017)
  • E.Mandel, Delightful Murder: A Social History of the Crime Story (London: Pluto Press, 1984)
  • M.Priestman ed., The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
  • C.Rzepka & L.Horsely eds., A Companion to Crime Fiction (London: Blackwell, 2010)
  • J.Symons, Bloody Murder: From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel London: Viking, 1985).


  • L. Armitt, Twentieth-Century Gothic (University of Wales Press, 2011)
  • G. Byron & D. Townshend, eds, The Gothic World (Routledge, 2014)
  • C. M. Davison, Gothic Literature 1764-1824 (University of Wales Press, 2009)
  • J. Hogle, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction (Cambridge University Press, 2002)
  • W. Hughes, D. Punter and A Smith, eds, The Encyclopedia of the Gothic (Blackwell, 2013)
  • J. Killeen, Gothic Literature 1825-1914 (University of Wales Press, 2009).

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Course convener: Dr Fiona Peters

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