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The award

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Crime and Gothic Fictions at Bath Spa University

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, focussing on both equally during the taught element of the MA. We'll give you the opportunity to specialise for your final dissertation, if so 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


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)


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)

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.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees 6995International course fees find out
  • The awardMAHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees 6995International course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course


UK and EU students full time

Course fees

2018/19 entry £6,995 2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019 2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

International students full time

Course fees

2018/19 entry £12,900 2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019 2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

Entry requirements

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.

What students think about Bath Spa University

    Yasmina Van De Peer, BA (Hons) English Literature and Film Studies, Spain

    Where to start with this year? There have been so many new friends, a new life-style with freedom and no muYasmina Van De Peerm bossing me around. My year has not been easy but I would do it all again, life challenges you in many ways and this experience definitively has.

    When I arrived in September, I felt like a lost girl trying to find something that I could grasp and change my life forever. My first year in a foreign country was fantastic and thanks to the creative writing department, I will never forget my second year as I have the privilege of studying in Chicago for a full academic year! However, this has no real connection with why I chose Bath Spa University.

    I worked as an ambassador for this University and a lot parents have asked the same question, why did I choose it? After 50 parents it gets tiring- especially when I was unsure. As everyone else I want to succeed in life. I have dreamt about going to Oxford, Harvard or any well known University. But the one thing that I have learnt in life is that you can be successful and come from the smallest place in the world. The key to success requires determination to reach your goal.

    Bath Spa just felt right and it allowed me to combine my subjects [English Literature and Film Studies], be myself and it also has an inspiring and picturesque scenery. For me it was perfect.

    Johannes Gerdes, BA Business and Management, Germany

    I chose BA Business and Management as I have always been inspired by my dad who runs a world leading business. The opportunity to work for him during holidays gave me a chance to look inside a company and to experience what management, leadership and communication is all about. I wanted to widen my knowledge and hence started my Business & Management career here at Bath Spa.
    My parents always wanted to give me the opportunity to study abroad. My old school, near Bristol, where I stayed as a boarding student for the last two years, helped me to discover where most of my interests lie. In addition, friends of mine started studying here at Bath Spa.

    I would describe Bath Spa in three words as: Cultural, Wonderful, Friendly.

    In the future I hope I will be working together with my dad and widen the market to countries which haven't been discovered yet.

    Don't be afraid of university life. University is the best time in your life. You meet so many new people from different nationalities and all come together! You will settle down easily. You make friends so fast and there is always someone around to help you! Even language barriers can be fixed with a perfect Writing and Learning Centre [the English Language Unit (ELU) is also available for all international students to access where English is not their first language] here at Bath Spa. Come to Bath and experience the whole range of activities they offer and be open to new things!

    Nassos Polyzoidis, MMus Songwriting, Greece

    Even though I live in Greece, I'm familiar with many British Universities, as I work for some English Examination Boards for Music and I've attended some Summer Schools in UK over the years. Bath Spa University's reputation in Songwriting and Commercial Music was known to me for a long time. Being a guitarist and working for the RGT at the same time, I have heard stories about Bath being the birthplace of guitar magazines and other music and artistic events. I was accepted to study Commercial Music as an undergraduate student about 4 years ago, but due to some sudden accidents I have to decline my offer. After this unfortunate event, I decided to become better Musician and Songwriter, so that I can return as a postgraduate applicant. When I noticed that there was a distance learning degree, MMus Songwriting, I knew I had to do this. Meanwhile, I did my research, which only lead me to ensure my initial decision to study at Bath Spa University.

    I was attracted to this course as I was already familiar with Bath Spa University's reputation in this field. In addition to that, Songwriting isn't taught in my home county at all. I knew that only few Institutes offer Songwriting as a postgraduate degree, so I did my research over the last 3 years. During this time, I was only ensuring myself that I have to apply for this course. I really want to become a successful songwriter, and also, probably one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece, so I know that this course is best for me. I knew that the course will help me become more confident and enhance my professional skills in the field. Finally, being mainly inspired by British Songwriters, it was really important that my songwriting skills would develop a lot lyrically, which can help me open the door to an international market.

    I would describe Bath Spa University in three words as: Innovative, modern, artistic.

    Once I have my degree, I am really hoping to become a successful songwriter. Being inspired mainly by British Songwriters, I would really like to write songs for the UK and international market. In addition, I will probably become one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece. Last, but not least, as I'm already collaborating with several English musicians, I'm considering in my future plans to apply for a PhD and probably seek for more collaborations in UK, which might extend my visits there.

    My advice I would you give to other international students who want to study in the UK would depend on the ethics and societal context of each county. So, a general advice I would give is "Do not be afraid of failure, do your best and apply to the courses that you really like!"

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