Cropped image of painting called Past and Present by Augustus Egg

Discover the history of the changing nature of the home in nineteenth-century Britain

Information at a Glance

  • An Evening Class course
  • Tutor: Jennifer Wallis
  • Times: TBA
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Location: Imperial College, South Kensington Campus
Register interest in this course

We might think we know what a home is - maybe we think of it as a house in which we live, or a place where we feel safe and able to relax. But even the idea as to what constitutes 'home' has changed dramatically over the centuries, and many of our modern ideas of home have their roots in the major changes made to how people lived during the course of the nineteenth century.

These changes are reflected in the evolving nature and use of different rooms in the Victorian home. On this course we will explore how the description and function of rooms in Victorian Britain changed over time, and how this modified the way rooms were used, who used them and how they were decorated. Consideration of new technologies and design reform movements will play a key part in this exploration, and each week we will look at a different room, and consider different aspects of Victorian culture through the use, nature and physical properties of that room.

This will include the development of sanitation and its impact on health and the environment through the bathroom; class consciousness and consumption through the dining room, and Victorian attitudes to love, marriage and sex through the bedroom. The different roles and expectations of men, women, children, lodgers, servants and guests in Victorian homes will be important, as will differences between the various social classes in Victorian Britain. 

The course is ideal for anyone interested in history and the changing nature of society, but also those with an interest in Victorian art, culture and literature, and design history. No previous experience of studying history is necessary.

Course Information

Course Programme

Course content will be forthcoming.

Additional Reading and Credit Information

There is no compulsory reading required for this course, and there is no set course text.

No academic credits are available for this course. An attendance certificate is issued only to those who attend at least 80% of the taught sessions.

About Your Tutor

Image of Jennifer WallisJennifer Wallis is an historian of science, technology, and medicine who joined Imperial College in 2018. She was previously Lecturer in Cultural and Intellectual History at Queen Mary University of London, and before that undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford on the Diseases of Modern Life project.

Fees and reductions for this course

Fees for this course
Rate CategoryEarly-bird fee (enrol before 30 September)Full fee (applies after 1 October)
 Standard Rate  £ TBA  £ TBA
 Associate Rate  £ TBA  £ TBA
 Internal Rate  £ TBA  £ TBA
 CLCC Rate  £ TBA  £ TBA
Summary of the table's contents

Standard rate

Applicable to all who do not qualify for the Associate Rate or Internal Rate.

Internal rate

Applicable to all current Imperial College students and staff (including Imperial NHS Trust and Imperial Innovations), including ancillary and service staff employed on long term contracts at Imperial College employed by third party contractors.

 Associate rate

  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Members of Friends of Imperial College 
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Santander Bank staff (Imperial College Walkway branch only)
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Local residents (SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8 postcodes only)


CLCC rate

  • Current CLCC staff
  • Current CLCC PhD students
  • Imperial College Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students
  • Students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme

 If you are applying for an additional CLCC rate you should email before completing the online enrolment form.

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started, subject entirely to agreement by the tutor delivering the course. If you are able to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on.

 Applicable terms and conditions

 Only one discount can apply to each applicant. Please read the terms and conditions before enrolling on any course.

Further Study

If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.

Any Questions?

Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the tutor, Dr Jennifer Wallis at

Please carefully review the course information, programme timetableterm dates and fees & enrolment information.