Early Modern Studies MA

The Early Modern Studies MA brings together a group of internationally renowned scholars from numerous disciplines and offers world-leading skills training for research. There are more than forty optional courses covering diverse aspects of the various cultural, historical, economic and social changes that took place in the period 1450–1800.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,750
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,500

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

The MA combines training in book history, bibliography, and paleography with a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the past and its culture, in order to equip students with critical reading skills, an ability to assess and weight evidence, and construct persuasive arguments on topic in different aspects of the field of early modern studies.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

A defining feature of this interdisciplinary programme is the geographical, linguistic and global reach of the expertise and specialisms of teaching staff.

UCL's strengths in early modern studies are found in departments from English, French, German, History, Italian, Spanish, the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, to the History and Philosophy of Science, Centre for the History of Medicine, Law and History of Art.

Located in Bloomsbury, we are just a few minutes walk away from the exceptional resources of the British Library, the British Museum and the research institutes of the University of London, including the Warburg and the Institute of Historical Research.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of one core course (30 credits), between two (30 credits each) and four (15 credits each) options drawn from a long list (totalling 60 credits) and a dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Early Modern Exchanges: Methods, Histories, Cultures


  • Options may include the following:
    Dante, Divina Commedia
  • Political Thought in Renaissance Europe
  • Sex and the Body in Early Modern Europe
  • Signs, Minds and Society: Early Modern Debates on Language
  • Visions of Power: The Arts and Rulership in Pre-modern Russia
  • Dead Things & Demolition Sites: Cultural, Visual and Historical Representations in France,1598-1889
  • Political Theologies between the Early and Postmodern
  • The Medieval English Book
  • English and Englishness in the Middle Ages: the Politics of the Vernacular
  • Shakespeare in his Time
  • Early Modern Books and Their Readers in Northern Europe
  • Research Skill and Methods: Shakespeare in History
  • Sephardic Jewry: From Golden Age to World Diaspora
  • Transformations of Jewish Culture in Early Modern Europe
  • From Renaissance to Republic: The Netherlands c.1555-1609
  • Theories of Authorship in Early Modern Italian Art
  • Values of Design in the Italian Renaissance
  • Vision and Body in the Early Modern Cabinet of Curiosities
  • Early Modern Horror
  • Art and Culture in the Netherlands (1578-1672)


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 18,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of tutorials, seminars, workshops, presentations, class discussions and library, archive, museum and gallery visits. Assessment is through essays, annotated bibliography and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:


Several funding options are possible for applicants including: Arts and Humanities Faculty Awards and UCL Scholarships for UK/EU & Overseas Students.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed at students with a good degree in a relevant subject who wish to gain the key bibliography, paleography and research skills necessary for a future career in academia or in the heritage or cultural industries.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Early Modern Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Early Modern Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


This new programme aims to train future generations of researchers to be able to work with manuscripts and early printed books from the premodern period, whether as university researchers or in the heritage and cultural industries.

The first cohort of students on the Early Modern Studies MA will graduate after 2013; therefore no information about career destinations is currently available.

Two of our students have been accepted to undertake further study as research students at UCL. In addition one of our students was the recipient of the prestigeous John Edward Kerry prize awarded by the Malone Society.

Next steps


Admissions Officer

T: +44 (0)20 7679 3096


Centre for Early Modern Exchanges

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Make an application


Prospectus subject

Early Modern Studies

Faculty overview

Arts and Humanities


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