English: Shakespeare in History MA

The Shakespeare in History MA offers the exciting opportunity to study Shakespeare in the centre of London, the city where he spent his working life as a writer. UCL has one of the top English departments in the UK, and counts several published Shakespeare scholars among its staff.

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
  • Scholarship applicants: 1 February 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

The programme lays the groundwork for possible doctoral research in Shakespeare studies, including textual scholarship and the reception of Shakespeare's works in different periods and cultures. Students will acquire basic research skills in Shakespeare and Renaissance studies, including the use of relevant archives, databases and palaeography.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

This MA is taught by leading research specialists, and the English Department is widely recognised as one of the top departments in its field for both research and teaching.

The structure of the programme, incorporating coursework and a dissertation, enables students to pursue their individual interests, aided by UCL's unrivalled proximity to London's world-class research libraries, theatres, and other cultural facilities.

Senate House Library and the British Library are within walking distance of UCL, and London has excellent transport links to resources across the capital, including internationally renowned establishments such as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of two core modules 60 credits) two options (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Shakespeare in his Time
  • Research Skills and Methods


  • Suitable elective module within the English Department, or other departments at UCL


All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of between 15–20,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of two-hour seminars, tutorials, and applied and practical tuition including visits to archives and libraries. Assessment is through a coursework portfolio of three 3,000-word essays, a 'Research Methods' unseen written examination, and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

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 in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard will normally be required.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014, or 1 February 2014 for the year of entry for candidates who are also seeking funding through the Arts and Humanities Research Council and those seeking UCL funding.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in English who wish to deepen their study of Shakespeare and his historical contexts, and is an ideal preparation for original Shakespeare-related research for a PhD. Candidates with degrees in other relevant disciplines will also be considered.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study English: Shakespeare in History at graduate level
  • why you want to study English: Shakespeare in History at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • 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.


Graduates of the MA have gone on to various kinds of success, including PhD study at UCL and elsewhere, and work in publishing, journalism, arts administration, theatre and the performing arts, television and the film industry. Candidates who obtain the MA and have found a promising subject requiring further study are welcome to apply to the UCL MPhil/PhD programme.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Queen Mary's School, GTP Teacher, 2011
  • Tindal Street Press, Publicity and Marketing Assistant, 2010
  • Diffussion PR, Campaign Executive, 2010
  • Highbury Grove Secondary School, Secondary English Teacher, 2009
  • Casewise Ltd., Sales & PR Associate, 2009

Next steps


Mr James Phillips

T: +44 (0)20 7679 7122


English Language & Literature

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Staff View

"At the moment I am trying to gather together everything that I have ever known for the 18th century volume of the Oxford English Literary History."

Professor John Mullan

Head of Department

Staff View

"London offers unparalleled resources for all researchers and UCL is fortunate in being just round the corner from the British Library, British Museum and the Wellcome Trust."

Professor Bas Aarts

Professor of English Linguistics