The Early Modern Studies MA offers an innovative blend of skills training (palaeography and historical bibliography), object-based learning and museum visits. The core modules cover a wide range of disciplines, giving you a broad understanding of the early modern period. You can then tailor your programme to suit your interests, with over forty optional modules, covering the culture, history and society of the early modern.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £9,840 (FT) £4,970 (PT)
- £20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
The MA will teach you critical reading skills, the ability to assess and weigh evidence, and construct persuasive arguments. It combines training in book history, bibliography, and paleography with a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the early modern period.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), between two and four optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (90 credits).
- Early Modern Exchanges: Methods, Histories, Cultures A
- Early Modern Exchanges: Methods, Histories and Cultures B
Optional modules (indicative list):
Up to 60 credits from a list which varies each year. An up-to-date list is available on our website. Below is an indicative list, showing modules that have been offered previously.
- Shakespeare in his Time
- Sex and the Body in Early Modern Europe
- From Renaissance to Republic: The Netherlands: 1555-1609
- Early Modern Science
- The Self and the World: Theoretical Approaches to Travel Writing
- Aztec Archaeology: Codices and Ethnohistory
- Early Modern Books and Their Readers: Historical Bibliography for Researchers
- I.T. for Graduate Research
- Paradoxes of Enlightenment: German Thought from Leibniz to Humboldt
- Political Thought in Renaissance Europe
- The Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe
- Trade, Money and Institutions in the Ottoman Mediterranean 1600-1914
- Early Modern Handwriting and Manuscript Culture for Researchers
- Giordano Bruno
- The Public Sphere in Britain, 1476-1800: Print Culture, Censorship and Propaganda
- Men on the Moon: Cosmic Voyages in the Early Modern Period
- Thinking with Women: Gender as an Early Modern Category
- Web 0.1: Early Modern Information Culture, c.1450-c.1750
- The Conquest of Mexico
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.
Several funding options are possible for applicants including: Arts and Humanities Faculty Awards and UCL Scholarships for UK/EU & Overseas Students.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- UK, EU, Overseas
- Based on academic merit
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Many of our students have been accepted to undertake further study as research students both at UCL and elsewhere, including the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, York and Swansea. In addition our students have been successful in obtaining funding and prizes including the Bryce-Jebb and Dorris Russell Scholarships and the prestigious John Edward Kerry Prize awarded by the Malone Society. Graduates may also find careers in the heritage or cultural industries.
This MA will give you a very specific skill set, including manuscript handling and archival research. Depending on the optional modules you select you may also develop language skills and knowledge in information technologies and database use. These skills will make you very employable within the heritage or cultural sectors, as well as library work, the arts, and other roles which require information management.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
A bespoke programme of study, unique to your interests; there are over forty optional modules, all taught by leading scholars, in a wide range of subjects including art, history, law, literature, politics and science.
Practical, hands-on modules, with ‘traditional’ skills such as palaeography and textual bibliography taught alongside the latest techniques in databases and XML. The programme includes fieldtrips to museums, archives and galleries.
Privileged access to a wide range of world-class museums, rare-books libraries and archives in central London. Located in Bloomsbury, it is a short walk to the exceptional resources of the British Library and the British Museum.
Student / staff numbers
› 54 staff
› 213 taught students
› 58 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Centre for Multi-disciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry
Interdisciplinary programme: see contributing departments
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"The excellence of the English department, the location in London, and the progressive history and outlook of the institution all attracted me to take up my position at UCL. It's also impossible to overstate how invaluable it is to be situated just down the road from the British Library, with its exceptional collections of early printed books and manuscripts. Senate House Library is also an excellent research resource."
Professor Helen HackettI contribute to the PhD programme in English, and to the Early Modern Studies MA.
Professor of English
"UCL has an outstanding reputation and offers a vibrant, research-intensive environment. It's also a great place to teach and engage with outstanding students. My office is just a few minutes' walk away from the great 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. Teaching in such an environment is just bliss. "
Dr Isabelle MoreauComparative Literature MA, European Culture and Thought: Culture, Early Modern Studies MA, Dutch Studies: Language, Culture and History MA, French and Francophone Studies: Language, Culture and History MA
Reader in Early Modern Studies
"I feel enormously privileged to be in a department that boasts such stellar colleagues, especially those who specialise in the Early Modern period (1500–1800) and whose research interests and chronological expertise are closest to my own. I have particularly valued opportunities to collaborate with, learn from, or even just discuss literature with these colleagues, in what strikes me as a genuinely amiable, egalitarian department. We are lucky to have, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, some of the brightest, sharpest students of literature, and it has been a joy to teach – and, at times, be taught by(!) – them. "
Dr Chris StamatakisEnglish MPhil/PhD, Early Modern Studies MA
Lecturer in English Literature
Application and next steps
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.
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.
- All applicants
- 28 July 2017
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
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.