Early Modern Studies MA

The Early Modern Studies MA offers an innovative blend of skills training (palaeography and historical bibliography), museum and gallery visits, object-based learning, as well as covering major thematic and methodological concerns in early modern studies. We have as many as forty medieval and early modern options available, covering an exceptionally broad range of subjects in the culture, history and society of the early modern.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£18,670 (FT) £9,285 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

Entry Requirements

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.

International students

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:

Degree Information

The MA equips students with critical reading skills, the ability to assess and weight evidence, and construct persuasive arguments on topics in all areas of early modern studies and combines training in book history, bibliography, and paleography with a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the Renaissance and early modern period equipping students with critical reading skills, an ability to assess and weight evidence, and construct persuasive arguments on topics in all areas of early modern studies.

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
  • Shakespeare in his Time
  • Sex and the Body in Early Modern Europe
  • Race/place-exotic/erotic
  • Human and Nonhuman in Medieval Art
  • Cannibalism and the Early Modern Image
  • Aztec Archaeology: Codices and Ethnohistory
  • Maya Art, Architecture and Archaeology
  • Managing Museums
  • Debating the General Crisis of the 17th Century
  • 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
  • Dead Things and Demolition Sites: Cultural, Visual and Historical Representations in France, 1598-1889
  • Giordano Bruno
  • Marsilio Ficino,
  • Men on the Moon: Cosmic Voyages in the Early Modern Period
  • Thinking with Women: Gender as an Early Modern Category
  • Witches in History, Fiction and Scholarship


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 information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Early Modern Studies MA


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. 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 prestigeous John Edward Kerry Prize awarded by the Malone Society.

Why 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. While its flexibility means it can be tailored to reflect your own interests.

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, as well as world-class museums and galleries.

Department: Centre for Early Modern Exchanges

Degree reviews

Staff review

"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 Hackett

I contribute to the PhD programme in English, and to the Early Modern Studies MA.
Professor of English
Staff review

"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 Moreau

Comparative 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
Staff review

"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 Stamatakis

English 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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