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MARS MA

UCL's MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MARS) is an intensive interdisciplinary programme run and taught by scholars who are leaders in the field. Based in the heart of London's Bloomsbury, at the centre of an exceptional confluence of libraries and museums, the course is demanding, cosmopolitan and stimulating. We place particular emphasis on research-led teaching and equipping those students with the skills they need to continue with a career related to medieval and renaissance studies. The MA requires one year of full-time or two years of part-time study.

Find out more on the MA MARS prospectus page


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Modules 2023-24

The Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA is a flexible degree that permits you either to specialise or take a broad interdisciplinary range of modules. Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available. Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

1. Language-based module(s) (30 credits)
2. Module(s) from the full MARS module list (30 credits)
3. Module(s) from the MARS module list, including various option courses, subject to the approval of the Degree Tutor (60 credits)
4. Dissertation - all students produce a research dissertation of up to 12,000 words on a topic of the candidate's own choice, written under the expert supervision of a UCL-based academic (60 credits)

The modules below are subject to change next year.

Compulsory modules
Optional modules
MA coursework and dissertation

Students should always follow the submission guidelines of the teaching department for the modules that they are taking. This can be ascertained by the four letters that begin each module code.

  • ARCL: Archaeology
  • CMII: Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry
  • DUTC: Centre for European Languages, Literature and Society
  • ELCS: Centre for European Languages, Literature and Society
  • FREN: Centre for European Languages, Literature and Society
  • HART: History of Art
  • HIST: History
  • HPSC: Science and Technology Studies
  • ITAL: Centre for European Languages, Literature and Society
  • MDVL: History
  • SPAN: Centre for European Languages, Literature and Society

The MARS MA dissertation should be written and submitted according to UCL History department guidelines, which are available on Moodle.

Information for non-MARS students taking MARS modules

If you wish to take a MDVL**** module please contact history.programmes@ucl.ac.uk to enquire about availability and to reserve a space. You should note that places for intercollegiate and interdepartmental students are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority is given to MARS students and to students on degrees affiliated with MARS. Please note that your place will not be confirmed until the first week of teaching.

Intercollegiate options

It may also be possible for students to take intercollegiate modules offered on King's College London's MA in Medieval History, however this is subject to availability and the approval of the MARS Degree Tutor and the module tutor(s) at King's. Students should contact history.programmes@ucl.ac.uk to apply for intercollegiate modules.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How do I find out about the degree?

Visit the Prospectus page.

Who are the primary contact for the MARS MA?

history.programmes@ucl.ac.uk for questions about module enrolment and technical issues.
Dr Emily Corran is the MA convenor.
Individual module tutors can answer questions about their modules.

How do I apply?

Through UCL's Apply system. This will allow you to track your application.

When is the application deadline?

March 2024. If you apply before the deadline, you will be considered for entry as we have no limit on our spaces.

I don't have an undergraduate degree in a Medieval subject. Will my application still be considered?

Yes, but you should explain why you are interested in the programme in your personal statement. You should also show how you have developed your interest despite a lack of formal qualifications.

I do not have a 2:1 (or equivalent) in an undergraduate degree. Will my application still be considered?

In exceptional cases we may consider applicants with grades below the required standard. You will need to put forward a strong case to explain the shortfall and even if we are willing to support your application, it will need to be approved by the Dean of Students before going forward. Mature students may find that they have slightly more leeway due to changes in qualifications over time. However, as with all other cases of this nature, the final decision will be made outside the department.

I do not have my transcript yet. What should I do?

Students who are still completing degrees when they apply may not have their transcripts sent out until the August before they are due to start their MA. You can make an incomplete application and be considered without your transcripts. Where the online application prompts you to upload transcripts, you should instead attach a document containing a brief explanation of your situation or, ideally, a letter from your university giving details of the marks you have attained so far. This will allow you to complete the application. However, any offer made without transcripts will be conditional on your meeting the minimum standard for entry to the MA (usually a 2:1 or equivalent). Your complete application will also need to include proof of language proficiency (where relevant) and references.

How long should my personal statement be?

No more than 500 words.

How does part-time study work?

The part-time MA covers the same programme as the full-time degree, but spread over two years. Usually students will take between 60 and 90 credits of taught modules in their first year. In the second year, students will then take between 30 and 60 credits of modules along with their dissertation. However, this weighting can be varied depending on individual needs.

When does part-time module teaching take place?

Taught modules are usually (but not always) two-hour seminars taught during the daytime. We do not teach during the evenings or at weekends. You can discuss your module choices with your personal tutor in order to create a programme of study that best fits around your other commitments.

How are modules explained?

This depends on the module; the majority of modules depend on one (15-credit modules) or two (30-credit modules) pieces of assessed coursework.

Can I take modules in other UCL departments?

Yes. The MARS MA is an interdepartmental degree and and as such you are free to take modules in all of the participating MARS departments, but you may also choose modules outside of this. Indeed, one of the great advantages of the degree is that you have the opportunity to make your choice from a huge range of modules. We advise students to look at other UCL departmental webpages to see what is on offer. Of course, modules outside of the core MARS offering are only available subject to the agreement of the host department, whose own students may take priority if there are limited places on a particular module.

Can I take modules outside UCL?

Yes. As part of your MARS MA you can choose to take modules at other University of London institutions. If the module is not obviously connected to your degree subject, you will need to check the degree structure to make sure that your choice fits within it. All module choices must additionally be approved by your personal tutor.

Are there any funding opportunities or scholarships available?

Yes, find out about eligible funding for MA MARS.