UCL Medieval and Renaissance Studies



Answers to some frequently asked questions about the Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA.


How do I find out about the degree?

Firstly, take a look at our 'About' page which contains information about our learning environment, teaching approach and the structure of the MA degree. Then visit the MA modules page to take a look at the kind of modules which will be on offer to you at UCL.

Who are the primary points of contact for the MARS MA?
  • The UCL History administration team can help you with questions about module enrolment or any other practical issues.
  • Dr John Sabapathy is the MA convenor and personal tutor to MA students. He can help with any academic questions about the degree.
  • Individual module tutors will be able to answer questions about the modules they teach.

Application procedure

How do I apply?

The best way to apply is through UCL's Apply Online system. This will allow you to track the progress of your application through the system after it has been submitted.

When is the application deadline?

The deadline for applications is 30 March 2022. 

Are spaces on the programme limited?

There is no formal limit on places on the MARS MA. If you apply before the deadline, you will be considered for entry.

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

Yes. However, you should use the personal statement section of your application to explain why you are interested in the MARS MA. You should also aim to show how you have developed your interest in the subject despite your 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 don't have my transcripts 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?

Your personal statement should be no longer than 500 words (approximately). 

Part-time MAs

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 individuals' needs.

When does 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.

About modules

How are modules taught?

Most modules are taught in two-hour seminars once a week. 15-credit modules are generally taught within either term 1 or term 2 and 30-credit modules are generally (but not always) taught across both terms.

How are modules examined?

This depends on the module. You can check how each module is assessed by looking at its entry on the modules page. Some modules may include an examination. However, 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 in any case 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.