UCL Graduate degrees


Early Modern Studies

The Early Modern Studies PhD programme adopts a distinctively interdisciplinary approach, alongside a thorough grounding in skills and is underpinned by the unparalleled resources available to students on our doorstep in Bloomsbury. The literature, culture, history, philosophy, art and material remains of the world in the period 1500 – 1800 can only be fully understood through this multifaceted prism.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 6 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£5,525 (FT)
£2,765 (PT)
£22,230 (FT)
£11,190 (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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of a first or a very high upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard and a Distinction or indication of Distinction-level work at Master's level (or equivalent).

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: Advanced

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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:

Research areas

Renaissance Literature, early modern history, the literature and cultures of the early modern world, book history, marginalia and annotation, history of reading, colonial history, Spanish imperial history, Italian academies and pastoral drama, Mesoamerican art, drama.

In addition to these areas, the Centre for Early Modern Exchanges promotes interest in the following broad areas:

  • Travel, exile and migration in early modern Europe and the New World
  • Trade and flows of material as well as cultural goods within and beyond Europe
  • Translation, translators and language learning
  • Literary influences across national, provincial and linguistic borders
  • Representations of intra- and extra-European ‘others’ in literature and art
  • Religious and political interactions in the wake of the Reformation
  • Occasions of significant cultural contact and/or heightened intranational anxiety
  • The production, circulation, and collection of books and manuscripts across Europe, the emergence of libraries and the book trade
  • Dissemination and development of scientific and medical knowledge, spread and transfer of technology
  • Old worlds and New worlds, from botanical and medicinal exchanges to pathogens, people and practices, colonialism and ethnography
  • Interplay between past and present, historiography, the archaic, nostalgia and the newfangled, classical and medieval pasts, archaeology and material cultures.

More information about staff research interests is available here.

More information can be found on the department website: Early Modern Studies MPhil/PhD

About this degree

The UCL Doctoral School runs a full programme of doctoral skills trainings across a broad range of subjects from Academic Writing to Conference Presentation and preparing for the viva. A full list is available here.

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 is subject to change.


Archive, museum and library visits often to foreign collections may well be part of your programme of study depending on the research topic.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


The main source of funding for doctoral studentships in Early Modern Studies is the London Arts and Humanities Partnership.

For information about available funding and scholarships please visit our Funding and Scholarships webpage.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship

UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.



Graduates of this programme will possess exceptional abilities in writing and communication, alongside critical and creative thinking, as well as unrivalled research skills. While the programme is predominantly aimed at equipping the early modern scholars of the future, it would equally be an excellent preparation for work in the heritage, museum, gallery or arts sectors.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The historic collections relating to the period 1500 - 1800 in London are unrivalled, offering the broadest range of opportunities for research and study. These resources are reflected by the extraordinary human capital to be found in the metropolis. The wealth of seminars, conferences, exhibitions and other academic events mean that there is a broad and supportive community of early modernists here. Our expertise and interest are reflected by two dedicated Research Centres in UCL along: the Centre for Early Modern Exchanges and the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. A supportive and resourc rich environment of scholars and researchers with shared interests in the early modern made this one of the best places to pursue doctoral research in these disciplines.

Department: Centre for Multidisciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

Application deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

All applicants must identify and contact potential supervisors before making their application. For more information see our 'Need to Know' page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021