Early Modern Studies MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£5,860
£2,930
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£26,200
£13,100
Duration
3 calendar years
6 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

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).

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Research students can specialise in any aspect of Early Modern Studies and utilise the multi-disciplinary nature of resources available in a range of subjects, including art, digital humanities, history, law, literature, politics and science.

Who this course is for

This MPhil/PhD is for applicants with a strong interest in conducting multi-disciplinary research, who may have completed post-graduate training or study and want to develop an advanced critical analysis in a specific research area. The programme is for applicants with a background or interest in history, heritage or cultural sectors, sociology, literary studies, the arts, politics or relevant disciplines. It is suitable for both recent Masters graduates as well as early or mid-career professionals.

What this course will give you

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 at UCL: the Centre for Early Modern Exchanges and the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. A supportive and resource rich environment of scholars and researchers with shared interests in the early modern make this one of the best places to pursue doctoral research in these disciplines.

The foundation of your career

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.

Employability

Beyond becoming an expert in your chosen field, you will gain employable attributes including leadership, communication, teamwork, language and business skills, refined in a dynamic cross-disciplinary research environment.

Our research students have entered a variety of professions including law, public policy, media, publishing, and many have pursued academic research or teaching careers. Woking in a range of roles in international organisations, heritage or cultural sectors, and government.

PhD graduates from UCL have previously gained academic fellowships as well as postdoctoral placements in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

Networking

Supervision and mentorship is available from world-leading researchers with international and national contacts and collaborations across policy, government, cultural institutions, academia and industry, and our approach is always cross-disciplinary. We've collaborated on research with many of the world's leading organisations in the field and have The Centre for Early Modern Exchanges for dedicated research.

These links provide opportunities to network and collaborate with a wide variety of external partners. Our students gain access to a range of networking events, career workshops and exclusive seminars.

Students are strongly encouraged to attend and give papers at conferences, establishing contacts with academics and also peers working in their field.
 

Teaching and learning

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.

To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

Research areas and structure

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.

In the first instance, candidates should establish a dialogue with a potential supervisor before making a formal application.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may register as a completing research student (CRS) while you write up your thesis

In the first year, you will be required to take part in a mandatory Skills Seminar Programme. You are expected to agree with your supervisor the basic structure of your research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. You will produce and submit a detailed outline of your proposed research to your supervisor for their comments and feedback and be given the opportunity to present you research to UCL academic staff and fellow PhD students

In the second year, you will be expected to upgrade from MPhil to a PhD. To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration. 

Accessibility

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.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £5,860 £2,930
Tuition fees (2023/24) £26,200 £13,100

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

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.

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, and conference registration fees.

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library (hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions).

The wealth of departmental seminars / colloquiums / symposiums and student organised work in progress sessions give ample opportunities to present research, receive feedback and participate in discussion.

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

Funding your studies

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

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

Next steps

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

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

Year of entry: 2022-2023

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