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 (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
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).

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

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

Who this course is for

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 in 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.



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.

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.


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 (2022/23) £5,690 £2,845
Tuition fees (2022/23) £22,900 £11,530

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.

Funding your studies

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.

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

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship (ROS)

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

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 in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

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