Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA

London, Bloomsbury

This UCL Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA provides exceptional opportunities to pursue studies in Medieval and Renaissance topics and acquire advanced professional and research skills. The programme combines the opportunity to study medieval and modern languages and develop critical research skills using London’s world-class collections. It also provides a wide-ranging curriculum for those keen to deepen their knowledge of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Students with primary interests in many different historical, literary, art-historical and archaeological areas can build on and extend their expertise and skills.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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.

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

The programme lasts twelve months (full-time) / 24 months (part-time) to allow for intensive technical training, teaching in various optional modules and independent thesis research. Our degree is designed to encourage students to undertake interdisciplinary study to an unprecedentedly high degree. 

We offer an unusually large number of course options across seven different departments and give students the flexibility to receive intensive tuition in small groups in two or three disciplines. We encourage our students to acquire comprehensive practical skills to investigate medieval and Renaissance sources first-hand. We offer a range of specialised skills sources for studying medieval manuscripts and documents, early modern manuscripts and printed books. It is also possible to take modules oriented towards curation and librarianship of medieval and early modern sources. Our medieval and manuscripts provision is second to none in facilitating a quick transition to professional-level manuscript research. Many of our alumni have published their first research papers based on their manuscript coursework completed as part of our MA. 

Our language tuition is also wide-ranging and comprehensive. For beginners in Latin, the contact time is also unusually high. Intermediate and Advanced Latin and training in European medieval and modern languages are also available on our programme.

Who this course is for

The programme will be particularly attractive to students with research ambitions who have strong undergraduate qualifications and are considering doctoral research. The intensive linguistic and manuscript training is intended to increase students' chances of securing places on and excelling in good doctoral programmes. This MA is also particularly suited to students wishing to extend their knowledge of a wide range of medieval and renaissance topics and approaches.

What this course will give you

The departments contributing to this degree - History, English, the School of European Languages, Culture and Society, Institute of Archaeology, and History of Art - enjoy outstanding international reputations for research and teaching.

We are firmly committed to the intellectual development of all our students; if you come to UCL, you will receive individual supervision from leading researchers in their fields.

Located in Bloomsbury, we are just a few minutes' walk away from the exceptional resources of the British Library, the British Museum and the University of London research institutes, including the Warburg and the Institute of Historical Research.

The foundation of your career

The degree allows students to develop a range of skills. This programme provides an outstanding foundation for those hoping to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career. It is popular with students wishing to enter journalism, civil service, business, museum and heritage, and education. Debates, small group seminars and tutorials help students to acquire strong presentation and negotiation skills for their future careers. Likewise, employers from various industries highly value the analytical and research skills gained by students in this programme.

Recent destinations of graduates of this programme include: funded PhDs at UCL, Universities of Oxford, St Andrews, Cambridge, Durham, Cardiff, Lancaster, and UEA; the British Library: Cataloguer; Reuters: News Assistant; Ministry of Trade Industry and Tourism: Government Advisor.


The programme aims to equip our alumni for a range of careers. Those considering further research will acquire the skills necessary for successful doctoral research. We also have a strong history of launching MARS alumni into curatorial, archive and librarianship careers. In order to help students develop a competitive CV in these areas, we have partnerships with London cultural institutions that offer MARS students the chance of a work placement involving research oriented towards the curation and communication of medieval and early modern collections.


Students on the MARS MA will have many opportunities to meet key figures and institutions in relevant fields at UCL and the surrounding Bloomsbury area. Our students often undertake work placements while studying for their MA in cultural institutions relevant to medieval and renaissance studies, including at Islington Museum and Lambeth Palace Libraries. We lead teaching sessions in the Wellcome Collection, British Library, Senate House and UCL Special Collections. The UCL IMARS and MREMS seminars invite scholars to address our Medieval and Renaissance communities. You are also well placed at UCL to attend lectures, workshops and training sessions at the British Library, Institute of Historical Research and School of Advanced Study. 

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and classes. Several modules include site visits to institutions, notably the British Library, the Wellcome Collection, the National Archives and the Institute of Historical Research. If you take the Manuscripts and Documents module, you will conduct in-depth research on a manuscript in the British Library.

Teaching takes place in groups of about 3 to 12 students. In addition, students are offered individual tutorials about essays and have regular one-to-one meetings with a supervisor while completing their dissertation. Experienced academics provide all MARS teaching. We place a premium on accessibility, and students will find that their teachers, however senior, are available and happy to meet with them.

As is the case across UCL, students are taught by staff who also engage in their own research around the topics they teach. Most modules, therefore, allow students to experience new research as it is produced.

Assessment is through unseen examination, long essays, coursework and the dissertation.

You are expected to spend approximately 150 hours studying for a 15-credit module and approximately 300 hours studying for a 30-credit module. These hours include contact time (usually two hours of staff-led time per week), private study and the undertaking of coursework assignments.


For full-time students the structure is usually as follows:

  • Language-based module(s);
  • Module(s) from the MARS module list or options outside of this, subject to the approval of the Degree Tutor;
  • Dissertation. All students produce a research dissertation of up to 12,000 words on a topic of the candidate’s choice, written under the expert supervision of a UCL-based academic.

For part-time students the structure is usually as follows:

  • First year - a choice of language and optional modules;
  • Second year - dissertation and a choice of language and optional modules.

Optional modules

Magic in the Middle Ages A

Beginners Latin for Research

Reading Medieval and Renaissance Latin

The Crusades...a Clash of Civilizations

Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage

Legendary Histories

Seeing Through Materials: Matter, Vision and Transformation in the Renaissance

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.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

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:

Additional costs

Students are expected to pay the entrance fee to any admission-charging exhibition, museum or archive visited by a class; the tutor will usually negotiate a group discount if it is significantly cheaper than the individual student discount. 

Students who are facing financial hardships can apply for UCL Financial Assistance Funds.

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

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

Aziz Foundation Scholarships in Social and Historical Sciences

Value: Full tuition fees (equivalent to 1yr full-time) (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application, we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Medieval and Renaissance Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Medieval and Renaissance Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Along with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to show how your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme delivers.

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: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

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