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Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA

This MA equips students with the skills necessary for advanced medieval and renaissance scholarship. A wide range of historical, literary, palaeographical, art historical and archaeological modules enables students to explore the aspects of medieval and renaissance culture in which they are interested.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£11,170 (FT)
£5,660 (PT)
Overseas:
£23,340 (FT)
£11,830 (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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

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

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:

About this degree

This MA provides exceptional opportunities to master medieval and renaissance languages and to acquire manuscript expertise working with original manuscripts; key skills for those who want to go on to original research. Students with primary interests in many different areas ‒ linguistic, historical, literary or archaeological ‒ will be able to build on and extend their expertise and skills.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of 30 credits of core language modules, optional modules (90 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • Language-based module (Latin, medieval European languages, Hebrew, Old Norse)
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

Up to 90 credits of options drawn from the following:

  • Anglo-Saxon Court Culture
  • Cervantes and his World: Fiction, Empire and Subject, 1547-1616
  • Dante: Divina Commedia
  • Modern Medieval: Reception, Revival, Replication
  • A Global History of the Middle Ages
  • Ink: Material Encounters with Medieval Texts
  • The Invention of the Question: A History of European Thinking, 1100-1400
  • Legendary Histories (Medieval French Literature)
  • Magic in the Middle Ages
  • The Making of the Christian Empire, AD 284-425
  • Medieval Manuscripts and Documents
  • Unstitching the Early Modern: Archival and Book Skills
  • Metamorphosis: The Limits of the Human
  • Russian Monarchy: Court Ritual and Political Ideas, 1498-1917
  • Political Thought in Renaissance Europe
  • Reframing the Renaissance
  • Sex and the Body in Early Modern Europe
  • Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage
  • Web 0.1: Early Modern Information Culture, c.1450-c.1750
  • Shakespeare in His Time

This list is indicative only; the modules available are subject to change each year.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/research project

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.

Covid-19 field trip updates
Due to COVID-19 updates, there may need to be changes to planned field trips for this programme. This will depend on travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and the availability of the relevant venues. Your department will keep you updated if field trips are able to occur and/or any alternative options available.

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 Warburg Institute, the National Archives and the Institute of Historical Research. Assessment is through unseen examination, long essays, coursework and the dissertation.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

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.

Accessibility

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

Funding

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Jean Orr Scholarship

Value:
£7,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

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

Careers

Recent destinations of recent 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.

Employability

The MARS degree allows students to develop an enviable range of skills. This programme not only provides an outstanding foundation for those hoping to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career but is also popular with students wishing to go into journalism, the civil service, business, museum and heritage and the education sector. Debates, small group seminars and tutorials help students to acquire strong presentation and negotiation skills for their future career. Likewise the analytical and research skills gained by students on this programme are highly valued by employers from a range of industries.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

We are strongly 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 research institutes of the University of London, including the Warburg and the Institute of Historical Research.

Department: History

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"The UCL History of Art Department appealed to me because of its long-standing commitment to critical theory, a willingness to embrace interdisciplinary approaches and a research culture in which period isn’t the chief organising factor."

Dr Robert Mills

History of Art MA, History of Art PhD, Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA
Reader in Medieval Art
Staff view

"My research focuses on two main areas: relations between England and Spain in the early modern period (1500–1700), and secondly the Spanish Empire. I aim to change conventional understanding of the Tudor period by demonstrating how Mary Tudor's reign was far from being an anomaly, but in fact saw many developments, cultural, economic and political that laid the foundations for her sister Elizabeth I's celebrated reign. In relation to the Spanish Empire, I hope to offer an account that unites both the Atlantic world and the Americas with colonial adventures in Europe from Holland to Naples, as well as the Far East, from Goa to the Phillippines. I most enjoy the variety of activities that I am involved in, from spending time in the archives bringing to light documents and letters that have lain there for over four centuries to communicating about my research to new audiences whether at Shakespeare's Globe or doing stand up comedy for UCL's Public Engagement Bright Club."

Dr Alexander Samson

Early Modern Studies MA, Comparative Literature MA, Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA, Hispanic Studies MA
Lecturer in Golden Age Literature

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Application and next steps

Applications

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 £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme will be particularly attractive to students with research ambitions who have strong undergraduate qualifications and who are thinking about doctoral research. The intensive linguistic and manuscript training is intended to increase students' chances of acceptance on to 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

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

Together 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020