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Masters Degree Course

MA in the History of the Book


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Postgraduate Courses
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
A good second-class honours degree froma British university, or an equivalent qualification from a foreign institution, in any discipline.
September
MA
School of Advanced Study Registry
Masters study type: Full time Masters study type: Part time

>>Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 6 February 2013<<
Find out more www.sas.ac.uk/graduate-study/prospective-students/postgraduate-open-days

Aims of the programme
The interdisciplinary MA in the History of the Book brings together the academic expertise of staff of the Institute, colleges within the University of London, Reading University and the Open University, with that of staff from the British Library, the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum and St Bride Printing Library.
The programme aims to provide a stimulating range of courses in a new but rapidly growing subject attracting students from a wide range of backgrounds. Students follow
a compulsory Core Course, providing a broad introduction to the discipline, and four one-term specialist options. The programme further aims to equip students to undertake independent research giving them the experience of such research through the writing of a short dissertation. While it is a qualification in its own right, fostering
students’ intellectual development and independent learning ability for continuing professional and personal development, the MA also serves as an introduction to further research at doctoral level.

Programme outcomes, and how they are achieved
Outcomes can be broadly defined as either knowledge-based or skill-based and are usually realised in combination. Thus the categories of outcomes below are not mutually exclusive; knowledge and understanding, skills of various kinds and other attributes are complementary attainments gained in reciprocal relationship with one another. The programme draws substantially on the active research of teachers in the specialist areas of study.

Knowledge and understanding
Students will acquire:
• A detailed understanding of the main historical approaches and methods
underpinning the subject
• An awareness of current scholarship and the ability to evaluate it
• A good working knowledge of the techniques and materials used over time in
the production of books
• The ability to locate a book’s production in the appropriate historical, cultural or
political context.
• The ability independently to consider, evaluate and synthesise evidence drawn from primary sources and argument drawn from secondary sources to reach and
support sound conclusions.
• The ability to communicate and present the results of their researches in a rigorous scholarly way

Skills and other attributes
Students will acquire the ability to
• understand and comment on primary source material
• read scholarly publications critically
• conduct independent research at an advanced level
• communicate complex ideas in writing, oral presentations and group discussion
• produce written work in an appropriate style, with good organisation of ideas,clarity of expression, argument and presentation making use of the proper scholarly conventions
• make effect use of electronic resources
• familiarise themselves with the principal sources of information in a variety of subjects
In addition, they will receive training in palaeography, codicology and historical bibliography, where necessary

Core Course
The MA consists of a series of five taught segments (Core course and four Option courses) and a Dissertation. The Core course is compulsory for all students: part-time students will take it in their first year. The Core consists of twenty formal teaching sessions throughout the Autumn and Spring terms; each sessions will be of not less than 90 minutes and not more than 120 minutes duration (a maximum of 40 hours for the whole course), and will be examined by one essay of c.5,000 words due in the summer term.
In addition, all students will complete a mandatory diagnostic essay of c.1,500 due at the end of October in the first term, which will be marked but does not constitute part of the assessment. This is designed to enable the teaching faculty to evaluate each student's progress and to provide help and advice as necessary.

Option Courses
All students will take four Option courses during the MA programme: full-time students will have to take the four Options available in a given year; part-time students will be able to choose between one of two in each term.

Each Option course will consist of ten formal teaching sessions of not less than 90 minutes and not more than 120 minutes duration (a maximum of 20 hours per course). Each will be examined by one essay of c.5,000 words, or a coursework project of a similar scale.

Programme offered by the Institute of English Studies


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