This programme gives you the opportunity to study poetry, drama, prose and a variety of authors including Shakespeare from 1550-1640, and place them in the context of the rapid social, political and intellectual change of the Renaissance.
You will have the flexibility to focus on the aspects of Renaissance literature that interest you, as well as the contexts that shaped different texts such as political issues, religious ideas and dominant social structures. You will also gain an insight into how writers and cultural industries engaged with the events and trends of a fascinating historical period.
Optional modules will allow you to develop this specialist knowledge – and you can choose up to two modules from elsewhere in the School of English to broaden your approach.
A core module will help to develop your research skills, allowing you to make the most of our library resources and prepare for a wide range of careers as well as further study.
You’ll study in a supportive environment with access to excellent research resources. The world-class Brotherton Library has a remarkable variety of manuscript, archive and early printed materials, including the Brotherton Collection of poetry manuscripts and Elizabethan and 17th-century literary texts. They include First, Second, Third and Fourth Folio editions of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as works by Jonson, Donne, Sidney, Milton, Herbert, Beaumont and Fletcher, Bacon and Ford. We also have extensive collections of correspondence with a literary theme in our Letters Database.
Guided by tutors who are at the forefront of research in Renaissance studies, you’ll have the opportunity to make the most of all we have to offer.
In the first semester you will develop your knowledge of research methods and approaches in literary studies. You will also begin to develop your interest in Renaissance literature through your choice of optional modules. You will take three optional modules throughout the year – at least one of these must be specific to the Renaissance pathway, though you can choose up to two modules from across the School of English to broaden your approach.
Throughout the programme you will have the chance to deepen your subject knowledge while developing high-level skills in research, interpretation and analysis. You will have the chance to demonstrate these through your research project or dissertation: an independent piece of research on a topic in English Renaissance literature, which you will submit by the end of the programme in September.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a 24 month period and study fewer modules in each year.
Most of our MA modules are taught in weekly seminars, where you will discuss issues arising from your reading with a small group of students and your tutor. You will also have the chance to expand your learning by making the most of the range of visiting speakers and research seminars that we run throughout the year. However, independent study is still crucial to this degree, allowing you to pursue your interests and build your skills.
We use different assessment methods, but most of your modules will be assessed by a single 4,000 word essay, which you submit at the end of the semester. Your research project or dissertation is usually between 12,000 and 15,000 words. During the year you may also be expected to give presentations on your reading during seminars, or submit unassessed essays to get feedback on your work.
This programme will equip you with a wide range of advanced transferable skills which are valuable in a wide range of careers.
You’ll be a confident researcher who can work independently as well as within a team. You’ll be a strong communicator, both verbally and in writing, and be able to think critically and analytically. In addition, you’ll have a strong level of cultural and critical awareness, and you’ll be able to look at a situation from different points of view.
All of these qualities are attractive to employers across sectors, and you’ll have the skills to pursue a career in fields including teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, broadcasting and law. Many of our graduates also progress to PhD-level study and you’ll be well equipped for a career in academia.
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