The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies is an interdisciplinary MA associated with Durham's Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS), and is currently run from the History Department. The programme is suitable for students whose undergraduate training is in Archaeology, Classics, History, Literature/Languages, Philosophy, Theology, or other related disciplines. The main aim of the programme is to prepare students for doctoral research in the study of the medieval and early modern past by offering outstanding interdisciplinary training to equip students with the skills they need for their future careers. It is taught by specialists who are members of IMEMS, primarily from the departments of Archaeology, Classics, English, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy and Theology.
Students are incorporated into the vibrant research communities within departments, IMEMS, and the university. Durham has a large and extremely active postgraduate community, and IMEMS supports the Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA), whose members organise regular seminars and conferences. IMEMS has more than fifty staff members from arts, humanities, social science and science departments across the University, all active researchers, and is one of the largest gatherings of scholars in this area in the world. IMEMS is situated in the historic setting of the World Heritage Site, which includes Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, and the surrounding area. Students of medieval and early modern studies at Durham benefit from the rich archival and manuscript resources in the collections of the University (at Palace Green Library and at Ushaw College) and in the Cathedral Library, while the wider regional resources for study of the period are also highly significant.
All students on the MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies take two core modules, Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past, and Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past (30 credits each); both of these run throughout Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms. Students also write a 15,000-word dissertation (60 credits), supervised by one of Durham's specialists, which allows them to focus on a specialist topic of their choice in the period AD 300-1700, which may be interdisciplinary or focused primarily on one of the individual disciplines which make up the programme. They also take two optional modules (30 credits each) which run either in Michaelmas or Epiphany or throughout both terms. These may be content, language or skills modules, and are drawn from the seven participating departments as well as Durham’s other centres and programmes. All elements of the programme have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.
The two team-taught core modules enable students to develop advanced skills in interpreting and usinga range of different kinds of source-material from the medieval and early modern periods, including textual, material and visual culture. They allow students to consider developments over the longue duree and enable a more rounded understanding of how a range of themes, ideas and institutions changed from the end of the classical world, through the Middle Ages and into the early modern era. These modules are intended to guide students whose backgrounds are in a range of disciplinary specialisms towards an understanding of how study of the medieval and early modern past can be nuanced and enhanced by approaches from multiple different disciplines used alongside each other. The modules also help students develop from a more tutor-led approach to independent learning, in order to support their work on their dissertations and their future careers. Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past takes one key item or body of material (e.g. a text, a site, an archive) as a lens through which to explore different disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to studying the period 300-1700. Students are assessed by a 5000-word essay on a topic of their choice connected with the themes of the module. Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past focuses on major themes, movements and institutions which can best be examined across the whole medieval and early modern period, and which can best be explained by close study of change and continuity over a long period of time. A number of these themes will invite interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approaches, and thus will allow students to develop their skills in bringing together different kinds of material for study of the past. Students are assessed for this module by a) a 4000-word essay on a topic of their choice, connected with the themes of the module, and b) a 15-minute presentation.
Students choose two optional modules offered by the departments participating in the programme. These modules are taught by subject specialists and usually involve a series of seminars with an emphasis on close study of original material from the medieval and early modern periods, and provide a ‘step up’ from the level of final-year undergraduate study. The breadth of modules available means that students can develop their skills and research interests according to their own tailored programme and with the advice of their dissertation supervisor, ensuring the best possible preparation for the future. There are also some modules focusing on particular skills-training such as medieval or modern languages or auxiliary skills (e.g. Latin; Ancient Greek; Old Norse; Old English; Academic French; Academic German; Palaeography).
The range of optional modules in each year varies according to staff availability and departmental provision, but as a representative sample optional modules may include the following:
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Early Modern History at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MA in Early Modern History offers the study of the period of history that runs from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, and encompasses the Renaissance, Reformation and Counter Reformation, and Enlightenment.
The wide-ranging expertise of Swansea University's early modern historians allows students to study British, European, American or Asian History. The MA in Early Modern History explores the history of art and culture, empire, gender, politics, religion, sexuality and science.
Swansea University has excellent research resources for postgraduate study in the area of Early Modern History. In addition to the general holdings in the University library, the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth is within travelling distance. The University works closely with the National Galleries and Museums of Wales. There are a postgraduate common room and an electronic resources room available in the James Callaghan Building for students enrolled in the MA in Early Modern History programme.
The College of Arts and Humanities has a Graduate Centre. The Graduate Centre fosters and supports individual and collaborative research activity of international excellence and offers a vibrant and supportive environment for students pursuing postgraduate research and taught masters study. The Centre provides postgraduate training to enhance academic and professional development and facilitates participation in seminar programmes, workshops and international conferences.
The full-time Early Modern History course structure is split across the year with three modules taken in each academic semester (a total of six modules) and then a dissertation over the summer.
Students study three compulsory modules and three optional modules. The dissertation is written on a specialist research topic of the student's choosing.
Part-time study is available.
Students interested in early modern history from a history or related background. Students interested in preparation for postgraduate research, MPhil or PhD, or who wish to develop skills and knowledge related to early modern history.
Modules on the Early Modern History course typically include:
• Historical Methods and Approaches
• New Departures in the Writing of History
• Gender & Humour in Medieval Europe
• From Princely Possessions to Public Museums: A History of Collecting and Display
• Venice and the Sea
• Medieval Manuscripts
• Directed Reading in History
- To acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of a range of topics related to early modern history.
- To develop theoretical and methodological skills relevant to all aspects of the study of early modern history.
- To lay a solid foundation of knowledge and analytical and presentational skills for further research work in the field.
All staff in the Department of History and Classics are research active and publish books and articles in their areas of expertise. Our researchers are involved with the Arts and Humanities research centres: the Callaghan Centre for the Study of Conflict, Power and Empire, the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales and the Research Groups: MEMO: the Centre for Medieval and Early modern Research and GENCAS: the Centre for Research into Gender in Culture and Society. Regular research seminars and lectures are run through these groups and also through the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) which students are encouraged to attend.
Career expectations are excellent for Early Modern History graduates. MA degree holders may move on to doctoral study or enter employment in such areas as museums, heritage and tourism; marketing, sales and advertising; business, art, design and culture; media and PR; social and welfare professions; humanitarian organisations; the civil service, and education.
“I graduated with a First-Class Honours BA History degree and an MA in Early Modern History from Swansea University. My four years of study here were truly the most enjoyable of my life so far! The lecturers, tutors and all members of the History department were also incredibly friendly and always willing to help. The MA was fully funded by a University Alumni bursary. The range of modules available to MA students is exceptional and the facilities here are fantastic. With a designated Arts and Humanities Postgraduate computer room and common-room area, as well as the University’s very own archives, Swansea is a great place to study History.”
Cath Horler, Early Modern History, MA
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Modern History at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MA in Modern History is designed for students who are particularly interested in the study of the modern period and the emergence of the characteristics of modernity from the pre-modern world.
The expertise of Swansea’s modern historians encompasses Welsh, British, European and global history, with specialisms in economic and industrial history, questions of identity and nationality, imperialism, medicine, politics, sexuality, and sport.
Swansea has a long history of excellence in the study of modern history, and many students who have completed their MA successfully have also studied for their doctorate here.
Students on the MA in Modern History course will benefit from the College of Arts and Humanities' Graduate Centre. The Graduate Centre fosters and supports individual and collaborative research activity of international excellence and offers a vibrant and supportive environment for students pursuing postgraduate research and taught masters study. The Centre provides postgraduate training to enhance academic and professional development and facilitates participation in seminar programmes, workshops and international conferences.
The full-time Modern History course structure is split across the year with three modules taken in each academic semester (a total of six modules) and then a dissertation over the summer. Students study three compulsory modules and three optional modules. The dissertation is written on a specialist research topic of the student's choosing.
Part-time study for the MA in Modern History is available.
- To acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of a range of topics related to modern history.
- To develop theoretical, practical and methodological skills relevant to all aspects of the study of modern history.
- To lay a solid foundation of knowledge and analytical and presentational skills for further research work in the field.
Modules on the MA Modern History course typically include:
• Historical Methods and Approaches
• New Departures in the Writing of History
• Communicating History
• Fascism and Culture
• From Princely Possessions to Public Museums: A History of Collecting and Display
• Power, Conflict, and Society in the Modern World
• Venice and the Sea
• Directed Reading in History
Students interested in Modern History from a history or related background. Students interested in preparation for postgraduate research, MPhil or PhD, or who wish to develop skills and knowledge related to modern history.
Career expectations are excellent for Modern History graduates. MA degree holders may move on to doctoral study or enter employment in such areas as museums, heritage and tourism; marketing, sales and advertising; business, art, design and culture; media and PR; social and welfare professions; humanitarian organisations; the civil service, and education.
All staff in the Department of History and Classics are research active and publish books and articles in their areas of expertise.
Our researchers are involved with the Arts and Humanities research centres: the Callaghan Centre for the Study of Conflict, Power and Empire and the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales. Regular research seminars and lectures are run through these Centres and also through the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) which students are encouraged to attend.
The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies offers you an opportunity to pursue your interest in the literatures, histories, and cultures of the European Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. Research in this fascinating area has a long and distinguished history at the University of Manchester. We have a lively research culture, with talks, seminars and conferences that you will be able to attend in addition to your taught courses. You will also be able to draw on the expertise of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research at the John Rylands Research Institute, where the programme is based. The John Rylands Library houses exceptional medieval and early-modern treasures (which are currently being digitised) and offers many exciting research and study opportunities. Staff teaching on this MA represent the disciplines of History, Art History and Visual Studies, English, Religions and Theology, Classics, and European Languages. Two pathways are available for students who wish to extend their knowledge in a particular chronological direction: Medieval, and Early Modern.
Find out more about Medieval and early Modern Studies at Manchester: Why Manchester?
Associate Programme Director: [email protected] .
Summative assessment is primarily via extended pieces of written work: the dissertation of around 15,000 words, long essays of around 4,000-6,000 words, and a variety of shorter pieces for palaeography or language classes. There is a pass mark of 50% for all assignments, marks over 60% are given as merit and over 70% as distinction. In addition, depending on the units selected, formative assessment may be based on oral presentation, class discussion, and feedback on written draft material. Assessment varies from course unit to course unit; full details of the assessment procedure for individual units can be obtained from the course director.
Those who only attain 120 credits (out of 180) will be awarded the PG Diploma in Medieval Studies.
The first component takes the form of the compulsory core courses and research training units. These are taken by students on all pathways.
These courses (details below in the course unit list) are designed to introduce you to the basics of interdisciplinary analysis, and to research training skills appropriate to the scope of the course. 'From Papyrus to Print: The History of the Book' and 'Reading the Middle Ages and Early Modern period: Palaeography, Codicology and Sources' are taught in the magnificent surroundings of the John Rylands Library, with the support of specialist library staff. You will get the opportunity to view and handle rare books and manuscripts from across the entire period. The aim is to consider all aspects of book production, from the roll to the codex and from script to print, as well as the uses (practical and symbolic) of texts in medieval culture. You will be introduced to a range of medieval sources, recent theoretical approaches to archival research, and learn methodological skills, such as palaeography and codicology.
'Perspectives in Medieval and Early Modern Studies Studies' aims to explore the methodological, historiographical and analytical choices that shape our study of the medieval and early modern periods. Highlighting the variety of disciplinary approaches that are in use in current scholarship, this module shall investigate a series of relevant themes within the field, and will be taught by specialists from across the School. Students will be encouraged to question issues of historical periodisation, the benefits of interdisciplinarity, and how an intellectual framework for the study of the medieval and early modern periods may be conceptualised.
The second component consists of 60-credits worth of optional modules. These options range widely over the history, literature, art and material culture of the medieval and early modern world. You may also take Latin or Old/Middle English (15-30 credits) - appropriate level taken to be discussed with the Programme Director, in consultation with the relevant department. Options to take other languages, such as Hebrew, Arabic, or Greek can be considered, in consultation with the programme director. A student can take no more than 30 language credits.
Of the optional modules selected, 15 credits must clearly be of relevance to the medieval period.
Early Modern Pathway:
Of the optional modules selected, 15 credits must clearly be of relevance to the early modern period.
Students may choose other relevant options from across the School, subject to approval by the relevant course directors. Details of new available options will appear here. Please check again in June, or contact the course director.
The third component consists of the dissertation, which allows you to research a topic of your choice (60 credits).
Students on all pathways must complete a dissertation.
The dissertation topic selected must lie within the medieval period.
Early Modern Pathway:
The dissertation topic selected must lie within the early modern period.
If you have any further academic queries, please email [email protected] .
Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
The Early Modern Studies MA offers an innovative blend of skills training (palaeography and historical bibliography), object-based learning and museum visits. The core modules cover a wide range of disciplines, giving you a broad understanding of the early modern period. You can then tailor your programme to suit your interests, with over thirty optional modules, covering early modern culture, history and society.
The MA will teach you critical reading skills, the ability to assess and weigh evidence, and construct persuasive arguments. It combines training in book history, bibliography, and paleography with a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the early modern period.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), between two and four optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (90 credits).
Optional modules (indicative list)
Students choose up to 45 credits from a list which varies each year. An up-to-date list is available on our department website. Below is an indicative list, showing modules that have been offered previously.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 18,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of tutorials, seminars, workshops, presentations, class discussions and library, archive, museum and gallery visits. Assessment is through essays, annotated bibliography and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Early Modern Studies MA
Many of our students have been accepted to undertake further study as research students both at UCL and elsewhere, including the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, York and Swansea. In addition our students have been successful in obtaining funding and prizes including the Bryce-Jebb and Doris Russell Scholarships and the prestigious John Edward Kerry Prize awarded by the Malone Society. Graduates may also find careers in the heritage or cultural industries.
Recent career destinations for this degree
This MA will give you a very specific skill set, including manuscript handling and archival research. Depending on the optional modules you select you may also develop language skills and knowledge in information technologies and database use. These transferable skills will make you very employable within the heritage or cultural sectors, as well as library work, the arts, and other roles which require intensive research and/or information management.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
This is a bespoke programme of study, unique to your interests with over thirty optional modules, all taught by leading scholars, in a wide range of subjects including art, history, law, literature, politics and science.
Practical, hands-on modules, with ‘traditional’ skills such as palaeography and textual bibliography are taught alongside the latest techniques in databases and XML. The programme includes field trips to museums, archives and galleries.
Our central London location provides privileged access to a wide range of world-class museums, rare-books libraries and archives. Located in Bloomsbury, it is a short walk to the exceptional resources of the British Library and the British Museum.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
This course gives you the chance to study English literature in a modern university environment, while taking advantage of the wealth of resources offered by London's rich cultural life. You will examine literary texts in the wider context of cultural production and relate them to the social, historical and political circumstances from which they emerge.
The course team consists of academic specialists who make use of the many nearby museums, galleries and libraries in their teaching. The course will be of particular interest to those wishing to prepare for further study at MPhil or PhD level, and those teaching English who want to gain a further qualification and investigate recent and current developments in the field.
The English Literature: Modern and Contemporary Fictions MA at the University of Westminster is designed to offer a coherent programme of postgraduate study that allows for both chronological range and specific topical focus. It gives you the opportunity to revisit and reinvestigate the texts, critical practices, institutions and periods that make up the discipline in order to see it in new and exciting ways.
It consists of three core modules. 'Themes and Problems in Modern and Contemporary Fictions' introduces students to current major themes in contemporary literature. In particular, students examine the ways in which contemporary texts engage with and mediate ongoing crises and conflicts post-2001. 'Materialities, Institutions, Contexts' enables students to identify key aspects of the material and institutional contexts in which literary studies emerged and developed. Students on the core modules develop advanced skills of argument, synthesis, research and presentation.
The Dissertation, which can be written on an appropriate topic of your choice, is also a core module. The option modules provide an opportunity for you to deepen and extend your knowledge of a range of periods, issues and forms across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.
You will choose four modules from the option modules listed below.
An MA in English Literature provides students with skills in researching, writing, critical thinking, articulating, synthesizing and conveying ideas, which enable students to pursue a wide range of careers.
Many students who undertake a Masters in English wish to pursue PhD study or careers in the education sector, media, journalism, publishing, and library and information work.
A Masters in English shows the ability to communicate effectively and to a high standard. The ability to articulate and transmit ideas clearly prepares students to enter careers in advertising, marketing and PR.
This degree in Early Modern English Literature is taught with the British Library and provides a unique opportunity to study early modern literary works, including Shakespeare, in the light of recent critical approaches and as print and manuscript material artefacts.
The required module taught at the British Library is specifically designed to teach students how to search collections of early modern manuscripts and rare books held in major research libraries worldwide and how to identify the agents involved in their production, transmission and preservation in libraries and private collections.
Ideal foundation for doctoral work and careers in the arts, education, curatorship and broadcasting.
Our Early Modern English Literature MA is an innovative and exciting partnership between the Department of English at King’s and the British Library.
The course focuses on the transmission of key early modern literary texts, meaning both the circulation of literary texts in manuscript and print as well as the way they were received. The specific process through which a literary text reaches its readers or its audience is central to its interpretation.
You will learn to read early modern handwriting, to transcribe neglected literary manuscripts and rare printed texts, and to edit them for the modern reader. In focusing on transmission, the course explores the impact of the materiality of the text and of the material conditions of its (re) production on the way it is interpreted.
The Material Legacy of Early Modern Literary Texts module, which is taught at the British Library, is specifically designed to teach you how to search collections of early modern manuscripts and rare books held in major research libraries worldwide, and how to identify the factors and people involved in their production, transmission and preservation in libraries and private collections.
Early Modern English Literature is taught with the British Library and provides a unique opportunity to study early modern literary works, including Shakespeare, in the light of recent critical approaches and as print and manuscript material artefacts. Ideal foundation for doctoral work and careers in the arts, education, curatorship and broadcasting.
If you are a full-time student, we will provide you with four to six hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 26 hours of independent study.
If you are a part-time student, we will provide you with two to four hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 13 hours of independent study.
We assess all of our modules through coursework, normally with a 4,000-word essay. For your dissertation module, you will write a 4,000-word critical survey and a 15,000-word dissertation.
King’s College London is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
The Masters in English Literature: Early Modern Literature and Culture is a flexible, interdisciplinary programme taught by Glasgow’s internationally renowned team of experts. It offers students the practical, historical, and theoretical skills needed for advanced study in this area. The programme’s flexibility means that you can tailor your study according to your own research interests. Students are also able to draw on Glasgow’s exceptional holdings of medieval and early modern manuscript and printed materials.
In this programme you will undertake three core courses and three optional courses. You will also undertake a 15,000 word dissertation.
With the permission of the course convenor, there is also the opportunity to take one of the optional courses available from the other pathways in English Literature and from across the College of Arts.
The two semesters of coursework are followed by one term of supervised work towards a dissertation of up to 15,000 words which you will submit at the beginning of September. The topic normally arises out of the work of the previous two semesters, but the choice is very much open to the student’s own initiative. Your supervisor helps you to develop the proposal and plan the most appropriate reading and methodology.
Part-time students take all three core courses plus one optional course in their first year of study, and two optional 20 credit courses and the dissertation in their second year.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Modern Languages at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
Modern Languages at Swansea encompasses Arabic, French, German and Hispanic Studies with research strengths in written culture from the medieval period to the present day, including contemporary European cinema. We also have language expertise in Italian and Mandarin Chinese, but, depending on your choice of topic, advanced knowledge of a language is not an entry requirement. Some comparative projects in both literature and film can be researched in English translation.
The MA by Research in Modern Languages is ideal for those who want:
an MA qualification in niche areas where taught programmes are not offered;
the experience of a research degree without committing to a PhD at the outset.
Research proposals are invited on any topic in Modern Languages for which staff can provide supervision. It is advisable to email a member of academic staff in the appropriate area before applying (see staff web pages).
An MA by Research in Modern Languages gives you the chance to pursue a project based around your own passions and interests, leading to a qualification which can open the door to an academic career or boost employment prospects outside academia (typically in the private sector, the Civil Service, or education).
It will give you the freedom to explore a topic of your choosing in Modern Languages and develop a methodology under the close supervision of two experienced academics but without attending regular classes as required in taught programmes.
You will be supervised closely by two experienced academics in your field. Typically, you will meet them fortnightly in the first term and at regular intervals thereafter. Meetings are logged and goals agreed each time.
All research students in Modern Languages are required to attend skills and training courses at College and Institutional level. They give presentations to other research students and staff at departmental seminars and the annual departmental postgraduate symposium in June and the College of Arts and Humanities conference in October. Advanced research students may have opportunities to teach undergraduate tutorials and seminars. You have a budget (currently £200 per year) to attend conferences outside Swansea.
MA by Research degrees typically last from one year (full-time study) to two years (part-time study). Some students choose to ‘upgrade’ at the end of their first academic year to an MPhil or PhD. This can be permitted on the recommendation of the two supervisors. If they do upgrade their year on the MA counts towards the MPhil or PhD.
Our expertise in Modern Languages ranges from the French medieval lyric and Enlightenment drama, women's writing and feminism; travel; the conflicted memories of World War Two; film and literature about the Baader-Meinhof Group; and the works of the Nobel Laureates, Elias Canetti, Jean Cocteau, Günter Grass, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Herta Müller. Our dynamic research environment which has won attention and funding from outside bodies such as the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Modern Humanities Research Association, the Wellcome Trust and the EU.
We support the following research centres all of which also house postgraduate research students:
Contemporary German Culture (http://www.swansea.ac.uk/riah/researchgroups/ccgc);
Gender in Culture and Society (GENCAS, http://www.swansea.ac.uk/gencas);
The Comparative Study of the Americas (CECSAM, http://www.swansea.ac.uk/riah/researchgroups/cecsam);
Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO, http://www.swansea.ac.uk/riah/researchgroups/memo).
For further information on research specialisms and supervisory interests of our staff visit: http://www/swansea.ac.uk/artsandhumanities/about-us/.
The Early Modern Studies pathway invites you to study the vibrant culture of Europe between 1300 and 1700. Our approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on aspects of history, religion, and visual culture from the period as well as on its literature. In order to develop your understanding of pre-modern documentary and material culture, our teaching involves close study of original manuscripts and early printed texts and of early objects.
Working alongside distinguished scholars in English Literature you will be asked to think about what we mean by the terms ‘Medieval’ and ‘Early Modern’, and to formulate conclusions using a profoundly interdisciplinary approach: you will examine the literature, history, religion, visual culture, social relations, and politics of the period. Imaginative and ambitious themed modules enable you to study some of the most influential writers working between the 14th and 17th centuries within their cultural and historical context: Chaucer, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Donne, and Milton amongst others. You’ll construct a historical understanding of the key movements, debates, and ideas that shaped the period in preparation for researching and writing your dissertation.
Queen Mary’s strong early-modern cluster is widely recognised for its vibrant teaching and research strengths. The early-modern MA programme offers core study in medieval and early-modern historiography, and archival, bibliographical, and research skills. The optional modules draw on the interests of our leading researchers and vary from year to year. We have particular concentrations in globalisation, trade, the exotic, and cartography (Jerry Brotton, Alfred Hiatt); book history, the material text, and editing (David Colclough, Joad Raymond, Claire Preston, Julia Boffey, Tamara Atkin, Jaclyn Rasjic); epistolarity, early newspapers, news networks, the circulation of books and manuscripts (Ruth Ahnert, Joad Raymond, Warren Boutcher); and women’s writing (Andrea Brady).
Other research specialisms include prison writing, network theory, the history of reading, late-medieval London literary production, forgery, early-modern political thought, literary-scientific relations, medieval chronicles, prison writing, pre-Shakespearean drama, John Donne, John Milton, Thomas Browne.
You will be trained to a very high level in research skills and you’ll get hands-on experience of working with a variety of early modern items, with access to otherwise uncatalogued and unexplored materials. You’ll work with rare books and manuscripts during this training. Throughout, you’ll be considering the impact of developments in manuscript culture and the new technologies in printing and publishing in the period.
The optional modules draw on the interests of our leading researchers and vary from year to year. We have particular concentrations in globalisation, trade, the exotic, and cartography (Jerry Brotton, Alfred Hiatt); book history, the material text, and editing (David Colclough, Joad Raymond, Claire Preston, Julia Boffey, Tamara Atkin, Jaclyn Rasjic); epistolarity, early newspapers, news networks, the circulation of books and manuscripts (Ruth Ahnert, Joad Raymond, Warren Boutcher); and women’s writing (Andrea Brady).
You choose two modules from a list of options that changes from year to year (one can be from the range of modules offered across the MA English Studies curriculum). In 2017-2018 we hope to offer the following. If members of our specialist research staff win research funding it will mean that their module won’t run, so for that reason this list is indicative only.
You may also opt to take a cognate elective module offered by the Schools in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and by other Colleges of the University of London.
Are you interested in exploring the history of sixteenth-, seventeenth- or eighteenth-century Britain, Europe and the wider world?
The MA Early Modern History, organised by the Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies (CREMS), is taught by leading scholars whose expertise covers the Catholic and Protestant Reformations, New World discoveries, and the political, cultural and religious worlds of sixteenth-, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England and Europe. It combines political, religious, social, cultural, material and intellectual approaches to introduce the early modern period in all its richness and complexity, and to equip students with the knowledge and skills to take a fresh look at early modern history.
The enormous breadth of staff expertise gives you a rich variety of options, and a wide range of possibilities for your dissertation topic. The programme also offers comprehensive research training opportunities, providing the ideal grounding to undertake a PhD in this area.
Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.
Early modern history has become increasingly interdisciplinary, with researchers drawing on the insights of anthropology, sociology, cultural and literary studies, art history, and musicology, as well as history, when writing about the past.
Topics such as violence, clothing, gender, exploration, art, drama, music, buildings and material culture have come to be seen as crucial to understanding the transformations that were taking place across the period c.1500-c.1700. These new approaches are integral to the teaching and research training provided on this course. There is also an annual field trip, designed to explore key themes and issues outside of the classroom, in the context of key buildings, documents and historical artefacts.
You will study two core modules in early modern history (full descriptions available below):
You will also study the department's core module in 'Historical Methods', take a module in research preparation, and choose from a range of optional modules, including special subjects, advanced options, and further research training.
Modules are typically assessed by written assignment, with the exception of Research Preparation which also requires a presentation. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on an agreed topic. The range of supervisory expertise within CREMS means that we can support dissertations in almost any area, so long as there are sufficient historical sources to support your chosen topic. Birmingham provides access to excellent library resources in early modern history, including an impressive range of digitised primary source material, from state papers and archives to printed books and much more.
The Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies (CREMS) provides a focus for research in this area at Birmingham.
Its leading members have a high international research profile, making this one of Britain’s largest clusters of expertise in this area. The Centre also has a regular seminar series, which will support and inform your learning. This includes an annual lecture (past speakers have included Diarmaid MacCulloch, Peter Lake, Mark Greengrass, Andrew Pettegree, Ulinka Rublack and Susan Brigden) and an ongoing programme of conferences.
CREMS also has particularly close links with the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon which provides a focus for a full range of seminars, conferences and research activities related to the study of the literary history of Elizabethan and Jacobean England.
During your course, you will receive thorough training in research methods relating to the history of this period, including instruction in palaeography to enable you to read original manuscripts, training in various languages as required, and a regular seminar that explores interdisciplinary approaches to the theory and practice of research.
Support with academic writing
As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.
International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).