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.
The MA in Music (Historical Musicology) is designed to help musicians of all kinds to work with original sources, to read and edit documents, and to embark upon their own research.
The programme encourages an awareness of, and engagement with, the most recent critical theories of music. It's designed to provide preparation for those who wish to be involved in teaching, editorial work, journalistic criticism, lecturing, research at MPhil/PhD level, broadcasting, librarianship or historically aware performance.
The core modules provide systematic introductions to:
The options either focus upon the conceptual and critical fields within which musicologists operate or provide access to a range of repertories and musical cultures.
The skills learnt in your coursework will culminate in the methods and approaches demonstrated in your dissertation.
Find out more about the MA in Music.
You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:
You'll develop investigation and evaluation skills, intellectual skills in music and specific research skills.
The programme is designed to provide preparation for those who wish to be involved in teaching, editorial work, journalistic criticism, lecturing, research at MPhil/PhD level, broadcasting, librarianship, or historically aware performance.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
The programme is designed as a research preparation masters. It is intended to encourage students to be intellectually ambitious by inducting them into the community of historians. It invites students to understand the relationship between their own specialist field and the historical discipline in general as well as to communicate with wider audiences. Students will feel sufficiently confident in their own disciplinary identity and mastery of the subject to be able to converse with those in other fields. The programme is a taught course with an emphasis on disciplinary training supplied by the department’s subject specialists with expertise in an outstanding range of areas (Europe, Britain, North America, Africa, China and Japan) and inter-disciplinary engagement, while offering opportunities for supported independent study. Students will be able – and are indeed encouraged – to access and use Durham’s exceptional cluster of libraries, archives, and special collections.
All students on the MA in History are required to take the team-taught Core Module Themes, Reading and Sources (30 credits) which runs throughout Michaelmas and Epiphany terms. Depending on whether they opt for the 60-credit Dissertation pathway or the 90-credit Dissertation pathway, they also take either 3 or 2 Optional Modules (each worth 30 credits) which run either in Michaelmas or Epiphany or throughout both terms. The options may also be language, skills and content modules, provided by other centres, programmes and departments with the consent of all parties concerned. All these elements have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.
This module is compulsory for all MA students and provides them with the bulk of the disciplinary training providing specific and direct training in disciplinary practices, theories, approaches and methodologies. It is intended to guide all students regardless of their period specialism from a more tutor-led to independent learning on to their dissertation by combining a focus on primary sources across periods with thematic and historiographical approaches. The module will run throughout the entire academic year combining from the outset a focus on hands-on work with primary sources and discussion of related pieces of historiography (social, cultural, political etc.) and theoretical readings concerning specific themes, concepts and theories (gender, power, class, the state, transnationalism, globalization etc.). The module is taught in a series of seminars and familiarises students with the skills and problems integral to advanced historical work. It develops their capacity for independent research, their ability to effectively present oral and written results, as well as their organizational and leadership skills in chairing discussions. TRS provides a context in which students assess and comment critically on the findings of others, defend their conclusions in a reasoned setting, advance their knowledge and deepen their understanding of history.
Assessment is by 4,000-word essay centring on particular primary sources or an archive (80% of the module mark). The remaining 20% of the module mark comes from a 20-minute presentation on students' dissertation topics plus 10 minutes Q&A at the MA Conference in the Easter term.
These modules focus on a specific theme or problem within various areas of History, and provide subject-specific knowledge and skills. They are taught by the department’s subject specialists in a series of seminars with an emphasis on work with primary sources providing a 'step up' from L3 in terms of disciplinary engagement with historiography, approaches, methodologies, concepts and theories.
Optional modules might include:
Assessment is by 5,000-word essay.
In order to facilitate cross- and interdisciplinary engagement, students may opt to take modules from cognate MA programmes such as those offered by Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures (CVAC) and the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) with the consent of all parties concerned.
Students may also opt to take a language or skills module or both (Modern Languages; Latin; Greek; Old Norse, Paleography), generally taught in seminars and assessed by an unseen examination.
Our MA in History will enable you to become independent, confident and digitally literate learners, thus improving your employability, by engaging in sophisticated analytical skills. The acquisition of an MA in History already demonstrates high levels of specialism, but you will gain this not only through the development of a range of transferable skills but with the inclusion of digital learning it will allow you to apply other key skills (such as creating digital portfolios, web development and data management). There will also be opportunities for you to contribute your own work to various forums, including our History programme seminar series.
You will study for the MA in History through a combination of four taught (30 credit) modules, a research dissertation (60 credits), plus presentations, independent study, writing and research. Throughout the programme you will have the opportunity to emphasise your particular interests in social or political history through your choice of seminar and coursework assignments, and through the selection and development of an extended piece of independent research and critical writing on a topic of your choice. This will enable you to demonstrate the full range of attributes required of the professional historian short of the PhD. While the writing-up of this project will take place at the end of your programme, you will begin the process of topic selection and preparation much earlier, and you will be supported through the research for the dissertation in tandem with your other modules.
Duration: Full-time 12 months; Part-time 24 months
Contact hours: Full-time 6 hours per week during terms 1 and 2; Part-time 3 hours per week during terms 1 and 2; no weekend teaching
This will be introductory, preparing you for study and research, and will introduce you to different approaches, methodologies and theories. You will look into historiography and there will be a compulsory archival visit, with an introduction to early-modern paleography. Digitisation and digital methodologies will also be introduced.
Digital Humanities for social and cultural historians
This module will introduce you to the idea and value of Digital Humanities with an eye to the ethical issues Digital Humanities raises, and will include a much more targeted training element. There will be sessions on methodologies, quantitative analysis, coding, and the creation of databases. We will run projects with partner institutions that would allow you to apply this training to 'real life' scenarios and to use your digital skills to produce a specific output. It will conclude with a session about the collection of digital data in the modern world, and discuss some of the challenges that historians of the future might face.
People and Power
This will be taught through three comparative case studies that will have a coherence of approach but will have different time/place contexts.
This is a thematic module offering longitudinal studies of several themes pertaining to social transformation. Indicative content will include migration, poverty, class, race/ethnicity, gender, consumerism and globalisation.
A final 15,000 word dissertation will allow you to focus your programme towards your particular interests. You will develop a research abstract as part of the assessment for your Research Methods module (although this can be developed later on). The annotated bibliography will also preferably be on your dissertation topic. These proposals will be presented to a panel of staff and considered for suitability. In choosing a topic the negotiation process will refer to the programme content, your area of interest, staff expertise and the availability of research resources. You will conduct the project as an independent piece of research, with the guidance of a supervisor. A literature review will be completed and submitted by June and supervision meetings will take place in May/June. Research will take place in July and writing will take place in August. Full-time students will undertake their dissertations during terms 2 and 3, while part-time students will do their dissertation over terms 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of their programmes.
On all of the taught modules on the MA History students will be taught in small three-hour student-led workshops. Students will be required to read a number of essential readings as well as primary documents in preparation for each workshop. Moreover, selected students will be assigned tasks to prepare in advance of the workshops and then they will lead discussions on the topic under scrutiny. Time in each workshop will also be devoted to discussing student coursework and one-to-one tutorials will be offered to students. For the Research Dissertation students are assigned an expert supervisor with whom they will meet regularly during Terms 2 and 3.
Core Module: Research Methods
A portfolio which may include the following: Historiographical Essay (2500 words), 50% of assessment; Oral Presentation, 25% of assessment; Written Proposal (2000 words), 25% of assessment
Core Module: Digital Humanities for social and cultural historians
A portfolio which will consist of project essay and a video
Optional modules - Social Transformations; People and Power; Peril and Progress
Research Essay (5000 words), 100% of assessment
Research Dissertation (15000 words), 100% assessment
For all modules written feedback is provided on Moodle three weeks after the submission deadline. Students are also invited to book tutorials with the Module Director.
Students will be required to conduct primary research for their assessments on all of the modules on the programme.
Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.
York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.