Modern English Literature begins in the extraordinary developments of the 16th and early 17th centuries. Under the influence of social, religious and political transformations, and through engagement with classical and continental European culture, new theories and practices of literature appeared that have influenced generations of writers since.
Studying the literature of this period allows us both to enter a world that is not our own, and to see the origins of modern western perspectives and predicaments. This programme offer you the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of supervised independent research in this field.
We are the oldest department of English Literature in the world, and at the last Research Assessment Exercise were awarded the highest research rating possible, of 5*A. We have one of the largest graduate programmes in this area in the country and a rich research culture covering all aspects of literatures in English.
We offer supervision in all areas of Renaissance literature, and have particular strengths in Renaissance drama and performance, Renaissance poetry, the politics of literature in the Renaissance, religious writing in the Renaissance, Renaissance biographical and autobiographical writing, and the relevance to the study of Renaissance literature of modern and contemporary theory.
The research of staff has made valuable contributions to the areas of literature and philosophy, modernism/postmodernism, medieval and early modern literature, history of the book, romanticism, transatlantic studies and performance studies.
English Literature houses the Centre for the History of the Book and is one of the UK's leading forces in this area. It works closely with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and with the National Library of Scotland. The latter's recently acquired Murray Archive is crucial for studies in Romanticism, Book History, Bibliography and Archive Studies.
Extensive collections of Renaissance manuscripts and printed books are held in Edinburgh by the University’s own library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Archives of Scotland. These collections offer excellent research resources and opportunities for graduate study, and are particularly rich in materials relating to Shakespeare and Renaissance drama.
The course includes a 15,000 word dissertation, completed under the supervision of one or more of the course tutors. Students will undertake a seminar based programme of research methods training in core research skills and subject specific methodologies. They will also take two option courses covering areas of Renaissance literature and culture related to their chosen fields and will write two extended essays in relation to these course
The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, many of them prize winners and leading scholars in their fields. As well as benefiting from their expert supervision, you will undertake a seminar-based programme of training in core research skills and subject-specific methodologies. You will also have the opportunity to develop other transferable skills through the University’s Institute for Academic Development
We encourage you to share your research and learn from the work of others through a vibrant programme of Work-in-Progress seminars, reading groups, visiting speakers and conferences.
Our postgraduate journal, Forum, is a valuable conduit for research findings, and provides an opportunity for editorial experience.
On hand are all the amenities you would expect, such as computing facilities, study areas and a common room and kitchen. Our location gives you easy access to the University’s general facilities, such as the Main Library and our collections, as well as to the National Museum, National Library and National Galleries of Scotland at the heart of the city.
In addition to the impressive range of resources available at the University’s Main Library (more than two million printed volumes and generous online resources) and the nearby National Library of Scotland, we host a number of collections of rare and valuable archival materials, all of which will be readily available to you as a postgraduate student.
Among the literary treasures are the libraries of William Drummond, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Hugh MacDiarmid, Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart and Norman MacCaig, plus the WH Auden collection, the Corson Collection of works by and about Sir Walter Scott and the Ramage collection of poetry pamphlets.
Our cultural collections are highly regarded and include a truly exceptional collection of early Shakespeare quartos and other early modern printed plays, and world-class manuscript and archival collections.
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.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
The Master's Programme of Medieval and Renaissance Studies will stimulate your independent study skills within a wide range of issues ranging from philosophy, theology, law, history, literature and the arts. Specialised seminars will bring the cultural and intellectual history of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to life, with a particular emphasis on the Low Countries.
The programme draws on the combined expertise of various research groups and specialised centres at KU Leuven, including the Faculty of Arts for the History of the Middle Ages, Early Modern History and the Illuminare and Seminarium Philologiae Humanisticae centres), the Institute of Philosophy's (De Wulf-Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, as well as Aristoteles Latinus), the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies' group for the History of Church and Theology), and the Faculty of Law. All of these research groups and centres all play a role in this MA programme, which is monitored by the interfaculty Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Strengthened by KU Leuven's in-house expertise in ancient and modern languages and by its excellent library collections, you cannot ask for a better home to carry out your historical-philological research.
The Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at KU Leuven boasts a long academic tradition: founded in 1966, it stimulates and coordinates multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research and graduate teaching in the history of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Reformation.
Strengthened by its expertise in ancient and modern languages, KU Leuven's historical-philological research strongly emphasises the interdisciplinary study of texts. In the Leuven context, special attention is devoted to the role of the Church and its stimulating influence on intellectual life in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The aim of this one-year Master program is to prepare students for the independent study of the cultural and intellectual history of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance form a multi- and interdisciplinary point of view. Taking its point of departure in texts, the program is designed to address a wide spectrum of issues in the fields of language and literature, political thought, law, urban history, art history, philosophy, history of the church and theology, history of education and science. Special attention is devoted to the relation between text and image, the afterlife of Antiquity, and the significance of the Low Countries in the cultural and intellectual history of Western Europe.
Our graduates go on to find employment as researchers, academic and professionals in the cultural sector.
Graduates from the programme are well placed for positions in university research projects, academic appointments and career positions in the cultural sector.