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Overview

Explore the literature of the Renaissance: a period of political power struggles, religious reform, scientific advancement and humanist philosophy. This course allows you to explore the literature of a time of rapid social, political, religious and intellectual change.

Widely seen as a period of intense creativity, the Renaissance also saw civil unrest and an influx of foreign influences through trade, conflict and the advent of British imperialism that would change the cultural landscape of the country forever.

You’ll have opportunities to engage with a broad range of creative responses to these unsettled times, including plays, poetry, sermons, translations, political tracts and court entertainments.

Throughout the course, you’ll be able to pursue areas of personal interest, and you’ll have the chance to further expand your explorations through an independent research project.

Specialist resources

Leeds University Library is one of the UK's major academic research libraries. It has extensive holdings to support your studies, including English Literature Collections that have been designated of national and international importance.

The Special Collections offer a huge range of rare books, manuscripts and art, including the Brotherton Collection of Manuscript Verse, and first or early editions of works by John Donne, Philip Sidney, John Milton, Ben Jonson, James Shirley, John Fletcher,

Philip Massinger and William Shakespeare.

Modules

Compulsory modules

  • Studying English: Research Methods
  • Research Project

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Shakespeare's Tyrants
  • Turks, Moors, and Jews: Staging the Exotic in the Renaissance

Learning and teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Applying, fees and funding

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

How to apply

Deadlines

We don’t have a final deadline for MA Applications, and we’ll consider your application right up until the start date of the programme. However, we encourage you to apply before the end of July if possible, to make arrangements such as securing funding, accommodation or visas. Modules will be allocated to offer holders in early August, so if you apply after that point you may have a more limited choice of modules.

You’ll also need to apply for a place before applying for any scholarships, so check the deadlines for available scholarships on the postgraduate scholarships database.

APPLY (FULL TIME) 

APPLY (PART TIME) 

Documents and information you need

You’ll need to upload the following documents when completing the online application form:

  • A transcript of your completed BA degree or grades to date
  • A personal statement of around 500 words outlining your reasons for applying to the programme and your suitability to the programme
  • A recent sample of your academic work of around 2,000 words on a topic relevant to the programme
  • We do not generally request references, unless further information is required to support the assessment of your application
  • If English is not your first language, you’ll need to submit proof of your English language results (e.g. IELTS)

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Fees

  • UK/EU: £8,500 (total)
  • International: £18,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of English also offers a range of scholarships for taught postgraduate study. Find out more on our Scholarships page.

Career opportunities

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.


Visit the English Literature (Renaissance pathway) MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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