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Course content

Warwick is one of the only taught Renaissance MAs in the UK to offer students a Venice Programme, giving them the opportunity to spend a full university term in Venice and to study in situ the city’s art, history and culture. Students will have the opportunity to spend a further period of 3 months (usually in the Summer term) at the University of Venice, as part of our ERASMUS Exchange Programme.

Warwick’s long-standing and dynamic Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, and its unusually large staff of Renaissance specialists, provides the opportunity for students at postgraduate level to approach Renaissance art, history, religion and literature from a distinctively interdisciplinary perspective Warwick is well-placed to offer teaching and research programmes in Renaissance Studies, both because of its own staffing resources and library provisions (which offers excellent electronic resources such as ITER, BIHR, Early English Books Online and The Making of the Modern World), and because of its proximity to major research collections at Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Stratford-upon-Avon and London.  Warwick also has well-established links with other prestigious centres of Renaissance excellence, including the Warburg Institute in London, the Newberry Library in Chicago and the Folger Institute in Washington.

Warwick’s centre in Venice has been housed in the fifteenth-century Palazzo Pesaro-Papafava since 2007. This stunning building, in gothic style, belonged to a rich patrician family who exercised considerable political and economic power. Warwick’s Venice Programme offers unique opportunities for graduate study. The course opens with a term based in Venice studying Italian Renaissance art in situ, engaging directly with the city’s galleries, libraries, and museums, and exploring the history and culture of the Renaissance. There you will benefit from Warwick’s forty-year association with the city, and from the expertise of our specialists in Venetian art, history and culture. Seminars are combined with site-visits, study sessions in Venetian workshops (for example, in a traditional printing shop or bronze foundry), and behind-the-scenes visits to the warehouses of Venetian museums. We teach as much as possible in the presence of original objects, and within period settings. All teaching is delivered in English but Italian language lessons are offered to students as an optional extra at no extra cost.

During the Autumn term in Venice, students will take two modules examining the history and the art of the Italian Renaissance. Modules typically include: ‘Order and Disorder: Culture, Society and Religion in Early Modern Venice,’ ‘Venetian Art and its Histories’ or ‘Venetian Luxury & Display.’

During the Spring term in Warwick students take two further modules, both providing an opportunity to explore the dissemination of Italian culture in Renaissance Europe. There are a series of skills sessions on Palaeography and research resources which help students to acquire the skills necessary to undertake research and extended writing on the Renaissance and a weekly seminar in Renaissance Latin (post-beginners).

During the Summer term students work closely with their supervisor on researching and writing their dissertation which is on any topic of their choice related to the course. Work continues over the summer vacation and submission is due in September.

Previous graduates from this course have chosen to progress to PhD study at Warwick or another institution, and/or to pursue a career in academia (most recently at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore), museums or galleries, teaching and the armed forces.

Courses typically start in September/October of each year with a compulsory induction at Warwick before heading off to Venice for the first term. Further (academic) details may be requested from the Director of Graduate Studies, https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/ren/about_us/ ; or for more pragmatic queries, from the Centre's Administrator on


Visit the MA in the Culture of the European Renaissance page on the University of Warwick website for more details!

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