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Course content

This MA equips students with the skills necessary for advanced medieval and renaissance scholarship. A wide range of historical, literary, palaeographical, art historical and archaeological modules enables students to explore the aspects of medieval and renaissance culture in which they are interested.

About this degree

This MA provides exceptional opportunities to master medieval and renaissance languages and to acquire manuscript expertise working with original manuscripts; key skills for those who want to go on to original research. Students with primary interests in many different areas ‒ linguistic, historical, literary or archaeological ‒ will be able to build on and extend their expertise and skills.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of 30 credits of core language modules, optional modules (90 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Old and Middle English
  • Medieval Latin (Beginners)
  • Medieval Latin (Intermediate)
  • Medieval French
  • Old and Middle French
  • Medieval Italian
  • Medieval German
  • Classical Hebrew
  • Rabbinic Hebrew
  • Introduction to Old Norse

Optional modules

Up to 90 credits of options drawn from the following:

  • Identity and Power in Medieval Europe, AD 500-1300
  • Magic in the Middle Ages
  • Writing History in Europe, c. 900-1200
  • A Global History of the Middle Ages?
  • Russsian Monarchy: Court Ritual and Political Ideas 1498-1917
  • Science and Medicine across Medieval Worlds
  • Reframing the Renaissance
  • Forging the Early Modern
  • Unstitching the Early Modern: Archival and Book Skills
  • Web 0.1: Early Modern Information Culture c. 1470-1750
  • Confessional Cultures in the Dutch Republic and England, c. 1500-c. 1700
  • Seeing Through Materials: Matter, Vision and Transformation in the Renaissance
  • Sex and the Body in Early Modern Europe
  • Men on the Moon: Cosmic Voyages in the Early Modern Period
  • Metamorphosis: The Limits of the Human
  • Wolfram von Eschenbach's "Parzival"
  • Legendary Histories (Medieval French Literature)
  • The Transformation of the Roman Mediterranean
  • Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage

This list is indicative only; the modules available are subject to change each year.

Dissertation/research project

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and classes. Several modules include site visits to institutions, notably the British Library, the Warburg Institute, the National Archives and the Institute of Historical Research. Assessment is through unseen examination, long essays, coursework and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA

Careers

Recent destinations of recent graduates of this programme include: funded PhDs at UCL, Universities of Oxford, St Andrews, Cambridge, Durham, Cardiff, Lancaster, and UEA; the British Library: Cataloguer; Reuters: News Assistant; Ministry of Trade Industry and Tourism: Government Advisor.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Curatorial and Art Intern, Swiss Institute
  • Policy and Communications Officer, Caritas
  • Project Assistant, British Library
  • GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law), BPP University
  • PhD in Medieval Studies, University of Leeds

Employability

The MARS degree allows students to develop an enviable range of skills. This programme not only provides an outstanding foundation for those hoping to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career but is also popular with students wishing to go into journalism, the civil service, business, museum and heritage and the education sector. Debates, small group seminars and tutorials help students to acquire strong presentation and negotiation skills for their future career. Likewise the analytical and research skills gained by students on this programme are highly valued by employers from a range of industries.

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The departments contributing to this degree - History; English; the School of European Languages, Culture and Society; History of Art - enjoy outstanding international reputations for research and teaching.

We are strongly committed to the intellectual development of all our students; if you come to UCL, you will receive individual supervision from leading researchers in their fields.

Located in Bloomsbury, we are just a few minutes' walk away from the exceptional resources of the British Library, the British Museum and the research institutes of the University of London, including the Warburg and the Institute of Historical Research.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: History

82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MA) page on the University College London website for more details!

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