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Welcome to one of the most exciting periods of English literature and history. The transformations in religion, politics, the technologies of writing and publication, science, and global exploration that took place during these turbulent years, and which continue to resonate today, prompted some of the most vibrant, difficult, and rewarding writing ever produced.

We invite you to join a team of world-leading scholars, working at the cutting edge of our discipline to explore this extraordinary world, and trace some of its local, European, and global contexts. In our core seminars, research events, trips, and collaborations you will build up a comprehensive set of research skills, whilst our ambitious and imaginative option modules will extend your current interests, and open up a novel set of perspectives upon both canonical and little-known texts.

York’s long history and prime location makes it an excellent place to study this period, and you can choose to take classes in the beautiful Minster Library, learn palaeography in one of the biggest archive repositories outside London, study Latin or a range of other languages or join us for trips – destinations have included a behind-the-scenes look at the Castle Museum, and the magnificent Fountains Abbey, Castle Howard, Burton Agnes Hall, and Hardwick Hall.

You will have the opportunity to work with distinguished scholars across a variety of fields. In particular, we specialise in:
-History of the book and textual cultures
-Religion, literature, and politics
-The reception and transformation of the Classics
-The poetics and pragmatics of translation
-Shakespeare, Heywood, and the drama of the English Renaissance
-The history and literature of science and medicine
-Material culture
-Women and literary production
-The history of emotions

Many of our students go on to PhD study; others have pursued a diverse range of careers including publishing, arts management, librarianship, and education.


-Four assessed essays of 4,500 words
-A 14,000-16,000 word dissertation, written in consultation with a supervisor on an agreed topic


We have an excellent employment record for our postgraduates who are highly prized by top level employers, both in the UK and on the international stage. A combination of outstanding teaching and a supportive collegiate environment enable our students to develop their creativity, intellectual independence and ability to filter complex information and present it persuasively in person and in writing. These are important transferable skills which will always hold their value at the top end of the jobs market.

Visit the Renaissance Literature 1500-1700 - MA page on the University of York website for more details!





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