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Renaissance, Reformation and Early Modern Studies MA

Course Description

This programme combines the approaches of religious, social, cultural and political historians to take a fresh look at the Renaissance and the Religious Reformations in Britain and Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. It is taught by leading scholars whose expertise covers the cultural and religious landscape of the late-medieval world, the Catholic and Protestant Reformations in Britain and Europe, new world discoveries and the political and cultural worlds of 16th and 17th century England. The research training and dissertation also provide the ideal grounding for going on to undertake a PhD in this area.

Scholars have moved beyond the traditional concerns with religion and politics to explore the cultural, material and social histories of the Renaissance and Reformation. The whole subject has becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, with researchers drawing on the insights of anthropology, sociology and cultural and literary studies, as well as history. Topics such as violence, clothing, art, drama and music have come to be seen as crucial to an understanding of the transformations that were taking place. These new approaches are integral to the teaching and research training provided on this course. It offers the opportunity to study the period of Renaissance and Reformation in all its richness, working with a team of leading scholars within the Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies (CREMS). There is also an annual field trip, designed to explore key themes and issues outside of the classroom, in the context of key buildings, documents and historical artefacts.

Course content

You will study two core modules:

- Religious Reformations in Early Modern Britain and Europe
- Research Methods and Skills

You will also choose an optional special subject module and complete a 15,000-word dissertation an agreed topic which relates to the history of any of the areas covered by the course.


The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Our History graduates develop a range of skills, including familiarity with research methods, the ability to manage large and diverse quantities of information, and the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines, which can be used in a variety of occupations. A snapshot of graduate destinations over a five-year period has identified a variety of career paths, from journalism, to accounting, to lecturing. Historically, over 94% of our History students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open day (Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Renaissance, Reformation and Early Modern Studies MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

Entry Requirements

2.1 (Hons) in a related subject

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