Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

The MA Early Modern and Renaissance Studies offers you the opportunity to explore this era from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including the study of:

  • literature
  • history
  • material culture
  • the visual arts.
This postgraduate degree pairs the broader study of current scholarly approaches to these periods with more focused study of Early Modern and Renaissance cultures. It considers the riches of these pasts from an integrated, holistic perspective in which you will be guided by experts in interdisciplinary research methods. You will be able to follow your interests with option modules that give you the chance to dive deeper into ongoing discussions, whether focused within the Medieval, Early Modern or Renaissance periods, or exploring interdisciplinary themes that link across this dynamic time period. Our MA Early Modern and Renaissance Studies provides you with rigorous preparation for pursuing PhD research. It is also equally well suited to those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the Early Modern and Renaissance era, and those who are returning to study to pursue a personal passion. Highlights
  • Our students have access to some of the best resources in the world for research relating to this period, being close to many renowned research libraries, galleries, museums and manuscript repositories. The MA Early Modern and Renaissance Studies teaches you the skills you need to explore these rich resources in original and scholarly ways.
  • In addition to core teaching and individual research support, you will have the opportunity to attend the London Renaissance Seminar, a forum held at Birkbeck where you will be able to hear some of the best scholars in the field presenting and discussing their newest research in all aspects of early modern literature, history and culture.
  • Birkbeck was ranked 2nd in the UK for its English Language and Literature research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
  • The School of Arts offers a number of master's bursaries and studentships.


For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

You will be assessed primarily through coursework, including essays and commentaries. Assessment may also include presentations and the curation of material culture and visual arts.

How to apply

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Entry requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9810 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9810 Year 1
Scotland £9810 Year 1
Wales £9810 Year 1
International £18030 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.
Early Modern and Renaissance Studies at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS