University of East Anglia UEA

Degree level: Postgraduate
Awarded by: University of East Anglia

Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures, 1381-1688 (Taught)

Course 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

Overview Join us in Norwich, medieval and early modern England’s second city, to let your interest in the astonishing literary creativity of those eras flourish. You’ll gain a mastery of the whole sweep of writing from the era in which Julian of Norwich became the first woman to write a book in English to the outpouring of print and letters at the end of the seventeenth century. Working with your peers in supportive and inspiring seminars, you’ll engage in intensive close reading of landmark literary works from across Europe. You’ll also learn how to harness cutting-edge techniques of archival work to create your own original research projects. In your dissertation, you’ll bring everything you’ve learnt together to pursue a specialist project in either medieval or early modern literature. Recent topics have ranged from conceptions of motherhood in medieval East Anglia to seventeenth-century letter writing. You’ll graduate ready to pursue doctoral research or a career in anything from heritage to publishing. About This Course Our MA gives you a cohesive and in-depth understanding of the incredible range of literature produced across the medieval and early modern periods – with both a local and an international focus – allowing you to develop the foundational knowledge and skills you’ll need to build your own bespoke research projects based around your specialist interests. You’ll study some of the greatest literary masterpieces of the long European Renaissance, encountering authors such as Petrarch, Erasmus, Geoffrey Chaucer, Christine de Pizan, and Michel de Montaigne. As well as developing a pan-European grasp of the period, you’ll also build a deep understanding of the importance of the regional in medieval and early modern literary production. You’ll delve into the rich traditions of East Anglian writing, studying figures such as Margery Kempe alongside the region’s passionate and powerful Cycle dramas. Based in Norwich – medieval and early modern England’s second city – you’ll become an expert at working with original archival and printed sources. Working closely with the rich historic collections held by the Norfolk Record Office and the Norfolk Heritage Centre, you’ll learn how to handle and interpret early printed books and manuscripts, including mastering the art of reading early modern handwriting. Your new skills will open up a fresh archival landscape for you to explore: you might find yourself transcribing seventeenth century women’s manuscript letters that have never been published, or working at first-hand with some of the earliest books ever printed in England in the late fifteenth century. You’ll also work with cutting-edge digital book history resources from around the world, including our own unique site, ‘Discover Historic Books’. As a student on our MA, you’ll be part of our thriving and close-knit Medieval and Early Modern research community, made up of graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and lecturers who specialise in these periods. You might benefit from seminars and workshops with visiting speakers, or from field trips to local medieval and early modern cultural sites. You’ll be part of a department with longstanding relationships with cultural and heritage organisations in the region, including the National Trust’s Blickling Estate and the Norfolk Public Library and Information Service. You’ll benefit from working with academics who are committed to making knowledge of medieval and early modern literatures meaningful to non-specialist audiences, for instance through the Paston Footprints and Unlocking the Archive projects. We have had particular success in preparing students for funded doctoral study, but this MA offers ideal preparation for a career beyond academia, too, in sectors such as heritage, librarianship, or publishing.   Disclaimer Course details are subject to change. You should always confirm the details on the provider's website:


See website.

Assessment method

Modules are assessed by coursework, which may include projects, presentations and/or essays of around 5000 words; the dissertation is 15,000 words.

Entry requirements

Applicants require a good Honours degree, or minimum 2.1 equivalent. Applicants must also submit a sample of academic writing (for example, an undergraduate degree essay) of up to 3000 words. All applicants who are not a British national and/or whose first language is not English will need to demonstrate a suitable level of English language proficiency. This is equivalent to an IELTS 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in all components and 7.0 in writing, although we do accept many other types of qualifications or tests. In accordance with the UK Border Agencies Tier 4 visa guidelines, we will also waive the English language requirement for applicants who meet the defined nationality test or who have completed a degree level course in 1 of the listed countries. For a full list of these, as well as the qualifications / tests that we will consider, please visit our website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9500 Whole course
Northern Ireland £9500 Whole course
Scotland £9500 Whole course
Wales £9500 Whole course
International £19800 Whole course

Additional fee information

If you are a postgraduate student on a part-time course please assume a 50% fee of the equivalent full-time course per year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking. Module fees are subject to incremental increases for any subsequent years of study. Please enquire within the faculty admissions office to find out whether a part-time option is available for your course.

Sponsorship information

The School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing has a number of scholarships and bursaries available for Home, EU and Overseas students. Further details can be found on the School website.

Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures, 1381-1688 at University of East Anglia UEA - UCAS