Taught course

English Studies: Early Modern Studies

Queen Mary, University of London · School of English and Drama

Entry requirements

An upper 2nd class Honours degree in English or such related fields as history, cultural studies and media studies. Where a North American marking scheme is used, applicants should have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.5. Applicants without formal qualifications can be considered on an individual basis.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA in English: Early Modern Studies, 1300-1700 pathway offers you the opportunity to explore the culture of the English Middle Ages and Renaissance within its European framework. Working alongside distinguished scholars in English Literature you will be asked to think about what we mean by the terms ‘Medieval’ and ‘Early Modern’, and to formulate conclusions using a profoundly interdisciplinary approach: you will examine the literature, history, religion, visual culture, social relations, and politics of the period.

Imaginative and ambitious themed modules enable you to study some of the most influential writers working between the 14th and 17th centuries within their cultural and historical context: Chaucer, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Donne, and Milton amongst others. You’ll construct a historical understanding of the key movements, debates, and ideas that shaped the period in preparation for researching and writing your dissertation.

The early modern team forms a large and vibrant community, including more than a dozen professors, lecturers, and post-doctoral researchers. Their expertise includes cutting-edge work on medieval and Renaissance drama, early modern news networks, the history of maps and mapping, the relations between science and literature, prison-writing, early modern scholarly editing, the digital humanities, and the concept of authorship. What unites their work is an emphasis on the archive. This is reflected at the very heart of the Early Modern Studies Pathway.

You will be trained to a very high level in research skills, including an unusually comprehensive course in archival skills (palaeography, bibliography, manuscript studies, and the history of the book) in partnership with the National Archives. You’ll get hands-on experience of working with a variety of early modern items, and you’ll have access to otherwise uncatalogued and unexplored materials. You’ll work with rare books and manuscripts during this training. Throughout, you’ll be considering the impact of developments in manuscript culture and the new technologies in printing and publishing in the period.

Information for international students

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Fees and funding

UK students
International students

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Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months
N/A months
distance learning
N/A months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment67

Course contact details

School of English and Drama
+44 (0)20 7882 8571