Taught course

Cultural and Intellectual History 1300-1650

School of Advanced Study · The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study

Entry requirements

The normal minimum entry requirement is a good second-class honours degree from a British university, or an equivalent qualification from a foreign institution, in any discipline in the humanities which is related to the course. A reading knowledge of one European modern language apart from English and of Latin is required. An understanding of Italian is particularly useful..

Months of entry


Course content

This degree at the Warburg Institute aims to equip students for interdisciplinary research in Medieval and Renaissance studies and in the reception of the classical tradition. Although it is a qualification in its own right, the MA is also designed to provide training for further research at doctoral level.

Students are given the opportunity to examine early printed books and manuscripts. Reading classes in Latin, Italian and French are provided and are intended to help acquire the necessary familiarity with those languages as written in the late middle ages and the Renaissance. Students are also encouraged to attend the Director’s weekly seminar on Work in Progress and any of the other regular seminars held in the Institute that may be of interest to them. These at present include History of Art, Maps and Society and the History of Scholarship from the Renaissance Onwards.

Core courses (courses may vary from year to year)

  • Iconology: Mythological painting, allegorical figures, historical subjects, altarpiece - Dr Paul Taylor
  • Religion and Society - Dr Alessandro Scafi

Optional Courses (courses may vary from year to year)

  • Artistic Intentions 1400 - 1700 - Dr Paul Taylor
  • Islamic Authorities and Arabic Elements in the Renaissance – Professor Charles Burnett
  • Music in the Later Middle Ages and the Renaissance - Professor Charles Burnett
  • New Worlds, Ancient Texts: Renaissance Intellectual History and the Discovery of the Americas - Dr Philipp Nothaft
  • Renaissance Philosophy – Dr Guido Giglioni
  • Renaissance Art Literature – Dr François Quiviger
  • Renaissance Material Culture – Dr Rembrandt Duits and Dr François Quiviger
  • Sin and Sanctity in the Reformation – Professor Alastair Hamilton

All students take two compulsory core courses and two optional subjects. The core courses are taught in the first term and the optional subjects in the second term and the options available vary from year to year. In addition, there is a regular series of classes throughout the three terms on Techniques of Scholarship. Subjects dealt with include: description of manuscripts; palaeography; printing in the 15th and 16th centuries; editing a text; preparation of dissertations and photographic images. Some of these classes are held outside the Institute in locations such as the British Library or the Wellcome Library.

Information for international students

All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide evidence that their written and spoken English language is adequate for postgraduate study. The University of London has been licensed to offer certificates to potential non-EU students under the UK Government's new immigration Points Based System.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For more information on funding opportunities please visit our website at http://www.sas.ac.uk/graduate-study/prospective-students/funding

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50

Course contact details

School of Advanced Study Registry
020 7862 8662
020 7862 8725