Taught course

Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture

University of St Andrews · School of English

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (UK 2.1) or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

The MLitt in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture offers students the opportunity to study of one of the most exciting and formative periods in European history, centred on the key writer in the English literary tradition: William Shakespeare.

Course highlights

  • Develop your skills as a researcher within a specific area of study by taking special topic modules in manuscript, print, speech and the editing of Renaissance texts.
  • Become part of a welcoming and lively academic community. St Andrews is a consortium member of the Folger Shakespeare Library Institute in Washington DC and also hosts a number of research groups relevant to the English Renaissance.
  • Explore the key developments in modern and contemporary literary studies in dialogue with leading scholars in the fields of Shakespeare studies, Shakespearean book history, Renaissance popular literature and seventeenth-century literary culture.

Teaching format

The MLitt in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture is an intensive one-year taught programme offering an all-round introduction to the literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with particular focus on the work of William Shakespeare.

Taught modules are comprised of weekly seminars and cover both elite and popular writing, the influence of other continental vernaculars, and the importance of print and manuscript media. Class sizes typically range from three to ten students.

Modules are assessed through coursework essays. The School of English prides itself on its support of student work through detailed feedback and commentary.

During the course of the year, but with particular focus during the last four months, students will research and write a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choosing.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language, evidence of English proficiency will be required e.g. IELTs 8.0 or equivalent.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


part time
21 months
full time
9 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment67
Dissertation33 (15000 words)

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0) 1334 462668