Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Early Modern History

This Master's degree in history explores early modern European societies in the period from the Renaissance to the Reformation and on to the Enlightenment and the outbreak of the French Revolution. One of its most exciting and distinguishing features is that it considers developments in Britain, continental Europe (notably France and Italy) and the wider world (particularly the Americas) in comparative perspective, which brings into question the idea of the distinctive nature of national histories. Some of the key themes you will study are the impact of religious conflict, economic and social developments, government and social order, the growth of urban settlements, population and demographic change, the mutual interactions between Europe and the Americas, and the growth of state power. You will be able to choose option modules in early modern history from across the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology and you will receive training in historical methodologies and research techniques to help you research and write a dissertation on the subject that most interests you. You will read widely in both secondary works and translated primary sources, but there is no language requirement.

Course modules

The programme consists of 3 main sections: a core course, option modules and a dissertation. In your choice of option modules, you may decide to range widely or to concentrate on a single area. A wide range of options are available and vary from year to year. You will also write a dissertation on a research topic of your choice. Not all modules are available each year. View the full timetable for the year. Core module: Mastering Historical Research: Birkbeck Approaches . Option modules: Death, Disease and Early Modern City; Early Modern London: Society and Culture; Opposition and Dissent in Early Modern France; Plots, Conspiracy Theory and Political Culture in Early Modern Britain and France; Power and Communication in Europe, from the Reformation to Enlightenment; Public Histories in Practice; Renaissance Florence: Society, Religion and Culture; Text and Action: Renaissance Stage Directions; The Making of Modern Societies: Britain and Europe, c.1500-c.1750; The Origins of the French Revolution .

Assessment methods

The core course and each option module are examined by a 5000-word essay; dissertation of 15,000 words.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2018 GBP 14,850 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2018 GBP 8,175 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2018 GBP 4,075 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2018 GBP 7,425 per Year 1 (International) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

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Key information

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
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