Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Renaissance Studies

The programme explores the question of what the Renaissance was and what approaches are best suited to understanding it. The programme considers different aspects of Renaissance culture, particularly the social and intellectual histories of England, France, Italy and Spain. You will study with Birkbeck's internationally recognised experts in Renaissance English literature and culture, history of art, French, history and Spanish, tailoring your module choices towards chosen specialisms. By the end of the course you will be able to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the questions associated with the study of the Renaissance and will have had the opportunity to either specialise or work in an interdisciplinary way; from the start, you will undertake training in postgraduate research skills.

Entry requirements

Good second-class degree, preferably in a subject relevant to Renaissance studies (for example, classics, history, history of art, literature and languages, philosophy or political science). We also welcome students with backgrounds in other disciplines too (e.g. medical, commercial, scientific).If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

You will take a core course which examines the way the Renaissance has been understood and then go on to choose 3 option modules in areas of special interest to you. Finally, you will choose a dissertation topic under the expert guidance of one of our academics; throughout the MA you work with tutors individually as well as in seminars. Core module: The Renaissance: Concepts and issues. Option modules: art in the age of Giotto: Evidence and interpretation; drama and performance in medieval England; power and control in Spanish Golden Age art; rebellion, dissent and tyranny: England c 1380 - c 1430; Renaissance Florence: Society, religion and culture; Rome: Place, continuity and memory; Shakespeare's Globe: Culture and contemporary performance; the art of persuasion: Religious imagery and the Catholic reformation; the Icelandic saga; the literature of Elizabethan London.

Sponsorship information

Applicants with a strong academic background may apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) awards (UK and EU-based applicants only); the School of Arts also offers a small number of bursaries; part-time students in their second year who are experiencing hardship may apply to the College for financial assistance.


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MA Full-time £ 5,375 per Academic year (home fees) 1 years
MA Full-time £ 11,500 per Academic year (overseas fees) 1 years
MA Full-time £ 5,375 per Academic year (EU fees) 1 years
MA Part-time evening £ 2,975 per Academic year (home fees) 2 years
MA Part-time evening £ 5,750 per Academic year (overseas fees) 2 years
MA Part-time evening £ 2,975 per Academic year (EU fees) 2 years

Campus details

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

Key information

Department of English and Humanities
Telephone number: 
020 3073 8376