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Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Renaissance History Literature

Course type


Course Summary

The MA in Renaissance Studies explores the question of what the Renaissance was and what approaches are best suited to understanding it. From the start, you will undertake training in postgraduate research skills. For example, in the second term of your degree you are offered practical study of palaeography. The summer core course is based around the materials of Renaissance evidence: objects, painting, manuscript and print. We explore a range of methodologies.

Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework.

Graduates go on to careers in museums management and curating, academia, journalism and publishing, research, marketing and public relations. Possible professions include management, curating, or publishing. This degree can also be useful in a variety of roles within the creative sector, such as journalist or public relations officer.

Different course options

Full time | Birkbeck, Central London WC1 | 1 year | OCT

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



What is, what was ?the Renaissance?? Taking this as its theme, the core course of the MA supports you in developing an analytical grasp of the most influential approaches to this question since the field was founded. Your task is to read critical readings of texts to which scholars writing now react. You need to read them critically and analytically and take notes. Some useful questions for each text are: what kind of a ?Renaissance? does Jacob Burckhardt/ Elizabeth Eisentstein /Joan Kelly offer us? What is their method and how does it work? What do their texts include, what do they see as driving the ?Renaissance?? What do they leave out? By the end of the module you should be able to approach the rich primary resources of the Renaissance with, perhaps, fewer certainties but a solid sense of how the field has been shaped; a grasp on some possible methods; an emerging sense of what you need to do as a scholar to make your contribution to the field.
Dissertation MA Renaissance Studies

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Course specific entry requirements: Students need a good second-class degree or higher, 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, and scientific). Standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification. We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck on its individual merits and their professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners. Our standard postgraduate entry requirement for international students is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university or an equivalent international qualification.

University information

With a history that dates back 200 years, Birkbeck, University of London is unique in that it delivers its near-300 postgraduate courses in the evenings, enabling students to work or focus on other commitments during the day. Courses can be studied full-time or part-time and some can be studied through distance learning. Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities and provides its 700 postgraduate research student with a...more

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