Early Modern History (MLitt) 2017 entry
The MLitt in Early Modern History provides advanced study of the history of the early modern European and Atlantic worlds, including the Ottoman Empire. The programme introduces students to a range of approaches to early modern history and provides advanced training in skills requisite for study of the period.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject-related area. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
UK and EU: £7,500
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate
- letter of intent (optional).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 Early Modern History MLitt page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.Apply for this course
The MLitt in Early Modern History is a one-year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of History.
- Students receive a high level of specialised supervision and advanced training in the history of the early modern European and Atlantic worlds with a high level of specialised supervision in most fields.
- Modules offer a wide-ranging survey of the major historical and historiographical controversies that define the early modern period, as well as more specialised study.
- The course provides research training for students wishing to pursue further study. It also provides a solid foundation and advanced transferable skills for those pursuing other careers in heritage, tourism or education.
The MLitt course lasts for one calendar year; taught modules run from September to April, followed by dissertation research and writing over the late spring and summer.
Teaching methods typically include fortnightly seminars, practical classes and tutorials. Class sizes range from individual supervision up to 12 students. The modules are assessed by coursework only; there is no final exam.
The early modern cohort is typically close-knit and friendly, but comprises a diverse, international group with a range of intellectual interests. Students work closely with each other, with early modern research staff, and also with students in parallel MLitt degrees such as Reformation Studies, Intellectual History, and Book History.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
- Themes and Debates in Early Modern History: introduces students to a variety of key debates in early modern history through studying different scholars’ approaches to the period.
and two of the following:
- Material Bibliography: covers the use of the book as historical evidence and practical aspects of cataloguing and Special Collections work.
- Early Modern Documents and Sources: provides a wide-ranging introduction to the types of source material which researchers on the early modern period may encounter.
- Latin for Postgraduate Research: provides three tiers of Latin teaching (beginners, intermediate, and translation) for students with earlier or no experience.
- Paleography and Manuscript Studies: learn to read early modern handwriting and gain a sense of the nature of European handwriting in the early modern period.
Students choose one optional module from the following:
- Religion and Identity in Early Modern Britain: explores the significance of the Reformation in reshaping Scots and English self-definitions in the 16th and 17th centuries.
- War, State and Society in Early Modern Europe and New Worlds: explores the transformations in the size, scale and scope of European warfare between the late 15th and late 18th centuries.
- The European Renaissance: compares and contrasts the Italian and Northern Renaissances, examining their mediaeval origins and exploring themes such as religion, humanism, court and urban life, in order to test this traditional interpretation.
- The Creation of an Atlantic World: introduces students to the concept of the Atlantic World, a unit of analysis used by historians to understand the changes wrought in the western hemisphere by the British, French, and Iberian discovery and settlement of the Americas, and by Europe’s slave trade with Africa.
- Law, Justice and Community: Court Records and British Society, 1400-1800: an introduction to the records of law courts, the single most important source for early-modern British social history.
- Political Thought and Intellectual History: an introduction to the political theory and intellectual history of the early modern period
- Directed Reading: offers a specialised directed reading course based on the student's individual interests, and is designed to encourage the development of skills of historical analysis through concentrated study.
- History of Modern Science: introduces students to core themes int he history of science from the Scientific Revolution onwards.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
Conferences and events
The School of History hosts the Early Modern and Modern History (EMMH) Postgraduate Forum, which provides a space for postgraduates at all stages to present ideas, discuss research issues and find out about what their fellow historians are up to.
The Reformation Studies Institute at St Andrews hosts a seminar programme, holding numerous talks and lectures each month.
The School of History is pleased to be able to offer a number of competitive scholarships which contribute to the fees and maintenance for postgraduate study.
- Language Bursaries: enables students to undertake intensive language courses abroad during the summer before their programme begins.
- School of History MLitt Awards: offers the cash equivalent of one year's home fees and cannot be held in conjunction with other awards offering full fees and maintenance.
After the MLitt
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Early Modern History.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme.
Arts and Humanities Research Council studentships
The AHRC offers studentships at RCUK rates for PhD research in a range of subjects including history.
History postgraduates go on to pursue careers in a range of sectors including journalism, publishing, think tanks, government, law and teaching.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).