Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture (MLitt) 2019 entry

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

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Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 9 September 2019
  • End date: 30 September 2020

If you started this programme in 2018, you can find information about 2018 entry on the 2018 Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture (MLitt) page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time or two years part time

Entry requirements

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.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,000
Overseas: £18,480

Application deadline

31 January 2019 for those also applying for School of English scholarships; 1 June 2019 for all other applicants. Applicants should apply as early as possible for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MLitt in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture is an intensive one-year taught programme run by the School of English. The course offers an all-round introduction to the literature of the 16th and 17th centuries, with particular focus on the work of William Shakespeare.

Highlights

  • Covers both elite and popular writing, the influence of other continental vernaculars, and the importance of print and manuscript media. 
  • Features a range of critical and interpretive perspectives. 
  • 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 17th-century literary culture.

Teaching format

Taught modules consist 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.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

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 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry.

  • Literary Research: Skills and Resources: trains in English Studies; it also provides preparation for the MLitt dissertation.

and at least three of:

  • The Continental Renaissance: investigates the relationship between English and European writing of the period. 
  • Learned Culture: Rhetoric, Politics and Identityexplores the influence of Renaissance humanism and the implications of its distinctive interest in rhetoric for 16th and 17th-century culture.
  • Renaissance Popular Culture: looks at the popular culture of the period: popular festivity, clowning, jestbooks, ballads, romances and grotesquerie.
  • Shakespeare and Textual Culture: considers the material contexts of Renaissance literary production, including manuscript, print, speech and the editing of Renaissance texts.

Students will choose either one or two optional modules out of the following three choices:

  • Special Topic in English Studies: a directed reading programme which allows students to explore topics in greater depth than is possible in compulsory modules.
  • a compulsory module from another English MLitt (see module catalogue)
  • an approved postgraduate-level module outwith the School of English (arranged independently with another school such as Classics, Modern Languages, Divinity or Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies).

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).

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.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Postgraduates

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 14 November 2018
  • Wednesday 13 March 2019

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Conferences and events

The School of English hosts research events through its four research groups:

The School of English normally also hosts an annual colloquium (recent colloquia have taken as their themes: The English Legal Imaginary, 1500-1700; Bannockburn, 1914: Anniversary culture, war and national identity in Scotland; Opera and Fiction; World Literature and Dissent).

The Postgraduate Forum offers postgraduates the opportunity to present research in progress to a group of their peers. 

Funding

All School of English study applicants will be given access to the My Application portal. The scholarships and funding area of the portal includes an online catalogue through which you can apply for available relevant awards. 

Recent Graduate Discount
In an initiative designed to recognise the loyalty of our students, the University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

After the MLitt

Research degrees

Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews. 

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture.

PhD in English

Careers

Graduates of the course go on to pursue careers in a range of sectors including journalism, marketing, publishing 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.

Contact information

School of English
University of St Andrews
Castle House
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2668
Email: pgeng@st-andrews.ac.uk

English website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

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).

Tuition fees

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).