The Book. History and Techniques of Analysis (MLitt) 2017 entry
The MLitt in Book History offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the book world from the inception of the printed book in the 15th century to the invention of the mechanised press in the 19th century.
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
Applications are accepted until shortly before teaching starts in September. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- 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 The Book. History and Techniques of Analysis page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.Apply for this course
The MLitt in Book History is a taught postgraduate programme run by the School of History.
- Students will acquire the technical skills required for rare book curatorship (teaching involves the Special Collections department).
- The programme provides a deep understanding of key issues and methods in book history and familiarises students with the invention, development, spread and transformation of printing.
- Students can undertake skills training in palaeography and either Latin or a modern foreign language.
The MLitt course comprises two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation (15,000 words) completed during the summer on a subject of the student’s own design. The optional components of the course are carefully designed to meet each student’s intentions: structured preparations for undertaking a PhD, professional development, or personal scholarly interests.
Teaching methods include fortnightly seminars and practical classes. Class sizes range from individual supervision up to 12 students. The modules are assessed by coursework only; there is no final exam.
Each module typically comprises:
- fortnightly seminars or weekly two-hour seminars
- 100% coursework 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.
- Books and their Readers in Early Modern Europe: provides students with a good understanding of key issues and methods in book history from 1445 to 1830.
Students can choose either four optional modules or two optional modules along with the Directed Reading module.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).
- 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: three tiers of teaching (beginners, intermediate, and translation) provide suitable levels of engagement with Latin for students with earlier or no experience.
- Paleography and Manuscript Studies: provides a wide-ranging introduction to the reading and handling of original source material of all types which researchers of the early modern period may encounter.
- Directed Reading in Modern History: designed to encourage the development of skills of historical analysis through concentrated study of a topic chosen by the student prior to the dissertation.
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.
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Conferences and events
The School of History is home to a number of seminars which meet regularly throughout the teaching period from September to May. Papers are given by both St Andrews historians and invited guests.
The programmes for these seminars are:
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
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 Research Councils UK 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).