Early Modern History (MLitt) 2019 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. It introduces students to a range of approaches to early modern history (1450 to 1750) and provides advanced training in skills requisite for study of the period.

Apply now

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 Early Modern History page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full 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.

Apply now

Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,000
Overseas: £18,480

Application deadline

Monday 12 August 2019. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • personal statement (optional)
  • sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

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

Course information

The MLitt in Early Modern History is a one-year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of History.

Highlights

  • Work with a significant number of scholars of early modern history, who can provide a high level of specialised supervision and advanced training in the history of the early modern European and Atlantic worlds.
  • Benefit from broad and deep preparation, offering you the chance to explore and critically evaluate both historiography and primary sources.
  • Pursue high-level skills training to build up to your MLitt dissertation and to prepare students who are interested in subsequent doctoral research.

Teaching format

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.

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.

  • Themes and Debates in Early Modern History (1 and 2): 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:

  • 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 advanced) for students with earlier or no experience.
  • Material Bibliography: covers the use of the book as historical evidence and practical aspects of cataloguing and Special Collections work.
  • 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:

  • 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.  
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Political Thought and Intellectual History: an introduction to the political theory and intellectual history of the early modern period.
  • 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.
  • Society and Religious Change in Sixteenth-Century France: examines how France faced the two major challenges of the age: the trend towards more centralised state-building, stimulated in part by the changing nature of warfare in the 16th century and the urge on the part of European monarchies to create a new monarchy; and the challenge posed by the divisions of European Christendom resulting from the Protestant Reformation.
  • 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.

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 13 March 2019

Sign up

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 semester.

Funding

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.

Recent Graduate Discount
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

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. 

Arts and Humanities Research Council studentships
The AHRC offers studentships at RCUK rates for PhD research in a range of subjects including history.

PhD in History

Careers

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.

Contact information

School of History
University of St Andrews 
St Katharine’s Lodge
The Scores
St Andrews 
KY16 9BA

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2907
Email: pghist@st-andrews.ac.uk

History 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).