Thursday 10 August 2023
Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- A 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.
- CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
- a personal statement
- a sample of your own, single-authored academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. See approved English language tests and scores for this course.
The MLitt in Early Modern and Reformation History is a one-year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of History.
- 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 politics, society and culture of the early modern European and Atlantic worlds.
- For those choosing to specialise in Reformation history, the course instils a wide contextual awareness of all of the European Reformations, while also offering the chance to pursue detailed study of a particular theological, geographical or methodological area.
- 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.
- Preparation for students who are interested in subsequent doctoral research.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details about each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue, which is for the 2022-2023 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2023 entry.
- Themes and Debates in Early Modern History (1): introduces students to a variety of key debates in early modern history through studying different scholars’ approaches to the period.
You will then choose between one of the following:
- Themes and Debates in Early Modern History (2): allows students to continue exploring different scholarly approaches to early modern politics, society and culture.
- Aspects of Reformation 1: explains selected themes in reformation studies and encourages students to develop a sense of the historiography of the period.
You will also choose to take two of the following training modules:
- 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 technical bibliographical description, as well as a detailed exploration of digital book history.
- Paleography and Manuscript Studies: provides a wide-ranging introduction to reading and handling original source material of all types which researchers of the early modern period may encounter. The course will trace the development of mainstream European handwriting styles from the late 15th to the 18th centuries.
Students choose one optional module.
Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered:
- Directed Reading in History: 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. Depending upon other module choices this may be taken across one or both semesters.
- The European Renaissance: compares and contrasts the Italian and Northern Renaissances, examining their medieval origins and exploring themes such as religion, humanism, court and urban life, in order to test this traditional interpretation.
- Political Thought and Intellectual History: offers a rich and varied graduate-level 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 the ways in which Scots and Englishmen perceived themselves as members of distinct Protestant churches and communities 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.
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 2023 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
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 Intellectual History and Book History.
The School of History hosts the Early Modern and Modern History 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.
More information on tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.
Funding and scholarships
The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances. Find out more about the scholarships and postgraduate loans available.
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.
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 your degree
History postgraduates go on to pursue careers in a range of sectors including:
- think tanks
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.
Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews.Postgraduate research
What to do next
Online information events
Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.
Postgraduate virtual days
We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.
- +44 (0)1334 46 2900
- School of History
St Katharine's Lodge