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 required for the study of the period.
The MLitt in Early Modern 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 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.
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.
- 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 in 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.
- Palaeography 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
The qualifications listed are indicative of 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.
- personal statement (optional).
- a 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).
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.
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