This programme gives you the opportunity to study poetry, drama, prose and a variety of authors including Shakespeare from 1550-1640, and place them in the context of the rapid social, political and intellectual change of the Renaissance.
You will have the flexibility to focus on the aspects of Renaissance literature that interest you, as well as the contexts that shaped different texts such as political issues, religious ideas and dominant social structures. You will also gain an insight into how writers engaged with the events and trends of a fascinating historical period.
Optional modules will allow you to develop this specialist knowledge - and you can choose up to two modules from elsewhere in the School of English to broaden your approach.
A core module will help to develop your research skills, allowing you to make the most of our library resources and prepare for a wide range of careers as well as further study.
You'll study in a supportive environment with access to excellent research resources. The world-class Brotherton Library has a remarkable variety of manuscript, archive and early printed materials, including the Brotherton Collection of poetry manuscripts and Elizabethan and 17th-century literary texts. They include First, Second, Third and Fourth Folio editions of Shakespeare's plays, as well as works by Jonson, Donne, Sidney, Milton, Herbert, Beaumont and Fletcher, Bacon and Ford. We also have extensive collections of correspondence with a literary theme in our Letters Database.
Guided by tutors who are at the forefront of research in Renaissance studies, you'll have the opportunity to make the most of all we have to offer.
In the first semester you will develop your knowledge of research methods and approaches in literary studies. You will also begin to develop your interest in Renaissance literature through your choice of optional modules. You will take three optional modules throughout the year - at least one of these must be specific to the Renaissance pathway, though you can choose up to two modules from across the School of English to broaden your approach.
Throughout the programme you will have the chance to deepen your subject knowledge while developing high-level skills in research, interpretation and analysis. You will have the chance to demonstrate these through your research project or dissertation: an independent piece of research on a topic in English Renaissance literature, which you will submit by the end of the programme in September.
If you choose to study part-time, you'll study over a 24 month period and study fewer modules in each year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Studying English: Research Methods 30 credits
- Research Project 60 credits
- Shakespeare's Tyrants 30 credits
- Turks, Moors, and Jews: Staging the Exotic in the Renaissance 30 credits
For more information on typical modules, read English Literature (Renaissance pathway) MA Full Time in the course catalogue
For more information on typical modules, read English Literature (Renaissance pathway) MA Part Time in the course catalogue
Learning and teaching
Most of our MA modules are taught in weekly seminars, where you will discuss issues arising from your reading with a small group of students and your tutor. You will also have the chance to expand your learning by making the most of the range of visiting speakers and research seminars that we run throughout the year. However, independent study is still crucial to this degree, allowing you to pursue your interests and build your skills.
We use different assessment methods, but most of your modules will be assessed by a single 4,000 word essay, which you submit at the end of the semester. Your research project or dissertation is usually between 12,000 and 15,000 words. During the year you may also be expected to give presentations on your reading during seminars, or submit unassessed essays to get feedback on your work.
Applying, fees and funding
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in English or a related subject or equivalent qualification.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of English admissions team.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:
- don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
- want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.
Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).
How to apply
We don't have a final deadline for MA Applications, and we'll consider your application right up until the start date of the programme. However, we encourage you to apply before the end of July if possible, to make arrangements such as securing funding, accommodation or visas. Modules will be allocated to offer holders in early August, so if you apply after that point you may have a more limited choice of modules.You'll also need to apply for a place before applying for any scholarships, so check the deadlines for available scholarships on the postgraduate scholarships database.
- Apply (Full time)
- Apply (Part time)
This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Documents and information you need
You'll need to upload the following documents when completing the online application form:
- A transcript of your completed BA degree or grades to date
- A personal statement of around 500 words outlining your reasons for applying to the programme and your suitability to the programme
- A recent sample of your academic work of around 2,000 words on a topic relevant to the programme
- We do not generally request references, unless further information is required to support the assessment of your application
- If English is not your first language, you'll need to submit proof of your English language results (e.g. IELTS)
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
UK/EU: £7,250 (total)
International: £17,500 (total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
The School of English also offers a range of scholarships for taught postgraduate study. Find out more on our Scholarships page.
This programme will equip you with a wide range of advanced transferable skills which are valuable in a wide range of careers.
You'll be a confident researcher who can work independently as well as within a team. You'll be a strong communicator, both verbally and in writing, and be able to think critically and analytically. In addition, you'll have a strong level of cultural and critical awareness, and you'll be able to look at a situation from different points of view.
All of these qualities are attractive to employers across sectors, and you'll have the skills to pursue a career in fields including teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, broadcasting and law. Many of our graduates also progress to PhD-level study and you'll be well equipped for a career in academia.
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