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MA Early Modern History

Benefit from a wealth of archival resources, extensive expertise and a city rich in early modern history

Year of entry: 2023 (September)

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2023 (semester dates)

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Our distinctive MA in Early Modern History combines thorough research training with opportunities to explore new approaches to the history of the world in the period from c.1500-1800.

You can take advantage of the research strengths of the Department, which include political, religious and cultural history, gender and social relations, religion, science, material culture and the history of ideas.

You'll quickly become a part of our lively departmental community. We encourage you to attend seminars, masterclasses and research training sessions throughout the year. You will have full access to the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies which provides an active programme of academic seminars, small conferences and reading groups involving both academic staff and graduate students.

The MA in Early Modern History at York allowed me to study fascinating topics that I had never explored before, as well as giving me the opportunity to expand on a subject I already felt passionate about in the form of the final dissertation. Staff were incredibly supportive and encouraging of all my studies.
Ben, MA Early Modern History

Skills training

Our skills modules are unique to our courses, and will give you practical knowledge of professional research methods.

Course content

The course consists of:

  • a core module
  • taught option modules
  • a research training module
  • 14,000 - 16,000 word dissertation

Modules

Core modules

  • Research Training
  • Approaches to Early Modern History

Option modules

You will also study three option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course. For further information please get in touch.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

  • Research Dissertation

You will write a dissertation of between 14,000 - 16,000 words on a topic of your choice. Using source materials and analysis techniques, you will draft up the findings into an independently researched dissertation.

You will receive support, advice and guidance from your dissertation adviser throughout your project. The range of expertise of our staff and of our source materials means we can provide you with guidance on a wide range of topics. 

You will have five one-to-one meetings with your dissertation adviser across Semester 2 and the summer period (June/July). In these meetings, you will discuss the feasibility of your project and receive feedback on two draft chapters of your dissertation.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Understand and give illuminating accounts of key changes and continuities in the religious, social, political, economic and cultural histories of the early modern period (c. 1450-c. 1750) by deploying an in-depth and extensive knowledge of relevant scholarship.
  • Engage critically with historical scholarship and select relevant scholarly contexts in which to situate research findings.
  • Design and pursue high quality research questions for essays and a dissertation, demonstrating a capacity for independent thought and action.
  • Formulate and defend historical arguments grounded in the interpretation of sources.
  • Reflect critically on how historians handle a wide variety of sources for the study of the early modern period including printed materials, manuscripts, and visual sources and choose appropriate sources and methods for independent research.
  • Respond responsibly and resourcefully to the ethical and practical issues that arise during advanced historical research, including disciplinary differences between historical methods and those deployed by cognate disciplines and be alert to the value of working across these boundaries.
  • Communicate research findings imaginatively, lucidly and succinctly using a variety of media forms including short reports, oral presentations and extended pieces of writing.

 

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2023/24

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,990£22,250
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,995£11,125

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.

  • UK (home) fees may increase in subsequent years (up to a maximum of 2%).
  • International fees may increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Additional costs

There is no obligation to purchase books or other texts - all core texts and resources will be available in our library or online.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2023/24 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Departmental Funding Opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

Most of your modules will consist of weekly two-hour seminars. The Research Training module will be taught through three-hour workshops. You will normally work in small groups of fewer than 20 students.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of History in Vanbrugh College on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in or close to Vanbrugh College.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be primarily assessed by essays and your dissertation. You will have the chance to submit assignments for formative assessment, enabling you to get and use feedback before the final summative assessment. 

A city rich in history and heritage

York is the ideal place to be inspired to study the past, with a rich and turbulent history stretching back to the Romans. Today the city boasts beautiful historic architecture, as well as a variety of museums, galleries and heritage organisations.

Extensive archives

The University is home to the Borthwick Institute for Archives and students can also access York Minster Library and the City Archives. We're also close to the British Library Reading Room at Boston Spa where you can consult millions of items.

Careers and skills

While completing your MA, you will gain essential skills in research, presentation and analysis. These skills are invaluable for progressing to a PhD and for a diverse range of careers.

Career opportunities

  • Editor
  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Civil servant
  • Archivist
  • University lecturer
  • Lawyer

Transferable skills

  • Analytical thinking
  • Formation of original arguments
  • Effective time management
  • Communication skills
  • Efficient organisation, use and management of electronic research resources
  • Ability to carry out independent research in primary sources
  • Professional presentation skills

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in History or a related discipline.
Other qualifications and experience We would consider a 2:2 but our decision would depend on the whole application including the quality of the written work submitted.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

You will need to submit examples of written work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting written work.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 7.0, minimum 6.5 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 185, minimum 176 in each component
Duolingo 130, minimum 120 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT C1 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert International ESOL C1 Expert: Pass with 25/50 in each component
PTE Academic/PTE Academic Online 67, minimum 61 in each component
TOEFL 96, minimum 23 in each component
Trinity ISE III Distinction in all component

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Emilie Murphy

Learn more

Department of History

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