The MA in Renaissance Studies explores the question of what the Renaissance was and what approaches are best suited to understanding it.

From the start, you will undertake training in postgraduate research skills. For example, in the second term of your degree you are offered practical study of palaeography. The summer core course is based around the materials of Renaissance evidence: objects, painting, manuscript and print. We explore a range of methodologies.

The programme considers different aspects of Renaissance culture, particularly the social and intellectual histories of England, France, Italy and Spain. You will study with Birkbeck’s internationally recognised experts in Renaissance English literature and culture, history of art, French, history and Spanish, tailoring your module choices towards chosen specialisms. By the end of the course you will be able to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the questions associated with the study of the Renaissance and will have had the opportunity to either specialise or work in an interdisciplinary way.

Study Details:

MA 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Module Details:


  • The Renaissance: Concepts and Issues


  • Art in the Age of Giotto: evidence and interpretation
  • Death, Disease and Early Modern City
  • Drama and Performance in Medieval England
  • Magic, Science and Religion in the Renaissance
  • Marsilio Ficino, Platonism and the Florentine Renaissance
  • Practitioners and Patients in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe
  • Rebellion, Dissent and Tyranny: England c 1380 – c 1430
  • Renaissance Beasts
  • Renaissance Florence: Society, Religion and Culture
  • Rome: Place, Continuity and Memory
  • Text and Action: Renaissance Stage Directions
  • The Art of Persuasion: Religious Imagery and the Catholic Reformation
  • The Icelandic Saga
  • The Literature of Elizabethan London
  • The Woman Question: Medieval to Renaissance
  • Venice and Istanbul, 1453-1797
  • Visualising the Renaissance Stage


  • Dissertation MA Renaissance Studies

Student Destinations

Graduates go on to careers in museums management and curating, academia, journalism and publishing, research, marketing and public relations. Possible professions include management, curating, or publishing. This degree can also be useful in a variety of roles within the creative sector, such as journalist or public relations officer.


Part-time home/EU students: £4175 pa Full-time home/EU students: £8350 pa Part-time international students: £7600 pa Full-time international students: £15200 pa

Entry Requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification.

We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck on its individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Please see our website for how to apply

Visit Website Add to Compare List

Key Information

Please see our website for how to apply

Visit Website

Add to Compare List

University Hub

University of Birkbeck London

More Information