The University of Edinburgh Humanities and Social Science

Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies


MSc in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies



This innovative interdisciplinary masters programme takes advantage of the wealth of Renaissance and Early Modern collections in Edinburgh - from paintings by Botticelli or Titian, to early printed editions of Shakespeare, pioneering scientific texts, historic buildings and archival documents. Our students also get the opportunity to study a long chronological range of European history, from the beginnings of the Renaissance in fourteenth-century Italy, up to the start of the Enlightenment in the early eighteenth century.

There is a great deal of flexibility in the programme, so that students can further their particular academic interests. It is possible to focus largely on one area if required, such as English Literature, History of Art or History.

Renaissance to Enlightenment students have the opportunity to take an internship at a museum, gallery or library in Edinburgh; and to take an intensive options course in Italy (Medieval and Renaissance Italy: Texts, Objects and Practices).


Course Outline

1) An interdisciplinary core course, running fortnightly over two semesters, which allows students to work closely with academics, curators and librarians; students will gain the research skills needed for high level research in this field, and consider the seismic shifts in many aspects of life that occurred in the Renaissance/Early Modern period.

2) Two specialist option courses that offer the chance to pursue more detailed study of particular aspects or moments either within or across disciplinary boundaries.

3) One research issues, skills and methods course to aid students in research and to prepare them for undertaking their Masters dissertation.

4) The option of an internship at a museum or cultural institution in Edinburgh - we have links with institutions that include the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland as well as the University Centre for Research Collections. Students not wishing to do the internship, can opt to take two further option courses, which can include a language or specialist training in paleography.

Teaching on both the core courses and the specialist options will be offered by a consortium of academics at the University of Edinburgh, alongside colleagues in Museums, Galleries and Special Collections - all of whom are experts in aspects of early modern culture. Participating subject areas include History of Art, History of Science, History, Scottish History, Divinity, European Languages and Cultures, English Literature, Architecture, Music, and Social Anthropology.

Apply online for MSc Renaissance to Enlightenment

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