Our Early Modern History MA bridges the division between British and European history that exists on many courses, focusing on ways in which cultural, political and social themes stretch across the period c.1500–1800.
The course is taught by experts in the histories of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, gender, the material world of the Renaissance, race and racism, and on Britain, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and the Iberian world. Their research connects the political and the social, the cultural and the religious dimensions of the early modern world, and our course will give you interdisciplinary perspectives on early modern history.
You will write a dissertation at the end of your course, but you will begin by testing concepts such as identity, mentality, religion; by challenging models of change including modernization, state-building, the civilising process, reformation, enlightenment and revolution; and by trying out different methodologies such as cultural history, gender, thinking with material objects, global history, using digital data.
Our optional modules offer you different perspectives on religion, society, politics and culture, by examining primary sources of all kinds alongside the most recent historiographical interpretations. We will also develop your practical skills through modules such as advanced historical skills, including palaeography, Latin from beginner to advanced levels, and offer the chance to learn a European language. The flexibility of the course means that you can also take relevant modules from other departments in, for example, early modern English or French literature, the Iberian world and Digital Humanities. You can also attend relevant undergraduate lecture series such as Power, Culture and Belief in Europe 1500–1800 and Early Modern Britain 1500–1750.
You will have access to an excellent range of library resources. Our long-standing expertise in the early modern period means our library has an extensive collection of journals and books in this field. You can also use the British Library, Senate House Library (University of London) and the Institute of Historical Research. We provide access to the most significant online collections of primary printed material, Early English Books Online and the Eighteenth Century Online and to JSTOR and other online resources for secondary material.
We teach our modules through small seminar groups where we will debate and discuss ideas based on extensive reading.
If you are a full-time student, we will provide you with six to nine hours of teaching each week, and we will expect you to undertake 31 to 34 hours of independent study.
If you are a part-time student, we will provide you with two to six hours of teaching each week, and we will expect you to undertake 14 to 18 hours of independent study.
For your dissertation we will provide you with six hours of one-to-one supervision and we will expect you to undertake 574 hours of independent study.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
Your performance will be assessed through a combination of essays and a dissertation.
This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus. Studying in central London provides you with a wealth of opportunities and exceptional access to
the sources and material artefacts of the early modern period, including buildings, libraries, archives and exhibitions. We have many archival and manuscript resources for the early modern period, and the British Library’s Manuscripts and Rare Books Collections are enhanced by, for example, the extensive collection of early printed books at our own Maughan Library amongst others. Visual resources of the period are easily found at the National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery, Courtauld Institute, Tate Britain and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
London also offers you access to a strong graduate community, where you can follow up almost any interest. We will strongly encourage you to participate in the seminars at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), where there are 10 regular seminars on the early modern period alone, many of them convened by members of our Department
King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.