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Shakespeare Studies MA

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Taught jointly between King’s and Shakespeare’s Globe, our unique MA course offers you the opportunity to study the theatrical world of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. You will be able to draw on expertise at both King’s and Shakespeare’s Globe, studying Shakespeare in the context of London’s famous reconstructed early modern theatre located just a stone’s throw from where his plays were originally performed.

At the Globe you will learn about early modern playhouses, audiences and performance practices and get access to the Globe and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, while at King’s you will study early modern drama and other literary genres, examining the cultural and historical moment in which Shakespeare and his contemporaries were writing, and learning about the long Shakespearean afterlife.

Key benefits

  • Unique collaboration between Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Department of English, King’s College London.
  • Ideal opportunity to study the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in a theatrical context in the heart of London.
  • Graduates of the degree have gone on to study a PhD at King’s and at other major universities both in the UK and the US or to work in the creative industries, arts administration and publishing.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake 25-35

Course leaders

Dr John Lavagnino , MA in Shakespeare Studies Convenor, john.lavagnino@kcl.ac.uk 

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200


Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of English



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Shakespeare Studies MA

In the heart of London

Find out more about the Shakespeare Studies MA taught jointly with King's and the Globe Theatre in London

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Course detail


This degree is offered jointly by King’s and Globe Education, allowing you to capitalise on the academic and practical expertise of both of these institutions. At the Globe, you will take two compulsory modules, and at King’s you will take a critical methodologies module (‘Working with Early Modern Literary Texts’), which includes training in palaeography (the study of ancient writing systems and the deciphering and dating of manuscripts) and bibliography, along with one optional module. Through this degree you will pursue advanced study of the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, making use of the facilities and opportunities provided by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and by King’s. You will develop a detailed knowledge of early modern drama, particularly Shakespearean drama.

Between May and September you will write a dissertation, which will be supervised by academics either at King’s or at the Globe, depending on your chosen subject.

Further literature

Course format and assessment


Teaching across the degree is delivered by academics from King’s and Globe Education, complemented by visiting experts.

If you are a full-time student, we will give you four to six hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 26 hours of self-study per week.

If you are a part-time student, we will give you two to three hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars in your first year and two to four hours in your second, and we will expect you to undertake 13 hours of self-study per week in your first and second years.

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


Your performance will be assessed through coursework. Forms of assessment may typically include research essays, editing assignments, critical surveys and the dissertation. Coursework contributes 100% to your final mark.


This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus and at Shakespeare’s Globe. The central location of both organisations in the heart of London makes them the perfect place to study Shakespeare and his contemporaries. You will have easy access to the huge number of cultural events which take place across the city, particularly in the city’s thriving theatre scene, and you will also be able to make use of King’s extensive resources and collections.

Regulating body

King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.

Required Modules

You are required to take:

• Working with Early Modern Literary Texts (30 credits)

• Early Modern Playhouse Practice (20 credits)

• Staging Shakespeare in Early Modern Playhouses (20 credits)

• Dissertation in Shakespeare Studies (90 credits)

The dissertation module consists of a 15,000-word Dissertation and 4,000-word Critical Survey which provides training in research and writing skills.

Please note that if you are a part-time student, you will take ‘Early Modern Playhouse Practice’ in your first year. You will take the rest of the required modules in your second year.

Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 20 credits from a range of optional modules which may typically include those listed below.

If you are a part-time student, you will take these 20 credits in your first year. There will be no optional modules in your second year.

• Global/Local Shakespeares (20 credits)

• Flatter & Fawn: Early Modern Drama & the Court (20 credits)

• Theatre, Gender & Culture in Jacobean London (20 credits)

• Poetic Movements, Poetic Moods 1660–1800 (20 credits)

• Premodern Dialogues: Medieval & Early Modern Literatures in Conversation (20 credits)

• Professing Writing in Early Modern England (20 credits)

• Shakespeare and the Screen (20 credits)

• Up to 20 credits from Graduate Language modules offered by King’s Modern Language Centre


King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Shakespeare Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements 2:1

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours in English, Drama or an equivalent subject.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band C Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Shakespeare checklist
Personal Statement  Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). Please include a personal statement that includes your reasons for applying to the course.

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Writing Sample Yes Please supply a recent argumentative research paper you have written (up to 4,000 words) on a topic connected with Shakespeare and/or his contemporaries: this is the key item in your application. We will also wish to see your provisional option choices and an initial dissertation idea. Please contact the MA Convenor if you wish to discuss your situation.
Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application.


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £10,500 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £23,460 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £5,250 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,730 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Graduation costs

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Our recent graduates have gone on to study PhDs at King’s and at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Columbia, CUNY, California, George Washington and Massachusetts, and subsequently to jobs at Cambridge, Kent, The Shakespeare Institute, Newcastle, and North Carolina. Others are using the skills they developed with us to excel in careers in arts administration at, for example, Globe Education, National Theatre, Barbican and English National Opera and to edit for publishers in the US and UK.


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

View guide

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