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Shakespeare Studies MA

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Taught jointly between King's and Shakespeare's Globe, this unique MA programme offers you the opportunity to study the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

You will be able to draw on expertise at both King's and Shakespeare's Globe, studying Shakespeare close to the types of theatres for which he wrote and just a stone's throw from where his plays were originally performed. 

At the Globe you will learn about early modern playhouses, audiences, performance practices and get to play on the stage and at King's you will cover early modern drama and other literary genres, examining Shakespeare alongside his contemporaries.

The course information is a printable version of the information on this web page, which you can download here. 

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 Lucy Munro, MA in Shakespeare Studies Convenor, lucy.munro@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

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Course detail


The 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 module 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, makeing 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, particulary Shakespearean drama. 


Our modules are assessed entirely through coursework, typically a 4,000-word essay for 20-credit modules and 8,000 to 10,000 words for a 40-credit module. There will also be a dissertation.


You will also write a dissertation between May and September, supervised by academics at either King's or at the Globe, depending on the chosen subject. 

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

Course purpose

Advanced study of the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the context of the facilities and opportunities provided by Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and by King's. To provide a thorough knowledge of early modern drama, particularly Shakespearean drama, in its material and institutional contexts. Ideal grounding for further academic work and for work in arts administration, theatre, education, publishing.

Further literature

Course format and assessment

Taught compulsory and optional courses assessed by coursework and/or examination plus a dissertation.


Year 1

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 Shakespeare English (90 credits)

You will also write a 15,000-word Dissertation and 4,000-word Critical survey module which includes training in research and writing skills on a related topic.

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

You will also take 20 credits from a range of optional modules they may typically include:

  • Global/Local Shakespeares  (20 credits)
  • Professing Writing in Early Modern England (20 credits)
  • Theatre, Gender and Culture in Jacobean London (20 credits)
  • Premodern Dialogues: Medieval and Early Modern Literatures in Conversation (20 credits)
  • Poetic Movements, Poetic Moods 1660-1800 (20 credits)
  • Flatter and Fawn: Early Modern Drama and the Court (20 credits)
  • Up to 20 credits from Graduate Language modules offered by King’s Modern Language Centre

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.

We review the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. 

Entry requirements & how to apply

Shakespeare Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements 2:1 Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours in English, Drama or an equivalent subject.
International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band C Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

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.

 Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £55 applies.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please include a personal statement that includes your reasons for applying to the course. You should also provide a recent argumentative research paper you have written (up to 4,000 words) on a topic connected with Shakespeare and/or his contemporaries.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline is the 30th March 2018.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 27th July 2018 or from UK/ EU nationals after 31st August 2018.

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 UK fees: £9,900 per year (2018/19)
  • Full time overseas fees: £19,320 per year (2018/19)
  • Part time UK fees: £4,950 per year (2018/19)
  • Part time overseas fees: £9,660 per year (2018/19)

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 

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/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2018, payment is due by 27th April 2018.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2018 and 30th June 2018, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2018 and 31st July 2018, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2018, payment is due within one week 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 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • 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.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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