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Renaissance Studies (MLitt)

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  • Objectives
    This programme is taught under the aegis of the Scottish Institute for Northern Renaissance Studies, with the degree jointly awarded by the Universities of Strathclyde and Stirling. The programme is currently administered by the University of Strathclyde and is taught by a team of staff with recognised expertise in the field drawn from the English and Scottish Literature Departments of the Universities of Strathclyde, Stirling and Glasgow. Teaching will take place at Strathclyde. The programme aims to: Introduce you to key areas of critical debate in Renaissance Studies by comparing different canonical accounts of the period. Explore the distinctiveness of northern Renaissance culture, including Scotland, and consider how historical and theoretical paradigms might be adapted to reflect this. Develop a critical understanding of the variety of genres, media and signifying practices employed by Renaissance writers and visual artists. Equip you with the technical skills necessary for conducting independent research in this field, presenting information and constructing scholarly arguments.
  • Entry requirements
    Entrance Requirements A good upper second class or first class Single or Combined Honours degree in English Literature or a cognate discipline (e.g. Linguistics, History, Art History, Intellectual History, Languages) from a UK university or an equivalent qualification. Applicants with other qualifications or other appropriate experience may be admitted on the recommendation of the Programme Director.
  • Academic Title
    Renaissance Studies (MLitt)
  • Course description
    Structure and Content

    The programme comprises three compulsory modules, (two core modules, and a Research Skills module) and two further modules selected from a range of specialised optional modules. In the first semester full-time students take two 10-week core modules which run concurrently:

        Questioning the Paradigms of Renaissance Studies: An introductory survey of key debates and divergent strands within Renaissance Studies, tracing the most influential historico- theoretical attempts by modern scholars to model the Renaissance moment. This module is primarily intended to create a framework within which you can locate your optional modules and your individual research for the dissertation.
        Forms, Practices and Contexts of Renaissance Cultural Production: A survey of the variety of genres, media and signifying practices used by Renaissance writers and artists which also considers the social and institutional functioning of ‘literary’ texts in relation to different sites of cultural production, e.g. education, patronage, theatre and the marketplace. This module also serves as an introduction to the more technical and specialised elements in the Research Skills module (e.g. bibliography) to be taught in the second semester.

    In the first and second semester you will take a 10-week Research Skills module. The Research Skills module aims to develop generic research skills and to introduce you to specialised, discipline-specific skills.

    The generic skills to be developed are:
        Skills in locating and assessing information
        IT skills (both in locating information, and in communicating and presenting work)
        Time management skills
        Writing and planning skills
        Oral presentation skills

    The discipline-specific skills to be introduced are:
        Palaeography and Manuscript Culture: Reading and describing manuscripts of the period 1500 - 1700.
        Bibliography and Print Culture: Hand-press printing techniques of the period 1500 - 1700.

    In addition to this you will take two five-week optional modules from a broad menu of modules including:
        Alternative Shakespeares
        Renaissance Bodies
        Emblem Books and Renaissance Imagery
        Paradigms Lost: The Other Renaissance in Scotland
        Milton: Radicalism and Tradition
        Rhetoric, Gender and Renaissance Drama
        Early Modern Englishes 1500 - 1700

    Please note that not all these optional modules may be offered in each academic year.


    The most significant piece of work on the programme will be a dissertation of 15,000 words written during the summer, on a subject of your own choice in consultation with a member of the Department.

    Career Opportunities

    Completing a Master’s degree as a prelude to further academic research is an increasingly common pattern of study for young scholars and is a route encouraged by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Advanced education in the Arts and the practical experience of research and the production of a dissertation are significant transferable skills for many careers in business and the professions.

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