MA in Early Modern History
Course code: HSTT45 (full-time) | HSTT59 (part-time)
|Entry requirements and applying
Tuition fee information
Between c.1500 and c.1800, economic, political, social and cultural change was broad in reach and profound in effects. The Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the British civil wars, the settling of the 'New World', the early stages of industrialisation and the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution, were a series of ruptures that transformed the way people thought and lived. From the leadership of state and church down to the body and the self, contemporaries challenged and rethought the conditions of their existence.
Sheffield's long and distinguished tradition in early-modern history continues today with a group of internationally-renowned scholars working at the cutting-edge of their fields. The MA in Early Modern History draws on this expertise to provide a fascinating examination of the early modern world, and the opportunity to rethink some key narratives of change. The flexibility of the programme allows you to carry out specialist research under expert supervision, and develop your understanding of the early modern world and skills in using early modern sources, while focusing on the particular skills that are most important to you through our optional modules.
A vibrant research community
The Department is a thriving research community and we actively encourage our MA students to make the most of their time at Sheffield by getting involved in our research activities and events, as well as organising their own through the Postgraduate Forum. This vibrant research culture and postgraduate community helps to disseminate research-led findings and facilitate lively and exhaustive historical debate.
The Department has its own research seminar series, which runs regularly during semester-time and covers a huge range of topics. There is also an active early modern research community including the Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies (SCEMS), which has its own range of research events including visiting speakers; masterclasses and workshops. The SCEMS event series also includes regular events organised by the Early Modern Discussion Group (EMDG), a postgraduate discussion group which meets regularly throughout the academic year.
Current staff interests cover both Britain and Europe, from the Renaissance and the Reformation to the period of the American and French Revolutions. We have a notable concentration of expertise around the English civil war and political mobilisation complemented by an interest in the European colonisation of America and the development of American society in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We also offer particular expertise on the social and cultural history of early modern England, urban history and criminal justice and in the application of information technology to the humanities.
How it works
The taught component of the MA is designed to both develop your understanding of key historiographical and methodological approaches though a core module, which examines the essential workings of the early modern world and develops your skills in using early modern sources. You can also undertake the language and technical training best suited to your research needs and elect to study major themes in early modern history in closer detail. The dissertation will provide you with the opportunity to further develop the skills and methods that you learn during your taught modules and to apply this historical knowledge to your independent investigation.
You will take three core modules
You will choose 75 credits of option modules
This 75 credit selection can include up to 30 credits of unrestricted modules. Unrestricted modules can include non-history modules cross-listed from other departments (see Non-history modules) and/or modules from the broader range of history MA options, where the relevant module(s) will complement your core studies i.e. allowing further exploration of a particular theme across time and geographical boundaries (see MA in Historical Research options).
The modules listed below are those that we are planning to offer in 2019-20. Please note that module availability may still change at this stage i.e. due to student uptake at registration.*
Please note that teaching and assessment methods may vary for non-History modules. You can request to take a module not listed below (subject to availability) as part of provisional module choice, any requested modules should be relevant to your programme of study. Information about other available language modules is available here.
The modules listed below are those that our partner departments within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are planning to offer in 2019-20. Please note that module availability may still change at this stage i.e. due to student uptake at registration. The owning department has final approval for acceptance onto their modules and, if space becomes limited, priority may be given to students registered in that department. *
Below is information about staff working in your area of interest and their availability for the 2019-20 academic year. Please note that this information could still change at this stage in the academic year.
Teaching and assessment
Our MA teaching focuses on small group seminars and masterclasses complimented by individual tutorials and supervision sessions. Seminars are usually two hours long and range from around 5-15 students in size. Teaching takes place between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. 30 credit core modules run for 10 weeks and most 15 credit modules run for 5 weeks.
Assessment focuses on essays and a dissertation complimented by oral assessment in the Research Presentation module. Essays usually look to explore the key themes of the module and engage with current historical debate through a question of your choosing. Our public history modules offer the opportunity to undertake group work and/or develop writing styles appropriate for different academic and non-academic audiences.
Our campus and how we use it:
We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.
Tailor your degree
Our MA degrees are carefully designed to allow you to build a programme that suits your needs: whether you want to progress to PhD research, aid your career development or simply expand your knowledge in your chosen area of history.
In addition to the skills and knowledge that you will develop through your core modules, you can use the option modules to focus on the areas most relevant to you including the option to gain experience in public history. For those interested in PhD progression, we offer both individual and group support to help you develop your ideas and write a strong research proposal suitable for funding applications.
Students wishing to take this programme should normally have a 2.1 or equivalent in a Bachelors degree in history or another humanities or social sciences discipline (i.e. English, languages, politics, philosophy, archaeology or journalism) from a recognised UK or overseas university. Please see the University's online prospectus for full entry requirement details.
If you are an international student, you need to provide proof of English Language proficiency with a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each component (or equivalent).
You can apply for one of our MA programmes using our online application form. There is no formal deadline for applying and we can usually accept applications until mid-August for entry that September.
You'll find the answer to many common questions such as what supporting documents to provide and what to include in your statement on our Common questions page.
Additional support information
Information for disabled students
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If you have a question about applying, or would like to discuss your individual qualifications, just get in touch.
*Please note that the course details set out here may change before you start, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the course start date. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.