Renaissance Studies



The MPhil Renaissance Studies is aimed at those who are interested in the literary and broader cultural aspects of the Renaissance and who wish to acquire a more specialised knowledge of this field. A primary objective is to investigate factors that contribute to the distinctiveness of the cultural productions of Northern Europe, including Scotland. As a bespoke research degree, students on the MPhil will work on a research topic of their own choice under expert supervision.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a taught postgraduate degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MPhil
  • Study methods: Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Angus Vine
Download postgraduate prospectus

Dr Angus Vine

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland, UK

Course objectives

The research-based MPhil course 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.
  • 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 research in this field, presenting information and constructing scholarly arguments

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject.  Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

A sample of work (e.g. English Essay) is required.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email to discuss your course of study.

Application procedure

Because the focus on a research project is in large measure of your own design, it is imperative that you contact prospective supervisors in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and discuss your intended research project before applying.

You can find details of staff research interests in our Research Hub, and use our find a supervisor service.

Fees and costs

2017/18 Overseas £12,930
2017/18 Home/EU £4,195


2018/19 Overseas £13,250
2018/19 Home/EU To be confirmed

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

University of Stirling Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study. Find out more about the Postgraduate Merit Scholarship »

Financial information

Find out more about funding your studies and meeting your living costs while working towards another degree.

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The core of this MPhil course is a sustained period of independent study, assessed by a 20,000-25,000 final dissertation. This involves a course of directed reading and research, to be agreed by each individual student with his/her supervisor, and tailored to his/her interests. Each student will work on this dissertation across the whole academic year.

In addition, students will pursue a ‘bespoke’ training courses in the autumn and spring semesters. In the autumn, students will follow two courses: (i) an introduction to the variety of historiographical and critical approaches to the Northern Renaissance, and to some of its key cultural productions; and (ii) our innovative arts research training. In the spring, students will pursue two further courses: (i) a specific dissertation preparation module; and (ii) further arts research training.

Students will be required to complete assignments for each of these courses, but they will operate as progress markers rather than as credits towards the final degree. The degree classification will be based solely on the final dissertation.

Arts Research Training

Our innovative training for graduates enables students to build up a portfolio of skills that prepare them for academic and professional life. All graduate students will work with their supervisors to select what’s right for them from a menu of activities. Each student will build up a portfolio of skills every year. For the MPhil, training will address key research skills including book history, palaeography, and using archives. You may also have the opportunity to learn Latin.


The most significant piece of work on the programme will be a dissertation of 20,000-25,000 words on a subject of your choosing. You will receive expert one-on-one supervision for this project from the outset. Your other courses will enhance the skills that you need to complete this dissertation.

Study method

Part-time; Full-time

Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Over half of our submissions in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) were found to be ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘World-leading’.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Completing a Master’s degree as a prelude to further academic research is a route encouraged by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Advanced education in the Arts and the practical experience of research and the production of a dissertation are significant transferable skills for many careers.

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