Medieval and Early Modern Studies - MA, PhD

Overview

We are interested in hearing from students with research proposals covering all aspects of medieval and early modern history, life and culture.

Academic staff interests include: early modern material culture; late medieval art history; medieval and early modern religious history; Anglo-Saxon archaeology and liturgy; early modern politics; medieval and early modern drama; and textual editing.

At present, research topics include: the Reformation; visual and manuscript culture; community; the plays of John Lyly; medieval ecclesiastical architecture; female sexuality and transexuality; priory management; deviant and vernacular language; and kingship. You will be part of a vibrant and varied community of researchers from different disciplines.

The Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)

We are an interdisciplinary centre for the study of Medieval and Early Modern periods. Our 28 teaching staff are drawn from English, History, Architecture, Classical & Archaeological Studies, History & Philosophy of Art, and the Canterbury Archaeological Trust.

MEMS offers a successful, interdisciplinary MA programme, which attracts students from across the world. A thriving community of enterprising, supportive graduate students study for research degrees and benefit from the Centre’s involvement in the prestigious EU-funded Erasmus Mundus doctoral programme, Text and Event in Early Modern Europe (TEEME). We have close relationships with Canterbury Cathedral and the Archaeological Trust, which allow our students access to a wide range of unique historical, literary and material evidence.

Entry requirements

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

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Course structure

Duration: MA 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

PhD 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Medieval and Early Modern Studies - MA by Research at Canterbury

  • Home/EU full-time £4407
  • International full-time £16200
  • Home/EU part-time £2204
  • International part-time £8100

Medieval and Early Modern Studies - PhD at Canterbury

  • Home/EU full-time £4407
  • International full-time £16200
  • Home/EU part-time £2204
  • International part-time £8100

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2020, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

Please see the University League Tables 2020 for more information.

Independent rankings

School of English

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of English was ranked 10th for research intensity and 15th for research power in the UK.

An impressive 100% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 95% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

School of History

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of History was ranked 8th for research intensity and in the top 20 in the UK for research power.

An impressive 100% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Research areas

The research interests of our staff cover areas as broad as: religion, ideas, material culture, theatre and performance culture, gender, economy, food and drink, legal history, war, visual culture, politics, architecture, history of books and manuscripts, environment and travel, art history, and literature.

Staff research interests

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Professor Barbara Bombi : Professor of Medieval, Ecclesiastical and Religious Studies

Ecclesiastical and religious history, 1200-1400; canon law and history of the medieval papacy; crusades and history of the military orders; Anglopapal relations in the 14th century; Latin diplomatic and palaeography.

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Professor Peter Brown : Professor of Medieval English Literature

Chaucer and other late-medieval English writers; contextual aspects of medieval culture, including historiography, the visual arts, dreams and space.

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Dr Rosanna Cox : Lecturer in Early Modern Studies

Political thought, culture and literature in the mid to late 17th century; John Milton; early modern statecraft and diplomacy; gender, politics and reading; education and the English universities from the mid-16th century.

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Dr Sarah Dustagheer : Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Literature

Early modern drama and literature, Shakespeare, playwriting, performance, theatre space and spatial theory.

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Professor Kenneth Fincham : Professor of Early Modern History

Early modern Britain, particularly religion; the clergy of the Anglican Church; the era of the Civil Wars. 

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Professor Tom Henry : Professor

Specialist in Italian renaissance art, with a particular interest in Central Italian painters including Raphael, Piero della Francesca, Pietro Perugino and Luca Signorelli.

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Dr Sarah James : Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Late medieval vernacular theological writings in their historical, religious and political contexts; the pastoral care tradition; interactions between medieval literature and visual culture; dreams and visions; late medieval drama.

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Dr Nikolaos Karydis : Programme Director MSc Architectural Conservation

Development of construction technology and the design aspect of city making, with specific focus on the European traditions; urban development in Early Modern Rome and the ways in which specific building projects of the 16th and the 17th centuries conditioned urban renewal.

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Professor Bernhard Klein : Professor of English Literature

Early modern literature and culture, Irish studies, maritime culture and history.

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Dr Luke Lavan : Lecturer in Archaeology

Everyday use of space in the late antique and early medieval city (AD 300-700), drawing on archaeological, textual and epigraphic evidence from across the Roman Empire.

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Professor Jan Loop : Professor in Early Modern Global History

Intellectual, religious and cultural history of Europe and the Near East.

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Dr Ryan Perry : Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature

Middle English textual cultures with a particular focus on historiographical literature; pastoral/ affective writings of the 14th and 15th centuries; late-medieval manuscripts containing English texts and methodologies which explore the axis between textual and material culture; devotional manuals and books containing lives of Christ.

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Professor Catherine Richardson : Professor of Early Modern Studies

Early modern literature and drama; language and narrative; material culture, especially clothing and the household.

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Dr Benjamin Thomas : Reader in History & Philosophy of Art; Curator, Studio 3 Gallery

Italian Renaissance art; Renaissance writing on the visual arts; 16th and 17th-century prints.

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Dr Clare Wright : Lecturer in Medieval Literature

Medieval drama and performance; audiences; embodiment, corporeality, movement and memory; religious and devotional culture; performance theory; cognitive theory and neuroscience; space and place.

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Dr Suzanna Ivanic : Lecturer in Early Modern European History

Religion, travel, Central Europe, and material and visual culture.

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Dr David Rundle : Lecturer in History

The role of books within the late medieval and early modern culture of western Europe, the movement of ideas within the shared civilization of Western Christendom, the power of ideas in politics in the period.

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Dr Rory Loughnane : Lecturer in Early Modern Literature and Drama

Early modern studies, intellectual history (specifically studies of memory), literary theory, editorial theory, history of the book, and studies of nationality, transgression, and normality.

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Dr Leonie James : Lecturer in History

The politics of religion and diplomacy in 17th and early 18th century Britain.

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Dr Edward Roberts : Lecturer in Early Medieval History

Political, social and cultural change in Western Europe between c.850 and c.1050, especially the changing roles of writing in this period.

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Dr Emily Guerry : Senior Lecturer in Medieval European History

Medieval visual culture, particularly how the veneration of relics influenced Christian iconography

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Careers

The transferable skills gained from this postgraduate programme are enhanced by the University of Kent’s employability initiative and careers advice service. Many of our recent graduates have gone on to careers in heritage, museum or archivist work. Some go on to pursue research in the area, many continuing with PhDs at Kent or other higher education institutions.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library have unparalleled holdings of manuscripts and early printed books. Kent’s Templeman Library holds a good stock of facsimiles, scholarly editions, monographs and journals, and we are within easy reach of the British Library, The National Archives, and other London research libraries. There are good online computing facilities across campus and, in addition, our students have special access to postgraduate computer terminals and the postgraduate student room provided by the School of History.

The Centre runs a weekly research seminar, and special termly, public lectures to which we welcome distinguished speakers. These events are at the heart of the Centre’s activities. We also run a full programme of conferences and colloquia.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Historical Research; English Historical Review; Renaissance Studies; Medium Aevum; Transactions of the Royal Historical Society; and Studies in the Age of Chaucer.

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MA at Canterbury

PhD at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk