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.
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.
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.
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.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
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.
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.View Profile
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.View Profile
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.View Profile
Dr Sarah Dustagheer: Lecturer in Early Modern Literature
Early modern drama and literature, Shakespeare, playwriting, performance, theatre space and spatial theory.View Profile
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.View Profile
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.View Profile
Dr Sarah James: 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.View Profile
Dr Nikolaos Karydis: Senior Lecturer; Director of Graduate Studies (Research Cover); Programme Director, Architectural Conservation MSc
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.View Profile
Professor Bernhard Klein: Professor of English Literature
Early modern literature and culture, Irish studies, maritime culture and history.View Profile
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.View Profile
Dr Jan Loop: Lecturer in Early Modern History
Intellectual, religious and cultural history of Europe and the Near East.View Profile
Dr Ryan Perry: 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.View Profile
Dr Catherine Richardson: Reader in Renaissance Studies
Early modern literature and drama; language and narrative; material culture, especially clothing and the household.View Profile
Dr Ben Thomas: Lecturer in History & Philosophy of Art; Curator, Studio 3 Gallery
Italian Renaissance art; Renaissance writing on the visual arts; 16th and 17th-century prints.View Profile
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.View Profile
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
|Medieval and Early Modern Studies - MA at Canterbury:|
|Medieval and Early Modern Studies - PhD at Canterbury:|
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 email@example.com
General additional costs
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