MRes Early Modern Literature

This programme is divided into a 60 credit taught part and a Dissertation of 120 credits amounting to up to 30,000 words in total. It enables students to study Early modern literature from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century.

Key Facts

Institution Code: T80

Scholarships and Bursaries

Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts
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This Programme enables students to study at an advanced level literature in English from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including a selection of the period’s major works, such as The Faerie Queene, Hamlet, King Lear, and Paradise Lost, and some of its major writers, including Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton, as well as non-canonical and non-literary works by lesser-known authors.

Critical attention is given to a range of kinds of early modern text from diverse disciplines such as medicine, psychology, theology, and ethics. The programme focuses upon key areas of literature and aspects of the study of culture in the early modern period, including the development of the genre of epic, allegory, and romance, and the representation of bodily, mental, and ethical disorder. The programme is underpinned by the development of advanced research methods and the scholarly examination of early printed books in the Roderic Bowen Library and Archives. Within this framework of study, students will then be able to develop their own research interests as part of their dissertation work. The MRes programme is designed to appeal to those students who wish to pursue their own independent research to a further extent than in an MA.

The University has a well-established record of research and teaching in English. Unusually for the sector, its provision at all levels has enabled students to study Medieval and Early Modern Literature drawing on specialist staff expertise and resources, particularly the holdings of the Roderic Bowen Library: a unique resource which houses the Special Collections of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, including over 35,000 printed works, 8 medieval manuscripts, around 100 post medieval manuscripts, and 69 incunabula. 

Students will choose three modules. Below is an illustrative list of modules available:

  • Research Methods
  • Comparative Critical Approaches
  • Epic, Religion, Philosophy
  • Bodily Distempers

All modules in the programme seek to lead students to a coherent and fuller or more accurate understanding of the literature, of its various contexts and relationships, of threshold concepts that facilitate the interpretation of related texts and contexts, and of critical, scholarly, and theoretical orientations. The taught part of the programme thereby prepares students to undertake a dissertation on a topic of their choosing, continuing where appropriate to make use of the special collections in the Roderic Bowen Library and Archives and/or e-resources such as Early English Books Online (EEBO).

The MRes in Early Modern Literature is taught on-campus and as a distance-learning programme. When delivered on the University’s campus in Lampeter, the modules are taught through seminars, small workshops and individual tutorials and supervision that enable detailed and personalised feedback. For campus-based students, access to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables additional learning. Moodle, our VLE, is a live forum through which students and staff can interact, whereby students are  better able to revise and explore topics and access electronic resources. It is the primary learning interface for distance-learning students.

The MRes in Early Modern Literature involves a wide range of assessment methods. Assessment is through a mixture of assignment and presentation supported by tasks designed to enhance research skills. In addition to traditional essays, you will be assessed through bibliographical exercises, creation of research project proposals, editorial exercises, and the dissertation. This variety of assessment inculcates the development of skills in presenting academic and scholarly material in a clear, professional manner. For the majority of assignments students choose their own topic on which to be assessed in relation to each module, always in consultation with the module tutor. The dissertation allows students to undertake to a greater extent than on an MA a sustained research project on a topic of their choice under expert individual supervision.

In line with the Admission Policy of the Faculty of Humanities, applicants will normally be expected to have achieved at least a 2:1 degree in English Literature or a cognate discipline (those with a 2:2 may be considered for entry to a Postgraduate Diploma in the first instance). Non-standard applicants will also be considered.

  • Professional Writers
  • Editors
  • Publishers
  • Marketing
  • Librarianship and archives management (with further professional qualifications)
  • Bookselling
  • Law (with further professional qualifications
  • Human resources
  • Social work
  • Public sector administration, civil service

With its 120-credit Dissertation, the Masters by Research programme provides a firm foundation for postgraduate research, by laying particular emphasis on the methodologies and research tools needed for independent advanced study, and providing greater opportunity for students to pursue their own research interest, thus acting as training for students who intend to undertake an MPhil or PhD.

The course also provides a qualification that is useful for teachers or others seeking Continuing Professional Development.

Residential Study

Students can study for this degree residentially on the Lampeter campus. Classes take place between Monday and Friday during the teaching semesters. On average, a full-time student is expected to attend six hours of classes every week. All classes are very small, usually not more than five students.

Distance Learning

This degree is also available to distance learners. Every student has access to all module materials, including reading lists, on the Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle). All modules are taught by our lecturers and are designed to be accessible and friendly to learning at a distance. 

It is essential that distance learners have a good internet access, as well as use of computer facilities; the University offers all distance students individual support in accessing material from home. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David Learning Resources Centre provides access to a variety of electronic academic material to distance learners, including large numbers of e-books and e-journals, and a number of specialized literary e-resources.