register interest (oct 2022) 

The history of the book is concerned with the making, manufacturing, distribution and reading of books, and thus offers a unique way of understanding different literary, cultural, social, intellectual, and technological processes in history. The subject extends to include newspapers, magazines, chapbooks, ephemera, digital text, and all kinds of printed or written media. It also includes the manuscript book in all its forms from the pre-classical, classical, and medieval periods.

The University of London’s MA degree in the History of the Book is the oldest postgraduate programme in this growing area in the humanities. Each year the Institute of English Studies (IES) welcomes a range of students from varied educational and professional backgrounds and from many different countries.

Students who cannot commit to a full MA can take modules from this course to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in the History of the Book.

Contact the institute

If you have specific questions about this degree, please make an enquiry.

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Modules and Structure

For the Postgraduate Certificate, students must successfully complete a brief diagnostic essay and any three modules. Each module will consist of ten teaching sessions (each lasting no fewer than 90 and no more than 120 minutes) with one piece of written coursework (5,000 words).

Modules may be taken for credit on the London Rare Books School (LRBS). Enrolment on non-LRBS modules will require the student the meet all of the School of Advanced Study's standard entry requirements, such as the English language proficiency requirement. For more information on the application procedure, please see the How to Apply page. For information on the modules offered, see the MA page.

About the Institute

The Institute of English Studies is an internationally renowned research centre specialising in the history of the book, manuscript and print studies, and textual scholarship. Our activities include providing postgraduate studies, hosting major collaborative research projects, providing essential research training in book history and palaeography, and facilitating scholarly communities in all areas of English studies.

Entry Requirements

The normal minimum entrance requirement would be a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree from a university in the UK, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard (for example a grade-point-average of 3.0 or higher).

We will consider applications from candidates who do not meet the formal academic requirements but who offer alternative qualifications and/or relevant experience. 

English is the language of instruction and applicants are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency. 

Find out more about our entry requirements here. 

How to Apply

For more information on how to apply, including the documentation you will need to provide on the application form, click here.

Fees, funding and scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees here.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home, EU and international applicants here. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.