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 Diploma in the History of the Book.

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

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Modules and Structure

For the Postgraduate Diploma, students must successfully complete a brief diagnostic essay and any six courses. If the student wishes to progress onto the MA in the History of the Book, the student will be required to have taken one compulsory Research Methodologies module (taught in four intensive study days) and five taught modules, including two core courses.

Teaching takes place at the Institute of English Studies, in Senate House (University of London). All core and optional modules are taught on Wednesdays. The Research Methodologies sessions are arranged on Saturdays (two in autumn term, two in spring term).

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.

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.