Ancient Medieval & Renaissance Thought

Maynooth University

Ancient Medieval & Renaissance Thought

This programme offers students the opportunity to explore early Western intellectual history from a variety of angles, philosophical, literary, and cultural. It will appeal both to those who want an overview of the foundations of modern European thought, and to those with more specialized interests in Classics, Medieval and Renaissance studies, philosophy, or the history of ideas. The general aim is to provide students with a specialized knowledge in aspects of Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance thought, focusing on philosophical writers, literary, historical, and cultural topics, and the history of Western thought. Building upon the strengths of critical thinking, systematic reflection, and historical awareness developed by students in their undergraduate studies, the programme will allow candidates to explore thematic concerns of writers and thinkers in the Western tradition from Ancient Greece and Rome to the sixteenth century and beyond. It will also prepare those who complete the programme at a high level, and have acquired appropriate competences, for research degrees in Classics, Philosophy, or a related field.

Subjects taught

Candidates take a number of taught modules with a total value of 60 credits, spread evenly across the year, and write a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words under the supervision of a designated supervisor (30 credits). The core module PH626 is compulsory; beyond this, candidates are required to take at least one taught module in Classics and at least one in Philosophy. They may choose between the dissertation in Classics (GC698) and the dissertation in Philosophy (PH699). Taught modules offered in Classics include both Introductory Greek and Introductory Latin, but the study of an ancient language is not compulsory.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2:1 in the BA degree overall with (in the case of Joint Honours degrees) a 2:1 in either Greek and Roman Civilization (or equivalent) or Philosophy. Applications from candidates with a very high level of achievement in other relevant subjects may also be considered. Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

For international students whose first language is not English, an English language exam certificate showing IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required. Minimum English language requirements: please visit Maynooth University International Office website for information about English language tests accepted and required scores. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and non-EU applicants.

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850

Application dates

All applications should be made through the PAC system.

Closing Date: 30 June 2021


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time


In general, there are two levels of fees payable. EU students from EU countries including Ireland pay a subsidised level of fees for both taught courses and research programmes. Tuition fees for students from outside the EU are not subsidised and are thus somewhat higher than for EU students.

Enrolment dates

Commences September

Post Course Info

Successful completion of the MA at a high level will normally equip students to proceed to study for a PhD, a necessary qualification for an academic career (in certain subject areas further language qualifications may be required). Beyond the academic sphere, however, the skills the programme fosters (analytical skills, critical thinking, systematic research, clear argumentation, lucid writing) are indispensable to a wide variety of careers.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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