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PhD in Renaissance Studies

Erasmus (title-page detail)

We offer our graduate students a buoyant research culture with researchers of national and international renown. Applicants who are interested in postgraduate study in the Centre are advised to contact our Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), Dr Aysu Dincer ( as early as possible. Students may be considered for the doctoral programme if they hold, or are currently studying for, an MA (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline; they should normally also have a first degree in a relevant subject. If in any doubt, contact the Director of Graduate Studies by e-mail to discuss eligibility in advance of applying. Research towards the award of a PhD (up to a maximum of four years full-time and seven years part-time) may be undertaken in any of the disciplinary areas covered by the academic interests of staff teaching for the Centre. Interdisciplinary research is encouraged.

Applications for doctoral study at Warwick are made online through the Doctoral College Office. You can apply at any time of the academic year, although it is sensible to do this as early as possible, particularly if you are seeking sources of funding (see the links on the right-hand side). You should include in your application a statement of your research project (details below) and a sample of your recent written work (ideally an essay or dissertation chapter from your MA work).

The Research Project: it is up to applicants to identify an area of possible study which interests them and which is achievable within three full-time or five part-time years of study. It should also be broadly feasible within the research resources available at Warwick. Students are advised to compose a statement of around 500-1000 words of their proposed area of study. This should situate a topic within a particular chronological or thematic area, and should make specific references to events, regions, intellectual configurations, cultural practices, texts, artists or authors which will be studied (whichever is most relevant). You should also locate the topic within current historical or critical work in this area, perhaps citing a few recent secondary works which have interested, inspired or provoked you. This is not the place for a personal statement about your past career or future aspirations. We recognise, of course, that all projects change and evolve during the process of doctoral study, and that it is difficult to define a project in advance of carrying it out. However, it is very important, when assessing applications, for us to have a clear idea of your project, not least to enable us to identify possible supervisors.

Applications are evaluated by the Director of Graduate Studies and by one other staff member (usually the prospective supervisor[s]). Admission is dependent upon: satisfactory academic qualifications, satisfactory English language competence, the identification of a suitable and feasible research project, and the agreement to supervise by a suitable staff member. You will be notified informally by e-mail from the Centre, and formally by a letter from the Doctoral College Office. Conditions of offer may be attached, such as a pass in an MA which you are currently taking, or a satisfactory TOEFL score (or equivalent), or the completion of a number of weeks pre-sessional English language training.

If accepted: you will be accepted and registered initially as an MPhil student. During the course of your studies, you will be formally upgraded to PhD registration after a monitoring procedure.

Current doctoral research includes:

  • 'The Christian kingdom of Ethiopia in the travel diary of Francisco Álvares (1520-1526)' (Mathilde Alain)
  • 'Alchemical iconography as mediator of knowledge on the example of European manuscripts of 15h and 16th centuries' (Sergei Zotov)
  • 'Popular Festive Rituals in Space, Sound and Print in Renaissance Italy and France' (Eva van Kemenade)
  • 'Laughter and Violence in the Italian Renaissance: The physical and emotional abuse of the ‘beffa’, c. 1400-1600' (Sophie Hartles)
  • From Vergil to David: Maffeo Vegio’s ‘Literary conversion.’ A study on the shaping of literary careers by early Renaissance writers (Iván Parga Ornelas)
  • Ars Oblivionalis: A Cultural History of Forgetting in Renaissance Florence (Matthew Topp)

Areas of Research in Previous PhD theses