This diverse and flexible programme offers you a wide array of choice to explore the wealth of literature in English across periods and geographies.
Whether you want to pursue the interests developed during your degree, fill gaps in your knowledge or prepare for a future in research, you’ll have opportunities to sharpen your research skills and specialise in aspects of literary studies that suit your interests.
You can bring together English, American and postcolonial literatures to create an eclectic mix of research-led modules, from Arthurian legend to Shakespeare and psychoanalysis. It’s also a good starting point for exploring wide-ranging research interests that cut across periods and cultures.
You’ll be taught by tutors who are expert researchers in their fields and benefit from access to our world-class Library and Special Collections. It’s an exciting and dynamic environment in which to study some of the world’s greatest literature.
From the beginning of the programme you’ll start to develop your research skills, as a core module introduces you to the methods and approaches involved in researching literature and helps you to prepare for writing an independent research project / dissertation and for your future career.
You’ll also choose from our broad range of optional modules, which could mean you focus on topics such as American fiction in the 19th century, the memoir, the Brontës, Shakespeare or many others. Alternatively you may choose two of your optional modules from the School of English and a third from elsewhere in the University (subject to availability and agreement from the module tutor).
You’ll choose further optional modules in Semester Two. However, throughout the year you’ll also work on your research project or dissertation: a chance to showcase all the skills you’ve acquired by independently researching a literary topic of your choice. You’ll submit this by the end of the programme in September.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll take fewer modules in each year and study over a longer period.
You’ll generally have two-hour weekly seminars in each module where you discuss the themes and issues arising from your reading, and you’ll be able to enhance your learning by attending the wide range of research seminars and talks by visiting speakers that we arrange throughout the year. You’ll also benefit from supervisions throughout semester 2 with your dissertation supervisor.
However, independent study is a vital part of the degree as it allows you to build your skills and explore your own ideas.
Most of our MA modules are assessed with a single essay of around 4,000 words, which you’ll submit at the end of the semester. You’ll usually also be required to submit unassessed essays to gain feedback on your work and give presentations on your reading in seminars. The research project/dissertation is 12,000-15,000 words in length.
This interdisciplinary degree will equip you with a broad understanding of historical and cultural aspects of the medieval world, as well as the skills to conduct high-level research.
Core modules will develop your ability to read Medieval Latin and decipher palaeography, giving you the skills to transcribe, translate and analyse primary sources. You could even learn another medieval language such as medieval French or Old Norse. You’ll also focus on areas that interest you when you choose from optional modules on interdisciplinary themes across literature, history, art history, cultural studies and theology and religious studies, and study specialist modules offered by Schools across the University.
The Institute for Medieval Studies sits at the heart of the University, with impressive research resources and a wide range of expertise among its teaching staff. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge to explore the medieval period in the home of the International Medieval Congress.
The Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) has access to excellent resources, both in the University and beyond. The world-class Brotherton Library contains extensive facsimiles and microfilms of primary materials as well as a wide range of online resources.
Its Special Collections also contain a wide range of manuscript, archive and early printed material, including the Melsteth Icelandic Collection, archives of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, the old library of Ripon Cathedral, and the manuscripts and incunabula of the Brotherton Collection.
Leeds is also home to the Royal Armouries and its extensive medieval collections, while the West Yorkshire Archives are dotted around the region and the British Library has a Document Supply Centre in nearby Boston Spa.
This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.
Core modules throughout the degree will allow you to develop important research skills, equipping you to work with primary sources. You'll gain a working knowledge of medieval Latin and could even choose to learn another medieval language. You'll also develop your understanding of research methods and bibliography and explore palaeography.
Then you'll build on this foundation with your choice of interdisciplinary optional modules, to explore areas that interest you, and even choose from some modules offered by other Schools on historical, literary or art historical topics. You'll also demonstrate the skills you've acquired in your dissertation, where you'll undertake independent research on a topic of your choice and submit your work by the end of the programme.
If you choose to study this programme part-time, you'll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
IMS tutors are experts in their fields, and their cutting-edge research will inform your teaching. To help you make the most of their expertise, all IMS modules are taught in small groups.
You may study skills modules in seminar groups of 12 or more students, but languages and other interdisciplinary options are usually taught in tutorials of up to eight students. You’ll also have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during your dissertation.
Depending on the modules you choose, you’ll be assessed by a range of methods to develop skills that are useful across the field of medieval studies. These will include transcriptions, bibliographies, essays, reports, translations and occasionally exams.
This degree is excellent preparation for further study in related fields. It will also equip you with advanced research, communication and analytical skills that are valuable to employers in a wide range of careers such as in museums and business.
We offer a range of paid opportunities for you to gain experience that can really help with your career plans. You’ll be able to provide a mock tutorial for first-year undergraduates during their induction week, or become an academic mentor for final-year students as they complete their dissertations to gain experience of teaching, one-to-one communication and people management.
We also run several paid one-year internships throughout the year on projects such as the International Medieval Bibliography, IMS website and the International Medieval Congress to gain practical experience.
Read more about Employment in IMS