The University of Edinburgh is home to one of the largest communities of medieval and Renaissance specialists in the world. With more than 70 staff actively pursuing research in this field, we can offer you outstanding opportunities for postgraduate study.
Several of our subject areas were rated among the best in the UK for world-leading research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.
Thanks to our close connections with many Schools within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, through the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, we are able to provide a cross-disciplinary approach that will add depth to your research and open the door to a broad range of potential project research areas.
Our research interests are wide-ranging and global, and include history, languages and literatures, history of art and architecture, music, divinity, archaeology, law, Celtic and Scottish studies, and Islamic, European, and Asian studies.
You will benefit from regular seminars and discussions, including the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies research seminar, and the Late Antiquity and Medieval seminar, which is organised by postgraduates themselves.
You will have access to training in palaeography and codicology, in theoretical approaches to medieval society and culture and sources of medieval history.
Throughout your research you can call upon the outstanding collections of the University, the National Library of Scotland, the Scottish National Archives and the National Museums and Galleries of Scotland, all of which are within an easy walk of the the School's base on George Square.
Our Medieval Studies MA draws on the expertise of a wide range of departments to enable you to study the period from a variety of perspectives. In addition to a huge choice of optional modules, we offer a module taught in partnership with the British Museum, drawing on its world-famous collection. This wide-ranging course allows you to build a study pathway that reflects your own particular interests and to develop a specialism exploring a theme or topic in your master’s dissertation.
This Medieval Studies MA which draws on our strengths in medieval teaching in departments including Classics, Digital Humanities, English, French, German, History, Music and Theology. The required module Visual and Verbal in Medieval Culture, partly taught in the British Museum, offers the opportunity for interdisciplinary study of the multi-media Middle Ages, especially the relationship between text and image. You will also be able to choose taught modules from an extensive options list, including skills modules in languages, Palaeography and Digital Humanities. We are also able to draw on the expertise of Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies academics to offer you an exceptional geographical and historical range.
Our definition of the Middle Ages extends from the late antique to the early renaissance periods, and covers eastern as well as western Europe. You will study medieval literature, languages, history, art and philosophy within a historicist framework, which will train you in a range of methodologies, from the traditional skills of palaeography and codicology to the theoretical tools of gender, sexuality and postcolonial studies. With huge flexibility and choice of module, you will be able to tailor your degree to your own interests, to the extent that no two Medieval Studies MAs are alike. At the end of the course you will bring all of the skills and knowledge you have developed to produce a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice.
You will automatically become a member of the Centre for Medieval Studies and you will be invited to take part in its activities, by attending and assisting at conferences and research events, and participating in staff-student study days.
To deepen subject knowledge and develop skills in research methods, critical analysis and judgement. To provide training in techniques required for advanced study and to offer opportunities for specialist work.
If you are a full-time student, we will give you six to eight hours of teaching each week through lectures, seminars and skills workshops, and we will expect you to undertake 34 hours of self-study.
If you are a part-time student, we will give you four hours each week through lectures and seminars in your first year and two to four in your second, and we will expect you to undertake 23 hours of self-study in your first year, and 11 in your second.
You are assessed through a combination of coursework and exams. For your dissertation, you will write a 15,000-word essay.
The Medieval Studies MA can lead to a variety of career and study options including teaching, archives, the media, finance, politics and heritage industries or to further research.