The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies offers you an opportunity to pursue your interest in the literatures, histories, and cultures of the European Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. Research in this fascinating area has a long and distinguished history at the University of Manchester. We have a lively research culture, with talks, seminars and conferences that you will be able to attend in addition to your taught courses. You will also be able to draw on the expertise of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research at the John Rylands Research Institute, where the programme is based. The John Rylands Library houses exceptional medieval and early-modern treasures (which are currently being digitised) and offers many exciting research and study opportunities. Staff teaching on this MA represent the disciplines of History, Art History and Visual Studies, English, Religions and Theology, Classics, and European Languages. Two pathways are available for students who wish to extend their knowledge in a particular chronological direction: Medieval, and Early Modern.
Find out more about Medieval and early Modern Studies at Manchester: Why Manchester?
Associate Programme Director: [email protected] .
Summative assessment is primarily via extended pieces of written work: the dissertation of around 15,000 words, long essays of around 4,000-6,000 words, and a variety of shorter pieces for palaeography or language classes. There is a pass mark of 50% for all assignments, marks over 60% are given as merit and over 70% as distinction. In addition, depending on the units selected, formative assessment may be based on oral presentation, class discussion, and feedback on written draft material. Assessment varies from course unit to course unit; full details of the assessment procedure for individual units can be obtained from the course director.
Those who only attain 120 credits (out of 180) will be awarded the PG Diploma in Medieval Studies.
The first component takes the form of the compulsory core courses and research training units. These are taken by students on all pathways.
These courses (details below in the course unit list) are designed to introduce you to the basics of interdisciplinary analysis, and to research training skills appropriate to the scope of the course. 'From Papyrus to Print: The History of the Book' and 'Reading the Middle Ages and Early Modern period: Palaeography, Codicology and Sources' are taught in the magnificent surroundings of the John Rylands Library, with the support of specialist library staff. You will get the opportunity to view and handle rare books and manuscripts from across the entire period. The aim is to consider all aspects of book production, from the roll to the codex and from script to print, as well as the uses (practical and symbolic) of texts in medieval culture. You will be introduced to a range of medieval sources, recent theoretical approaches to archival research, and learn methodological skills, such as palaeography and codicology.
'Perspectives in Medieval and Early Modern Studies Studies' aims to explore the methodological, historiographical and analytical choices that shape our study of the medieval and early modern periods. Highlighting the variety of disciplinary approaches that are in use in current scholarship, this module shall investigate a series of relevant themes within the field, and will be taught by specialists from across the School. Students will be encouraged to question issues of historical periodisation, the benefits of interdisciplinarity, and how an intellectual framework for the study of the medieval and early modern periods may be conceptualised.
The second component consists of 60-credits worth of optional modules. These options range widely over the history, literature, art and material culture of the medieval and early modern world. You may also take Latin or Old/Middle English (15-30 credits) - appropriate level taken to be discussed with the Programme Director, in consultation with the relevant department. Options to take other languages, such as Hebrew, Arabic, or Greek can be considered, in consultation with the programme director. A student can take no more than 30 language credits.
Of the optional modules selected, 15 credits must clearly be of relevance to the medieval period.
Early Modern Pathway:
Of the optional modules selected, 15 credits must clearly be of relevance to the early modern period.
Students may choose other relevant options from across the School, subject to approval by the relevant course directors. Details of new available options will appear here. Please check again in June, or contact the course director.
The third component consists of the dissertation, which allows you to research a topic of your choice (60 credits).
Students on all pathways must complete a dissertation.
The dissertation topic selected must lie within the medieval period.
Early Modern Pathway:
The dissertation topic selected must lie within the early modern period.
If you have any further academic queries, please email [email protected] .
Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
The MA in Music (Historical Musicology) is designed to help musicians of all kinds to work with original sources, to read and edit documents, and to embark upon their own research.
The programme encourages an awareness of, and engagement with, the most recent critical theories of music. It's designed to provide preparation for those who wish to be involved in teaching, editorial work, journalistic criticism, lecturing, research at MPhil/PhD level, broadcasting, librarianship or historically aware performance.
The core modules provide systematic introductions to:
The options either focus upon the conceptual and critical fields within which musicologists operate or provide access to a range of repertories and musical cultures.
The skills learnt in your coursework will culminate in the methods and approaches demonstrated in your dissertation.
Find out more about the MA in Music.
You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:
You'll develop investigation and evaluation skills, intellectual skills in music and specific research skills.
The programme is designed to provide preparation for those who wish to be involved in teaching, editorial work, journalistic criticism, lecturing, research at MPhil/PhD level, broadcasting, librarianship, or historically aware performance.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
The programme is designed as a research preparation masters. It is intended to encourage students to be intellectually ambitious by inducting them into the community of historians. It invites students to understand the relationship between their own specialist field and the historical discipline in general as well as to communicate with wider audiences. Students will feel sufficiently confident in their own disciplinary identity and mastery of the subject to be able to converse with those in other fields. The programme is a taught course with an emphasis on disciplinary training supplied by the department’s subject specialists with expertise in an outstanding range of areas (Europe, Britain, North America, Africa, China and Japan) and inter-disciplinary engagement, while offering opportunities for supported independent study. Students will be able – and are indeed encouraged – to access and use Durham’s exceptional cluster of libraries, archives, and special collections.
All students on the MA in History are required to take the team-taught Core Module Themes, Reading and Sources (30 credits) which runs throughout Michaelmas and Epiphany terms. Depending on whether they opt for the 60-credit Dissertation pathway or the 90-credit Dissertation pathway, they also take either 3 or 2 Optional Modules (each worth 30 credits) which run either in Michaelmas or Epiphany or throughout both terms. The options may also be language, skills and content modules, provided by other centres, programmes and departments with the consent of all parties concerned. All these elements have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.
This module is compulsory for all MA students and provides them with the bulk of the disciplinary training providing specific and direct training in disciplinary practices, theories, approaches and methodologies. It is intended to guide all students regardless of their period specialism from a more tutor-led to independent learning on to their dissertation by combining a focus on primary sources across periods with thematic and historiographical approaches. The module will run throughout the entire academic year combining from the outset a focus on hands-on work with primary sources and discussion of related pieces of historiography (social, cultural, political etc.) and theoretical readings concerning specific themes, concepts and theories (gender, power, class, the state, transnationalism, globalization etc.). The module is taught in a series of seminars and familiarises students with the skills and problems integral to advanced historical work. It develops their capacity for independent research, their ability to effectively present oral and written results, as well as their organizational and leadership skills in chairing discussions. TRS provides a context in which students assess and comment critically on the findings of others, defend their conclusions in a reasoned setting, advance their knowledge and deepen their understanding of history.
Assessment is by 4,000-word essay centring on particular primary sources or an archive (80% of the module mark). The remaining 20% of the module mark comes from a 20-minute presentation on students' dissertation topics plus 10 minutes Q&A at the MA Conference in the Easter term.
These modules focus on a specific theme or problem within various areas of History, and provide subject-specific knowledge and skills. They are taught by the department’s subject specialists in a series of seminars with an emphasis on work with primary sources providing a 'step up' from L3 in terms of disciplinary engagement with historiography, approaches, methodologies, concepts and theories.
Optional modules might include:
Assessment is by 5,000-word essay.
In order to facilitate cross- and interdisciplinary engagement, students may opt to take modules from cognate MA programmes such as those offered by Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures (CVAC) and the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) with the consent of all parties concerned.
Students may also opt to take a language or skills module or both (Modern Languages; Latin; Greek; Old Norse, Paleography), generally taught in seminars and assessed by an unseen examination.
The city of Exeter is the perfect setting for our MA in Medieval Studies. At the University there is a wide variety of resources and you will have access to extensive holdings, audio-visual collections and some medieval manuscripts in our Special Collections in the University library. Exeter Cathedral Library Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre, located nearby, contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books.
The MA Medieval Studies draws on the expertise of the Centre for Medieval Studies, which is one of the largest centres in the university. Exeter is unique in that we have a large number of specialists in medieval studies across various disciplines. Our expertise is especially strong in medieval history, archaeology, law, music, French literature, English literature, and Arab and Islamic studies.
Modules are taken from nine different disciplines meaning the course is varied and you will be offered comprehensive training on skills needed to study the Middle Ages, including medieval languages (Latin, Old English, and medieval French) and palaeography. With such a large number of medieval studies experts and excellent links to the local and national heritage sector we are in an excellent position to help you as you further your historical knowledge whether you are planning on progressing to PhD study, pursuing a profession, or simply exploring a passion for medieval studies.
The University's Streatham Campus is located with excellent access to the heart of historic Exeter which has a rich cultural heritage extending back to the Roman period and boasts particularly fine evidence of its medieval past. You will benefit from access to Exeter Cathedral Library and University libraries which maintain excellent holdings relevant to medieval studies.
A range of optional modules are available which reflect the varied research interests of academic staff across the Centre for Medieval Studies. These interests range widely across the medieval period and cover Britain, Europe and the Islamic world. They also represent several disciplines, including History, Archaeology, Classics, Literature, Music, Art History, Theology and Islamic Studies.
The core module Interpreting the Middle Ages: Images, Texts and Contexts will give students an overview of these different disciplinary approaches and show how they can be applied to the study of medieval texts and objects. Other core modules are Medieval Research Skills, which introduces students to the skills needed to work with medieval sources such as palaeography and codicology, and Current Research in Medieval Studies which asks students to reflect on how academic research projects are designed and presented, and gives them guidance in developing their own dissertation projects. Students also have the option of taking Latin modules and are strongly encouraged to do so if they are considering going on to an MPhil or PhD.
- offers an excellent, interdisciplinary education in medieval studies, covering a wide range of topics and approaches across the medieval period;
- gives students the opportunity to work with the medieval sources in and around Exeter, for example at Exeter Cathedral, the Devon Heritage Centre and the University’s Special Collections;
- produces graduates who are highly competent in subject-specific, core academic, and personal and key skills that are both relevant and transferable to employment;
- encourages participation in research seminar programmes offering insights into a very wide range of research cultures and specialisms and into how academics go about designing and presenting research projects;
- offers excellent preparation for students intending to continue on to doctoral-level research with a good track record in obtaining funding for further study.
As an MA Medieval Studies student you will be welcome to join the Centre for Medieval Studies, which brings together academic staff and Postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines across the University’s Colleges. We are brought together by our shared interests which run from the Early Middle Ages to the early Renaissance and may include archaeology, theology, music, literature and law. We hold regular seminars and research events which, if you decide to join us at Exeter, we hope you will not only attend but become an active part of.
Research is at the heart of History and our students are encouraged to come to Departmental Research Seminars and become an active part of wider research community. Our research centres regularly hold seminars and other research events which MA students are welcome to attend.
Our current research centres include:
As well as our research centres we also have a Postgraduate Reading Group for matters medieval which brings together our Masters and PhD students to share ideas.