Book History is a dynamic and rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary study that examines the book as an artefact in material culture. This programme brings together theory and practice in new and innovative ways. We study the production, circulation and reception of books from manuscript to e-books, paying attention to the histories of reading and authorship.
The programme integrates traditional bibliography, advanced theoretical approaches, training in special collections, and hands-on experience. You will be taught by leading experts at the University’s renowned Centre for the History of the Book. Field trips and work placements will allow you to take advantage of the exceptional collections in Edinburgh.
The programme attracts outstanding students from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. The degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
You will complete two core and two option courses, along with training in research methods. You will then complete a supervised, independently-researched dissertation on a topic of your choice.
Option courses may include:
Work placement/internship opportunities
Work placements allow students to take advantage of the exceptional resources in Edinburgh for the study of books in order to gain hands-on experience that will be beneficial in their future careers.
Placements may take place internally, for example in the Centre for Research Collections at the University Library, or externally with several partner organisations.
You will receive training from the placement supervisor, and will undertake well-defined projects in the course of your placement, such as cataloguing, conservation, collation, digitisation and other kinds of work.
You will reflect on your placement in a poster presentation, and it will provide material for an academic essay. Regular academic oversight of the work placement will be provided by the Course Organiser.
By the end of the programme, you will have a firm grasp of:
This programme will equip you with the detailed knowledge and research skills you need to progress to a research degree and continue a career in academia; or you may pursue a career in publishing, libraries, and the cultural heritage sector. You will graduate with a number of highly transferable skills in communication, project management and analysis that will give you an advantage, whatever your chosen career.
The Medieval Literatures and Cultures MSc at Edinburgh is a flexible programme, allowing for either a specifically literary focus or a broader ranging and interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Middle Ages.
Edinburgh hosts a thriving medieval research culture. This flexible programme gives you the chance to draw on the broad range of academic expertise you’ll find here, and take advantage of the seminar series and other resources offered by our Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
You will gain a grounding in the advanced literary study of the European Middle Ages and the principles of manuscript study. Through option courses and a research project, you will have the opportunity to deepen your particular medieval interests, drawing on our strengths in the languages and literatures of medieval Europe, from medieval French and Latin to, for example, old Norse, old Irish and Middle English.
You will also have access to the impressive collections of the University, the National Library of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland, the National Archives and the National Galleries.
You will take part in seminars and workshops, carried out over two semesters, followed by your independently researched dissertation.
Option courses include those from the fields of history, Scottish studies, art history and divinity, as well as a variety of European literatures. Courses may include:
You will gain a grounding in the concepts and genres that are key to advanced literary study of the European Middle Ages, and be introduced to the principles of manuscript study. The option courses and independent dissertation enable you to develop and deepen your particular medieval interests.
The flexibility of focus this programme offers makes it an ideal foundation for advanced study, potentially leading to an academic career. Teaching or curatorship roles in cultural institutions are alternative career pathways, while the transferable skills you gain in communication, project management and presentation will prove a valuable asset to employers in any field.