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Masters Degrees (Medieval Archaeology)

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Study in the European heartland of medieval archaeology. The buildings, material culture and landscapes of York and the north of England offer unrivalled opportunities for the study and research of medieval archaeology. Read more
Study in the European heartland of medieval archaeology

Why choose this course?

The buildings, material culture and landscapes of York and the north of England offer unrivalled opportunities for the study and research of medieval archaeology. The Archaeology department in York was established as the first in the UK to specialise in medieval archaeology, and that legacy is evident today in the department’s concentration of medieval archaeologists. Their specialisms cover the entire medieval period, from the post-Roman era to early modern times.
-Study in the heartland of medieval archaeology in Europe
-Learn from leading archaeologists, specialising in every aspect of the Middle Ages
-Immerse yourself in the medieval community at the Centre for Medieval Studies
-Gain volunteering and work experience in the heritage sector
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, archives and libraries
-Use the latest techniques and equipment to build key practical skills
-Receive careers advice from knowledgeable staff with valuable contacts in the academic and heritage sectors

What does the course cover?
The course focuses on the artefacts, landscapes, buildings and social, cultural and environmental contexts of medieval Britain and Western Europe. It covers the period from the end of the Roman Empire to the Reformation, and explores themes such settlement, trade and economy, religion, buildings and artefacts, social structure, ethnicity and identity, conquest and cultural contact, and methodological and theoretical approaches.

The flexible modular structure of the course means you can tailor your MA to suit your interests and goals. There is an opportunity to learn valuable practical skills, which are essential for a wide range of archaeological and associated careers.

Who is it for?
This degree is for anyone interested in studying the medieval period from a material perspective. It is primarily for students with previous experience in archaeology, history, art history or anthropology, but our students do come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds.

What can it lead to?
The course provides a solid foundation for a wide range of careers and further studies. Our students have gone on to research degrees, academic or teaching careers, museum positions and archaeology posts at local councils, regional authorities, field units, and heritage bodies such as English Heritage and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Careers

The MA in Medieval Archaeology enables you to:
-Study a broad range of issues in medieval archaeology at a general level
-Explore selected topics in detail, which may be drawn from both the early and later medieval periods
-Relate general research principles and skills to your studies of medieval archaeology in particular
-Develop an ability to gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner
-Undertake a piece of independent research on a topic within the field of medieval archaeology
-Develop written communication skills through essays and your dissertation
-Develop presentation skills through the delivery of seminar papers and a short lecture on your dissertation topic

The skills and knowledge gained on the course are applicable to wide range of archaeological careers, as well as further study and research.

Course postgraduates have gone on to pursue research degrees, academic or teaching careers, museum positions and archaeology posts at local councils, regional authorities, field units and heritage bodies. Some of the organisations our students now work for include:
-Historic England
-English Heritage
-The National Trust
-York Archaeological Trust
-The Council for British Archaeology
-Yorkshire Museums Trust
-Portable Antiquities Scheme
-British Museum
-Church of England
-Churches Conservation Trust
-Jorvik Viking Centre

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This programme offers a series of closely integrated core modules addressing key issues in medieval archaeology, enabling you to develop your experience and understanding of method and theory whilst developing your intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, problem solving and independent judgement. Read more

About the course

This programme offers a series of closely integrated core modules addressing key issues in medieval archaeology, enabling you to develop your experience and understanding of method and theory whilst developing your intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, problem solving and independent judgement. You will be encouraged to explore your own particular interests with a range of modules allowing you to focus on Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and later medieval, and Tudor archaeology in Europe.

Your future

Each of our masters courses is designed to equip you with valuable employment skills and prepare you for your future career. If you’re seeking to move into an archaeology-related field from a different academic or employment background, our courses and supportive staff will help you to realise your ambitions and develop professionally.

Graduates from our MA and MSc courses successfully compete for some of the most sought-after archaeological posts in the world. Our courses help students to develop essential transferable skills, and upon graduation they are also in demand by a wide variety of employers outside of the sector.Many of our graduates decide to continue their studies, carrying out doctoral research in their chosen specialist field, equipped with a solid theoretical and practical grounding from which to develop their research.

World-leading expertise

The character and strength of research carried out by Sheffield’s Archaeology department is captured under the following broad themes. These reflect the range of our research and its cross-disciplinary, embedded nature:

Funerary Archaeology
Landscape Archaeology
Bioarchaeology
Medieval Archaeology
Cultural Materials
Mediterranean Archaeology

Specialist facilities

The Archaeology department is situated on the edge of the main campus, near to Sheffield’s city centre. The department houses world-class reference collections and facilities to support teaching, learning and research in a range of archaeological disciplines. Facilities include specialist lab space dedicated to teaching and research, dedicated study spaces, and a student common room.

Fieldwork opportunities

We offer you the opportunity to get involved in our research projects in the UK, Europe and further afield.

How we will teach and assess you

Our students come from all around the world and the content of our courses reflects this. You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. Many of our masters courses also include a fieldwork or project work component. Our teaching staff are leading scholars in their field. Through their research and field projects they are active in generating new knowledge that feeds directly into their teaching.

Funding, scholarships and bursaries

If you accept a place on one of our courses, you may be eligible to apply for WRoCAH and University of Sheffield studentships. There are also a number of departmental and programme-specific scholarships available each year. See our website for details.

Core modules

Heritage, Museum and Field: Archaeology in Practice; Ethnicity and Identity in the Early Middle Ages; Society and Culture in the Later Middle Ages; Reinventing Archaeology; Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation; Dissertation.

Indicative optional modules

Viking-Age Britain; Wars of the Roses to Elizabeth: The Archaeology of England 1455-1603; Introduction to Human Osteology; Archaeozoology; Two modules from the Department of History.

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The Archaeology MA inspires you to think about the human past from a variety of thematic and analytical perspectives. Newcastle is surrounded by world-class prehistoric, Roman and medieval heritage. Read more

The Archaeology MA inspires you to think about the human past from a variety of thematic and analytical perspectives. Newcastle is surrounded by world-class prehistoric, Roman and medieval heritage. We make full use of our rich archaeological landscape with regular study trips and fieldwork.

The Archaeology MA has five specialist pathways and a generic route to suit your individual needs, background and career aspirations:

  • Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Greek Archaeology
  • Roman Archaeology
  • Roman Frontier Studies
  • Late Antique, Medieval and Byzantine Archaeology

Newcastle University has a long and distinguished history of archaeology, including:

  • Prehistoric
  • Greek
  • Roman
  • Late Antique
  • Western Medieval
  • Byzantine
  • Historical Archaeology

We have access to some of the finest collections of archaeological artefacts in Great Britain in the on-campus Great North Museum: Hancock.

We provide quality teaching in small groups. This means you'll reach a level of familiarity with artefacts that most students can only dream of.

We have a range of period-based, practical and theoretical modules available. Our modules will give you an understanding of the interpretive approaches that archaeologists adopt. They will also help you understand the methodologies and sources available during your investigations.

You can develop a range of advanced practical skills in:

  • artefact analysis, including metallography and use-wear analysis
  • archaeological surveying, including topographical, buildings and geophysical survey
  • database and archive use
  • geographical information systems (GIS)
  • ancient languages

You'll join a vibrant archaeology community at Newcastle. You'll receive specialist teaching from leading academics in subjects of their research expertise.

Throughout the course you'll have opportunities to engage and learn about our innovative research. We have an extensive programme of invited speakers organised by our research groups. Our Postgraduate Forum also has a seminar series, annual conference and e-journal.

The Archaeology MA provides you with outstanding skills and the ability to enter a range of professions. You will gain advanced skills in literacy, research and project management. You could also choose to continue your academic career with a PhD in archaeology.

Fieldtrips

The North East has an outstanding prehistoric, Roman and medieval heritage. We take full advantage of this through regular study trips and fieldwork. You can also take optional modules with field trips to:

  • Rome 
  • Athens

The tuition of these trips is included in your course fees. If you select a module with an overseas trip you should budget about £450 to cover your flights and accommodation.

Delivery

All campus-based teaching takes place during the working week. Some field trips take place during holidays and weekends, depending on the modules taken. 

Contact and independent study times vary depending on the module and time of year.

Semesters one and two: You typically attend between 6 - 15 hours of teaching per week. The remaining hours of a standard week are for independent study.

Work experience

Work experience

There are many opportunities for you to gain archaeological experience outside your course. We'll encourage you to gain this experience whilst part of our archaeology community.

Staff carry out a wide range of archaeological projects. Most of our students participate in projects run in Newcastle and by partners in the UK and overseas.

Facilities

Facilities

Archaeologists have exceptional facilities on campus. This includes over 200 years of scholarship, libraries and archaeological collections built up by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle and the Great North Museum: Hancock.

You'll have access to one of finest archaeological collections in the UK. You can access the following internationally important collections:

  • prehistoric
  • Greek
  • Etruscan
  • Roman 
  • medieval artefacts
  • Gertrude Bell archive.

You'll be based in the recently renovated Armstrong Building. It has:

  • dedicated study spaces
  • Reading Room
  • computers
  • free printing
  • photocopying
  • laptops for research trips,

You'll also get a personal research allowance and an interlibrary loan allowance to support your studies.



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The Archaeology MA. Cultural Archaeology pathway focuses on cultural interpretation in archaeology, both in relation to specific cultures/periods and current research themes. Read more

The Archaeology MA: Cultural Archaeology pathway focuses on cultural interpretation in archaeology, both in relation to specific cultures/periods and current research themes.

There are opportunities to specialise in a range of subjects, including material culture studies, funerary archaeology, British and European prehistory, Greek and Roman archaeology, and thematic areas relevant to all periods and regions of archaeological study such as environment, landscape, material culture, death and burial, age and gender, warfare, ritual and religion, and archaeological theory and method.

It is an ideal foundation for doctoral research in all fields of cultural archaeology, as well as training in practical and research skills for careers in archaeology and heritage.

We offer the flexibility to upgrade from Certificate to Diploma level and from Diploma to Masters level during your programme as you develop your postgraduate studies. We also offer a Landscape Archaeology pathway on the Archaeology MA.

Course details

The MA Archaeology programme provides a foundation for doctoral study, or for developing research skills and capabilities applicable in professional fields in Archaeology and Heritage, and for demonstrating expertise in chosen aspects of archaeological method and interpretation.

The course structure combines the advantages of training in technical and methodological areas, gaining in-depth knowledge of particular thematic, period-based and/or geographical fields of archaeological study, with the freedom to pursue your own research interests through your Masters dissertation project.

You will study three core modules:

  • Archaeological Theory, Method and Interpretation
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Material Culture

In addition, MA and Diploma students choose three optional modules from a wide range of subjects including landscape archaeology, late prehistoric and early medieval Europe, Greek archaeology, ancient Egyptian society, empire and identity in the Roman world, Byzantine archaeology, GIS and spatial analysis, and field survey. Full module descriptions are available below.

MA Archaeology students are encouraged to develop a broad range of transferable skills during the course. These include: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the ability to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; analytical rigour; confident oral presentation; and the capacity for critical argument and debate.

Research training is also provided for all postgraduate students.

Assessment

Modules are typically assessed by written assignment, with the exception of Archaeological Theory, Method and Interpretation which also requires a presentation. MA students also complete a supervised 15,000-word dissertation.

Learning and teaching

MA Archaeology students attend a wide range of seminars, lectures, and classes as part of their taught modules, potentially including computer suite-based classes, a survey field school, and study visits, depending on the modules selected. 

Dissertation research is conducted independently, guided by a supervisor selected for their expertise and experience relevant to the student's project, with supervisory meetings taking place on a regular basis. The course benefits from excellent library resources for archaeological study, housed within the new University Library situated close to the department, and MA students join the wider, dynamic community of Archaeology staff and students at the University with opportunities to attend seminar series, public lectures, social events, and potentially participate in departmental field projects. 

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum and heritage activities and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AC archaeology; University of Birmingham; National Trust; and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).



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This programme is taught by experts and specialists in fields such as European, Mediterranean, science-based, and theoretical archaeology. Read more

This programme is taught by experts and specialists in fields such as European, Mediterranean, science-based, and theoretical archaeology. It offers a range of courses and allows you to tailor your studies to suit your interests and take advantage of the experience of our staff, and those in related programmes in history, classics and geography. You will develop an in-depth understanding of archaeology and its links with the historical, social and natural sciences, as well as the practice of archaeology within and outside an academic setting, incorporating skills and training.

The programme prepares you for a professional role in archaeology or further study at doctoral level. We have excellent facilities: dedicated study space, archaeological and computing laboratories, and teaching and reference collections. Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from the presence of national and local institutions and heritage agencies, such as the excellent archaeological collections of the National Museum, the archival and bibliographic resources of Historic Environment Scotland, and the expertise and practical advice of staff in several commercial archaeology companies.

Programme structure

Our wide-ranging programme encompasses theory, methodology and practice. You will undertake a varied schedule of learning, including lectures, seminars, practicals, and individual supervisions. You will complete three compulsory courses and select a further three options from a wide range on offer. We will help you to develop your research interests and choose a suitable dissertation topic.

The compulsory courses are:

  • Frontiers in Archaeology: Research Seminars
  • Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology
  • Theoretical Archaeology

Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:

  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000 - 300 BC
  • From Foraging to Farming: the Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
  • Human Evolution
  • Ritual and Monumentality in North-West Europe: Mid-6th to Mid-3rd Millennium BC
  • Conflict archaeology: materialities of violence
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent.

Learning outcomes

You will acquire:

  • a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
  • a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
  • familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
  • a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use

The programme will help you to develop potential research interests and to explore these with a view to progressing to further research. You will also acquire a range of transferable intellectual and practical skills.

Career opportunities

Archaeology graduates can follow a variety of career options. The programme equips you to go on to advanced study, and also provides a solid foundation for a career. You will gain practical as well as academic experience, teamworking and analytical skills, and will be able to work in a variety of contexts.

Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, environmental assessment, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police. An archaeology degree does not restrict you to a career in archaeology.



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This programme lets you explore the richness of European archaeology, a region that presents innumerable opportunities for archaeological research, through examination of a wide range of periods, geographical areas and themes. Read more

This programme lets you explore the richness of European archaeology, a region that presents innumerable opportunities for archaeological research, through examination of a wide range of periods, geographical areas and themes. The flexible programme lets you tailor your individual studies to suit your interests and take advantage of the experience of our staff, as well as those in related programmes in history, classics and geography.

You will develop an understanding of European archaeology, with an emphasis on European prehistory, and a knowledge of topics including contemporary theoretical perspectives, methodologies and practice.

This programme incorporates transferable skills and training, while preparing you for a professional role in archaeology or further study at doctoral level. The School has excellent facilities: dedicated study space, archaeological and computing laboratories, teaching and reference collections.

The city of Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from national and local institutions and heritage agencies, such as the excellent archaeological collections of the National Museum, the archival and bibliographic resources of Historic Environment Scotland, and the expertise and practical advice of staff in several commercial archaeology companies.

Programme structure

You will combine lectures, seminars, practicals, essays, research projects and one-to-one meetings in all areas of archaeology. You will complete one compulsory course and select a further five options from a wide range on offer. You will then complete a dissertation on an approved subject of your choice.

The compulsory course is:

  • Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology

Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:

  • Frontiers in Archaeology: Research Seminars
  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Theoretical Archaeology
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000 - 300 BC
  • From Foraging to Farming: the Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
  • Human Evolution
  • Ritual and Monumentality in North-West Europe: Mid-6th to Mid-3rd Millennium
  • Conflict archaeology: materialities of violence
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent

Learning outcomes

You will acquire:

  • a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
  • a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
  • a familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
  • a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use

Career opportunities

Archaeology graduates can follow a variety of career options. The programme equips you to go on to advanced study, and also provides a solid foundation for a career.

You will gain practical as well as academic experience, teamworking and analytical skills, and will be able to work in a variety of contexts. Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police. An archaeology degree does not restrict you to a career in archaeology.



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The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology is the most diverse in the Netherlands. Benefit from our extensive experience and reputation in archaeological research. Read more

The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology is the most diverse in the Netherlands. Benefit from our extensive experience and reputation in archaeological research.

Choose Archaeology at Leiden University:

Our research master's programme offers interesting regional and thematic specialisation possibilities. It stimulates extra-talented and motivated students by exposing them to cutting edge research and making them part of it.

The programme helps you to find your own place in the wide world of archaeological careers, and equips you with all the 21st century professional and transferable skills you need.

Our research facilities and labs, field schools and excavation projects, experimental archaeology projects and the national research schools (ARCHON, OIKOS) offer excellent opportunities for every prospective researcher.

Research possibilities in 2018-2019:

Human Origins

Australopithecus africanus, one of our many ancestors

Interdisciplinary studies of the human past

This programme provides an in-depth interdisciplinary introduction in the European Palaeolithic record and its wider setting, from the Early Pleistocene to the Late Pleistocene.

  • Study the archaeology of Prehistoric hunter-gatherers, from the earliest stone tools in East Africa, 2.6 million years old, to the end of the last ice age.
  • Focus on Neanderthal behaviour, and explore research questions, methods of analysis and theoretical perspectives in Palaeolithic archaeology.

Prehistoric Farming Communities

A view of past communities

The programme aims to develop a detailed and coherent view of past communities.

  • Focus on the later prehistory of Europe, especially on communities bordering the North Sea (Scandinavia, the Low Countries, France, Great Britain and Ireland).
  • Explore research topics such as Beaker cultures and settlements of the Bronze and Iron Ages, cultural identity, and burial ritual and (selective) deposition.

Town and Country in the Mediterranean Region and the Near East

The cradle of civilisation

This programme focuses on a region that has enormous culture-historical significance, and is a cradle of civilisation from Prehistory up to the Early Medieval period.

  • Study various key developments, such as the origins of farming and sedentary life, as well as the emergence of complex urbanised societies and writing, as they occurred first in this region and spread subsequently.
  • Participate in current research projects. These projects focus on the Near East (modern Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey) and Egypt, as well as the Mediterranean.

Religion and Society in Native American Cultures

Leiden Archaeology researchers used high-tech imaging to reveal rare precolonial Mexican manuscript hidden from view for 500 years

Study the past in connection to the present

The programme offers an interdisciplinary context, where archaeology, anthropology, sciences, history, linguistics, landscape and heritage studies come together.

  • Gain a broad knowledge of and deep insight into Native American cultural history, focusing on the relationships between religious worldview and social agency.
  • Participate in field schools related to long-term research projects, such as excavations in the Caribbean or Nicaragua,including studies of material culture and physical anthropology.

Bioarchaeology

Fragments of a sabre-toothed cat skull where recenty excavated

Combine archaeology with hard science

Discover our four research disciplines, together covering an extensive geographical area and time range.

  • Opt for Archaeobotany and investigate changes in vegetation and environment during the past 2.6 million years, as well as the taphonomy of plant macrofossils in lacustrine and fluvial depositional settings.
  • Focus on Archaeo/Palaeozoology and dive into Eurasia in the period from the Early Pleistocene to the Holocene. Biostratigraphical studies, palaeo-ecological studies, as well as taphonomical studies are carried out.
  • Study Human Osteoarchaeology and analyse human remains from international archaeology contexts as well as behavioural and social facets of mortuary practices in past societies.
  • Explore Isope Archaeology and work on the analysis and interpretation of stable isotopes of human and faunal remains from archaeological contexts. Learn how to carry out dating projects, including radiocarbon dating as well as other dating methods.

Archaeological Heritage in a Globalising World

A new and exciting interdisciplinary approach

The programme focuses on the role of the past in the present. Explore the various aspects of recent developments in international politics, cultural tourism, the use of social media, and the revitalisation of local traditions and regional identities.

  • Develop the practical skills to translate academic research and social knowledge into strategies for heritage management, and pursue individual initiatives.
  • Benefit from our close association with the Center for Global Heritage and Development, an interdisciplinary cooperation between three high-ranking universities: Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Delft Technical University. This allows for a partnership between archaeology, social sciences, humanities and natural sciences.

The Transformation of the Roman World

Europe on the starting blocks

This programme offers an introduction to advanced studies of Europe and the Mediterranean in Late Roman and Post-Roman times (c. 300-900 AD).

  • Analyse the economic recovery of North-Western Europe in Merovingian and Carolingian times, exchange networks in the Mediterranean, and agrarian innovation and water management in Jordan.
  • Study burial sites, the fate of Roman towns in the early Middle Ages, and centres of Christianity.

Master of Arts or Master of Science

Students who choose the Bioarchaeology track receive a Master of Science degree in Archaeology. For the other research tracks you receive a Master of Arts degree in Archaeology.



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The . MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies.  is an interdisciplinary MA associated with Durham's . Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Read more

The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies is an interdisciplinary MA associated with Durham's Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS), and is currently run from the History Department. The programme is suitable for students whose undergraduate training is in Archaeology, Classics, History, Literature/Languages, Philosophy, Theology, or other related disciplines. The main aim of the programme is to prepare students for doctoral research in the study of the medieval and early modern past by offering outstanding interdisciplinary training to equip students with the skills they need for their future careers. It is taught by specialists who are members of IMEMS, primarily from the departments of ArchaeologyClassicsEnglishHistoryModern Languages and CulturesPhilosophy and Theology.

Students are incorporated into the vibrant research communities within departments, IMEMS, and the university. Durham has a large and extremely active postgraduate community, and IMEMS supports the Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA), whose members organise regular seminars and conferences. IMEMS has more than fifty staff members from arts, humanities, social science and science departments across the University, all active researchers, and is one of the largest gatherings of scholars in this area in the world. IMEMS is situated in the historic setting of the World Heritage Site, which includes Durham CathedralDurham Castle, and the surrounding area. Students of medieval and early modern studies at Durham benefit from the rich archival and manuscript resources in the collections of the University (at Palace Green Library and at Ushaw College) and in the Cathedral Library, while the wider regional resources for study of the period are also highly significant.

All students on the MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies take two core modules, Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past, and Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past (30 credits each); both of these run throughout Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms. Students also write a 15,000-word dissertation (60 credits), supervised by one of Durham's specialists, which allows them to focus on a specialist topic of their choice in the period AD 300-1700, which may be interdisciplinary or focused primarily on one of the individual disciplines which make up the programme. They also take two optional modules (30 credits each) which run either in Michaelmas or Epiphany or throughout both terms. These may be content, language or skills modules, and are drawn from the seven participating departments as well as Durham’s other centres and programmes. All elements of the programme have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.

Core modules

The two team-taught core modules enable students to develop advanced skills in interpreting and usinga range of different kinds of source-material from the medieval and early modern periods, including textual, material and visual culture. They allow students to consider developments over the longue duree and enable a more rounded understanding of how a range of themes, ideas and institutions changed from the end of the classical world, through the Middle Ages and into the early modern era. These modules are intended to guide students whose backgrounds are in a range of disciplinary specialisms towards an understanding of how study of the medieval and early modern past can be nuanced and enhanced by approaches from multiple different disciplines used alongside each other. The modules also help students develop from a more tutor-led approach to independent learning, in order to support their work on their dissertations and their future careers. Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past takes one key item or body of material (e.g. a text, a site, an archive) as a lens through which to explore different disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to studying the period 300-1700. Students are assessed by a 5000-word essay on a topic of their choice connected with the themes of the module. Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past focuses on major themes, movements and institutions which can best be examined across the whole medieval and early modern period, and which can best be explained by close study of change and continuity over a long period of time. A number of these themes will invite interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approaches, and thus will allow students to develop their skills in bringing together different kinds of material for study of the past. Students are assessed for this module by a) a 4000-word essay on a topic of their choice, connected with the themes of the module, and b) a 15-minute presentation.

Optional modules

Students choose two optional modules offered by the departments participating in the programme. These modules are taught by subject specialists and usually involve a series of seminars with an emphasis on close study of original material from the medieval and early modern periods, and provide a ‘step up’ from the level of final-year undergraduate study. The breadth of modules available means that students can develop their skills and research interests according to their own tailored programme and with the advice of their dissertation supervisor, ensuring the best possible preparation for the future. There are also some modules focusing on particular skills-training such as medieval or modern languages or auxiliary skills (e.g. Latin; Ancient Greek; Old Norse; Old English; Academic French; Academic German; Palaeography).

The range of optional modules in each year varies according to staff availability and departmental provision, but as a representative sample optional modules may include the following:

  • Anglo-Saxon Societies and Cultures: interdisciplinary approaches to early medieval England
  • Archaeology of the Book
  • Christian Northumbria, 600-750
  • Contact and Conflict: Texts and Cultures
  • Courts and Power in Early Modern Europe and the New World
  • Latin for Research
  • Narrative Transformations: Medieval Romance to Renaissance Epic
  • Negotiating Life in the Early Modern World
  • Old English Language, Texts and Contexts
  • Old Norse
  • Palaeograpy: Scribes, Script and History from Antiquity to the Renaissance
  • Power and Society in the Late Middle Ages
  • Renaissance Humanism
  • Rewriting Empire: Eusebius of Caesarea and the First Christian History
  • Warrior Poets in Heroic Societies
  • Work and Play in Early Modern Europe


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This interdisciplinary programme aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of medieval society and culture. Read more
This interdisciplinary programme aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of medieval society and culture. Staff expertise, drawn from across the University, covers a wide range of disciplines and specialisms including Archaeology; History; Islamic studies; Law; Music; Theology; Visual and material culture; and the literatures of England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. Particular areas of strength include medieval religious culture, Christian-Muslim interaction, intellectual and elite culture, and the history of medicine.

The University library maintains extensive holdings in all these disciplines, extensive audio-visual collections and a number of medieval manuscripts (including the Syon Collection), while Exeter Cathedral Library and Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books. You will benefit from contact with leading scholars in the field, whilst receiving the training suitable for MPhil/PhD research.

Modules

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.

The programme

- 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.

Research areas

As an MA Medieval Studies student you will be welcome to join the Centre for Medieval Studies (http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/history/research/centres/medieval/) , 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:
• Centre for Early Modern Studies
• Centre for Imperial and Global History
• Centre for Maritime Historical Studies
• Centre for War, State and Society
• Centre for Medical History
• Centre for Medieval Studies
• Institute of Cornish Studies

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Our Research Master’s programme in. Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies. focuses on interdisciplinary study of the material, social, and intellectual developments in Europe (including the Mediterranean region) from Antiquity through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Read more

Our Research Master’s programme in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies focuses on interdisciplinary study of the material, social, and intellectual developments in Europe (including the Mediterranean region) from Antiquity through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Within this long period, you can focus on your academic interests by choosing one of the following tracks:

1. Ancient Studies

2. Medieval Studies

3. Medieval Celtic Studies

4. Renaissance Studies.

Within each track, you will work with source materials in their original languages, including in manuscript form. The Ancient Studies track has a keen interest in archaeology. The Medieval Studies and Renaissance Studies tracks go beyond a solely historical approach by including courses in literature, linguistics, art history, musicology, and history. In the Medieval Studies track, you may specialise in either Medieval History, Medieval Art History, Medieval Literature, or Medieval Musicology. Medieval Celtic Studies combines literary studies with historical linguistics. 

The programme is enhanced with research conducted by lecturers who are internationally renowned in their fields of expertise. You are encouraged to work alongside these lecturers on research projects, and you can spend a semester abroad at one of the many universities with which we have research links. After graduation, approximately 50% of graduates go on to undertake a PhD, either in the Netherlands or abroad. 

For those with ambitions outside research, courses are being developed on ‘Heritage and Cultural Transfer’ (including an internship in material culture, e.g. on written texts as objects), and on the uses of the ancient and medieval languages.

Judged best in the field

The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.

International community

The programme attracts students from the Netherlands and abroad. International students find an internationally unique interdisciplinary approach to the study of pre-modern civilisations. They quickly feel welcome in the community of teachers and students and fully participate in the programme’s scholarly life.

After graduation

This Research Master’s programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to gain admission to PhD programmes in your chosen specialisation; you can also conduct independent research and complete your doctoral dissertation. The programme will give you the skills needed for your future career, including pursuing scholarly research to be published in peer-reviewed journals.

Our programme also prepares you for careers outside academia in management, politics, or the arts. The programme is both academically and socially relevant; by developing your professional skills and your ability to work independently, you will be well prepared for the challenges of the modern employment market.




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The area around the Mediterranean presents many opportunities for archaeological research. This MSc allows you to explore the region through the examination of periods, geographical areas and themes. Read more

The area around the Mediterranean presents many opportunities for archaeological research. This MSc allows you to explore the region through the examination of periods, geographical areas and themes. You’ll analyse contemporary theoretical approaches, hone your skills in current methodologies and take advantage of the specialist fields and periods of study that our staff, and those in history and classics, can offer.

You’ll develop an understanding of specific regions and periods, current theories, methodologies and major research issues, all of which provide the basis for a PhD or future participation in excavation, survey and/or lab work.

Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from national and local institutions and heritage agencies, such as the excellent collections of the National Museum, the archival and bibliographic resources of Historic Environment Scotland, and expertise and practical advice from staff in commercial companies.

Programme structure

You will complete one compulsory course and select a further five options from a wide range on offer. You will take a variety of seminar-style courses in small groups while developing your own research project, in the form of the dissertation, on an approved subject of your choice.

The compulsory course is:

  • Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology

Option courses previously offered include those listed below (Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list).

  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • From Foraging to Farming: the Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe
  • Frontiers in Archaeology: Research Seminars
  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Theoretical Archaeology
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000 - 300 BC
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
  • Conflict archaeology: materialities of violence
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent

Learning outcomes

The programme will help you develop potential research interests and explore these with a view to progressing to research. You will also acquire a range of transferable intellectual and practical skills, including:

  • a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
  • a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
  • familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
  • a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use

Career opportunities

This programme equips you to go on to advanced study and provides a solid foundation for a career. You will gain practical as well as academic experience, teamworking and analytical skills, and will be able to work in a variety of contexts.

Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police. An archaeology degree does not restrict you to a career in archaeology.



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The MA in Medieval Studies allows study in medieval history, literature and manuscript studies. This interdisciplinary programme enables students to study the Medieval period from a range of different subject disciplines that embraces History, English, Theology, Celtic studies and Archaeology. Read more
The MA in Medieval Studies allows study in medieval history, literature and manuscript studies.

Course Overview

This interdisciplinary programme enables students to study the Medieval period from a range of different subject disciplines that embraces History, English, Theology, Celtic studies and Archaeology.

There are two compulsory modules that can be taken in the first or second semester, Research Methodology and Studying the Medieval. Research methods introduces students to the nuts and bolts of research, bibliographical and archival sources. ‘

'Studying the medieval' builds on this foundation to look more closely at record sources for Medieval Studies and at aspects of the study of medieval manuscripts, such as iconography and typology. This module is based in large part on the University’s special collections in the Roderick Bowen Library and Archives; unique in Wales this offers our students close and unrivalled access to our medieval manuscripts and early printed books

Students may then choose 4 further modules in medieval history (such as ‘Thomas Becket: archbishop, martyr, saint’) or medieval literature (such as ‘Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon Heroic’).

For MA students the second part of the course comprises a 60 credit dissertation.

Modules

-‘Research Methodology’ (bibliographical and archival content)
-‘Studying the Medieval’ (medieval primary sources; manuscript study)
-‘The Cistercian World’ (medieval monasticism)
-‘Thomas Becket: archbishop, martyr, saint’ (medieval church history and hagiography)
-‘Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon Heroic’ (medieval literature)

Key Features

The programmes are delivered on the University’s campus in Lampeter or via VLE and online learning technologies. They are taught through seminars, small workshops and individual tutorials and supervision that enable detailed and personalised feedback.

Access to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables additional learning, especially work-shopping, to take place outside the sessions and supports the development of a mutually supportive cohort of committed researchers.

Moreover this programme will offer:
-Expert tuition from research active specialist staff
-Exceptional resources in the specialist holdings of the Roderic Bown Library
-Small seminar based classes
-Residential programme based on our beautiful and inpiring campus in Lampeter
-The option to complete the full programme remotely through online and distance learning

Assessment

The individual modules (all 20 credit) are assessed by written assignments: essays, commentaries, short exercises. Those registering for or progressing to the MA complete a dissertation of 60 credits.

Career Opportunities

-Museum
-Archives
-Heritage sector
-Professional Writers
-Marketing
-Expert tuition from professional writers, poets, novelists, dramatists, script-writers
-An opportunity to learn about publishing through the design and production of the annual anthology
-An opportunity to read your work at such events as the Hay Festival
-Programme delivered on our beautiful and inspiring campus in Lampeter

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This interdisciplinary programme is divided into a 60 credit taught part and a Dissertation of 120 credits amounting to up to 30,000 words in total. Read more
This interdisciplinary programme is divided into a 60 credit taught part and a Dissertation of 120 credits amounting to up to 30,000 words in total. Itenables students to study the Medieval period from a range of different subject disciplines that embraces History, English, Theology, Celtic studies and Archaeology.

Course Overview

We have a long tradition of specialist teaching in the medieval period at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Students will be able to engage with several important and high profile research projects, such as ‘Strata Florida’, and ‘Monastic Wales’. The overseas networks established (for instance with Ireland) through these projects enhance their reputation while at the same time offer research opportunities for students.

The programme offers a high quality student experience through a unique programme of study taught by a range of experts within the field of Medieval Studies. The programme is underpinned by advanced research methods, the study of theoretically informed critical approaches, and the scholarly examination of manuscripts and early printed books.

The University has a well-established record of research and teaching in the Medieval period. Unusually for the sector, its provision at all levels has enabled students to study Medieval and Early Modern period drawing on specialist staff expertise and resources, particularly the holdings of the Special Collections of the Roderic Bowen Library: a unique resource which houses the Special Collections of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, including over 35,000 printed works, 8 medieval manuscripts, around 100 post medieval manuscripts, and 69 incunabula.

The highlight of the programme is the Dissertation which requires students to undertake an extended piece of research work of between 25,000 and 30,000 words.

Modules

Students will choose three modules. Below is an illustrative list of modules available:

Research methods introduces students to the nuts and bolts of research, bibliographical and archival sources. This is compulsory.

Studying the medieval: records and manuscripts builds on this foundation to look more closely at record sources for Medieval Studies and at aspects of the study of medieval manuscripts, such as iconography and typology. This module is based in large part on the University’s special collections in the Roderick Bowen Library and Archives; unique in Wales this offers our students close and unrivalled access to our medieval manuscripts and early printed books.

Themes in Medieval Studies comprises four short case studies in which historians and literary scholars introduce you to some current debates within Medieval Studies.
-Beowulf and the Heroic
-Medieval Poetry of Dream and Debate
-Y Mabinogi
-Medieval Women: sources from the Celtic Regions
-The Origins of Cîteaux,
-Thomas Becket: archbishop, martyr, saint
-Female Saints of Wales

Key Features

The programmes are delivered on the University’s campus in Lampeter or via VLE and online learning technologies. They are taught through seminars, small workshops and individual tutorials and supervision that enable detailed and personalised feedback.

Access to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables additional learning, especially work-shopping, to take place outside the sessions and supports the development of a mutually supportive cohort of committed writers. Graduates from the programmes have gone on to become successful and prize winning authors.

Moreover this programme will offer:
-Expert tuition from research active specialist staff
-Exceptional resources in the specialist holdings of the Roderic Bown Library
-Small seminar based classes
-Residential programme based on our beautiful and inpiring campus in Lampeter

Assessment

Assessment is through a mixture of assignment and presentation supported by tasks designed to enhance research skills. The dissertation allows students to undertake a sustained research project on a topic of their choice under expert individual supervision.

Career Opportunities

-Museum
-Archives
-Heritage sector
-Professional Writers
-Marketing
-Expert tuition from professional writers, poets, novelists, dramatists, script-writers
-An opportunity to learn about publishing through the design and production of the annual anthology
-An opportunity to read your work at such events as the Hay Festival
-Programme delivered on our beautiful and inspiring campus in Lampeter

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Interdisciplinary medieval study and unrivalled skills training – in the medieval capital of Britain. Read more
Interdisciplinary medieval study and unrivalled skills training – in the medieval capital of Britain

Why Medieval Studies at York?

Through pioneering interdisciplinary study, you will gain a comprehensive overview of the medieval cultures of Europe, taught by leading specialists from the departments of Archaeology, English, History and History of Art. The course emphasises new methodologies and techniques in the cross-disciplinary study of the Middle Ages. No other medieval studies course in the world offers the level of skills training in medieval languages, diplomatic and palaeography offered by this course.

• Choose study options covering every facet of medieval life and culture, from 400 to 1550
• Unrivalled skills training in medieval languages, diplomatic and palaeography
• Experience interdisciplinary research and understand its methodologies
• Follow your own study interests and develop key research skills
• Study in the medieval capital of Britain – with unrivalled resources on your doorstep .
• Access state-of-the-art resources, including research centres, archives and libraries.
• Become part of a vibrant humanities research culture within the University of York

What does the course cover?

The MA in Medieval Studies provides an introduction to the medieval cultures of Europe. The course draws on expertise from the four CMS parent departments, and challenges students to recognise how these subjects are inter-related while allowing them to explore fields of study that most interest them. It includes unparalleled practical skills training in palaeography, diplomatic and medieval languages.

The one-year (50-week) course comprises three terms: two taught terms, and a third devoted to researching and writing a dissertation.

Who is it for?

This course offers a wide programme of study, making it suitable for students from many different backgrounds, and with a wide variety of experience and qualifications. Applicants are expected to have a good degree or equivalent qualification, although mature students with relevant experience are also very welcome. Previous study in any of the related fields of history, history of art, literature or archaeology is particularly helpful. Some experience of medieval subjects is beneficial, but not essential. Our unique ‘streamed’ approach to skills training also allows students to receive just the right level of skills training to meet their needs and experiences: beginners, intermediate or advanced.

What can it lead to?

This course has successfully launched students into careers with a huge range of organisations involved in investigating and interpreting the Middle Ages, including English Heritage, National Trust, archives, libraries, museums, galleries, publishing companies, television companies and the media. See what our graduates have to say about the course.

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The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture MA combines the benefits of an interdisciplinary, cross-period MA with the capacity to follow your interests in a particular discipline or period. Read more

The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture MA combines the benefits of an interdisciplinary, cross-period MA with the capacity to follow your interests in a particular discipline or period. You will be taught by a team of specialists across English, History, Music and Archaeology and benefit both from expert classroom teaching and from field trips to important Medieval and Early Modern sites and collections both locally and abroad. Rich local resources will be fully exploited for teaching and dissertation research on the MA, notably Salisbury Cathedral Library and Archive, to which you will have privileged access. You will also have the opportunity to make a guided and fully-funded week-long trip abroad to a European city rich in medieval and renaissance heritage, such as Rome or Paris. In addition the MA core modules will train you in interdisciplinary methods and core research skills such as Medieval and Renaissance Palaeography. You will have the opportunity to study Latin or another foreign language useful for your research. Optional modules will allow you to follow your interests in subjects such as medieval political thought, medieval and renaissance spaces and places, to Early Modern performance.

Introducing your course

Why do scholars routinely differentiate between ‘medieval’ and ‘renaissance’? How can different disciplinary perspectives benefit us in our study of these periods? Explore through this MA how a range of social, cultural and material ‘renaissances’ occurred across Europe in different ways over a long historical period. Discover how combining historical, archaeological, literary and musicological perspectives and hands-on experience of sites and collections both locally and abroad can deepen and nuance your understanding of these interconnected periods. Learn core research skills such as palaeography, Latin, or a modern foreign language to enable you to progress to PhD study at Southampton or elsewhere. Develop your own research interests through a wide variety of interdisciplinary and single-discipline study options and your independent dissertation.

Overview

Two Core Modules, From Medieval to Renaissance Parts I and II, will introduce you to key methods, approaches and resources for interdisciplinary study of the Medieval and Early Modern periods. You will learn key skills in manuscript and archival work, including how to assess, read, transcribe and edit Medieval and Early Modern documents appropriate to your research interests. You will also gain experience of working with Medieval and Renaissance source collections through our regional and foreign field trips. Most students of the Medieval and Renaissance periods will take our optional module in Latin, which will equip you to read and translate Classical and Medieval forms of the language. In consultation with the course convenor, however, you may replace Latin with with an alternative language appropriate to your research interests.

View the programme specification document for this course - Please note that updated version of the programme specification will be available after programme validation.



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