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Masters Degrees (Medieval Literature)

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This comprehensive and focused programme offers you world-class training in the study of medieval English and related literatures. Read more

This comprehensive and focused programme offers you world-class training in the study of medieval English and related literatures.

We specialise in a variety of areas of Old and Middle English literature, ranging from the Anglo-Saxon period to the sixteenth century - and even beyond as we consider the continuing influence medieval texts have on contemporary literature, television and film.

You will have the opportunity to work closely with tutors who have strong reputations as established researchers in a wide range of areas, including manuscript studies and book history, romance, prophecy, the reception of medieval literature, regionality and epigraphy, as well as literature from Wales and Scotland.

Course details

As part of the MRes Medieval Literature you are required to take the following modules:

  • Medieval Biographical Studies
  • Meeting Medieval Manuscripts
  • Understanding Medieval Literature

These modules then provide the framework for a 20,000-word thesis to complete the programme.

Learning and teaching

The MRes Medieval Literature is homed in the Department of English.

Within the Department there is a Medieval English research cluster which offers support to students working in the area, as well as undertaking exciting projects investigating the cultural and material contexts of texts and thus providing a dynamic environment in which research can flourish. 

You’ll also benefit from the Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages (CeSMA) which facilitates academic research into the Middle Ages, from c.300 to c.1500 AD. CeSMA cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries and unites historians, archaeologists, literary scholars, linguists and students who study medieval societies and cultures, meaning that as well as the support you’ll get from the English Department, you’ll be able to gain insight from a whole host of academics from across the university and have the opportunity to discuss research into medieval studies in the regular conferences held by the Centre.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

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: English Literature

Birmingham's English Literature postgraduates develop a range of skills including presentation, communication and analytical skills, as well as the ability to work independently, think critically and develop opinions.

Over the past three years, over 94% of English Literature postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many of our graduates go on to further study or academia, while others use their transferable skills in a wide variety of occupations including copywriting, PR, marketing, publishing and teaching.



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This 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 programme is divided into a 60 credit taught part and a Dissertation of 120 credits amounting to up to 30,000 words in total. It enables students to study a broad range of Medieval literature.

Course Overview

The programme in Medieval Literature looks closely at the eighth to the twelfth century, including a selection of the period’s major works, such as Beowulf, The Faerie Queene, as well as non-canonical and non-literary works by lesser-known authors. Critical attention on this programme is focused especially on continuities and discontinuities between the early medieval and late medieval periods, with a special focus upon Anglo-Saxon heroic literature and medieval dream poetry.

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 English. Unusually for the sector, its provision at all levels has enabled students to study Medieval Literature 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.

Modules

Students will choose three modules. Below is an illustrative list of modules available:
-Research Metoods
-Comparative and Critical Approaches
-Medieval Manuscript Studies
-Epic, Religion, Philosophy
-Beowulf and Heroic Literature
-Medieval Poetry of Dream and Debate

Key Features

The programme is delivered on the University’s campus in Lampeter. 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

-Professional Writers
-Editors
-Publishers
-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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The prose, poetry and drama of the later medieval period (roughly 1350-1550) in England and Scotland offer a remarkably rich subject for advanced literary study. Read more

The prose, poetry and drama of the later medieval period (roughly 1350-1550) in England and Scotland offer a remarkably rich subject for advanced literary study.

This programme allows you to pursue individual projects in Scottish and/or English literature within a wider interdisciplinary understanding of the period as a whole. Whether your interests lie in major figures such as Chaucer, Langland, The Gawain Poet, Malory, Skelton, Henryson, Dunbar, Douglas or Lyndsay, in less well-known or anonymous writers, the romance tradition, lyric poetry or drama, or in the relationships between literature, society and politics, you will have the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of supervised independent research, supported by a flexible choice of taught options in related areas.

We are the oldest department of English Literature in the world, and at the last Research Assessment Exercise were awarded the highest research rating possible, of 5*A. We have one of the largest graduate programmes in this area in the country and a rich research culture covering all aspects of literatures in English.

We offer supervision in all areas of medieval literature, and have particular strengths in verse and prose romance, religious and secular drama, and lyric poetry.

The research of staff has made valuable contributions to the areas of literature and philosophy, modernism/postmodernism, medieval and early modern literature, history of the book, romanticism, transatlantic studies and performance studies.

English Literature houses the Centre for the History of the Book and is one of the UK's leading forces in this area. It works closely with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and with the National Library of Scotland. The latter's recently acquired Murray Archive is crucial for studies in Romanticism, Book History, Bibliography and Archive Studies.

Programme structure

The course includes a 15,000-word dissertation, completed under the supervision of one or more of the course tutors. Students will undertake a seminar based programme of research methods training in core research skills and subject specific methodologies. They will also take two option courses covering areas of medieval literature and culture related to their chosen fields, each consisting of a weekly two-hour seminar, and will write two extended essays in relation to these courses.

Training and support

The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, many of them prize winners and leading scholars in their fields. As well as benefiting from their expert supervision, you will undertake a seminar-based programme of training in core research skills and subject-specific methodologies. You will also have the opportunity to develop other transferable skills through the University’s Institute for Academic Development

We encourage you to share your research and learn from the work of others through a vibrant programme of Work-in-Progress seminars, reading groups, visiting speakers and conferences.

Our postgraduate journal, Forum, is a valuable conduit for research findings, and provides an opportunity for editorial experience.

Facilities

On hand are all the amenities you would expect, such as computing facilities, study areas and a common room and kitchen. Our location gives you easy access to the University’s general facilities, such as the Main Library and our collections, as well as to the National Museum, National Library and National Galleries of Scotland at the heart of the city.

In addition to the impressive range of resources available at the University’s Main Library (more than two million printed volumes and generous online resources) and the nearby National Library of Scotland, we host a number of collections of rare and valuable archival materials, all of which will be readily available to you as a postgraduate student.

Among the literary treasures are the libraries of William Drummond, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Hugh MacDiarmid, Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart and Norman MacCaig, plus the WH Auden collection, the Corson Collection of works by and about Sir Walter Scott and the Ramage collection of poetry pamphlets.

Our cultural collections are highly regarded and include a truly exceptional collection of early Shakespeare quartos and other early modern printed plays, and world-class manuscript and archival collections.



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This programme offers the opportunity to make a special study of the medieval period, considering the richness and diversity of its literature, art and history. Read more
This programme offers the opportunity to make a special study of the medieval period, considering the richness and diversity of its literature, art and history. It is possible to study in either an interdisciplinary or a more literary way; you can study either full-time over 1 year or part-time over 2 years.

A combination of taught core and option modules with an independent research component enables you to tailor the programme to your personal interests. The programme allows you to engage with advanced work at Master's level and is also an excellent preparation for doctoral research.

Students have access to some of the best resources in the world for medieval research, being close to many renowned research libraries, galleries, museums and manuscript repositories. This programme teaches the skills which are needed to explore those riches in original and scholarly ways.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

MA Medieval Literature and Culture students are invited to apply for 2 research internship placements at the Globe Theatre to run from November 2016 to the start of February 2017.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Draws upon Birkbeck's strengths in literature, art, history and archaeology to explore the social, cultural and intellectual life of medieval Europe.
We are based in Bloomsbury in central London and the unrivalled resources of the British Museum and the British Library are nearby, alongside a host of other world-renowned libraries, museums and galleries.
You will receive personal tuition from Birkbeck's research-active lecturers, who are themselves using specialist local libraries and other resources.
The Department of English and Humanities has an outstanding reputation for offering imaginative, critical and creative programmes designed and taught by leading academics and practitioners in the field, within a learning environment supportive of the needs of students from a wide range of educational backgrounds.
We have a thriving research culture, with student-led reading groups and a regular programme of major visiting speakers, including the Birkbeck Medieval Seminar and the Material Texts Network.
Opportunity to apply for a research internship placement at the Globe Theatre.

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The MA in Medieval Literature (one year full-time or two years part-time) allows students to explore one of the most interesting areas of English studies. Read more
The MA in Medieval Literature (one year full-time or two years part-time) allows students to explore one of the most interesting areas of English studies. Students participate in seminars and symposia, experience the challenges of Middle English, Old English or medieval Latin (amongst others), and engage with staff and visiting experts in some of the pressing methodological and critical debates of the day. The course is also designed to introduce students to the possibilities of doctoral study in the area. Funding is available to the best students from various sources, including AHRC, DEL and the School of English at Queen’s.

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Studying English Literature at postgraduate level opens up a whole host of vibrant and intellectually stimulating avenues to explore. Read more

Studying English Literature at postgraduate level opens up a whole host of vibrant and intellectually stimulating avenues to explore.

At this level, English literary texts from the medieval period to present day are studied in and alongside their many different contexts – historical, social, political and/or material – and approached from a multitude of theoretical and methodological perspectives, enabling you to develop new and highly skilled ways of reading and interpreting a wide variety of cultural documents.

Our innovative programme draws on the wide-ranging research expertise of our staff in order to develop your critical and analytical skills in the field of literary and cultural studies. The programme allows you to take a general route, choosing core and optional from a variety of literary periods, or take one of a number of pathways, each focusing on a different historical period from the medieval through to the contemporary.

Please note: We offer additional opportunities to specialise in medieval literature via the MA Medieval Studiesand MRes Medieval Literature.

Course details

This programme will provide a solid grounding in the key intellectual debates within the scholarship surrounding a range of period and context specialisms, introduce you to the latest research in the field, and support your development of the skills required for writing a dissertation.

It includes a mixture of core and optional modules taken across the autumn and spring semesters.

Alongside the programme you will also have the chance to participate in a bespoke MA conference and become part of the department’s thriving academic research community.

Core modules 

Your core modules will either be from the same pathway, if you are specialising in a literary period, or can be chosen from different pathways if you are taking a general route through the degree.

  • Medieval pathway: Meeting Medieval Manuscripts; Understanding Medieval Literature
  • Reformation to Reform pathway: Writing Revolutions 1: Politics, Publics, and Professionalism in Literary Culture, 1580-1700 and Writing Revolutions 2: Politics, Publics and Professionalism in Literary Culture, 1700-1832
  • The Long Nineteenth Century pathway: Approaches to Nineteenth-Century Studies; Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century
  • Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Literature: Modernism; Contemporary Literature.

All pathways also include a compulsory ‘Research Skills’ module. For full descriptions, see 'modules' below.

Optional modules

You will choose optional modules from a range covering a variety of authors and themes from the medieval period to the 21st century. If you are following a pathway through the MA, one of your options can be taken from outside your literary period. If you are following a more general route through the degree you can pick optional modules from any literary period.

Assessment

Most modules are assessed by written assignment although some also require a presentation.

Over the course of the year you will also complete a supervised 15,000-word dissertation, with support from a supervisor. In order to complete your dissertation you will undertake independent research which may be based on (but will certainly extend) work undertaken for previous modules in the programme. There should be some element of originality to the research and staff will support your research in this regard; work should also aim towards making some contribution toward the field of study.

Please note: this programme outline relates to 2017/18 and is subject to change in future years.

Learning and teaching

You will be supported by literature staff in the department who research, publish, and teach across the full chronological range of English Literature from Old English to the present day, helping you to explore your specific interests.

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.

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

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: English Literature

Birmingham's English Literature postgraduates develop a range of skills including presentation, communication and analytical skills, as well as the ability to work independently, think critically and develop opinions.

Over the past three years, over 94% of English Literature postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many of our graduates go on to further study or academia, while others use their transferable skills in a wide variety of occupations including copywriting, PR, marketing, publishing and teaching.



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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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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 . Read more

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.

Learning resources

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.

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, 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.



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This interdisciplinary degree will equip you with a broad understanding of historical and cultural aspects of the medieval world, as well as the skills to conduct high-level research. Read more

This interdisciplinary degree will equip you with a broad understanding of historical and cultural aspects of the medieval world, as well as the skills to conduct high-level research.

Core modules will develop your ability to read Medieval Latin and decipher palaeography, giving you the skills to transcribe, translate and analyse primary sources. You could even learn another medieval language such as medieval French or Old Norse. You’ll also focus on areas that interest you when you choose from optional modules on interdisciplinary themes across literature, history, art history, cultural studies and theology and religious studies, and study specialist modules offered by Schools across the University.

The Institute for Medieval Studies sits at the heart of the University, with impressive research resources and a wide range of expertise among its teaching staff. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge to explore the medieval period in the home of the International Medieval Congress.

The Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) has access to excellent resources, both in the University and beyond. The world-class Brotherton Library contains extensive facsimiles and microfilms of primary materials as well as a wide range of online resources.

Its Special Collections also contain a wide range of manuscript, archive and early printed material, including the Melsteth Icelandic Collection, archives of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, the old library of Ripon Cathedral, and the manuscripts and incunabula of the Brotherton Collection.

Leeds is also home to the Royal Armouries and its extensive medieval collections, while the West Yorkshire Archives are dotted around the region and the British Library has a Document Supply Centre in nearby Boston Spa.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Course content

Core modules throughout the degree will allow you to develop important research skills, equipping you to work with primary sources. You'll gain a working knowledge of medieval Latin and could even choose to learn another medieval language. You'll also develop your understanding of research methods and bibliography and explore palaeography.

Then you'll build on this foundation with your choice of interdisciplinary optional modules, to explore areas that interest you, and even choose from some modules offered by other Schools on historical, literary or art historical topics. You'll also demonstrate the skills you've acquired in your dissertation, where you'll undertake independent research on a topic of your choice and submit your work by the end of the programme.

If you choose to study this programme part-time, you'll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Medieval Latin 30 credits
  • Intermediate Medieval Latin 30 credits
  • Research Methods and Bibliography 15 credits
  • Palaeography: Reading Medieval Manuscripts 15 credits
  • Medieval Studies Dissertation 30 credits

Optional modules

  • The Margins of Medieval Art 30 credits
  • Encountering Things: Art and Entanglement in Anglo-Saxon England 30 credits
  • The Origins of Postcolonial England 30 credits
  • Culture and Identity in the Later Fourteenth Century 30 credits
  • Old and New Beliefs in Medieval Scandinavia: From Pagan to Christian 30 credits
  • Arthurian Legend: Medieval to Modern 30 credits
  • Making History: Archive Collaborations 30 credits
  • Bede's Northumbria 30 credits
  • Gender, Sex, and Love: Byzantium and the West, 900-1200 20 credits
  • Lifecycles: Birth, Death and Illness in the Middle Ages 30 credits
  • Medieval German Language 30 credits
  • Old and Middle French 30 credits
  • Advanced Medieval Latin 30 credits
  • Medieval English 30 credits
  • Old Norse 30 credits
  • Vikings, Saxons and Heroic Culture 30 credits
  • Warfare in the Age of the Crusades (1095-1204) 30 credits
  • How to be a Saint in the Middle Ages: Saints' Cults and their impact on culture and society (500-1500) 30 credits
  • Religious Communities and the Individual Experience of Religion, 1200-1500 30 credits
  • The Medieval Tournament: Combat and Spectacle in Western Europe, 1100-1600 30 credits
  • The Holy Land under the Franks: The Kingdom of Jerusalem and its Enemies, 1099-1187 30 credits
  • Medieval Bodies 30 credits
  • Preaching History: Understanding Sermons as Literature and Historical Source 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Medieval Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Medieval Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

IMS tutors are experts in their fields, and their cutting-edge research will inform your teaching. To help you make the most of their expertise, all IMS modules are taught in small groups.

You may study skills modules in seminar groups of 12 or more students, but languages and other interdisciplinary options are usually taught in tutorials of up to eight students. You’ll also have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during your dissertation.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose, you’ll be assessed by a range of methods to develop skills that are useful across the field of medieval studies. These will include transcriptions, bibliographies, essays, reports, translations and occasionally exams.

Career opportunities

This degree is excellent preparation for further study in related fields. It will also equip you with advanced research, communication and analytical skills that are valuable to employers in a wide range of careers such as in museums and business.

We offer a range of paid opportunities for you to gain experience that can really help with your career plans. You’ll be able to provide a mock tutorial for first-year undergraduates during their induction week, or become an academic mentor for final-year students as they complete their dissertations to gain experience of teaching, one-to-one communication and people management.

We also run several paid one-year internships throughout the year on projects such as the International Medieval Bibliography, IMS website and the International Medieval Congress to gain practical experience.

Read more about Employment in IMS



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The Masters in English Literature. Early Modern Literature and Culture is a flexible, interdisciplinary programme taught by Glasgow’s internationally renowned team of experts. Read more

The Masters in English Literature: Early Modern Literature and Culture is a flexible, interdisciplinary programme taught by Glasgow’s internationally renowned team of experts. It offers students the practical, historical, and theoretical skills needed for advanced study in this area. The programme’s flexibility means that you can tailor your study according to your own research interests. Students are also able to draw on Glasgow’s exceptional holdings of medieval and early modern manuscript and printed materials.

Why this programme

  • This Masters is taught by an internationally renowned team of experts in medieval and early modern studies.
  • Students are able to draw on the superb medieval and early modern holdings in the University Library Special Collections and the Hunterian.
  • The major research libraries in Glasgow and Edinburgh are easily accessible and you will be part of a vibrant community of academics and students working in the field.
  • You will be part of MEMNET (the Medieval and Early Modern Network) at Glasgow and have the opportunity to hear distinguished guest speakers and to participate in events and conferences.
  • The programme offers the option of studying languages, which may include medieval Latin, Old English, Old Icelandic, Old Irish and Old French as well as a range of modern languages.
  • You can tailor the programme to your own interests and requirements, while gaining an excellent grounding in the technical skills required for advanced study in this field.

Programme Structure

In this programme you will undertake three core courses and three optional courses. You will also undertake a 15,000 word dissertation.

Semester one:

  • Medieval and Early Modern 1: From Medieval to Early Modern
  • Research Methods
  • One optional course 

Semester two:

  • Medieval and Early Modern 2
  • Two optional courses

Optional courses

  • Gender and Religion in Medieval English Literature
  • Alternative Continuities: Scottish Literature, 1425-1625
  • Early Modern Mythmaking
  • Seventeenth-Century Women Writers
  • Humour, Opposition, and Literature in Early Modern England
  • Introduction to English Medieval Manuscripts
  • Medieval Palaeography
  • Early Modern Palaeography
  • Independent study option (in consultation with Course Convener and member of staff) 

With the permission of the course convenor, there is also the opportunity to take one of the optional courses available from the other pathways in English Literature and from across the College of Arts.

Summer

The two semesters of coursework are followed by one term of supervised work towards a dissertation of up to 15,000 words which you will submit at the beginning of September. The topic normally arises out of the work of the previous two semesters, but the choice is very much open to the student’s own initiative. Your supervisor helps you to develop the proposal and plan the most appropriate reading and methodology.

Part-time students

Part-time students take all three core courses plus one optional course in their first year of study, and two optional 20 credit courses and the dissertation in their second year.

Career Prospects

glasgow.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/medievalandearlymodernenglishliteratureandculture/#/careerprospects



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This interdisciplinary course is designed for well-qualified graduates who wish to extend their interest in medieval studies. Read more
This interdisciplinary course is designed for well-qualified graduates who wish to extend their interest in medieval studies. The flexible structure of the course allows students to construct their degree around their particular areas of interest, while acquiring both the technical expertise to investigate primary medieval documents and an insight into the complexities of medieval culture generally. Students will have the opportunity to be taught not only by Trinity staff but also by visiting lecturers from other internationally renowned institutions.

Students take four core courses:

Research Methodology;
Medieval Thought;
Medieval Culture and Society;
and a language chosen from: Elementary Classical Latin, Medieval Latin, Old English, Middle English, Italian, Medieval German, Medieval French, Old Irish.

Two options are also chosen. Currently the subject areas include:
Chaucer; Language and Genre; Varieties of Comedy in Dante and Boccaccio; 'Wild' Women in Medieval Literature; Old English Prose; Arthurian H; Courtly love song in Medieval Europe, Early Medieval Ireland; Text and Image; Old English Heroic Poetry; The Unruly Middle Ages; Medieval Philosophy.

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The Aberystwyth University’s MA in Medieval Welsh Literature offers you an exciting opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and literature of the medieval period through historical, social and intellectual approaches. Read more
The Aberystwyth University’s MA in Medieval Welsh Literature offers you an exciting opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and literature of the medieval period through historical, social and intellectual approaches. You will study a rich array of Welsh texts and cultural phenomena by engaging with three core modules – The Four Branches of the Mabinogi, Welsh Language I and Welsh Language II – and two further modules from a fascinating selection.

By studying the central canon of Welsh texts, you will develop a sound knowledge of the language, culture and thought of the middle and medieval periods in Wales. You will read and appreciate the most important of Middle Welsh texts in the original language, and you will discuss the narrative techniques, characterisation, themes and structure of these tremendously important texts. You will also encounter important texts from neighbouring cultures and traditions, such as Anglo-Saxon, Irish and Late Latin, so that you may fully contextualise the central literary artefacts of your study.

In addition to the subject-specific knowledge, this study programme is constructed in such a way to develop you personally, and equip you with a strong compliment of skills that you can draw upon in many postgraduate employment situations.

Upon completion of this degree, you will have mastered the diverse skills needed for evidence-handling, such as locating, gathering, selecting, organising and synthesising large bodies of evidence into a coherent and compelling interpretation. You will also have mastered the highly creative nature of the source texts and their authors, and you will have responded with imagination, insight and creativity. Together, your analytical rigour and creative independence will make you an attractive prospect for employers in a range of fields.

This degree will suit you:

• If you wish to study Welsh language and literature at an advanced academic level;
• If you desire a strengthen your critical and scholarly abilities through engagement with Welsh texts;
• If you wish to explore your enthusiasm for this exciting and highly satisfying subject;
• If you aim to foster transferable skills and engage in professional and personal development for entering employment.

Course content

A variety of Welsh texts, from 600 to 1600, will be studied in the original language taking account of their manuscript and cultural contexts, and using a variety of critical approaches including comparative work with texts from neighbouring cultures and traditions such as Irish, Late Latin, and some Anglo-Saxon and Middle English. Our main aim, however, is to equip you with a working knowledge of the Medieval Welsh language, and to ensure that you are fully conversant with the full range of current scholarship including that written in the Welsh language. The dissertation will allow you to develop a topic of your choice and to produce a sustained piece of work up to 20,000 words which will demonstrate to future employers your ability to research independently (under the guidance of a specialist) and to exercise your critical faculties and writing skills at a high level.

Core modules:

Dissertation
Welsh Language 1
Welsh Language 2

Employability

Every element of the Aberystwyth Master’s in Welsh Medieval Literature enhances your employability. Alongside the development of your subject-specific knowledge and experience, an especially noteworthy strength of this course is the emphasis on personal development. As an emerging language specialist, your strengthened research and critical faculties will make you a strong candidate for any post where ideas and topics need research, analysis, discussion, expansion and classification.

The very nature of a literature course requires you to develop thoughtful responses to a range of texts, authors and contexts. You will develop confidence in thinking which is both thorough and creative, and demonstrates your initiative, self-motivation, flexibility and independence of mind along the way. The organisational skills you will learn on this course will help you direct your individual flair, bringing a balance of skills that prospective employers will find attractive.

Employers in every industry value such skills, and the pattern of creativity, research, analysis and discussion in this course will stand you in excellent stead for entry into the competitive jobs market.

Personal, Professional and Project-Management Skills

The Master’s dissertation requires you to work independently and to pursue your own individual dissertation topic. You will access to the support and expertise of the Welsh department staff, but you are required to cultivate a professional work ethic to deliver this extremely demanding academic dissertation. The project management skills you will gain in preparing this project are entirely transferable to almost any work context that Master’s graduates apply for.

Studying for this Master’s degree will allow you to sharpen up all your research and analysis disciplines, your professional work ethos and your presentation and communication skills. A host of employers look for accuracy, thoroughness, an eye for detail and the ability to find and prove connections across broad subject matter, and you certainly will have proven yourself, simply by graduating from this prestigious MA course.

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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study English Literature at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study English Literature at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

The Department of English Language and Literature can offer supervision in most areas of literature from the middle ages to the present. We have particular strengths in gender, Welsh writing in English, American Literature, medieval, Renaissance, eighteenth and nineteenth-century writing and culture, modernism and postmodernism, Irish poetry, contemporary literature and critical and cultural theory.

Key Features of MA by Research in English Literature

An MA by Research in English Literature gives you the chance to pursue a project inspired entirely by your own particular enthusiasms in English language and literature. The qualification would be a good preparation for proceeding to doctoral work. Alternatively, the proven ability to conduct independent research in English Literature will boost employment prospects outside academia (for example, in the media, publishing, the Civil Service, or education).

As a student of the MA by Research in English Literature programme, you will be supervised closely by two experienced academics in your field. Typically, you will meet them fortnightly in the first term and at regular intervals thereafter. Meetings are logged and goals agreed each time.

All research students in English Literature are required to attend skills and training courses at College and Institutional level. English Literature students give presentations to other research students and staff at departmental seminars and the annual departmental postgraduate symposium in June and the College of Arts and Humanities conference in October. MA by Research in English Literature degree typically lasts from one year (full-time study) to two years (part-time study).

The MA by Research in English Literature would suit those wanting the freedom to explore a topic of their choosing in English language and literature under the close supervision of two experienced academics but without attending regular classes as required in taught programmes; an MA qualification in niche areas where taught programmes are not offered; the experience of a research degree without committing to a PhD at the outset. Research proposals are invited on any topic in English Literature for which staff can provide supervision.

Postgraduate Research in the Department of English Language and Literature

About 70 of the postgraduates currently studying at Swansea University’s Department of English Language and Literature [ELL] are researchers working on an MA, MPhil or PhD thesis. Each is supervised by two members of staff, 60% of whose own research publications were rated ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’ in the 2008 REF exercise. We supervise interdisciplinary projects as well as traditional areas of the discipline - in language studies, creative writing, literature (from medieval to the present) and critical and cultural theory. If you have an idea for a research project in English Literature, do get in touch and discuss it with us informally before applying.

Postgraduate students including those of MA by Research in English Literature, often join a research centre, e.g. the Centre for Research into Gender and Culture (GENCAS) or the Centre for Research into Welsh Writing in English (CREW) where they work alongside other students and staff in dedicated research rooms. Students present their work in the friendly environment of our Research Institute’s annual postgraduate conference, Swansea University’s Department of English Language and Literature (ELL)’s fortnightly research seminars, and the monthly workshop of the Creative Writing Programme. Our research environment was judged 100% ‘internationally excellent’ by the 2008 REF, and research students help staff organize a lively programme of conferences, readings and performances on campus and in the city’s arts centres. As well as being inducted into academic research and dissemination, doctoral students have the opportunity to undertake undergraduate teaching to prepare them for an academic career. We provide study stations with computers and postgraduate common-rooms, research training and the services of a research officer and subject librarian.

REF 2014

What the Research Excellence Framework 2014 had to say about Postgraduate research in the Swansea Department of English Language and Literature …

The environment in the Department of English Language and Literature is ‘conducive to producing research of mostly at least internationally excellent and at its best world-leading quality’

‘Arrangements for postgraduates were deemed of world-leading quality’

‘There is clear evidence of the development of a research culture into which research students are fully integrated’

‘Recruitment is strong’

‘There are excellent arrangements for support, training and employability’.

Summing up: ‘The unit makes an outstanding contribution to the health of the discipline’.



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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. Read more

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.

DISCOVER THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF THE GREAT PRE-MODERN CIVILISATIONS 

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:

  • Ancient Studies
  • Medieval Studies
  • Medieval Celtic Studies
  • 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. Read more about the tracks.

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.

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. Read more about possible career prospects.



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Work with internationally-renowned scholars at the National Centre of Research in Children's Literature and Roehampton's Chancellor, Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Read more
  • Work with internationally-renowned scholars at the National Centre of Research in Children's Literature and Roehampton's Chancellor, Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson.
  • Access to Roehampton's special Children's Literature collection and archive
  • On-going relationships with arts organisations and other literary employers in London

Summary

This degree provides a rigorous course that interrogates the literary, creative, social, cultural, political and historical contexts in the field of children's literature. You will explore landmark books such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or The Railway Children, alongside the contemporary innovations of Patrick Ness or Emily Gravett.

You will work with staff who have international reputations in areas such as philosophy in children's literature, popular fiction, adolescence and Young Adult, early children's books, and writing for young people. You will also benefit from a series of guest speakers, extra-curricular activities and field trips that will enhance your student experience and ensure you get the most out of your studies, and you will have the chance of working with Roehampton's Chancellor and renowned author Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

As a Children's Literature student you will become a member of the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature (NCRCL), regarded as the premier institution for children's literature research in Britain. The NCRCL has close links with organisations that work to further the study and teaching of children's literature, including The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Seven Stories (The National Centre for Children's Books) and Booktrust. The centre also hosts and co-organises an annual one-day British IBBY/NCRCL MA Conference and runs a regular NCRCL Conference, showcasing themes from members' research interests. Keynote speakers have included Michael Rosen, Matthew Grenby, Emer O'Sullivan, Neil Gaiman, and Julia Eccleshare.

Due to the reputation of our long-standing programme, our graduates are very attractive to employers, particularly publishers who have previously offered internships to our students and graduates. The University is the exclusive Creative Partner of Barnes Children's Literature Festival, London's largest event dedicated to children's writing. The partnership provides paid and voluntary work experience opportunities for students at the festival, as well as opportunities to attend events for free. We also have an on-going relationship with Hodder Children's Books and connections with other literary employers in the local community, including Wimbledon Bookfest, and Battersea Arts Centre.

Roehampton hosts a number of Children's' Literature collections in our library containing 6,000 critical, theoretical, bibliographical and reference works and approximately 40 specialist children's literature journals. We are also home to the Richmal Crompton Collection. This includes her personal library, editions and translations of her famous Just William stories and scripts including short stories and radio plays.

Content

This stimulating programme allows for the exploration of a range of literary texts from medieval learning materials, through landmark books such as Treasure Island, The Tale of Peter Rabbit or The Eagle of the Ninth, to the contemporary innovations of Mark Haddon, Shaun Tan or Jackie Kay. You will examine the dynamic relationship between children's books, other media, and social constructions of childhood.

You will study a range of critical and theoretical approaches and learn about key ideas that have shaped literary criticism, particularly those that resonate with children's literature studies. You will pay special attention to archives, and what impact they have on textual culture, and will be trained in using them as a resource.

If you have the ambition to write for children, you will have the opportunity to take creative writing modules as part of your degree. MA students will complete the course by undertaking either a dissertation or creative dissertation. The dissertation is a supervised research project involving an in-depth study of an aspect of children's literature that interests you. For the creative dissertation, you will produce a creative portfolio that could include short stories, picturebook scripts, poems, or a novella, alongside a critical reflections of your work.

Children's literature can also be studied by distance learning.

Modules

Here are some of the modules we offer:

Compulsory

Optional

Compulsory (MA students only)

Compulsory and Required modules

Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules

Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

Career options

Teaching, children’s publishing and arts management.



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