This programme is designed for students seeking a distinctive and unique perspective on the arts of the Middle Ages. Visual culture, throughout the medieval period, is addressed from a global viewpoint.
The programme combines study of the arts and their audiences in Europe (particularly France, Italy and the Netherlands) and Early Medieval Britain and Ireland with those in non-Christian cultures (the arts of Islamic World, South Asia, Japan and China). The main focus is on issues stemming from considerations of cultural exchange and trans-regional interaction.
One example is the practice of exchanging gifts, its traditions, diplomatic significance and intellectual consequences. The programme will also consider issues concerning pilgrimage and conquest, and will address questions arising from study of the rise of global trade and travel. These embrace such topics as:
The programme includes the possibility of taking an internship in a museum, public institution or similar organisation. It aims to:
This programme is taught through a combination of small-group seminars and tutorials, one-to-one supervision and private study. You will be examined through coursework and a dissertation.
The programme seeks to inform students from three vantage points:
More specifically upon completion of the course, students should have an understanding of how the relationships and connections between cultures are formed and the way in which a specific culture perceived itself, presented itself, as well as how it was perceived abroad as evidenced both in text and images.
More broadly, it is expected students will gain a more considered understanding as to the question of influence within the context of cross-cultural exchange.
Finally, students are expected to gain an understanding of the theories and methodologies relevant to the study of medieval visual culture and inter-cultural studies.
Should you be considering advanced study in art history, this programme provides the perfect preparation, as you will have gained both a strong foundation in the discipline and identified a particular area of interest. This study may, in turn, lead to an academic career, or a rewarding position in the cultural heritage field.
The Master's Programme of Medieval and Renaissance Studies will stimulate your independent study skills within a wide range of issues ranging from philosophy, theology, law, history, literature and the arts. Specialised seminars will bring the cultural and intellectual history of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to life, with a particular emphasis on the Low Countries.
The programme draws on the combined expertise of various research groups and specialised centres at KU Leuven, including the Faculty of Arts for the History of the Middle Ages, Early Modern History and the Illuminare and Seminarium Philologiae Humanisticae centres), the Institute of Philosophy's (De Wulf-Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, as well as Aristoteles Latinus), the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies' group for the History of Church and Theology), and the Faculty of Law. All of these research groups and centres all play a role in this MA programme, which is monitored by the interfaculty Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Strengthened by KU Leuven's in-house expertise in ancient and modern languages and by its excellent library collections, you cannot ask for a better home to carry out your historical-philological research.
The Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at KU Leuven boasts a long academic tradition: founded in 1966, it stimulates and coordinates multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research and graduate teaching in the history of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Reformation.
Strengthened by its expertise in ancient and modern languages, KU Leuven's historical-philological research strongly emphasises the interdisciplinary study of texts. In the Leuven context, special attention is devoted to the role of the Church and its stimulating influence on intellectual life in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The aim of this one-year Master program is to prepare students for the independent study of the cultural and intellectual history of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance form a multi- and interdisciplinary point of view. Taking its point of departure in texts, the program is designed to address a wide spectrum of issues in the fields of language and literature, political thought, law, urban history, art history, philosophy, history of the church and theology, history of education and science. Special attention is devoted to the relation between text and image, the afterlife of Antiquity, and the significance of the Low Countries in the cultural and intellectual history of Western Europe.
Our graduates go on to find employment as researchers, academic and professionals in the cultural sector.
Graduates from the programme are well placed for positions in university research projects, academic appointments and career positions in the cultural sector.
The Medieval Literatures and Cultures MSc at Edinburgh is a flexible programme, allowing for either a specifically literary focus or a broader ranging and interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Middle Ages.
Edinburgh hosts a thriving medieval research culture. This flexible programme gives you the chance to draw on the broad range of academic expertise you’ll find here, and take advantage of the seminar series and other resources offered by our Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
You will gain a grounding in the advanced literary study of the European Middle Ages and the principles of manuscript study. Through option courses and a research project, you will have the opportunity to deepen your particular medieval interests, drawing on our strengths in the languages and literatures of medieval Europe, from medieval French and Latin to, for example, old Norse, old Irish and Middle English.
You will also have access to the impressive collections of the University, the National Library of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland, the National Archives and the National Galleries.
You will take part in seminars and workshops, carried out over two semesters, followed by your independently researched dissertation.
Option courses include those from the fields of history, Scottish studies, art history and divinity, as well as a variety of European literatures. Courses may include:
You will gain a grounding in the concepts and genres that are key to advanced literary study of the European Middle Ages, and be introduced to the principles of manuscript study. The option courses and independent dissertation enable you to develop and deepen your particular medieval interests.
The flexibility of focus this programme offers makes it an ideal foundation for advanced study, potentially leading to an academic career. Teaching or curatorship roles in cultural institutions are alternative career pathways, while the transferable skills you gain in communication, project management and presentation will prove a valuable asset to employers in any field.
King’s is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for the study of medieval history, with expertise in the study of Anglo-Saxon England, Britain in the central Middle Ages together with early and later medieval Europe.
This MA course gives you the skills and analysis you need for medieval historical study and delving into the significant topics of the period, from Magna Carta to the history of medieval women. It will also introduce you to the burgeoning field of digital humanities through collaboration with the Department of Digital Humanities where the digital and historical worlds meet.
King’s is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for the study of medieval history, with traditional expertise in the study of Anglo-Saxon England, Britain in the central Middle Ages together with early and later medieval Europe, recently strengthened by the arrival of new members of staff.
The MA programme is amongst the most successful of its kind worldwide, teaching students the skills and analysis required for medieval historical study and delving into significant topics of the period, from Magna Carta to the history of medieval women.
The History department has traditional expertise in Anglo-Saxon England, Britain in the central Middle Ages together with early and later medieval Europe. Major research projects in medieval history currently being undertaken by MA teaching staff include the AHRC-funded online databases Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (PASE) and Henry III Fine Rolls, an AHRC-funded project The Making of Charlemagne’s Europe and the Leverhulme Trust funded project Profile of a Doomed Elite: The Structure of English Landed Society in 1066.
Institute of Historical Research (IHR)
We will encourage you to make full use of the opportunities available through the Institute of Historical Research (IHR). Many members of the Department prepare and deliver its period-based seminars, including the flourishing Early Medieval History and European History 1150-1550 seminars. In addition, the IHR offers a wide range of other events: from student-run workshops to specialist training days. This intersection between Department, School and the IHR means we have a uniquely productive environment for graduate study in History.
To train scholars moving into academic work after completing an undergraduate degree, but also for those who want to deepen their knowledge of the period.
Students will take modules worth a minimum of 180 credits. Taught compulsory and optional modules assessed by coursework and/or examination plus a compulsory dissertation.
If you are a full-time student, we will give you four to eight hours of teaching through seminars, where you will contribute to the dicsussion and prepare presentations.
If you are a part-time studnet, we will give you two to six hours of teaching each week through seminars.
For your dissertation, we will give you six hours of supervision.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
The majority of our modules are assessed through coursework. Your dissertation will be a 15,000-word essay.
Our graduates continue to further research or transfer their skills and knowledge to careers in teaching, archives, the media, finance, politics and heritage industries.
The city of Exeter is the perfect setting for our MA in Medieval Studies. At the University there is a wide variety of resources and you will have access to extensive holdings, audio-visual collections and some medieval manuscripts in our Special Collections in the University library. Exeter Cathedral Library Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre, located nearby, contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books.
The MA Medieval Studies draws on the expertise of the Centre for Medieval Studies, which is one of the largest centres in the university. Exeter is unique in that we have a large number of specialists in medieval studies across various disciplines. Our expertise is especially strong in medieval history, archaeology, law, music, French literature, English literature, and Arab and Islamic studies.
Modules are taken from nine different disciplines meaning the course is varied and you will be offered comprehensive training on skills needed to study the Middle Ages, including medieval languages (Latin, Old English, and medieval French) and palaeography. With such a large number of medieval studies experts and excellent links to the local and national heritage sector we are in an excellent position to help you as you further your historical knowledge whether you are planning on progressing to PhD study, pursuing a profession, or simply exploring a passion for medieval studies.
The University's Streatham Campus is located with excellent access to the heart of historic Exeter which has a rich cultural heritage extending back to the Roman period and boasts particularly fine evidence of its medieval past. You will benefit from access to Exeter Cathedral Library and University libraries which maintain excellent holdings relevant to medieval studies.
A range of optional modules are available which reflect the varied research interests of academic staff across the Centre for Medieval Studies. These interests range widely across the medieval period and cover Britain, Europe and the Islamic world. They also represent several disciplines, including History, Archaeology, Classics, Literature, Music, Art History, Theology and Islamic Studies.
The core module Interpreting the Middle Ages: Images, Texts and Contexts will give students an overview of these different disciplinary approaches and show how they can be applied to the study of medieval texts and objects. Other core modules are Medieval Research Skills, which introduces students to the skills needed to work with medieval sources such as palaeography and codicology, and Current Research in Medieval Studies which asks students to reflect on how academic research projects are designed and presented, and gives them guidance in developing their own dissertation projects. Students also have the option of taking Latin modules and are strongly encouraged to do so if they are considering going on to an MPhil or PhD.
- offers an excellent, interdisciplinary education in medieval studies, covering a wide range of topics and approaches across the medieval period;
- gives students the opportunity to work with the medieval sources in and around Exeter, for example at Exeter Cathedral, the Devon Heritage Centre and the University’s Special Collections;
- produces graduates who are highly competent in subject-specific, core academic, and personal and key skills that are both relevant and transferable to employment;
- encourages participation in research seminar programmes offering insights into a very wide range of research cultures and specialisms and into how academics go about designing and presenting research projects;
- offers excellent preparation for students intending to continue on to doctoral-level research with a good track record in obtaining funding for further study.
As an MA Medieval Studies student you will be welcome to join the Centre for Medieval Studies, which brings together academic staff and Postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines across the University’s Colleges. We are brought together by our shared interests which run from the Early Middle Ages to the early Renaissance and may include archaeology, theology, music, literature and law. We hold regular seminars and research events which, if you decide to join us at Exeter, we hope you will not only attend but become an active part of.
Research is at the heart of History and our students are encouraged to come to Departmental Research Seminars and become an active part of wider research community. Our research centres regularly hold seminars and other research events which MA students are welcome to attend.
Our current research centres include:
As well as our research centres we also have a Postgraduate Reading Group for matters medieval which brings together our Masters and PhD students to share ideas.
Aspects of the medieval past continue to fascinate the public imagination. Medieval castles, abbeys and churches are some of the most frequently visited heritage sites in Britain, while television programmes about the more bloodthirsty aspects of the period prove consistently popular.
Whatever your particular area of interest, the MA Medieval History allows you to carry out specialist research under expert supervision.
We are one of the largest, most active and successful centres for teaching and historical research both in the UK and internationally. Our academic reputation means that we are ranked third in the UK for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
Our team of over 35 academic staff and 100 postgraduate students work together to create a thriving and supportive research culture. This vibrant community includes a regular research seminar series, covering a huge range of topics, and a range of research centres and networks exploring interdisciplinary themes. Our students also run an active Postgraduate Forum organising a wide variety of social and research events, and collaborating with staff and students both in Sheffield and further afield.
Our world-leading research informs what we teach. We offer a flexible degree structure with a wide range of modules covering a variety of periods, locations, themes and approaches.
An MA degree in history will further develop the range of transferable skills at your disposal. You will have the freedom to tailor your research and focus on the skills that are most important to you. We offer modules that are specifically designed to provide you with skills in public history – Presenting the Past, History Writer’s Workshop and Work Placement all give you real, hands-on experience.
These kinds of skills are why our graduates are successful in both further study and a wide range of careers – from taking PhDs, lecturing and working in the museum and tourist industry to business management, marketing, law and working in the media.
In addition to the personal and professional development you will experience through your modules, we offer dedicated careers support to enable you to successfully plan your future.
University and AHRC Studentships are available. Please contact us or see our website for further details. You’ll need to submit your application by the appropriate funding deadline.
You’ll be taught through seminars and individual tutorials. Assessment is by bibliographical and source-based exercises, written papers, oral presentation, and a 15,000 word dissertation.
All our masters can be taken part-time. Seminars are held during working hours (9am–6pm) – there are no lectures. The number of contact hours will vary over the two years, but you’ll usually have at least one two-hour seminar each week. You’ll take one core module each year and the rest of your course will be made up from optional modules giving you plenty of choice and flexibility over what you study.
This MA allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of the history of health, medicine and society.
You’ll be trained in historical research methods and conceptual and methodological approaches to the history of health, medicine and society. You can combine British, European and African history under the guidance of leading researchers in History, History and Philosophy and Science and Medieval Studies. You’ll have the chance to focus on topics and periods that suit your own interests, whether that’s the history of health, medicine and society in the Middle Ages or the First World War.
Looking at the health of individuals, families and communities, you could study the human life course from birth to death, the experiences of medical practitioners and caregivers, medicine during periods of war and conflict, or the impact of health policy in different societies. It’s an exciting opportunity to explore how health and medicine have always been shaped by the social and cultural context.
We have an exceptional range of resources to help you explore the topics that interest you. The world-class Brotherton Library holds a wealth of resources in its Special Collections, including historical works on health, medicine, cookery and medicinal uses of food, as well as extensive archival material about the history of medicine, surgery and nursing during the First World War and across the region since the eighteenth century.
You’ll be encouraged to participate in events run by the School of History’s lively ‘Health, Medicine and Society’ research group, including seminars, reading group sessions and a postgraduate symposium. You’ll also be able to attend a huge range of other events at the University of Leeds, including seminars at the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science and the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities.
You’ll also have access to the University’s Museum of Science, Technology and Medicine, which is especially rich in its medical collections, and we have close links with the Thackray Medical Museum in east Leeds and its 47,000 medical objects.
The first semester will lay the foundations of your studies, introducing you to historical research methods, and key sources, debates and methodologies in the history of health, medicine and society. You’ll take part in a source analysis workshop and gain practical knowledge of documentary, visual and material sources in the university and local area which can be used to study the history of health, medicine and society.
You’ll also develop specialist knowledge of the development of the history of medicine and the social history of medicine as historical sub-disciplines, and the place of health and medicine within the discipline of history.
In Semester Two, you’ll build on this knowledge with your choice from a wide range of optional modules, including specialist topics such as birth , death and illness in the Middle Ages; Medicine and warfare in the 19th and 20th centuries or disease and sexuality in Africa. You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with partner organisations, such as the West Yorkshire Archive Service, by studying the ‘Making History: Archive collaborations’ module.
Throughout the programme, you’ll develop your knowledge across a variety of areas as well as key skills in research and critical analysis. You’ll showcase these skills when you complete your dissertation, which will be independently researched on a topic of your choice and submitted by the end of the programme in September.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods. The majority of your modules will be taught through weekly seminars, where you’ll discuss issues and themes in your chosen modules with a small group of students and your tutors. Independent study is also crucial to this degree, giving you the space to shape your own studies and develop your skills.
We use different types of assessment to help you develop a wide range of skills, including presentations, research proposals, project reports and essays, depending on the subjects you choose.
This programme will heighten your cultural and social awareness as well as allowing you to build your historical knowledge. You’ll also gain high-level research, analysis and communication skills that will prove valuable in a wide range of careers.
Graduates have found success in a diverse range of careers in education, research and the private sector. Many others have continued with their studies at PhD level. Your knowledge and skills will appeal to a wide range of employers, including in the charitable, education, healthcare, and heritage sectors .
We offer different forms of support to help you reach your career goals. You’ll have the chance to attend our career groups, meeting students with similar plans, or you could become a paid academic mentor to an undergraduate completing their final-year dissertation. You could also apply for one of the internships we offer each year.
This MA equips students with the skills necessary for advanced medieval and renaissance scholarship. A wide range of historical, literary, palaeographical, art historical and archaeological modules enables students to explore the aspects of medieval and renaissance culture in which they are interested.
This MA provides exceptional opportunities to master medieval and renaissance languages and to acquire manuscript expertise working with original manuscripts; key skills for those who want to go on to original research. Students with primary interests in many different areas ‒ linguistic, historical, literary or archaeological ‒ will be able to build on and extend their expertise and skills.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of 30 credits of core language modules, optional modules (90 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).
Up to 90 credits of options drawn from the following:
This list is indicative only; the modules available are subject to change each year.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and classes. Several modules include site visits to institutions, notably the British Library, the Warburg Institute, the National Archives and the Institute of Historical Research. Assessment is through unseen examination, long essays, coursework and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA
Recent destinations of recent graduates of this programme include: funded PhDs at UCL, Universities of Oxford, St Andrews, Cambridge, Durham, Cardiff, Lancaster, and UEA; the British Library: Cataloguer; Reuters: News Assistant; Ministry of Trade Industry and Tourism: Government Advisor.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The MARS degree allows students to develop an enviable range of skills. This programme not only provides an outstanding foundation for those hoping to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career but is also popular with students wishing to go into journalism, the civil service, business, museum and heritage and the education sector. Debates, small group seminars and tutorials help students to acquire strong presentation and negotiation skills for their future career. Likewise the analytical and research skills gained by students on this programme are highly valued by employers from a range of industries.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The departments contributing to this degree - History; English; the School of European Languages, Culture and Society; History of Art - enjoy outstanding international reputations for research and teaching.
We are strongly committed to the intellectual development of all our students; if you come to UCL, you will receive individual supervision from leading researchers in their fields.
Located in Bloomsbury, we are just a few minutes' walk away from the exceptional resources of the British Library, the British Museum and the research institutes of the University of London, including the Warburg and the Institute of Historical Research.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: History
82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies offers you an opportunity to pursue your interest in the literatures, histories, and cultures of the European Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. Research in this fascinating area has a long and distinguished history at the University of Manchester. We have a lively research culture, with talks, seminars and conferences that you will be able to attend in addition to your taught courses. You will also be able to draw on the expertise of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research at the John Rylands Research Institute, where the programme is based. The John Rylands Library houses exceptional medieval and early-modern treasures (which are currently being digitised) and offers many exciting research and study opportunities. Staff teaching on this MA represent the disciplines of History, Art History and Visual Studies, English, Religions and Theology, Classics, and European Languages. Two pathways are available for students who wish to extend their knowledge in a particular chronological direction: Medieval, and Early Modern.
Find out more about Medieval and early Modern Studies at Manchester: Why Manchester?
Associate Programme Director: [email protected] .
Summative assessment is primarily via extended pieces of written work: the dissertation of around 15,000 words, long essays of around 4,000-6,000 words, and a variety of shorter pieces for palaeography or language classes. There is a pass mark of 50% for all assignments, marks over 60% are given as merit and over 70% as distinction. In addition, depending on the units selected, formative assessment may be based on oral presentation, class discussion, and feedback on written draft material. Assessment varies from course unit to course unit; full details of the assessment procedure for individual units can be obtained from the course director.
Those who only attain 120 credits (out of 180) will be awarded the PG Diploma in Medieval Studies.
The first component takes the form of the compulsory core courses and research training units. These are taken by students on all pathways.
These courses (details below in the course unit list) are designed to introduce you to the basics of interdisciplinary analysis, and to research training skills appropriate to the scope of the course. 'From Papyrus to Print: The History of the Book' and 'Reading the Middle Ages and Early Modern period: Palaeography, Codicology and Sources' are taught in the magnificent surroundings of the John Rylands Library, with the support of specialist library staff. You will get the opportunity to view and handle rare books and manuscripts from across the entire period. The aim is to consider all aspects of book production, from the roll to the codex and from script to print, as well as the uses (practical and symbolic) of texts in medieval culture. You will be introduced to a range of medieval sources, recent theoretical approaches to archival research, and learn methodological skills, such as palaeography and codicology.
'Perspectives in Medieval and Early Modern Studies Studies' aims to explore the methodological, historiographical and analytical choices that shape our study of the medieval and early modern periods. Highlighting the variety of disciplinary approaches that are in use in current scholarship, this module shall investigate a series of relevant themes within the field, and will be taught by specialists from across the School. Students will be encouraged to question issues of historical periodisation, the benefits of interdisciplinarity, and how an intellectual framework for the study of the medieval and early modern periods may be conceptualised.
The second component consists of 60-credits worth of optional modules. These options range widely over the history, literature, art and material culture of the medieval and early modern world. You may also take Latin or Old/Middle English (15-30 credits) - appropriate level taken to be discussed with the Programme Director, in consultation with the relevant department. Options to take other languages, such as Hebrew, Arabic, or Greek can be considered, in consultation with the programme director. A student can take no more than 30 language credits.
Of the optional modules selected, 15 credits must clearly be of relevance to the medieval period.
Early Modern Pathway:
Of the optional modules selected, 15 credits must clearly be of relevance to the early modern period.
Students may choose other relevant options from across the School, subject to approval by the relevant course directors. Details of new available options will appear here. Please check again in June, or contact the course director.
The third component consists of the dissertation, which allows you to research a topic of your choice (60 credits).
Students on all pathways must complete a dissertation.
The dissertation topic selected must lie within the medieval period.
Early Modern Pathway:
The dissertation topic selected must lie within the early modern period.
If you have any further academic queries, please email [email protected] .
Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
The end of classical antiquity in the Mediterranean and the Middle East witnessed the formation of polities, institutions and ideologies which define and continue to influence our world to the present day.
By combining a diverse, yet cognate range of research interests, this programme offers an exceptional selection of linguistic and disciplinary expertise in the study of the late antique, Islamic and Byzantine worlds, embracing archaeology, art history, history, languages and literatures, and auxiliary disciplines such as palaeography, numismatics, and sigillography. It presently provides training in the following source languages: Greek, Latin, Arabic, and/or Hebrew.
This programme provides you with excellent preparation for graduate research in historical, archaeological, literary or art-historical topics focusing on the Mediterranean and western Asia from late antiquity into the early middle ages.
You will have access to the expertise of academics who are all passionate about their area of study. Drawn from several schools across the University and brought together in the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the team comprises specialists in the various branches of late antique, Islamic and Byzantine studies.
The MSc comprises seminars, language classes and tutorials, which will include seminar discussion and debate, presentation to peers, directed and independent reading, as well as interactive language teaching. You will complete one compulsory course and select a further two language courses and an additional three options from a wide range on offer.
The compulsory course is:
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:
The programme emphasises acquisition of essential language skills for original research and close work with key historical and/or literary sources of evidence and grounding in the issues surrounding them.
You will gain an appreciation of the associated material cultures, including issues surrounding its recovery, survival and curation, which will prepare you for future academic research and prospective careers in aspects of museums and heritage management.
Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers. Those interested in long-term academic careers consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD.
The MSc provides a toolkit of transferable skills in organisation, research and analysis that will be highly prized in any field of work. It can form a stepping stone to many careers, such as further academic research, museum and art curation, literary translation or analysis, education or public heritage. Graduates of related programmes are putting their skills to use as tutors, archivists, writers and conference coordinators for employers including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
Designed to develop your understanding of medieval history, or introduce you to it if you have not studied it before, this is a taught degree with some provision for dissertation research.
We offer uniquely wide ranging expertise across the whole medieval period, from c. 300 to c. 1500. We cover all of the countries of western Europe, Scandinavia, the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia and China, and have a broad range with thematic interests including religious cultures, socio-economic history, the Crusades, Islamic history, gender, manuscript studies, drama, regional literatures and history (West Midlands, Scotland, Spain, Iceland, Byzantium, Afghanistan, northern Eurasia), material culture, comparative history and the ‘global Middle Ages’.
Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.
This programme offers an opportunity to engage in advanced study of your chosen discipline through a range of core and optional modules. In all teaching you are encouraged to apply class material to your own specific research interests and your dissertation.
The programme includes six taught modules, made up of:
Full module descriptions are available below.
Most core and optional modules on this course are assessed by written assignment. See module descriptions for further details.
You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.
Birmingham has an outstanding reputation for research and teaching in medieval studies, which it has maintained for well over fifty years.
We have been rated highly in all three of the UK’s Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) and our library is one of the leading research libraries in the country, with exceptionally good medieval holdings.
To support your studies, we have regular research seminars where visiting and Birmingham speakers present their research. The university’s Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages (CeSMA) acts as a focus for interdisciplinary research projects and events which feed into our teaching. In addition to this we have a large number of postgraduate students in medieval studies so you’ll have a supportive and sociable environment for your studies.
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).
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: History
Birmingham’s History graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by a range of employers. These skills include: 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.
Some of our History postgraduates go on to use their studies directly, for example in heritage, museums or the armed forces; others use their transferable skills in a range of occupations from finance, to publishing, to fundraising. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Royal Air Force; Ministry of Defence; University of Birmingham; Big Lottery Fund; Royal Air Force Museum; and University of Oxford.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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