Masters degrees in Byzantine History examine the historical events, peoples and culture from the Byzantine Empire between 300-600 AD. They investigate the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Related subjects and postgraduate specialisms include Asian HistoryHellenic Studies, Late Antique History and Ottoman History. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Ancient History or Archaeology.
Courses in Byzantine History offer advanced study of the Eastern Roman Empire, and examine how it survived despite the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th Century.
Significant cultural changes and developments occurred during this period, which is why the topic is significant for scholarly enquiry. For example, you might research the shift away from the Latin norm and towards Greek tradition, and the uptake of Orthodox Christianity.
Alternatively, you may focus on how the capital city of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), was an important cultural centre – and a meeting point between ‘Western’ civilisation and the Islamic world via the Ottoman Empire. The military history of this period is also important, with conflicts and campaigns that shaped the Early Modern world.
Traditional careers for postgraduate specialists in the Byzantine Empire include scholarly research and publishing, roles within heritage institutions such as museums and archives, as well as translation and teaching.
Our Late Antique and Byzantine Studies MA covers an exciting and varied field of study spanning the history and culture of the Eastern Mediterranean world during the period that begins with the foundation of Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 330 and ends with the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. As well as exploring the history of region through a variety of themes – history, literature, material culture, philosophy and theology – the course will also help you to develop proficiency in vital research skills, including the use of ancient languages (Medieval Greek or Latin), palaeography, epigraphy, papyrology.
Leads to further research or careers in education, journalism, finance, politics and cultural sectors.
Our Late Antique and Byzantine Studies MA covers an exciting and varied field of study spanning the history and culture of the Eastern Mediterranean world during the period that begins with the foundation of Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 330 and ends with the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. As well as exploring the history of region through a variety of themes – history, literature, material culture, philosophy and theology – the course will also help you to develop proficiency in vital research skills, including the use of ancient languages (Medieval Greek or Latin), palaeography, epigraphy and papyrology.
This course is ideal if you have previous training in a related subject in the humanities.
For students whose previous training has been in a related subject in the humanities. To give a grounding in the subject, normally with a language-training element in medieval Greek or Latin.
If you are a full-time student, we will give you six to eight hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 35 hours of self-study.
If you are a part-time student, we will give you two to six hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 17.5 hours of self-study.
For your dissertation, we will give five hours of supervision each year, and we will expect you to undertake 575 hours of self-study.
We will assess you through a combination of coursework and examinations. Typically, we will assess 20-credit modules through a 5,000-word essay or three-hour examination, and 40-credit modules through approximately 10,000-words of coursework, or a combination of coursework and examination. You will take 180 credits of modules over your programme.
Your dissertation will be a 12,000-word essay.
Some of our graduates continue their research in our department and elsewhere in the UK, EU and US. Others transfer the skills and knowledge they develop to careers in teaching, cultural management, general management, civil service and banking.
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 today. By combining a diverse, yet related range of research interests, our programme offers an exceptional selection of linguistic and disciplinary expertise in the study of late antique, early Islamic and Byzantine worlds, embracing Arabic, archaeology, art history, classical languages and literature, history, Persian and theology.
Linguistic training is a vital part of the programme,with courses available in four relevant languages. You will have access to the expertise of academics who are all passionate about their area of study.
Teaching on this programme comes from subject areas brought together in the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. It is one of the largest communities of Medieval and early modern specialists internationally, with more than 70 members actively pursuing research in this field. This MSc offers you the opportunity for regional and disciplinary specialisation depending on your own research interests.
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.
The compulsory course is: Approaches to the Long Late Antiquity. This course provides specialist methodological, theoretical, and cross-disciplinary training. There will also be a language option in Classical Greek, Latin, Arabic or Persian.
Option courses previously offered include:
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 RSPB.
This course is ideal as a bridge to study at MA level or beyond if you are new to the field of Late Antique & Byzantine Studies.
It covers the Byzantine Empire, 600-1453 and an ancient language (Greek or Latin) plus options including Medicine in Western Civilization I and Constantinople: Imperial Capital - Medieval Metropolis.
Leads to MA study or careers in education, journalism, finance, politics and cultural sectors.
The Late Antique and Byzantine Studies Graduate Diploma is a highly flexible academic study pathway that offers you the opportunity to customise your module choices to reflect your academic interests.
Initially, you will study either a Greek or Latin language module at a level to reflect your language abilities. You will then choose to study further topics from the late antique and Byzantine area of the course as well as a range of optional modules from the Department of Classics or the Department of Theology & Religious Studies.
You must take modules totalling 120 credits to complete the course. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in nine months, from September to June; if you are studying part-time, your programme will take 18 months to complete. (For progression to the MA in Late Antique & Byzantine Studies, a pass at Merit standard (60 per cent) would be required)
The Late Antique and Byzantine Studies Graduate Diploma is a multi-disciplinary study programme designed both for graduates who are looking to strengthen and expand their understanding of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, and also for students from other backgrounds requiring an in-depth understanding of the main areas of the subjects.
Though it may be taken as a free-standing qualification in its own right, many students take the Graduate Diploma as a preliminary to the MA in Late Antique & Byzantine Studies at King's.
We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. You will be assigned a personal tutor who will provide support and guidance for your studies.
Assessment methods will depend on the modules you have selected to study. The primary methods of assessment for this course are coursework and examinations.
The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. They are however, subject to change.
Our graduates frequently choose to continue their studies at Kings’ by studying for a master’s in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies; While some decide to follow related courses at other UK universities.