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.
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).
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.
This MA provides a unique range of options from the early modern period to the present, covering lands where mighty empires and many nations have interacted and competed over the centuries: the Russian Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Ottoman Empire, the German Empire, and their successor states.
Students are encouraged to choose from modules which are as diverse in geography as they are varied in approach. The programme is especially rich in courses exploring the relationship between power and culture. Several methods modules are available, including Methods of Area Studies Research (MASR).
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of one core module (30 credits), a choice from a range of optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
-Historical Methods and Approaches
-Contemporary Cultural Studies: Between Post-Communism and Post-Modernism
-Beyond Stereotypes: The Jews in Polish Culture
-Cities in Eastern Europe
-The Crisis Zone: Central Europe 1900-1990
-Empires, Nationalism and Communism: States and Societies of South-East Europe
-Religion in South-Eastern Europe: From the Age of Empires to Post-Communism
-Little Hitlers?: Right Radicalism in Central and Eastern Europe 1900-1945
-The Making of Modern Ukraine
-'Metropolis': History of Berlin, 1871-1990
-The Self and the World: Theoretical Approaches to Travel Writing
-The Soviet Cultural Experiment I, 1917-1945
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 10,000-12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, and self study. Student performance is assessed through examinations, essays, a portfolio of work (which includes annotated bibliography, bullet-point presentation, encyclopaedia-style entry, and book review), oral presentation, document analysis, and the dissertation.
With their specialist knowledge and language skills, SSEES Masters graduates can be found in business, finance, the media, international agencies, charities, diplomacy, international security organisations, the law, and academe.
Some graduates advise the Russian, Polish, American, and other governments, and the European Commission.
Top career destinations for this degree:
-Intern, Houses of Parliament
-Equity Analyst, Charlemagne Capital
-Press and Public Information Office Intern, OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe)
-PhD Russian History, University College London (UCL)
Students who have successfully completed this programme have moved into further academic research and doctoral studies, careers in teaching and careers in government, NGOs or the European Parliament. The regional specialism of this MA along with the opportunity to learn a language is attractive to employers. Networking is facilitated by two major collaborations led by SSEES: CEELBAS and the International Master's (IMESS). Scholarships, internship opportunities and excellent links with other universities in the region provide further benefits.
The UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES) is a world-leading specialist institution, and the largest national centre in the UK, for the study of central, Eastern and south-east Europe and Russia.
Located in Bloomsbury, SSEES offers an ideal location for scholars. The British Library, British Museum, University of London Library and other similar research centres are all close by.
The SSEES Library is unequalled in Britain for the depth and breadth of its collections, the majority of which are on open access in the SSEES building.
The SSEES Postgraduate Open Evening will be taking place on 6th December from 5.30pm. It is an informal networking event for prospective MA and Research applicants to meet SSEES staff and students over refreshments. For more information and to register, please visit the following link: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ssees/open-days
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.