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 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.