The course is an exciting, long-standing, and successful academic course that benefits from the expertise of world-class academics, outstanding library resources, and a unique location with medieval roots in the legend. Research skills taught during the first semester will enable students to engage with a variety of interdisciplinary approaches and sources, ranging from theoretical, historical and cultural aspects of the Arthurian myth.
Background Arthurian Literature is an established area of expertise in the School of English at Bangor University and has been taught here for over three decades. A long-standing record of teaching, research and publication attests to its vitality; the main specialists in the field are Dr Raluca Radulescu, whose work has focused on Malory, Arthurian romances and chronicles, especially through a cultural approach, and Professor PJC Field, currently President of the International Arthurian Society, and world-renowned for his work on the Arthurian legend through the centuries. However the course also draws upon the expertise available in other periods of literature within the School of English and other schools in the College of Arts and Humanities, ranging from post-medieval approaches in the School of English, or medieval Welsh, History and Archaeology, and Music. Staff in these areas contribute regularly to the teaching of Arthurian topics ranging from the medieval period to the present, including music and modern film adaptations.
Why Bangor for Arthurian Studies? The attractiveness of the MA in Arthurian Literature at Bangor lies in its flexible, though comprehensive, approach to the study of this area. Students may choose to specialise in either the medieval or the post-medieval period but they will be required to take both modules with these titles in order to benefit from the wide coverage of the Arthurian legend they provide. At the same time they can enjoy all the benefits of one-to-one supervision in the Open Essay options, while also developing their research skills in the Introduction to Literary Theory, Scholarship and Research Module (shared with the MA in English). Moreover, in-depth introductions to the study of medieval palaeography and codicology are available by collaboration with other relevant schools and disciplines, as a preparation to PhD level (see collaborative doctoral training scheme in palaeography and codicology organised by Dr Raluca Radulescu).
Students usually participate in the activities of the Centre for Medieval Studies, including the annual international postgraduate conference, ‘Medievalism Transformed’, the bi-weekly Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies seminar series (http://www.imems.ac.uk/) and the online postgraduate journal.
Structure The MA in Arthurian Literature consists of two parts. Part One must be successfully completed before proceeding to the second part, the dissertation. The Diploma, which consists of Part One of the MA programme, aims to develop learner autonomy to the point where the student is capable of beginning a scholarly dissertation at MA level.
Introduction to Literary Theory, Scholarship and Research (30 credits), which develops knowledge of literary theory and research methods. Medieval Arthur (30 credits), exploring the Arthurian myth from the earliest archaeological evidence to the end of the fifteenth century, with a view to examining its evolution in a variety of the socio-political contexts, as well as material culture. Post-Medieval Arthur (30 credits), addressing the Arthurian myth and legends from the early modern period onwards, paying attention to the way the story was shaped in different centuries Optional Modules:
Open Essay (30 credits): Supervised essays on topics of the student’s own choice. Advanced Latin for Postgraduates (20 credits) Manuscript and Printed Books (30 credits): An introduction to the study of medieval and early modern palaeography and codicology, in co-operation with the Bangor University Archives and Special Collections, which include the library of Bangor Cathedral Subject to availability, students may choose relevant modules in medieval Welsh literature/Welsh Arthurian literature offered in the School of Welsh. Part Two
Dissertation (60 credits): a substantial piece (20,000 words) of scholarly research, on a subject of your own choice and discussed in detail with a chosen supervisor. It will involve a series of one-to-one supervisory meetings during the summer, once Part 1 has been completed successfully. Research Links with Industry A collaboration with the tourist attraction ’King Arthur’s Labyrinth’ at Corris has led to fully funded Access to Masters MA places on this degree programme. The course also maintains links with people and organisations beyond Bangor: these might include guest speakers and visits to sites of literary interest.
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