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Course content

This MA offers students the opportunity to specialise in an exciting and multi-faceted field of study that covers the history and culture of the Mediterranean world during the long millennium from the foundation of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) in 324 to the fall of the Byzantine empire in 1453.

About this degree

Students gain a thorough grounding in key aspects of and approaches to late antique and Byzantine studies. They acquire necessary research skills (ancient languages, palaeography, epigraphy, papyrology) and develop their critical and conceptual understanding of the field through a variety of disciplines (history, literature, material culture, philosophy).

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core language or research skills module (40 credits), optional modules (80 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

Either one language acquisition module, or a research skills module (40 credits). These include:

  • Beginners Ancient Greek for Research
  • Intermediate Ancient Greek for Research
  • Beginners Latin for Research
  • Intermediate Latin
  • Sources and Methods in Ancient History
  • Greek Epigraphy
  • Greek Papyrology
  • Latin Epigraphy
  • Medieval Latin Literature

Optional modules

Optional modules will be finalised in Spring 2018. Please contact the department for more information. The following optional modules were available in 2017/18 and this is an indicative list only:

  • Byzantium and the First Crusade
  • Byzantium and the Fourth Crusade
  • Byzantium & the West, A. D. 800-1000
  • Cities of God: making the Late Antique City
  • Codes and Practice: The World of Roman Law
  • Cyprus from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance
  • The Empire of Constantinople
  • Homer's Legacy
  • Identity and Power in Medieval Europe, AD 500-1300
  • The Late Roman and Early Byzantine City
  • Living in Byzantium: Material Culture and Built Environment
  • The Making of the Christian Empire, AD 284-425
  • Medieval Papacy
  • Philosophy under the Roman Empire
  • The Reign of Constantine I

Dissertation/report

All students attend the Introduction to Byzantium seminar, leading to 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 seminars, lectures, workshops and library visits. Assessment is through unseen examinations, coursework essays and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Late Antique and Byzantine Studies MA

Careers

Graduates of the programme are equipped with the skills necessary for further doctoral study in this field. The programme also leads to careers in research or teaching, cultural management, general management, civil service and banking. 

Employability

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. There are many additional activities available, both within the department and the wider UCL community, to help students focus on employability skills whilst they are here, for example, departmental careers talks and networking opportunities with history alumni.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL History enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.

This intercollegiate programme is taught jointly with King's College London and Royal Holloway, University of London, and students benefit from the international expertise and wealth of resources that the three colleges have to offer.

Located in Bloomsbury, UCL History is just a few minutes' walk to the British Library, the British Museum and the research institutes of the University of London, including the Warburg Institute and the Institute of Historical Research. UCL is ideally located at the heart of various historical societies and academic communities.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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.


Visit the Late Antique and Byzantine Studies (MA) page on the University College London website for more details!

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