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Medieval and Early Modern Studies - MA

Course Description

The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies offers you an opportunity to pursue your interest in the literatures, histories, and cultures of the European Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. Research in this fascinating area has a long and distinguished history at the University of Manchester. We have a lively research culture, with talks, seminars and conferences that you will be able to attend in addition to your taught courses. You will also be able to draw on the expertise of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research at the John Rylands Research Institute, where the programme is based. The John Rylands Library houses exceptional medieval and early-modern treasures (which are currently being digitised) and offers many exciting research and study opportunities. Staff teaching on this MA represent the disciplines of History, Art History and Visual Studies, English, Religions and Theology, Classics, and European Languages. Two pathways are available for students who wish to extend their knowledge in a particular chronological direction: Medieval, and Early Modern.

Coursework and assessment

Summative assessment is primarily via extended pieces of written work: the dissertation of around 15,000 words, long essays of around 4,000-6,000 words, and a variety of shorter pieces for palaeography or language classes. There is a pass mark of 50% for all assignments, marks over 60% are given as merit and over 70% as distinction. In addition, depending on the units selected, formative assessment may be based on oral presentation, class discussion, and feedback on written draft material. Assessment varies from course unit to course unit; full details of the assessment procedure for individual units can be obtained from the course director.

Those who only attain 120 credits (out of 180) will be awarded the PG Diploma in Medieval Studies.

Career opportunities

The programme is designed to equip students with the critical skills and tools necessary for research in the history, literatures, and art of the Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. Many of these theoretical and methodological skills are highly transferrable, making our graduates popular with a wide range of employers. Working in close contact with the collections of the John Rylands Library makes the Masters degree particularly suitable for students considering a future in heritage management, in library, archive, or museum work, art business, or in education. In addition to these professional career paths, other students go on to study for a PhD with the degree proving an excellent basis for an academic career. The University has an award-winning Careers Service that provides ample opportunities for career development, whether through attending courses, or acquiring specific individual guidance.

Visit the Medieval and Early Modern Studies - MA page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

Student Profiles

The John Rylands Research Institute Bursary - Single Award

The John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester, wishes to offer a bursary (to the sum of Home/EU fees = £7,700) to a candidate who has been accepted as a full-time student on the MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, commencing in September 2016. The successful applicant will be interested in medieval or early modern studies in an interdisciplinary context. S/he will take both compulsory and optional modules on the MA, as described here: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/masters/courses/list/10132/medieval-and-early-modern-studies-ma/ The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies is based at the John Rylands Research Institute at the John Rylands Library, Deansgate. The Library houses exceptional medieval and early-modern treasures (which are currently being digitised) and offers many exciting research and study opportunities. The JRRI is the home of cutting-edge research on the University's Special Collections (http://www.jrri.manchester.ac.uk/).

Value of Scholarship(s)



Intending applicants must either already hold a place on the MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, or have a complete application submitted for the programme by 27 May, 2016. Applicants should hold a BA Honours degree in a relevant field with at least a 2.i classification, or have such a qualification pending. There are no eligibility criteria based on nationality, but please note that the value of the bursary is restricted to the maximum cost of home/EU fees. The bursary will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Application Procedure

Applicants should supply an academic transcript, a short statement (500 words max) describing their particular research interests, and the names of two academic referees. Statements and supporting material should be sent to [email protected], for attention of Andy Rigg by 5pm on 27 May, 2016. If you have already submitted transcripts, statements, or references as part of another funding scheme application there is no need to resubmit the material, although you are required to register your wish to be considered for the award by stating an intention to apply via the email address above.Contact: Dr Irene O’Daly, Associate Programme Director, MA Medieval and Early Modern Studies: [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a good, Upper Second Class Honours degree, or its overseas equivalent, normally in a relevant subject.

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