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    Department of History, Classics and Archaeology Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    History & Archaeology

  • Start Date

    October

  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

  • Course Type

    MA

  • Course Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

Course content

This Master's degree in history considers the culture and society of the medieval period, which is usually understood as stretching from the transformation of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. The programme will introduce you to a variety of topics within this broad span of time, including religion and heresy, philosophy and political thought, gender, the expansion of urban communities, power and kingship, and the dynamics of historical change. You will develop your ability to critically assess and analyse historical evidence and we will look at the archaeological record, documentary evidence, including parliamentary petitions, guild records and manorial court rolls, and literary sources by authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland, among others. While the focus is on Britain, you will also study the British medieval experience comparatively alongside that of mainland Europe, in particular France and Italy.

After the core module, you can choose option modules that will further extend your exploration of the period and engage your passion for particular topics. The dissertation allows you to pursue independent research in an area of personal interest under the expert supervision of one of our research-active academics. If you are interested in how societies develop over time, this course will give you a stimulating and complex perspective on this fascinating period.

Key teaching staff on this programme

Course director: Dr Caroline Goodson

Staff involved in teaching the MA include:

Dr Rebecca Darley
Professor Vanessa Harding
Professor John Henderson
Professor Matthew Innes.

Other medievalists at Birkbeck include:

Dr Alison Finlay, a lecturer in English, specialising in Old Icelandic sagas and heroic poetry, and Old English.

Professor Anthony Bale, a Reader in English who works on late medieval texts and culture.
Dr Isabel Davis, a lecturer in English who works on late medieval texts and culture.
Dr Zoe Opacic, a lecturer in art history, who works on late medieval art and architecture.
Dr Robert Maniura, a lecturer in art history who works on late medieval art and architecture.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Birkbeck has research and teaching strengths in the medieval period and you will be taught by academics with expertise across history, English literature, cultural studies and interdisciplinary combinations.
This programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and writing a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

Visit the Medieval History (MA) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

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