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Course content

This varied degree will allow you to explore the cultural, social, political, theological and other aspects of medieval history while gaining valuable skills for further research.

Core modules will allow you to gain an understanding of medieval Latin and palaeography so you can work with primary sources. You’ll also study research methods and bibliography to sharpen your research skills – all of which will allow you to make the most of the fantastic archives, library resources and collections both within the University and in the region.

You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules offered by our School of History and Institute for Medieval Studies, allowing you to gain specialist knowledge in the areas that interest you while cutting across disciplines and using different critical approaches. You could study a broad range of topics, reflecting the diverse research interests across the University which is home to the International Medieval Congress.

The Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) has access to excellent resources, both in the University and beyond. The world-class Brotherton Library contains extensive facsimiles and microfilms of primary materials as well as a wide range of online resources. Its Special Collections also contain a wide range of manuscript, archive and early printed material, including the Melsteth Icelandic Collection, archives of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, the old library of Ripon Cathedral, and the manuscripts and incunabula of the Brotherton Collection.

Leeds is also home to the Royal Armouries and its extensive medieval collections, while the West Yorkshire Archives are dotted around the region and the British Library has a Document Supply Centre in nearby Boston Spa.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Course content

Core modules throughout the degree will allow you to develop important research skills, equipping you to work with primary sources. You’ll gain a working knowledge of medieval Latin, look at research methods in historical study and learn to read and transcribe medieval manuscripts by studying palaeography.

Then you’ll build on this foundation with your choice of optional modules. You’ll choose at least one module offered by the School of History, but you could also choose from the range of interdisciplinary modules offered by IMS. You’ll also specialise further when you complete your dissertation, allowing you to conduct independent research on a specific topic of your choice to showcase the skills you’ve acquired.

If you choose to study this programme part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Details of compulsory modules can be found in the table below; for details of optional modules please see the online module catalogue.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation (Medieval History) 30 credits
  • Introduction to Medieval Latin 30 credits
  • Intermediate Medieval Latin 30 credits
  • Research Methods and Bibliography 15 credits
  • Palaeography: Reading Medieval Manuscripts 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Making History: Archive Collaborations 30 credits
  • Bede's Northumbria 30 credits
  • Christian Society and the Crusades, 1185-1230 30 credits
  • Lifecycles: Birth, Death and Illness in the Middle Ages 30 credits
  • Warfare in the Age of the Crusades (1095-1204) 30 credits
  • The Bible in the Medieval World 30 credits
  • Religious Communities and the Individual Experience of Religion, 1200-1500 30 credits
  • The Medieval Tournament: Combat and Spectacle in Western Europe, 1100-1600 30 credits
  • The Holy Land under the Franks: The Kingdom of Jerusalem and its Enemies, 1099-1187 30 credits
  • Medieval Bodies 30 credits
  • Preaching History: Understanding Sermons as Literature and Historical Source 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Medieval History MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Medieval History MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

IMS tutors are experts in their fields, and their cutting-edge research will inform your teaching. To help you make the most of their expertise, all IMS modules are taught in small groups.

You may study skills in seminar groups of 12 or more students, but languages and other interdisciplinary options are usually taught in tutorials of up to eight students. You’ll also have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during your dissertation.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose, you’ll be assessed by a range of methods to develop skills that are useful across the field of medieval studies. These will include transcriptions, bibliographies, essays, reports, translations and occasionally exams.

Career opportunities

This degree is excellent preparation for further study in related fields. It will also equip you with advanced research, communication and analytical skills that are valuable to employers in a wide range of careers such as in museums and business.

We offer a range of paid opportunities for you to gain experience that can really help with your career plans. You’ll be able to provide a mock tutorial for first-year undergraduates during their induction week, or become an academic mentor for final-year students as they complete their dissertations to gain experience of teaching, one-to-one communication and people management.

We also run several paid one-year internships throughout the year on projects such as the International Medieval Bibliography, IMS website and the International Medieval Congress to gain practical experience.

Read more about Employment in IMS.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


Visit the Medieval History MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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