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Course content

In this programme, you’ll take an in-depth look at the fascinating history of Europe in the period between AD 400 and 1500 and form your own specialist interest, providing a foundation for doctoral study should you choose that route.

With more than 70 members of academic staff attached to our cross-disciplinary Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS), Edinburgh is a wonderful environment for medieval scholarship.

Through small, seminar-based classes, you’ll develop knowledge of the principal categories of surviving evidence and the technical skills needed to read them, namely palaeography, and linguistic knowledge (generally Latin), and learn the value of an interdisciplinary approach to medieval research.

World-class resources will be on hand to aid your studies, most notably the impressive collections of the National Library of Scotland and the University’s Main Library, one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Programme structure

The programme is divided into three parts: a core course, at least two skills courses (most often Latin, but other language options or skills courses may be taken), and up to three option courses.

Core course:

  • The Sources of Medieval History

Option courses may include:

  • Elementary Gaelic
  • Elementary Latin
  • Intermediate Latin
  • Normandy and the Normans
  • Women in Medieval Europe
  • Saints Cults, Pilgrimage and Piety in Scotland
  • The Lordship of the Isles: a Political History
  • War and Society in Early Christian Scotland
  • Medieval Men and Masculinities

You will then complete an independent research dissertation. You will be assigned dissertation supervisors at the outset of the programme.

Learning outcomes

This programme is designed to provide a grounding in the principal categories of surviving evidence and the technical skills needed to read them, namely palaeography and linguistic knowledge (generally Latin), and demonstrates the value of an interdisciplinary approach to medieval research.

You will also deepen your knowledge and understanding of selected themes and topics in a way that enables you to select and execute an independent piece of research.

Career opportunities

Successful completion of the programme equips you for advanced study. Equally, a graduate degree from Edinburgh will be respected by employers in many fields.

The combination of skills training courses, specialised seminars and independent research provides you with a broad range of transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose.


Visit the Medieval History - MSc page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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