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Course content

This interdisciplinary degree will equip you with a broad understanding of historical and cultural aspects of the medieval world, as well as the skills to conduct high-level research.

Core modules will develop your ability to read Medieval Latin and decipher palaeography, giving you the skills to transcribe, translate and analyse primary sources. You could even learn another medieval language such as medieval French or Old Norse. You’ll also focus on areas that interest you when you choose from optional modules on interdisciplinary themes across literature, history, art history, cultural studies and theology and religious studies, and study specialist modules offered by Schools across the University.

The Institute for Medieval Studies sits at the heart of the University, with impressive research resources and a wide range of expertise among its teaching staff. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge to explore the medieval period in the home of 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 and could even choose to learn another medieval language. You'll also develop your understanding of research methods and bibliography and explore palaeography.

Then you'll build on this foundation with your choice of interdisciplinary optional modules, to explore areas that interest you, and even choose from some modules offered by other Schools on historical, literary or art historical topics. You'll also demonstrate the skills you've acquired in your dissertation, where you'll undertake independent research on a topic of your choice and submit your work by the end of the programme.

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

Course structure

Compulsory modules

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

Optional modules

  • The Margins of Medieval Art 30 credits
  • Encountering Things: Art and Entanglement in Anglo-Saxon England 30 credits
  • The Origins of Postcolonial England 30 credits
  • Culture and Identity in the Later Fourteenth Century 30 credits
  • Old and New Beliefs in Medieval Scandinavia: From Pagan to Christian 30 credits
  • Arthurian Legend: Medieval to Modern 30 credits
  • Making History: Archive Collaborations 30 credits
  • Bede's Northumbria 30 credits
  • Gender, Sex, and Love: Byzantium and the West, 900-1200 20 credits
  • Lifecycles: Birth, Death and Illness in the Middle Ages 30 credits
  • Medieval German Language 30 credits
  • Old and Middle French 30 credits
  • Advanced Medieval Latin 30 credits
  • Medieval English 30 credits
  • Old Norse 30 credits
  • Vikings, Saxons and Heroic Culture 30 credits
  • Warfare in the Age of the Crusades (1095-1204) 30 credits
  • How to be a Saint in the Middle Ages: Saints' Cults and their impact on culture and society (500-1500) 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 Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Medieval Studies 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 modules 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


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

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