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Course content

The MPhil in Medieval History is a degree within itself and also provides preparation for the PhD. The course incorporates distinct Options (normally four: early, central and late middle ages and Byzantium), each of which focuses on a broad period and/or geographical area from which students choose the one which corresponds to their dissertation topic. Instruction is provided through lectures and classes in Latin, palaeography and codicology (all ab initio), research methods for the study of medieval history (including diplomatic) and students are given an overview of the history, historiography and sources of their Option. Throughout the course students will have regular meetings with their dissertation supervisor who acts as their supervisor for the whole course.

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Course detail

By the end of the course, students should have:

1. developed a deeper understanding of their chosen area of medieval history and the critical debates within it
2. a conceptual and technical understanding that enables the evaluation of current research and methodologies
3. the ability to situate their own research within current and past methodological and interpretative developments in the field.


The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, classes, seminar presentations by students, individual supervision( for the submitted essays and dissertation) and independent research, guided by the supervisor.


Part I:

- 5,000 word essay arising from Option classes;
- bibliography, and, historiographical and bibliographical essay, both relating to the dissertation;
- one three-hour palaeography examination.

For Part II:

- dissertation of between 20,000 and 25,000 words, including footnotes but excluding bibliography. Oral examination only for marginal fails and offered to outright fails.


In order to be considered for continuation to the PhD, and always subject to satisfactory supervision arrangements being in place, students are expected to obtain an overall mark of 70 for the MPhil and a mark of at least 70 for their dissertation.

Please see the Faculty website for more information:

How to apply:

Funding Opportunities

Please see the History Faculty’s Funding Guide via the History Faculty’s weblink below:

General Funding Opportunities

Visit the MPhil in Medieval History page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Cambridge

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