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Medieval History - MA


Course Description

The MA in Medieval History offers an unparalleled opportunity to study at one of the world's leading centres of expertise in medieval history. The degree is equally suitable for students who wish to pursue doctoral research or careers in teaching, public history, or archives, or for those with enthusiasm for the subject but not yet a clear career direction.

Since few students will have had the opportunity to study medieval history in depth at Undergraduate level, the programme offers both wide-ranging training in sources and methods and Option Modules in specialised areas. The University of York’s Medieval MA programmes (in History, Literature, Archaeology, Stained Glass) are some of the most popular and sought after, making York the largest centre in the UK for medieval masters level study across the Humanities disciplines.

This degree offers both thorough research training and the opportunity to explore new approaches to the history of medieval Britain and Europe with seminars led by experts in the area. You will be introduced to a wide range of sources and approaches from across the period. Team teaching on the core and training modules brings the chance to get acquainted with most staff not on leave.

You will be able to participate in the lively scholarly community surrounding the active graduate school, and also have full access to the Centre for Medieval Studies and its active programme of seminars, conferences and reading groups involving both staff and graduate students.

Programme of study

The MA programme consists of five taught courses (80 credits in total), a 20,000-word dissertation (90 credits), and a Research Training module (10 credits). Note that the most effective means of teaching the specific medieval study skills result in the course being split slightly unevenly in terms of credit-weighting, with students taking 50 credits in Autumn and 30 in Spring. This will, nevertheless, give students the space to begin thinking about their dissertation earlier in the Spring Term.

For students registered for full-time study, the programmme runs as follows:

Autumn Term (October-December)
-Core Module: Perspectives on Medieval History
-Option Module 1
-Skills Module 1: Latin
-Skills Module 2: Palaeography
-Research Training (taught content)

All students take the core module, Perspectives on Medieval History. This module introduces students to a diverse range of themes and areas of debate within Medieval History. Students also take an option module chosen from a list approved by the Course Convenor. (When enrolment numbers permit, students may also select options from the Centre for Medieval Studies and its other parent departments as well as from the MA in Public History.)

All students also take the two skills modules, in Latin and Palaeography, and follow a research training programme. The research training includes specific sessions for Medieval History MA students, which will explore some of the resources available in York and may involve opportunities to handle original source materials.

Spring Term (January-March)
-Option Module 2
-Skills Module 1: Latin
-Skills Module 2: Palaeography
-Research Training (independent writing of dissertation proposal)

During the Spring Term students take a second Option module and continue the two skills modules in Latin and Palaeography, as well as writing their dissertation proposal.

Summer Term and Summer Vacation (April-September)
During the Summer Term and over the Vacation, students write a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a subject of their choice and under the supervision of a member of staff, submitted at the end of the academic year. Dissertations should be focused on a well considered research question and should based on primary source material. Students receive generic advice about selecting research topics, setting up the research questions and assembling bibliographies, followed be specialist advice and guidance from an advisor with relevant expertise. The range of expertise of staff members and the wealth of source material available at York enables a wide range of topics, both chronologically and geographically.

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

Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from both home and international students who wish to pursue postgraduate study in History. Candidates should normally have, or be expected to obtain, a good honours degree or its equivalent in an appropriate subject at undergraduate level. Doctoral candidates are also expected to have completed or be pursuing a Master's course.

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