Designed to develop your understanding of medieval history, or introduce you to it if you have not studied it before, this is a taught degree with some provision for dissertation research.
We offer uniquely wide ranging expertise across the whole medieval period, from c. 300 to c. 1500. We cover all of the countries of western Europe, Scandinavia, the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia and China, and have a broad range with thematic interests including religious cultures, socio-economic history, the Crusades, Islamic history, gender, manuscript studies, drama, regional literatures and history (West Midlands, Scotland, Spain, Iceland, Byzantium, Afghanistan, northern Eurasia), material culture, comparative history and the ‘global Middle Ages’.
Students engage in advanced study of their chosen discipline through a core module in their field, taken alongside a multi- and interdisciplinary core module that brings together all the students on the programme for comparison of methods and a wide range of case studies.
Research skills are taught in a dissertation-focused module, and students take three optional modules, usually including at least one language. In all teaching students are encouraged to apply class material to their own specific research interests and their dissertation.
The programme is made up of three elements:
Three core modules (two interdisciplinary and one for your pathway)
Three optional modules (usually including a language)
A 15,000-word dissertation, supervised by a specialist in your chosen field
An honours degree in a subject related to the chosen pathway, such as History, English, Archaeology or Theology, is required, normally upper second class level (2.1) or its equivalent for overseas applicants. Graduates without these qualifications (for example with a lower second class degree, or a degree in a different subject) are very welcome to apply and their application will be considered on its merits. Applicants may be asked to submit written work and/or attend an interview. For some pathways evidence of relevant linguistic ability may be required.
Academic requirements: We accept a range of qualifications.
English language requirements, you can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
by holding an English language qualification to the right level
by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students
You’ll study these core modules on all pathways:
Approaches to Medieval Studies
Research Skills for Medieval Studies
In addition, you will choose one pathway-specific core module:
Medieval Archaeology pathway - Creating Europe: Complex Societies 1000 BC-AD 1000: This module provides an advanced overview of approaches to the archaeology of Europe, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, across a period extending from prehistory and the earliest historical times to the threshold of the Middle Ages.
Medieval History pathway - Historical Methods: This module focuses primarily on the development of history writing since the Second World War. You will be introduced to some of the major schools of or tendencies in historical research in turn, in all of which medievalists have played a significant role: the Annales School, the English historians’ response to Marxism, cultural history, the linguistic turn, gender, history of science and critical social theory (Geertz and Foucault).
Byzantine Studies pathway - Methodologies in Byzantine Studies: This module provides an introduction to predominant research methodologies in Byzantine studies. You will be given introductory training in a variety of subject areas, such as historical writing, charters and documents, art history, numismatics, epigraphy and sigillography.
Medieval Literature pathway - Resources and Methods for Medieval Literary Studies: This module introduces the key resources and methods used in working with original medieval literary sources. You will be introduced to the examination of medieval manuscript books and to the principles and practices of editing texts from manuscript.
You will also study three optional modules across the Autumn and Spring semesters. You may choose to study one of the core modules from the other pathways as one of your options, and you can choose from a range of other modules such as:
Across the divide: China and its Neighbours in Texts and Material Culture
Any modern language
Aspects of Byzantine History 2: Byzantine Court Ritual
Beyond the Frontier: History and Culture in Late Medieval Iberia
Byzantine Art and Architecture 1 and 2
Byzantine Literature and History 1 and 2
Byzantine Society I
Byzantine Society II
Chaucer and his Sources
Conquest, Colonisation and Identity: Eurasian Frontiers in Texts and Material Culture
Crusade, Jihad and Cross-Cultural Encounters on the Medieval Iberian Frontier, c.1031–c.1212
Empire and Identity
GIS and Spatial Analysis
Graduate Linguistic Skills (Beginner) 1 and 2: Latin or Greek
Graduate Linguistic Skills (Advanced) 1 and 2: Latin or Greek
Late Roman and Byzantine Archaeology and Material Culture 1 and 2
Literature and Culture of the Medieval West Midlands
Mastering Middle English
Old English 1A and 1B
Old English 2A and 2B: Words, Wisdom and the Woman´s Voice
Old English 3A and 3B: Reading Beowulf
People and Places in the West Midlands, c. 1000-1500
Plays, Pageants and Spectacle: Drama before Shakespeare
Popular Unrest in Later Medieval Europe
Reading French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish for Researchers
Reading and Writing Scotland: Scottish Literature 1375-1513
The Economies of the Late Roman, Byzantine and Frankish East
The Fourth Crusade
The Parish in Late Medieval England
Vikings in the North Atlantic
Women, Men and Eunuchs: Gender in Byzantium 1 and 2
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School. The University also offers a wide range of activities and services to give our students the edge in the job market, including: career planning designed to meet the needs of postgraduates; opportunities to meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs, employer presentations and skills workshops; individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
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