MRes Medieval Studies

This programme offers opportunities to engage in advanced study of Medieval English texts (or another medieval literature and culture), with options to explore links between medieval writing, cultural production and social processes.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Combined research and taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Start date: September


As part of the Medieval Studies MRes you are required to take the following modules:

  • Resources and Methods for Medieval Literary Studies
  • Bibliographical Methods
  • Approaches to Medieval Studies
  • A Topic in Medieval Texts, Cultures and Societies

These modules then provide the framework for a 20,000-word dissertation.


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. Classes in language study and transcription will support work on the original texts (you may focus on Old English or Middle English; undergraduate study or equivalent of the variety chosen will be required for registration on the module).

Bibliographical Methods

This module introduces the key bibliographical resources and methods used in working with secondary sources for medieval literature and culture.

A Topic in Medieval Texts, Cultures and Societies

This module offers you opportunities to tackle problems and issues that are at the forefront of current research on medieval texts, cultures and societies. Working independently, but with the regular guidance and feedback of a supervisor, you will research and write an essay on a current problem or issue related to your chosen topic, selected in consultation with the supervisor.  Generally subjects selected for study will be relevant to your proposed dissertation subject. Topics for which supervision is available include: Chaucer and Dante: Modern Receptions; Chaucer and Dante: Response, Reaction, Assimilation; Courtly and Popular Song in the Middle Ages; Editing the Medieval Text in the Electronic Age; History, Chronicle and Annal in the Middle Ages; Medieval English Romance; Medieval German Adaptations of French Literature; Medieval German Courtly Romance; Medieval German Epic; Piers Plowman: Manuscripts, Texts and Contexts; Symbolism and Allegory in the Middle Ages; Text and Image in the Middle Ages; Women and the Early Printed Book; Writing, Religion and Politics in Late Medieval England.


Carrying out research for and writing the 20,000 word dissertation gives you the opportunity to develop and put into practice what you have learned on the taught modules. The dissertation is due at the end of the programme and may form the foundation for a doctoral project, or it may serve as a free-standing piece of work. You work under the guidance of a supervisor or joint supervisors (for example, for an interdisciplinary project).

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are currently as follows:

  • Home / EU £4,052 full-time; £2,026 part-time
  • Overseas: £13,195 full-time; £6,597.50 part-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Learn more about postgraduate tuituion fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme

For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

The Medieval Studies MRes is homed in the Department of English.

Within the Department there is also a Medieval English research cluster which offers support to students working in the area, as well as undertaking exciting projects investigating the cultural and material contexts of texts and thus providing a dynamic environment in which research can flourish.  

You’ll also benefit from the Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages (CeSMA) which facilitates academic research into the Middle Ages, from c.300 to c.1500 AD. CeSMA cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries and unites historians, archaeologists, literary scholars, linguists and students who study medieval societies and cultures, meaning that as well as the support you’ll get from the English Department, you’ll be able to gain insight from a whole host of academics from across the university and have the opportunity to discuss research into medieval studies in the regular conferences held by the Centre.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.


The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

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.

Over the past five years, over 95% of our English postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Graduate occupations have included banking, the charity sector, education, higher education, local government, police, PR, and media.