You will study three core modules:
This module provides students with an advanced introduction to some of the ways in which historians have approached a range of prominent themes within the modern historical discipline, such as religion, gender, race, class, community, and conflict. The module introduces these themes through a mixture of case studies and background reading and information, with an emphasis on historiographical development and a range of different theoretical, methodological and interdisciplinary influences, such as sociology, anthropology, the material turn, etc. Each week students are guided in reading influential texts that relate to one of these key themes, and students then meet in small seminar groups to discuss a mixture of historiographical case studies and additional theoretical background.
Assessment: 4,000 word review of approaches to one of the themes covered by the module in your own chosen historical field
This module is designed to deliver three complementary strands, with the ultimate aim of supporting students on the MA History to design, plan and research an ambitious dissertation topic. The first strand is a series of lectures on key research skills in the historical discipline, ensuring that students are confident when it comes to aspects of research design such as defining a topic, reviewing secondary literature, identifying and accessing appropriate primary sources, etc. The second strand is a series of seminars designed to support specialist sub-disciplinary skills relating to (for example) chronological period or a particular geographical area or methodological approach. The third strand is a series of one-to-one supervisions with an academic advisor, to offer the student guidance and feedback as they devise their own unique research project, and lay the groundwork for their masters dissertation. The module also helps students to develop important skills in presenting and articulating their research to a larger non-specialist audience.
Assessment: 3,000-word literature review (75%), 10 minute oral presentation (25%)
Approaches to Medieval Studies
Medieval Studies is a field to which many different disciplines contribute; the aim of this module is to expose students to approaches to the medieval past from a range of disciplines (such as archaeology, history, language & literature, art history, etc), in order to enable them to discuss and compare various approaches, and critically assess their utility for the students' own research. In the first half of the semester, students will directly compare different disciplines' approaches and methods, using key texts and case studies on important themes in the study of the Middle Ages (such as gender, space, the life-cycle, social groups, the nature of power). In the second half of term, seminars will focus on contemporary critical and cultural theories and associated modes of analysis.
Assessment: 4000-word essay (100%)
If you choose to study the Medieval Studies pathway you must choose at least 20 credits from the Medieval Studies or Special Subject lists below. This may include up to 40 credits of appropriate level language modules.
These lists are indicative; not all modules will run each year depending on staff availability.
- Medieval Materialities
- Before and After the Mongols: Political Authority in Islamic Lands, 1000-1600
- Before Globalization?: Afro-Eurasian World History 500-1800
- The Global Middle Ages, Conquest, Commerce, and Communication, 750-1350
English, Drama and Creative Studies optional modules:
- Meeting Medieval Manuscripts
- Digital Heritage and the Medieval Past
- Fantastic Beasts and Where They Came From
- The Figure of the Witch: Witch Writings c. 1400-1700
- The Work of Giants: Old English Tales and their Afterlives in Fiction and Film
- Fantasy and fandom: writing back to the medieval in modern fantasy
- Latin 1
- Latin 2
- Latin 3
- Latin Texts
If you choose a Special Subject as an option, you must take two co-requisite modules to the total of 40 credits. Topics available in recent years have included:
- 1066, 1099: Chronicling Conquest on the Frontiers of Medieval Europe (Masters): A
- 1066, 1099: Chronicling Conquest on the Frontiers of Medieval Europe (Masters): B
- Games without Thrones? North Atlantic Societies in the wake of the Vikings, c.800-c.1200 (Masters): A
- Games without Thrones? North Atlantic Societies in the wake of the Vikings, c.800-c.1200 (Masters): B
- Global Medieval Cities: Rome, Constantinople, Cairo, and Kaifeng after 1000 (Masters) A
- Global Medieval Cities: Rome, Constantinople, Cairo, and Kaifeng after 1000 (Masters) B
For full module descriptions, see our Medieval Studies modules page.
In addition to your taught modules, you will conduct a piece of independent research with the support of a supervisor, culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation. Your dissertation must be on a topic within the pathway area of specialism.
Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.