MRes Medieval History

  • On Campus
  • 12 months
  • GBP13680 Year (Non-EEA)
  • English
University of Birmingham | Birmingham, United Kingdom
Designed to develop your understanding of medieval history, or introduce you to it if you have not studied it before, this is a research degree with some provision for taught modules. It provides an exciting opportunity to research a medieval topic of your own choice and helps you to develop your research and related skills, as well as allowing you to study broader historical subjects with other postgraduates.

Description of Medieval History


The degree consists of three elements which make a total of 180 credits:

  • Core modules - normally Approaches to Medieval Studies (20 credits) and Research Skills for Medieval Studies (20 Credits)
  • Optional module, such as Historical Methods, chosen from an extensive list of modules offered across History's MA courses (20 credits)
  • Thesis of 20,000 words (120 credits)

The courses are assessed in various ways – by examination, coursework and attendance.

The Medieval History MRes forms part of 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 History 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 history 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.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline None, but early application advised
Tuition fee
  • GBP 13680 Year (Non-EEA)
  • GBP 4110 Year (EEA)
Start date September  2016
Duration full-time 12 months
  • English
Take an IELTS test
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 24 months
Part-time variant Flexible

Course Content

Core Modules

The following two modules form represent the core of the taught component of this course:

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.

Students will use 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) and each session will be led by two tutors, each from a different discipline, allowing students to directly compare different disciplines' approaches and methods. Seminars will also deal with a selection of contemporary critical and cultural theories and associated modes of analysis.

Research Skills in Medieval Studies

This module aims to equip students with the skills necessary to proceed to postgraduate dissertation research with confidence. In the first term students will meet for a fortnightly seminar that will consider themes that may include: (1) building a bibliography; (2) academic writing; (3) footnotes and citation; (4) writing and delivering academic papers; (5) reviewing. In addition, students will meet with their dissertation supervisors once in the Autumn and four times in the Spring for one-to-one tutorial meetings to discuss their chosen research topic and to develop a bibliography of primary and secondary materials as appropriate.

Optional Module

One further 20 credit module must be chosen from the school of History's extensive suite of taught-MA modules, such as:

Historical Methods

This module introduces you to the major developments in historical approaches since the Second World War and to some of the major schools of, or tendencies in, historical research such as 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). The focus is on the application of the ideas to historical practice then and now.


Under the guidance of your academic supervisor, you will complete a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a subject of your choice, providing an exciting opportunity to research a medieval topic of your own choice and helps you to develop your research and related skills.

English Language Requirements

CAE score
200(Grade A)

Requirements for Medieval History

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

Work Experience for Medieval History

No work experience is required.

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