Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Medieval Literature and Culture

This programme offers the opportunity to make a special study of the medieval period, considering the richness and diversity of its literature, art and history. It is possible to study in either an interdisciplinary or a more literary way; you can study either full-time over 1 year or part-time over 2 years. A combination of taught core and option modules with an independent research component enables you to tailor the programme to your personal interests. The programme allows you to engage with advanced work at Master's level and is also an excellent preparation for doctoral research. Students have access to some of the best resources in the world for medieval research, being close to many renowned research libraries, galleries, museums and manuscript repositories. This programme teaches the skills which are needed to explore those riches in original and scholarly ways.

Entry requirements

A good 2nd Class Honours degree in a relevant subject.If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

The programme has 2 core modules - Medieval Material Texts and Medieval Text and Intertext - which run in alternate years. You will take 1 of these, depending on your year of entry. Both modules explore resources for studying medieval literature and demonstrate their use in higher-level postgraduate research work. The other core module will be offered as an option to part-time students in their second year.

Medieval Text and Intertext will be the core module for 2016-2017 and alternate years thereafter.

Medieval Material Texts will be the core module for 2017-2018 and alternate years thereafter.

You will also study the module Approaching Research in Medieval Literature and Culture, which covers study skills. Classes may include field-trips to local archives and workshops on describing manuscripts and good writing.

Option modules will reflect the research interests of Birkbeck staff from the Department of English and Humanities, but also from the disciplines of history, archaeology and art history.

These will variously cover:

Middle English and Anglo-Saxon literature and books;
Religious, cultural, political and gender history;
Visual and literary theory;
The archaeology of a number of different parts of Europe;
European architecture and art.

Assessment methods

Core and option modules are assessed by essays. You also write a dissertation of 15,000 words. There are mandatory core course research skills sessions in the summer term.

Sponsorship information

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses - and you don't have to start repaying until 2019. The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students. Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Part-time evening October 2016 - 1 years
MA Full-time September 2017 - 1 years
MA Part-time September 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus Bloomsbury WC1E 7HX South East

Get in touch

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Key information

English and Humanities
Telephone number: 
020 3073 8376