Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Medieval History

This Master's degree in history considers the culture and society of the medieval period, which is usually understood as stretching from the transformation of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. The programme will introduce you to a variety of topics within this broad span of time, including religion and heresy, philosophy and political thought, gender, the expansion of urban communities, power and kingship, and the dynamics of historical change. You will develop your ability to critically assess and analyse historical evidence and we will look at the archaeological record, documentary evidence, including parliamentary petitions, guild records and manorial court rolls, and literary sources by authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland, among others. While the focus is on Britain, you will also study the British medieval experience comparatively alongside that of mainland Europe, in particular France and Italy. After the core module, you can choose option modules that will further extend your exploration of the period and engage your passion for particular topics. The dissertation allows you to pursue independent research in an area of personal interest under the expert supervision of one of our research-active academics. If you are interested in how societies develop over time, this course will give you a stimulating and complex perspective on this fascinating period.

Entry requirements

At least a second Class Honours degree. We also offer a 1 year graduate certificate in history, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study history at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

The introductory core module aims to equip you with the conceptual background necessary for historical study at postgraduate level. It includes 10 broad lectures and 10 weekly seminars dedicated to exploring specific topics and questions on medieval history.

You will also study 3 option modules. Supplementary courses - including in Latin and palaeography - will also be available.

You will then write a dissertation.

Please note: not all options are offered every year. You should confirm module availability before enrolling.

Core module:

Mastering Historical Research: Birkbeck Approaches.

Option modules:

Monastic Lives in Medieval England;
Money and Empire c. 300-c. 800;
Practitioners and Patients in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe;
Renaissance Florence: Society, Religion and Culture;
The City of Rome: Ancient to Medieval.

Assessment methods

Core and option modules are assessed by essays of 5000 words (4 in total); dissertation of 15,000 words.

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. Named in memory of Birkbeck's former President, and one of the greatest historians of the twentieth century, the Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarship fund offers a full fee-waiver for Home, EU and Overseas Master's students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology (part-time awards are pro-rata). Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 13,750 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (EU) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (England) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 6,875 per Year 1 (International) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 years
MA Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
MA Part-time October 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

Contact: 
Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Telephone number: 
020 7631 6268