The taught MA MEMS is a highly diverse, interdisciplinary programme associated with the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS). It covers a wide and exciting range of topics from Late Antiquity to the late eighteenth century, with a global range from the Silk Road to the Viking North.
Be Part of over 1000 Years of Learning and Intellectual Exchange
With well over 100 research-active members, IMEMS rallies one of the largest groups of medieval and early modern specialists anywhere in the world. Our MA MEMS students thus work with experts across the Arts and Humanities, and Social and Physical Sciences, as well as with industry professionals in our libraries and museums.
We provide a lively environment in which students can participate in a multifaceted approach to the period 300AD-1800 and its legacy, with workshops, seminars, and other activities ranging from fieldwork to research-led performance practice.
World-Class Research in a UNESCO World Heritage Site
We encourage our MA MEMS students to explore Durham's world-class Libraries and Collections, as well as the tangible and intangible heritage of its UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Durham Cathedral possesses the finest collection of medieval manuscripts of any of its English peers. At the Renaissance architectural complex on Palace Green, you will find a fully preserved seventeenth-century library, established by Bishop John Cosin. Ushaw College holds thousands of medieval and early modern books, manuscripts, and artefacts, including the cope worn at the coronation of King Richard III in 1483. Durham University’s Museum of Archaeology invites the study of early leatherwork, textiles, bones, wood and pottery. The Oriental Museum is devoted to art and archaeology from the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Asia to Japan; its Chinese and Egyptian collections are among the finest in Britain. At Auckland Castle, the University sponsors the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art.
Join our bustling Medieval and Early Modern Student Association
Our MA students become members of the Durham Medieval and Early Modern Student association (MEMSA), which organises a range of seminars, community outreach activities, social activities, and an annual conference.
MEMSA is fully supported by IMEMS and provides opportunities to present papers on your research, devise small-scale courses for non-specialist members of the public, or gain experience by working with larger research projects currently running in the University in the area or medieval and early modern studies.
As an MA MEMS student, you will
Take two core modules to hone your research skills and explore key historical and critical questions. These modules are team-taught; they consider developments over the longue durée from the end of the classical world, through the Middle Ages and into the early modern era. The first, Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past, takes one key item or body of material (e.g. a text, a site, an archive) as a lens through which to explore different approaches to the period. The second module, Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past, focuses on major themes, movements and institutions.
Follow up your own interests by choosing further optional modules from a broad range of disciplines. Examples might include: Latin for Research; Old Norse; Archaeology of the Book; England’s Religious Revolution: Medieval Romance to Renaissance Epic; Palaeography: Scribes, Script and History; Warrior Poets in Heroic Societies; Renaissance Tragedy*
Write a dissertation of original research, supervised by one of Durham’s specialists, on a topic of your choice in the period.
* All modules subject to staff availability
The University offers a range of scholarships and funding opportunities. Of particular interest may be: