Medieval and Early Modern Studies
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies is an interdisciplinary MA run by Durham's Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS), with support from the History Department. The MA is suitable for students whose undergraduate training is in Archaeology, Classics, History, Literature/Languages, Philosophy, Theology, or other related disciplines.
The main aim of the course is to prepare you for doctoral research in the study of the medieval and early modern past by offering outstanding interdisciplinary training to equip you with the skills you need for your future career. It is taught by specialists who are members of IMEMS, primarily from the departments of Archaeology, Classics, English, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy and Theology.
You will become part of the vibrant research communities both within departments and IMEMS. In particular students become members of the Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA), which organises regular seminars, conferences and social events.
Situated in the historic setting of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, and the surrounding area, IMEMS has one of the largest gatherings of medieval and early modern scholars in the world. Students benefit from the rich archival and manuscript resources in the collections of the University and Cathedral, the world-class Oriental Museum collections, as well as highly significant wider regional resources for study of the period.
All students on the MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies take two core modules, Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past, and Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past (30 credits each). You will also write a dissertation (60 or 90 credits), supervised by one of Durham's specialists, which allows you to focus on a specialist topic of your choice in the period AD c.300-c.1800, which may be interdisciplinary or focused primarily on one of the individual disciplines which make up the course. You will also take optional modules to bring your course total to 180 credits. These may be content, language or skills modules, and are drawn from the seven participating departments as well as Durham’s other centres and programmes. All elements of the MA have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.
Our two core modules, Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past, and Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past, develop advanced skills in interpreting and using a range of different kinds of source-material, including textual material and visual culture.
Optional modules available in previous years included:
- Latin for Research
- Old Norse
- Warrior Poets
- Archaeology of the Book
- England's Religious Revolution 1640-62
- Cultural Exchange in Seventeenth-Century Europe.
The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies is delivered through a range of tutorials, seminars and practical hands-on workshops with subject experts.
You will also receive one-to-one supervision through focussing in detail on a particular aspect of medieval and early modern history, literature, society or culture in your dissertation.
- A 2:1 or equivalent
- A 500-word personal statement which should include the following:
- An outline of your interest in an interdisciplinary MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies
- What skills and knowledge you would bring to the course
- What skills and knowledge you would hope to acquire
- An indication of your planned area of research
- Two academic references from people who are familiar with your work, commenting on your suitability for the programme
- A 2,000-word sample of your written work, which could be an essay, an extract from your dissertation, or something you have written in pursuit of your further studies, preferably on a topic linked to medieval or early modern studies.
- Required Document – Academic CV -Please upload an Academic CV - this should be no longer than 1 A4 page and should contain information about your academic achievements to date and any related-work experience you have undertaken.
Fees and funding
Full Time Fees
|Home students||£11,400 per year|
|EU students||£23,900 per year|
|Island students||£11,400 per year|
|International students||£23,900 per year|
Part Time Fees
|Home students||£6,300 per year|
|EU students||£13,200 per year|
|Island students||£6,300 per year|
|International students||£13,200 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and Bursaries
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
For further information on career options and employability, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please visit our employability web pages.
Durham University attracts some of the best postgraduate students from the UK and internationally, and within the History Department, we support these students to develop themselves and their careers.
As a postgraduate student, you will benefit from working with staff with areas of expertise including medieval, early modern and modern history, African history, South or East Asian history, American history, and modern European history.
For more information see our department pages.
- World Top 40 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
- 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2023
- 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2023
- 4th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
For a current list of staff, please see the History Department pages.
Research Excellence Framework
- 7th in the Power Rank for REF 2021.
The Department of History is located in the heart of Durham, next to Durham Cathedral and Castle, which together form the UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are within easy reach of all university colleges, libraries, lecture rooms, and other facilities.
The Department occupies a group of historic townhouses on North Bailey and Palace Green. Originally built as coffee houses and lawyers’ offices in the 17th and 18th Centuries, these buildings now accommodate academic staff, administrative staff and seminar rooms. All postgraduate classes and supervision meetings take place within the History Department.
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