Taught course

Medieval History

Institution
Birkbeck, University of London · History, Classics and Archaeology
Qualifications
MA

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

Entry requirements

We offer a one-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.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry

October

Course content

The MA Medieval History at Birkbeck is led by world-class academics, bringing their cutting-edge research into the classroom through a variety of groundbreaking subjects. The MA is distinguished in the UK by its global reach, and local depth: our expertise ranges from the Indian Ocean in the early middle ages, the archaeology of the high medieval Silk Road, and late medieval Italy, Germany, the Low Countries, France and the UK.

This programme is unique in its emphasis on writing histories of the middle ages that cross disciplinary boundaries - including archaeology, history, literature, art history and musicology - and in equipping its students with skills to analyse a vast range of sources, including castles, cathedrals and caravan inns, coins, pottery, clocks, bells and burial sites, alongside chronicles, parish records, illuminated manuscripts, maps, altarpieces and inscriptions. As a Medieval History MA student, you will also have the option to take modules organised by colleagues in the History of Art, English and other institutions within the University of London, to create a course tailored to your interests.

In the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, you will encounter dynamic researchers who are transforming their fields. Dr Rebecca Darley’s work on coin circulation in the regions surrounding the western Indian Ocean and Byzantine Empire is driving new understandings of early medieval economies, political, social and cultural change and exchange. Dr Kate Franklin’s path-breaking fieldwork in the Caucasus is rewriting the history of the Silk Road through charting the local experiences of this global trade route. Dr Matthew Champion’s research has profoundly shifted understandings of how time was perceived and experienced in the late middle ages. Professor Vanessa Harding’s work on death and burial in medieval cities, including London and Paris, and Professor John Henderson’s studies of Renaissance health and medicine, have had a lasting impact on the field, making our Department one of the world’s premier destinations for MA students seeking to understand the complex, challenging and confronting history of the medieval world.

Highlights
  • We are an international centre of excellence. Since 2001 we have consistently been in the top ten departments evaluated by the Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • Our research is unique in its range across geographical and chronological boundaries. We are the only university department in London to include historians, classicists and archaeologists investigating every period from prehistory to the early twenty-first century. We see the study of the past as crucial for our understanding of present-day society, culture and politics.
  • All Master’s students are eligible to apply for our prestigious Eric Hobsbawm Scholarships. One of the most influential historians of the twentieth century, Eric Hobsbawm taught at Birkbeck for over five decades and embodied what is central to our teaching and research: a continued commitment to critical enquiry and public engagement.
  • We are at the heart of academic London with access to unparalleled research resources. Situated very close by are: the Institute of Classical Studies, with its library, training facilities and seminars; the British Museum, with its extensive collection of classical antiquities; and the British Library, the largest national library in the world.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course 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 and at least 7.0 in writing.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700