Taught course

Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Durham University · Department of History

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Entry requirements

  • 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.

Months of entry


Course content

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.

Course Structure

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:

  • Palaeography
  • Latin for Research
  • Old Norse
  • Warrior Poets
  • Archaeology of the Book
  • England's Religious Revolution 1640-62
  • Cultural Exchange in Seventeenth-Century Europe.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

UK students
£10,800 per year
International students
£22,900 per year

Scholarships available for 2022 entry will be determined in September 2021. Over 60 scholarships are available, each year. Some scholarships are awarded to more than one person. For further information see the course listing.


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

Department of History