Taught course

Crusader Studies

Royal Holloway, University of London · Department of History

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Entry requirements

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), or equivalent, in a relevant subject.

Relevant professional qualifications and work experience in an associated area will be considered.

  • While a background in medieval history is helpful, it is by no means essential. The primary factors required are: considerable motivation, and a willingness to read widely and to engage with diverse cultures and ideologies from the perspective of the medieval world.
  • We make decisions based on achieved or predicted grades, personal statements and references. We occasionally invite candidates to interview, usually in cases where we would like more information on which to base a decision. Applicants unable to attend, such as overseas students, will be interviewed by telephone.

Months of entry


Course content

The Royal Holloway MA in Crusader Studies offers a unique and fascinating examination of the ideas, impact and personalities of this subject from the medieval age to the present day. You will be taught, inspired and challenged by internationally recognised experts in this field.

Royal Holloway has a long tradition of studying the History of the Crusades and Byzantium and in conjunction with the libraries and research seminars of central London, offers unparalleled expertise and resources. This is an ideal MA if you are pursuing an advanced interest in crusading history, it will provide you with a further set of skills and a qualification, it also has a highly successful track record as a springboard to doctoral research.

The programme offers students an understanding of the context of the crusades, and the ideology that underpinned the movement as well as a consideration of its modern day resonances. You will gain an unparalleled insight into the ideas, events and people of crusading history while engaging with a full array of source materials in this compelling field. The course will also consider the impact of the crusades on the Muslim world, as well as exploring western Europe’s first contacts with the terrifying Mongols.

We are one of the largest and liveliest History departments in the UK yet our size is not at the cost of anonymity; you will receive our individual attention and become part of our close-knit post graduate community.

Access to some of the richest facilities for historical research anywhere in the world; in addition to the College’s substantial library collections, there are the National Archives, British Library and libraries of the University of London.

Participate in the renowned research seminar, The Crusades and the Eastern Mediterranean, at the Institute of Historical Research.

World-leading and internationally excellent research which is ranked joint first for its impact on greater society (Research Excellence Framework 2014, 4* and 3* research).

Learn with some of the world's leading historians of the crusades. Professor Jonathan Phillips is author of five monographs on the history of the crusades, including most recently Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades (2009) and The Second Crusade: Extending the Frontiers of Christendom (2007).

Professor Andrew Jotischky is author of The Perfection of Solitude: Monks and Hermits in the Crusader States (1995), The Hermit's Cookbook (2011) and Crusading and the Crusader States (2004, new edition, 2017).

Information for international students

IELTS score of 6.5 with 7.0 in writing and no subscore below 5.5 for non-native English speaking applicants.

See our International pages for more information.

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
  • Further details of qualification

    The course explores the context of the crusades and the ideology that underpinned the movement. It also considers the impact of the crusades on the indigenous inhabitants of the Eastern Mediterranean, whether Muslim, Eastern Christian, Jew or Mongol, and examines the role of women in the crusades.

Course contact details

+44 (0)1784 443311