One year full-time or two years part-time
Two to three evenings a week full-time or one to two evenings a week part-time
This programme offers the opportunity to make a special study of the medieval period, considering the richness and diversity of its literature, art and history. It is possible to study in either an interdisciplinary or a more literary way; you can study either full-time over one year or part-time over two years.
A combination of taught core and option modules with an independent research component enables you to tailor the programme to your personal interests. The programme allows you to engage with advanced work at Master's level and is also an excellent preparation for doctoral research.
Students have access to some of the best resources in the world for medieval research, being close to many renowned research libraries, galleries, museums and manuscript repositories. This programme teaches the skills which are needed to explore those riches in original and scholarly ways.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
- Draws upon Birkbeck's strengths in literature, art, history and archaeology to explore the social, cultural and intellectual life of medieval Europe.
- We are based in Bloomsbury in central London and the unrivalled resources of the British Museum and the British Library are nearby, alongside a host of other world-renowned libraries, museums and galleries.
- You will receive personal tuition from Birkbeck's research-active lecturers, who are themselves using specialist local libraries and other resources.
- The Department of English and Humanities has an outstanding reputation for offering imaginative, critical and creative programmes designed and taught by leading academics and practitioners in the field, within a learning environment supportive of the needs of students from a wide range of educational backgrounds.
- We have a thriving research culture, with student-led reading groups and a regular programme of major visiting speakers, including the Birkbeck Medieval Seminar and the Material Texts Network.
- Opportunity to apply for a research internship placement at the Globe Theatre.
- Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.
The programme has two core modules - Medieval Material Texts and Medieval Text and Intertext - which run in alternate years. You will take one of these, depending on your year of entry. Both modules explore resources for studying medieval literature and demonstrate their use in higher-level postgraduate research work. The other core module will be offered as an option to part-time students in their second year.
Medieval Material Texts will be the core module for 2017-2018 and alternate years thereafter.
Medieval Text and Intertext will be the core module for 2018-2019 and alternate years thereafter.
You will also study the module Approaching Research in Medieval Literature and Culture, which covers study skills. Classes may include fieldtrips to local archives and workshops on describing manuscripts and good writing.
Option modules will reflect the research interests of Birkbeck staff from the Department of English and Humanities, but also from the disciplines of history, archaeology and art history.
These will variously cover:
- Middle English and Anglo-Saxon literature and books
- Religious, cultural, political and gender history
- Visual and literary theory
- The archaeology of a number of different parts of Europe
- European architecture and art.
To find out more, read our programme handbook.
- Early Modern London: Society and Culture
- Gothic in England: Architecture, Liturgy and Identity 1170-1360
- Medieval Manuscripts
- Monastic Lives in Medieval England
- Money and Empire c. 300-c. 800
- Practitioners and Patients in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe
- Text and Action: Renaissance Stage Directions
- The City of Rome: Ancient to Medieval
- The Woman Question: Medieval to Renaissance
Option modules vary from year to year.
In any term, instead of a taught option module, you can opt to do a module of directed reading. This would suit a student who has a particular interest which is not covered by the offered options. You would work with a supervisor towards an independent research essay of 5000 words.
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
A good second-class honours degree in a relevant subject.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme 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.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Fees and finance
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
You usually have a 90-minute or two-hour seminar, with some individual instruction for essays and the dissertation. Where student demand is high, however, a mixture of lectures and small discussion groups may be used.
Core and option modules are assessed by essays. You also write a dissertation of 15,000 words. There are mandatory core course research skills sessions in the summer term.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates go in to careers in research and archiving, museums and galleries, education and journalism. Possible professions include archivist, researcher, or higher education lecturer. This degree can also be useful in a variety of roles within museums and galleries, as well as in becoming a newspaper/ magazine journalist or arts administrator.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Financial support and postgraduate loans
Birkbeck offers advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay loans by interest-free direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students. Find out about the support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities. Discover more about our vibrant, intellectually challenging and exciting research culture.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
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