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Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Postgraduate > Crusader Studies
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Crusader Studies MA

UCAS code
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
1 year full time
2 years part time
Department History »


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).

Core modules

Louis IX of France and the Recovery of the Holy Land

The Mongols: ‘A Journey Through the Gates of Hell’; Europe Discovers the Wider World, c.1219 – c.1262

Recording the Crusades: The Memory and Legacy of the Crusades, c.1600 to the Present Day

Research Development Course

Dissertation

Optional modules

In addition to the core course units, there will be a number of optional course units available during your degree.  Below are a selection of the course units that may be available.

Byzantium and the Crusades: From the Origins of the Fourth Crusade to the Fall of Constantinople

Women, the Crusades, and the Frontier Societies of Medieval Christendom, 1000 - 1300

Introductory Latin for Medievalists

Further Latin for Medievalists History of the Holocaust Interpreting the Holocaust

Medieval Pilgrimage

Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. 

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation. 

Entry criteria:

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.

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other subscores. For equivalencies please see here


If you require Royal Holloway to sponsor you study in the UK, your IELTS must be a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below




Students from overseas should visit the International pages for information on the entry requirements from their country and further information on English language requirements. Royal Holloway offers a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their postgraduate degree.

Additional information:

  • An interview and sample essay may be required if we would like more information upon which to base a decision. Applicants unable to attend an interview, such as overseas students, will be interviewed by telephone.

On completion of your MA in Crusades Studies at Royal Holloway you will have developed and finessed skills, such as research, analysis and presenting, which will appeal to future employers. Your degree also demonstrates that you enjoy being challenged, understand complex issues, as well as other values and cultures, which equips you to operate successfully in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised and multi-cultural environment.  On graduation you will have ideally placed to develop your career in areas that involve the professional creation, evaluation and dissemination of knowledge or wish to progress towards a PhD.

  • Our Careers team will work with you to enhance your employability and prepare you for the choices ahead. Their support doesn’t end when you graduate; you can access the service for up to two years after graduation.
  • Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have progressed to many stimulating and rewarding careers, including: doctoral research, school teaching, management-level banking, management-level business, local government, the Metropolitan Police, and the National Trust. 

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £7,000

Overseas students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £14,500

Other essential costs**: Approximately £25 for two essential text books

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email student-fees@royalholloway.ac.uk for further information on part-time fees. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5 per cent for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees and our terms and conditions.

** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.

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