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MA Medieval Studies

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The Medieval Studies MA programme has been running successfully for almost thirty years and has gained a high international reputation. It draws upon medievalists teaching across Royal Holloway in the departments of History, English, Drama and Theatre Studies, and Music. It makes full use of the historical and scholarly environment of London.

The aim of the Medieval Studies programme is to introduce students to many different aspects of medieval society and culture while allowing them to concentrate on particular areas of interest. The programme emphasises the skills that research students need, whether their focus is literary or historical, and provide an introduction to wide-ranging source material such as artefacts, archives, manuscripts or printed sources.Students are encouraged to combine a programme in one discipline, literary or historical, with at least one option or skill in another. Preparatory meetings are available to discuss choices. Students are thoroughly prepared for the dissertation that completes the course and they can, if they wish, develop their MA work into convincing proposals for further research at doctoral level.

The MA is enhanced with the resources of theMuseum of London and the research skills of its staff. Students can follow courses at the Museum of London and acquire specialist skills relating to the display and interpretation of the material culture of the media world. There are also opportunities for practical experience in the Museum.

Students also have the option of completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Medieval Studies. This course is designed for those who wish to receive advanced instruction in Medieval Studies but not necessarily undertake an independent research project. This programme incorporates the taught portion of the MA in Medieval Studies without the dissertation. Designed to be flexible, it may be taken over 9 months, 2 years, or 3 years.

Dr Pirkko Koppinen Scholarship for MA Medieval Studies
This generous scholarship aims at enabling a Royal Holloway graduate to pursue a full time Master’s degree in the field of Medieval Studies at Royal Holloway. The Scholarship will provide one scholar per year  with funding to cover their tuition fees and part of their living costs to a total value of £12,000 per annum. The scholarship is open to all current or past Royal Holloway single or joint honours students in the departments of English or History who are predicted to gain or who have gained a first-class degree. All eligible applicants to the MA will be considered, and an award will be made in May.

In addition a Bradley de Glehn award of £1000 is available to the best literature-based applicant for the MA, if not a holder of the Koppinen award.

Over the course of their degree, students will:

  • Take one of two programme courses (40 credits).
  • Take two option courses (20 credits each).
  • Take one skills course (20 credits).
  • Take one mandatory course (the Research Development Course, 20 credits).
  • Write a dissertation of 12,000 to 15,000 words (60 credits).

Course Offerings 2017/18

Please find below the courses that we are planning to run in 2017-18.  Clicking on the links will take you to a brief course description and preliminary reading list.  Feel free to contact the instructors for more information. 

The full list of courses may be found here.

Core Course

Programme Courses

Options Term 2

Skills Courses


Teaching takes place in the autumn and spring terms (October to March), on campus at Royal Holloway, at 11 Bedford Square in London, or at the Museum of London. Work for the dissertation is done in the summer.

Assessment for Full-time Students

By early June each student must submit two essays of 5,000 words each for the Programme Course, one essay of 5,000 words for each of the two Option Courses, and either an examination or combination of exercise and examination for the Skills Course. The Research Development Course is assessed during its running by two essays (one of 2,500 and one of 3,000 words).

A research dissertation of 12,000 to 15,000 words must be submitted to the department by early September. The exact date of the deadlines will be issued each year.

Assessment for Part-time Students

Students in the first year take the Research Development course, which is assessed continuously via a variety of assignments during its running, and submit two essays of 5,000 words each for the Programme Course by early June. In the second year, students must complete one essay of 5,000 words for each of the two Option Courses, and either an examination or an essay of 5,000 words for the Skills Course by early June.

A research dissertation of 12,000 to 15,000 words must be submitted to the department by early September of the second year. The exact date of the deadlines will be issued each year. 

Click here for a list of previous dissertation topics.


The entry requirement is normally a good honours degree. 'Non-standard' applications are also viewed sympathetically. Applications can be made throughout the academic year, but the course always begins at the end of September.

Click here to apply. 

Course Directors

Dr Jennifer Neville

Professor Peregrine Horden

Contact for more Information

English PG Administrator
Lisa Dacunha
Tel: +44 (0)1784 443215

History PG Administrator
Tel: +44(0)1784443311
Fax: +44(0)178433032



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