Studying medieval studies

Types of course

Many courses focus on the study of medieval history which generally incorporates exploring what happened in medieval Europe, examining daily life and studying important historical events associated with the era. There are also several medieval language courses which can be studied alone or as part of a joint honours programme which involves studying a modern language alongside the medieval language; these courses are focused on the linguistic development of the era, the spread and evolution of language and the impact of history on language today. Postgraduate courses may allow you to specialise in subjects such as sociology, medieval culture and medieval art as well as more traditional medieval history courses.

Choosing a course

There is a huge range of courses related to medieval studies available for both undergraduate and postgraduate study. Most courses are focused on historical study, although there are also some courses which focus on medieval culture and languages. There are several single honours courses and a vast array of joint honours options. Undergraduate courses generally last 3 or 4 years and are more generalised, while postgraduate courses last between 1 and 3 years and more specialised.

Choosing a university

Several universities offer medieval studies courses; you should research the nature of the course in detail and visit the institutions that interest you. Try to attend an open day as this will enable you to look around and ask any questions you may have; you may also find it useful to chat to the staff involved in the course and current students. Some of the universities are smaller, while some are based in large vibrant cities; this may influence your decision.

Getting into university

Generally you will be expected to get 3 good A-levels in order to get onto a university medieval studies course; most students study history and 2 other related subjects which may include languages and humanities. Most universities expect a students to gain A or B grades in order to be offered a place.

Possible careers

People with degrees and qualifications in medieval studies may go on to pursue a diverse range of careers; these may range from academic teaching and research to archaeology, archiving, journalism and working as a museum curator.