MA Medieval Studies

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • History
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The city of Exeter is the perfect setting for our MA in Medieval Studies. At the University there is a wide variety of resources and you will have access to extensive holdings, audio-visual collections and some medieval manuscripts in our Special Collections in the University library. Exeter Cathedral Library Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre, located nearby, contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books.

The MA Medieval Studies draws on the expertise of the interdisciplinary Centre for Medieval Studies, which is one of the largest research centres in the university. Exeter is unique in that we have a large number of specialists in medieval studies across various disciplines. Our expertise is especially strong in medieval history, archaeology, law, music, French literature, English literature, and Arab and Islamic studies. 

Modules are taken from nine different disciplines meaning that the course is varied and you will be offered comprehensive training on skills needed to study the Middle Ages, including medieval languages (Latin, Old English, and medieval French) and palaeography. With such a large number of medieval studies experts and excellent links to the local and national heritage sector, we are in an excellent position to help you as you further your historical knowledge whether you are planning on progressing to PhD study, pursuing a profession, or simply exploring a passion for medieval studies.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Most of your teaching will be done in small groups and seminars where you will be encouraged to present your ideas, discuss and debate key points, and interpret common readings. We like to take a collaborative approach to learning and so you will have access to academic staff who will support you on the programme and can also help you prepare PhD applications or find work placements.

During the first two terms of your programme you will be assessed on the coursework you produce for your modules, and in the third and final term you will research and write your dissertation. This can be on any topic of your choosing as relates to Medieval Studies, and for some of our students it can form the basis of a later research proposal at PhD level.

Learning resources

The University's Streatham Campus is located with excellent access to the heart of historic Exeter which has a rich cultural heritage extending back to the Roman period and boasts particularly fine evidence of its medieval past. You will benefit from access to Exeter Cathedral Library and the University libraries which maintain excellent holdings relevant to medieval studies.


As historians we have a wide range of useful skills and the Medieval Studies MA is designed to build on, enhance and add to the skills you most likely developed at undergraduate level.

For some of our graduates a Masters degree is a step on the path to doctoral study, and if that is your interest then our MA is ideal preparation as your tutors will happily help you prepare research proposals and funding applications.

Many of our students choose to complete a Masters degree to enhance their professional skills or improve their chances of finding work in the heritage sector, which again we are happy to support through our excellent links with local archives and cultural centres.

Some of the things our recent graduates have gone on to include:

  • Assistant Archivist
  • Associate Research Fellow
  • Author
  • Foreign Expert
  • HR Coordinator
  • Lecturer
  • Marketing & PR Executive
  • Media Planner
  • Ministry Assistant
  • National Trust Volunteer Internship
  • Paralegal
  • PhD Study in History or Medieval Studies

Find out more about careers in History.

Research areas

As an MA Medieval Studies student you will be welcome to join the Centre for Medieval Studies, which brings together academic staff and postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines across the University’s Colleges. We are brought together by our shared interests which run from the Early Middle Ages to the early Renaissance and may include archaeology, theology, music, literature and law. We hold regular seminars and research events which, if you decide to join us at Exeter, we hope you will not only attend but become an active part of.

Research is at the heart of History and our students are encouraged to come to Departmental Research Seminars and become an active part of the wider research community. Our research centres regularly hold seminars and other research events which MA students are welcome to attend.

Our current research centres include:

As well as our research centres we also have a Postgraduate Reading Group for matters medieval which brings together our Masters and PhD students to share ideas.

You can find out more about our academic staff and their research interests on our Research pages.


Our students have access to excellent historical resources. The University Library currently holds medieval manuscripts, such as the late medieval manuscript holdings of Syon Abbey. You can also access the holdings of the Exeter Cathedral Library including the unique collection of Old English verse, the Exeter Book, and a detailed record of late 11th-century landholding in the South West. We also have extensive digital resources and a growing Digital Humanities Team.

Ex Historia is the online journal published by our postgraduate History students. You will also be able to see the archives of the Cathedral and the Devon Heritage Centre, which contain detailed records of medieval landholdings and towns across Devon and the South West.

You will also be able to take advantage of other resources in the South West such as the Exeter Cathedral Archives which date to Saxon times. The Devon Heritage Centre and the Dorset Heritage Centre are valuable resources for those interested in local history, and all our postgraduate students are entitled to a free place at the Institute of Historical Research in London.

We have also invested £1.2 million into Digital Humanities to create a new lab and research space for the examination and preservation of important historical, literary and visual artefacts. The lab will allow you to use high-tech equipment to find out more about our cultural heritage, examine items in greater detail and share discoveries with the public. For more information visit our Digital Humanities Lab page.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant discipline, with a minimum 2.1 grade in the undergraduate dissertation. Exceptions may be made for students with relevant experience or qualifications depending on the submission of written work and/or interview. Students with combined honours degrees must have studied at least 1/3 of their degree in History-related modules or have some background in Medieval Studies, Classics and Ancient History or Latin.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2020/21

  • UK/EU: £8,750 full-time; £4,375 part-time
  • International: £18,500 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Contact us

Admissions Office - Exeter

Web: Enquire online

Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

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