Medieval Studies

Key Information


1 year


2-3 years

Start Date

September 2024

Typical Offer

See More


Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

Lincoln has a long and fascinating history. With its medieval castle, world-renowned Gothic cathedral, and some of the finest surviving examples of medieval domestic architecture in the United Kingdom, the city is home to a wealth of medieval resources, making it an ideal location in which to undertake an advanced study of the Middle Ages.

You will be able to learn a range of research methods used within Medieval Studies and develop skills such as palaeography and Latin. You will be taught how to utilise historical archives to explore the social, political, cultural, economic, and religious histories of England, Europe and the wider Mediterranean world. Our modules are informed by a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, including Women's History, the History of Emotions and Medievalism. Some modules are supported by the wealth of literary manuscripts at Lincoln Cathedral, which holds one of only 50 full manuscripts of The Canterbury Tales, as well as The Thornton Romances, which contains the earliest known accounts of King Arthur's death.

You will be able to work with a team of academics who are leading researchers, authors, editors of books, contributors to international research projects and conferences, broadcasters, conservators, and experts in heritage.

As a Medievalist and a member of the Lincoln School of Humanities and Heritage, you will be able to join our vibrant Postgraduate community and to participate in a range of extra-curricular research activities organised by the Medieval Studies Research Group. These include research seminars, an Annual Medieval Lecture, a 'Medieval Week' with international contributors and reading groups involving also PhD students and Postdoctoral researchers in the School.

Key Features

Collaborate in a scholarly and professional community

Hear from expert academic speakers

Links with the Medieval Studies Research Group

Complete a dissertation in a specialist area

Choose from a range of optional modules

Participate in a range of extracurricular research activities

YouTube video for Key Features

How You Study

Modules are mostly taught in two-hour group seminars. Alongside core skills-based modules, you will be able to select from a range of optional modules that cover British, European and Mediterranean History from different disciplinary and methodological perspectives, including History, Art History, Archaeology and Literary Studies. Further details are available in the Modules tab. Please note that modules on offer each academic year may vary depending on availability.

You will also complete a dissertation of up to 20,000 words, supervised by one of our members of staff.

As a full-time student on this course, you should expect to receive approximately four to six hours of contact time per week. Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in taught sessions. As a general guide, for every hour spent in class, you are expected to spend two to three hours on independent study.

Students have the option to enrol as on a part-time basis, meaning their plan of study would be adjusted accordingly.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Elementary Medieval Latin 2024-25HST9058MLevel 72024-25All students on the MA course have the opportunity to have some basic Latin training within their MA research methods module. For those students who already have some Latin, however, and for those who otherwise prove to learn quickly, this module will provide the opportunity to develop this essential skill for medievalists within a supportive context. The course aims to provide students with the confidence to engage directly with the original sources.CoreMedieval Palaeography and Diplomatic 2024-25HST9084MLevel 72024-25The module is designed to provide an introduction to the practical techniques of reading medieval documents, including the use of standard abbreviation forms in documents, the use of standard phrasing in administrative documents, and the development of this practice in large administrations (including royal and ecclesiastical chanceries). This module introduces an essential skill for medievalists and gives students the opportunity to engage with medieval sources in their original form.CoreMedieval Studies Dissertation 2024-25HST9024MLevel 72024-25CoreSources and Methods for Medieval Studies 2024-25HST9017MLevel 72024-25This module is designed to introduce a range of primary sources and research methods used within medieval studies, and focuses on active engagement with the processes of gathering, evaluating and analysing data of various sorts. Students will have the opportunity to develop familiarity with, and the chance to be able to evaluate, different approaches to the analysis and interpretation of historical and literary data.CoreHow the West was won: Bishops, barbarians and the transformation of the Roman world, 300-600 2024-25HST9080MLevel 72024-25This module aims to address a pivotal moment in the transition from the ancient to the medieval world: the ‘fall’ of the Roman Empire in Western Europe in the late fifth century. The module encourages students to conceptualise the end of Roman power in the West as a process that had its roots much further back in Roman history and that had long-term effects well beyond the late fifth century.OptionalMedieval Iberia: People, Power and Place 2024-25HST9052MLevel 72024-25Few places in Europe experienced as culturally diverse and politically complex a medieval past as did the Iberian Peninsula. Indeed, as Janna Bianchini has pointed out, the study of medieval Spain and Portugal obliges us to confront ‘the rich and sometimes violent interchange of (at least) three cultures and religions.’ This module allows students the opportunity to explore multiple aspects of the history of Spain and Portugal from 500 to 1300. This module is team taught, making use of Lincoln's research cluster in medieval Iberian studies, with the aim of ensuring that students are at the forefront of the discipline.OptionalMedieval Lincoln 2024-25HST9075MLevel 72024-25Focusing on the case study of Lincoln, this module aims to explore the city as a central element in the study of medieval history and culture. Students can investigate Lincoln as both “urbs” and “civitas”. Starting with the analysis of the urban fabric, they can explore the transformation of the city from the Roman time through the Middle Ages. Then, moving from the “urbs” to the “civitas”, they are able to explore the memory of its inhabitants, exploring topics such as epigraphy and commemoration, domestic spaces, identities, and legends. In the final part of the module, students have the chance to consider the activity of some institutions of the city, focusing on learning and law, and exploring the institutional significance of the Cathedral.OptionalMediterranean Encounters: 1000-1500 2024-25HST9078MLevel 72024-25The Mediterranean is not merely geography’ (Matvejević, Mediterranean Breviary, 1999). Focusing on the period 1000-1500, this module invites you to explore social, political and cultural dynamics, encounters and entanglements from different disciplinary and methodological perspectives to reflect upon how people, goods, practices and ideas circulated and interacted across the Mediterranean and its extensions, both physical and imagined. Combining both historiography and primary evidence – spanning History, Art History, Architecture, Archaeology and Literature – this module offers a useful insight into the complexities of a medieval Mediterranean world that shaped, and was shaped by, both local and global dynamics, cross-cultural encounters, exchanges and communication.OptionalNorth by Northwest: Comparative Perspectives on Northern Europe from 750 to 1000 2024-25HST9081MLevel 72024-25This module looks at some of the major developments of medieval northern European history – developments that are too often studied in isolation. Frequently divided into either the Age of Charlemagne and his successors, or the period which saw the emergence of an English Kingdom (and perhaps, people), or an era of violence and trade given its primary impulse by Viking activity, the period from 750 to 1000 is best understood in all its complexity by means of a comparative approach. The module’s comparative framework will also provide the opportunity to develop a crucial contextual knowledge for students looking to go on to PhD level. Equipped with this knowledge, students can realise that no single interpretative paradigm of the period can do justice to the plethora of social, political, economic and cultural changes that took root in the period in question.OptionalPlaying fast and loose with history: Repackaging the past in medieval and modern culture 2024-25HST9054MLevel 72024-25OptionalPublic and Private Emotions in the Middle Ages 2024-25HST9082MLevel 72024-25This module aims to introduce students to some of the key issues posed by studying the history of emotions, particularly for the medieval period. This is a subject that has only recently attracted scholarly attention. A general introduction to the methodologies used in this field will be provided, focusing especially on how historians do or should approach texts that include emotions. Love, friendship, hatred and betrayal are some of the themes that will be discussed in the context of Western Europe and the Mediterranean between 1000 and 1400, a period when their meanings and values were sometimes astonishingly different from our modern conceptions. Primary sources consulted will include epistolary exchanges, philosophical and medical treaties, narrative and literary sources, ecclesiastical writings, as well as visual art and material culture, among others.OptionalRobin Hood and the Outlaw Tradition 2024-25ENL9041MLevel 72024-25This module examines what the figure of the outlaw meant to the people of Britain in the Middle Ages, especially in the post-Conquest period, as well as how he was, and still is, connected to history and myth in literature. Students will consider the glorification of crime associated with outlaw narratives and the resistance of primarily clerical and state authority, as well as the underlying issues of friendship and loyalty that these narratives evoke. They will also examine other themes prevalent in outlaw legends, such as nature, human and animal relations, gender, religion, tricksters and trickery, class, warfare and weaponry. Finally, it assesses how outlawry and outlaw figures (especially Robin Hood) have been transmitted, as a type of ‘medievalism,’ to later periods and what the outlaw figure means in contemporary society. Overall, students will examine representations of outlaws in a range of genres, from chronicles, ballads, and dramatic texts to children’s literature, film, and television.OptionalRobin Hood and the Outlaw Tradition 2024-25ENL9042MLevel 72024-25OptionalSaints and Scholars: History and Hagiography in the Middle Ages 2024-25HST9055MLevel 72024-25This module examines the relationship between saints and the societies from which they emerged. Through a series of case studies, it explores the evolution of Christian concepts and practices of sanctity in late antiquity and the early medieval period, before looking at examples from across later medieval Europe. Saints and Scholars focuses on hagiographies, but also bring in a range of other sources, including material culture, to understand the phenomenon of the cult of the saints and open a window onto the thought world and social experiences of medieval men and women.OptionalThe Death of Chivalry? Monarchy, Revolution and War in England, 1216-72 2024-25HST9083MLevel 72024-25The reign of King Henry lll (r. 1216-72) was of tremendous significance in English history. His personal rule witnessed grievances against the king that culminated in England's first political revolution. During the baronial rebellion of 1258-65, Henry lll was reduced to a cipher, his wife Eleanor of Provence spent time in exile, and a baronial council led by Henry lll's brother-in-law, Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, pushed through legal and administrative reforms far more radical and wide ranging than those envisaged in Magna Carta in 1215. Yet the baronial reform movement ultimately ended in failure, following de Montfort's brutal death at the battle of Evesham on 4th August 1265. This module examines the relationship between the English crown and aristocracy (secular and ecclesiastical) in this momentous period, the ideas and motivations that drove elite men and women into rebellion, and the strategies deployed by the crown to defend its interests.OptionalThe end of the world as we know it: The chroniclers of barbarian history and the birth of the medieval order 2024-25HST9056MLevel 72024-25Chronicles were without doubt the dominant form of historical writing throughout the medieval period. This research-based module is designed to introduce students to these neglected sources, to their origins in the historiographical thought-world of the ancient and early Christian worlds, and to the key chronicle writers of the early Middle Ages.OptionalViolence and Virgins: Conquests and Reconciliations, c.1066-1167 2024-25HST9015MLevel 72024-25Optional

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

Most modules are assessed through written work, usually essays, research projects, and critical commentaries. Palaeography and Latin are assessed by in-class exams. To obtain your MA, you will have to complete a dissertation project of up to 20,000 words, for which you will be supervised by one of the academics teaching on this Programme.

Following the University of Lincoln's policy on assessment, we will ensure that you receive your feedback promptly - usually within 15 working days of the submission date (unless stated differently). This will allow you to benefit from our feedback, that we encourage you to implement in order to improve in your following submissions.


This programme offers a range of opportunities for you to develop as a scholar and to become an active member of both our Postgraduate cohort and ‘One Community’ at Lincoln. You will be invited to attend research seminars and activities delivered by both internal and external speakers, including the University’s Annual Medieval Studies Lecture. In some years the Lincoln School of Humanities and Heritage’s Visiting Professor in Medieval History provides an annual seminar, lecture, or masterclass for graduate students in Medieval Studies. Other visiting lecturers, from the UK, Europe, and North America, have also previously given lectures and seminars for students. We also organise a ‘Medieval Week’, which includes a range of public events and lectures delivered by internationally recognised scholars in the field of Medieval Studies. 

We encourage you to attend extracurricular activities, such as reading groups, where you will have the opportunity to discuss ideas and share knowledge with your peers, as well as with PhD students, Postdoctoral researchers, and staff in the School. 

Medieval Studies Research Group

Our School benefits from its own Medieval Studies Research Group, which provides a stimulating and inclusive environment for discussion and debate with fellow students, scholars, and visiting academics, through various research events and activities.

Explore the Research Group
Lincoln Cathedral and the Bailgate area


We have a strong relationship with the wider scholarly and professional community including the Wren library in Lincoln Cathedral and archives, with whom we collaborate in our teaching and research. We also collaborate closely with a number of organisations including: 

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

First or second class honours degree in a relevant subject.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages: for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page:

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses:

These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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The School of History and Heritage MA Bursary

The School of Humanities and Heritage is pleased to be able to offer up to four bursaries, by competition, to University of Lincoln students and alumni who wish to undertake one of the MA degree programmes offered by the School (MA History, MA Medieval Studies, MA Conservation of Cultural Heritage, or MA English Literature). For full details and information on how to apply, visit our bursary page.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University of Lincoln. The range of module options allowed me to tailor my course to complement my research interests. Having the chance to develop skills in Latin and palaeography, as well as learning how to use archives at Lincoln Cathedral, proved invaluable

Career Development

This course aims to develop the critical understanding and extensive analytical skills that may be particularly beneficial to careers in the heritage sector, museums, communication, and teaching. After completing their MA Medieval Studies, some of our graduates have continued their study at doctoral level, securing external PhD funding.

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact the Programme Leader.

Dr Antonella Liuzzo Scorpo

Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.