Postgraduate study

Medieval History MSc

Awards: MSc

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Medieval History

In this programme, you will take an in-depth look at the fascinating history of Europe in the period between AD 400 and 1500 and develop your own specialised interests. Through small, seminar-based classes, and specialised training you will develop knowledge of the principal categories of surviving evidence and the technical skills needed to understand them. You will also learn the value of an interdisciplinary approach to medieval research with opportunities to enrol for relevant courses in other parts of the University.

With more than 90 members of academic staff attached to our cross-disciplinary Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS), Edinburgh is a wonderful environment for medieval scholarship. World-class resources will be on hand to aid your studies, most notably the impressive combined collections of the National Library of Scotland and the University’s Main Library.

You will take a variety of seminar-style courses in small groups. Most courses are assessed by means of an extended piece of written work, while some courses may also assess non-written skills.

You will complete a compulsory course on primary sources and five other courses, including at least two language options or skills-based options (which include Latin) and at least two academic options (which cover Europe and the Mediterranean). You will then complete an independent research dissertation and will be assigned a supervisor from the outset.

The compulsory course is:

  • The Sources of Medieval History

Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list.

  • Elementary Gaelic 1
  • Elementary Gaelic 2
  • Elementary Latin (PG) 1
  • Elementary Latin (PG) 2
  • Historical Research: Skills and Sources
  • Historical Methodology
  • The Crusades: Thirteenth Century Crossroads
  • Medieval Men and Masculinities
  • Literature and History in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland
  • Debating Marriage between Antiquity and the Middle Ages
  • Studying Women in Late Medieval England: Sources and Approaches
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent

This programme is designed to provide a grounding in the principal categories of surviving evidence and the technical skills needed to read them, namely palaeography and linguistic knowledge (generally Latin), and demonstrates the value of an interdisciplinary approach to medieval research.

You will also deepen your knowledge and understanding of selected themes and topics in a way that enables you to select and execute an independent piece of research.

Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers, others are interested in pursuing long-term academic careers and therefore consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD. The combination of specialised skills training courses and research seminars, as well as independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose.

Graduates pursue work in related areas such as museums, policy think tanks, national and international civil services, non-governmental organisations, galleries, libraries and historic trusts whilst others build on the transferable skills gained and enter areas as diverse as business, media, public administration and marketing.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, US GPA 3.4 or other international equivalent, in a subject related to this programme

You must demonstrate a background in Medieval History and/or relevant language skills in your transcript. If this cannot be demonstrated your personal statement must clearly show you are equipped to undertake this programme.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

Please read the application guidance for more information:

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG