Postgraduate study

Medieval Studies MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Medieval Studies

A Masters by Research (MScR) programme is ideal if you have a clear idea of the independent research you wish to undertake at Masters level. Home of the cross-disciplinary Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the University of Edinburgh has one of the largest communities of medieval and Renaissance specialists in the world: upwards of 70 researchers across the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Join our community and undertake a 15,000 word dissertation under the guidance of an experienced and well-published supervisor. Our research interests are wide-ranging and global, and include history, languages and literatures, history of art and architecture, music, divinity, archaeology, law, Celtic and Scottish Studies, and Islamic, European, and Asian Studies.

In addition to your dissertation, you will also research and write two 6,000-word essays on related subjects of interest, enabling you to develop a broader basis of knowledge in your chosen discipline. These essays will be guided by your supervisor.

This programme includes training in palaeography and codicology, theoretical approaches to medieval society and culture, research skills and methods, and sources of medieval history.

Between the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), partner Schools in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Careers Service and the Institute for Academic Development, you’ll find a further range of programmes and resources to help you develop your postgraduate skills. You will also have access to the University’s fantastic libraries, collections and worldwide strategic partnerships.

Part of a community

As part of our research community, you will be immersed in a world of knowledge exchange, with lots of opportunities to share ideas and learning. Activities range from the annual Denys Hay Lecture, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies seminar series, and regular performances of Renaissance music, to the student-led Late Antiquity and Medieval Postgraduate seminar series (LAMPS) and Edinburgh Early Modern Network talks. Many of our events are organised in conjunction with colleagues at museums, galleries, libraries and archives in Edinburgh.

Our graduates tell us that they value our friendliness, the connections they make here and the in-depth guidance they receive from our staff, who are published experts in their field.

The historic city of Edinburgh contains exceptional resources for study and research in the Medieval and Renaissance periods.

Based in the Main University Library, the Centre for Research Collections is unique in the UK, bringing together a collection of more than 400,000 rare books, six kilometres of archives and manuscripts, and the University’s collections of art, historical musical instruments and other objects. Many of our Special Collections are digitised and available online.

The National Library of Scotland has important collections of manuscripts and early printed books, the National Archives of Scotland holds material relating to Scottish history from the 12th century, and the Royal Observatory has a significant collection of medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern astronomical and astrological texts.

There are fantastic medieval and Renaissance collections in the National Galleries of Scotland and National Museum of Scotland, and most of the city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Old Town retaining many of its medieval buildings and streets.

MScR: A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject.

PhD: A UK 2:1 honours degree and a masters degree, or their international equivalents, in a related subject. We may also consider your application if you have equivalent qualifications or experience; please check with your potential supervisor before you apply.

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

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 23 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 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 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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScR1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScR2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

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 Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
13 September 2021 31 July 2021

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

The online application process involves the completion of a web form and the submission of supporting documents.

For a Masters by Research programme, you should include:

  • a sample of written work of about 3,000 words (this can be a previous piece of work from an undergraduate degree).
  • a research proposal - an outline of your proposed area of study, helping us gain a clearer picture of what you hope to achieve.

See our guidance:

Before you apply, you should look at the interests and expertise of our research community on the programme website. This will help you decide if this programme is right for you and your supervision needs.

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

Further information

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH