The M.Phil. course in Medieval History is designed to provide students with a rigorous grounding in medieval history and to prepare high-calibre graduates, from any Arts or Social Science background, for doctoral study or for employment outside of academia. The course is taught by specialists not only from the Department of History but also by medievalists in other disciplines, including archaeology, art history, classics, gender studies, literature and musicology. Aside from a thorough training in key skills, the course offers students the possibility of focusing on particular geographical areas (Ireland or elsewhere in Europe) and on themes crucial to the shaping of the medieval world, between c.500 and c.1550.
In a variety of modules students are trained in the analysis and presentation of their research findings. They are also introduced to the methodological challenges of advanced study and research at postgraduate level. The course includes a rigorous training in Latin (catering both for beginners and those with an existing qualification) and in Palaeography the study and transcription of medieval handwriting. Study of other languages is also possible. A suite of term-long electives is available on substantive themes or topics, varying from year to year. Recently offered modules include: The Archaeology of Ancient and Early Medieval Rome; The Golden Age: Ireland and Europe in the Seventh Century; The First Crusade; Saints and Sanctity in the Medieval World; Medieval Sexualities and the Body; Renaissance Kingship, c.1488-1542; Gender Theories; Public Archaeology; Medieval Manuscripts; and Classics and the European Identity. The weekly James Lydon Research Seminar provides an opportunity for invited medievalists from Ireland and across the world to discuss their work with graduate students. There is also a dedicated M.Phil. Research Seminar, in which Masters students present their research to fellow students and staff. The course culminates with a 20,000-word dissertation, written on an agreed topic and individually supervised by a member of staff.