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History: Medieval History

The MA in Medieval History is a taught, one-year course that gives you the research skills to investigate and interpret the literary and artistic culture of the Middle Ages.

You will encounter medieval sources that are being radically reinterpreted in the light of exciting new research by course lecturers. The course is designed to give you a thorough grounding in research skills while providing maximum freedom to follow your own research interests.

You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your own ability to engage with historical sources in writing your research dissertation. You will also adapt your research and analytical skills to a variety of non-academic contexts or, alternatively, to undertaking further research.

Entry requirements

To be considered for registration an applicant will normally have a primary degree of at least Second Class Honours Grade I level in a suitable subject or the equivalent

Applications from students with a Second Class Honours Grade II degree in a suitable subject may also be considered. These applicants may be requested to submit a proposal and/or attend an interview.

All candidates must satisfy a Selection Committee who may request applicants to provide letters of reference.

Important Note: Before completing the online application and online Supplementary Question Form, intending candidates must consult with the relevant course co-ordinators or prospective supervisors to discuss/confirm their proposed research area (Course Co-Ordinator names and contact details are available in the Course Content section further down). Following this consultation the proposed supervisor should be named on the online supplementary questions form.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


One year, full-time
The Part-time option over 2 years (during weekday working hours)

Number of credits

90 credits

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
The course will equip you with the essential skills that enable you to understand and interpret the history and culture (written and visual) of the past. It will introduce new and innovative methodologies that bring fresh insights into medieval times, and that allow us to reconstruct in considerable detail how people understood their world, and how they lived their lives. There are modules that explore and apply research methods, and also modules that train you in how these methods and skills can be used by graduates in their employment. Work experience is an integral part of the course giving you the opportunity to apply your knowledge and interpretative skills in the working environment of a museum. You will also be guided in how to develop your ability to present your findings both orally and in writing.

Occupations associated with the MA in Medieval History
MA in Medieval History students have gone on to pursue doctorates with scholarship support; work in financial services; in university lecturing posts; in curatorial and museum posts.

What are our graduates doing?
Past students have gone on to doctoral study with scholarship support, work in financial services, university lecturing, teaching, project management, and in the heritage sector.

Placement and Study Abroad
Work experience is an integral part of the course giving students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the period and interpretative skills in the working environment of a museum, or through the creation of online digital corpora and databases.

Further enquiries

Course Coordinator
Dr. Diarmuid Scully,
School of History,

School Administrators
Deirdre O'Sullivan/Geraldine McAllister,
School of History
University College Cork
+353 (0)21 4902755

Subjects taught

In the Autumn and Spring teaching periods, you will take a number of modules (including instruction in Latin) that explore major themes in western medieval culture and are intended to equip you with the key skills of the medieval historian. Teaching is research-led; classes focus on a range of sources, both literary and visual.

The MA offers modules which concentrate on historical themes, and others which are intended to develop key research skills and methodologies. In the Autumn semester, you will take Historical contexts for medievalists (Hi6088), an intensive introduction to key turning points and transformations in the history and culture of medieval Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the High Middle Ages. You will take The Insular world in text and image (Hi6090) and, through a close analysis of selected literary and visual sources, come to understand the history and culture of early Ireland and Britain.

In the Spring semester, you will explore actual and virtual Insular encounters with real and imagined peoples and places in Hi6089 Insular encounters with the wider world. You will also take Skills for medieval historians (Hi6091), where you will explore, evaluate and employ the variety of sources, techniques and strategies available to historians. This module will also give you the opportunity to employ your skills and knowledge in the working environment of a museum or field of applied historical research.

All students will take an introductory Latin module (LT6001) offered by the Department of Classics.

For more current details of the programme and module descriptions, see the Postgraduate College Calendar


Course Practicalities
The taught section of the course takes place in the first teaching period to allow greater freedom in the second teaching period, and over the summer for research and the writing of your thesis.

The introductory module, Contexts for Medieval History (Hi6036) is taught in a series of four two-hour workshops in the first week of the academic year.

Skills for Medieval Historians (Hi6039) is also taught in a in a lecture/workshop series. This course involves a field-trip to a museum where you will experience the conservation and interpretation of the material culture of the Middle Ages.

Introduction to Latin (Lt6001) is taught in three one-hour classes per week throughout both semesters. There is an advanced course available for students who have previously studied Latin, and which involves individual tuition.

Unique Aspects of the Course
This course will appeal to students wishing to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the culture of the Medieval West. Students will encounter medieval sources that are being radically reinterpreted in the light of exciting new research by course lecturers. The course is designed to give students a thorough grounding in research skills while providing maximum freedom to follow their own research interests.

Assessment method

In the taught modules, you are assessed by coursework, which usually involves the writing of an essay and the delivery of oral presentations. You will also complete a minor dissertation (20,000 words) based on your own research of a topic of particular interest to you. The MA in Medieval History has a credit weighting of 90 credits, divided equally between coursework (45 credits) and minor dissertation (45 credits).

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: €6,000 full-time; €3,000 per year part-time;

Students may be requested to contribute towards the field trip as part of module Hi6039 Skills for Medieval Historians

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

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