The University of Edinburgh Humanities and Social Science

Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Taught degrees


Some Medieval and Renaissance course options across the College

Please refer to the programme details below to confirm core courses required and the number of option courses appropriate to the programme. Please note not all the courses listed may be available this year, you should consult the course organiser listed to check on availability. This list is not comprehensive and other relevant courses may be running this year, please discuss these options with your programme director.

List of option courses 2013-2014


MSc in Medieval Literatures and Cultures

This MSc programme is based in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. While its central focus is on the literatures of the European
middle ages, the programme engages widely with the historical and cultural contexts in which medieval literature flourished. It is designed to be flexible and to enable pathways which may range from a focus on a particular branch of literature to those which are broader ranging and interdisciplinary. The programme involves three strands: a core course in key issues and texts for literature of the middle ages; a skills strand in palaeography and manuscript study which also gives the opportunity to learn or develop a range of medieval languages; a wide choice of options in which the linguistic, literary, historical and art historical disciplines are all represented.

MSc in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies

This masters course in Renaissance and Early Modern studies takes advantage of the wealth and diversity of Renaissance and Early Modern collections in Edinburgh, furnishing students with the knowledge and skills for independent research in this field in a university, museum or heritage setting. It is unique amongst degrees in Renaissance Studies in offering students the opportunity to undertake an internship in a museum, special collections library, or similar cultural institution.

MSc in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies

The end of Classical Antiquity in the Mediterranean and the Middle East witnessed the formation of polities, institutions and ideologies which define and continue to influence our world today. This new programme builds upon the University of Edinburgh’s reputation as a hub for the study of the Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine worlds. By combining a diverse, yet cognate range of research interests, this interdisciplinary programme is able to offer an exceptional selection of linguistic and disciplinary expertise in the study of the Long Late Antiquity, embracing Arabic, Archaeology, Art History, Classical Languages and Literature, History, Persian and Theology.

MSc in Medieval History

Medieval History is concerned broadly with all aspects of European history between about 400 and 1500 A.D. This MSc programme is designed to provide a grounding for all students in the principal categories of surviving evidence, of the technical skills needed to read them, namely, palaeography and linguistic knowledge (generally Latin), and of the value of an interdisciplinary approach to medieval research. Further, students will deepen their knowledge and understanding of selected themes and topics in a way that enables them to select and execute an independent piece of research. Students will benefit from proximity to the rich manuscript collections at the National Library of Scotland and the National Archives, as well as the printed holdings at the National Library, and elsewhere in Edinburgh.

MSc in Art in the Global Middle Ages

This Masters programme is designed for students seeking a distinctive and unique perspective on the arts of the Middle Ages. Visual culture, throughout the medieval period, is addressed from a global viewpoint. The programme combines study of the arts and their audiences in Europe with those in non-Christian cultures (Islam and China ). The main focus is on issues stemming from consideration of cultural exchange and interaction between West and East. One example is the practice of exchanging gifts, its traditions, diplomatic significance and intellectual consequences. The programme will also consider issues concerning pilgrimage and conquest, and will address questions arising from study of the rise of global trade and travel. These embrace such topics as: material exchange (e.g. ivory, pigments and silks); pilgrimage; travel literature and its uses; artistic and technological exchange; and the taste of the exotic.

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