Mediaeval History

The School of History at St Andrews has one of the largest groups of Mediaevalists in the country, in terms of both staff (over twenty) and student numbers (between thirty and forty in each year).

Anyone interested in the development of European culture will enjoy the chance to understand the historical background to that cultural heritage.  This could range from the Muslim world to the Norman conquest of England, from the Byzantine Empire to the Viking invasions of northern Europe.  The popes, kings, knights, women and peasants of mediaeval Europe are the figures studied in this colourful world.

Bayeux Tapestry

If you enjoy the study of the past, but want to try something different from the history you have studied at school, you will find Mediaeval History a stimulating and refreshing change.  We assume no prior knowledge of the period. If you are a linguist with an interest in the development of language, then Mediaeval History would provide a useful and informative background subject as a First or Second level course; it is not at all uncommon for students to enjoy the subhonours modules so much that they decide to incorporate Mediaeval History as part of a joint degree or a broad History degree.

Students planning to graduate with a degree (single or joint) in Mediaeval History will take at least three of the Mediaeval History modules we offer at first and second level in their first two years.  Alongside these modules they will take other subjects, which may include other types of history.

Having passed all these first and second level modules, and with a high level of achievement in the Mediaeval History modules, students can then specialise in advanced Mediaeval History third and fourth level modules over their final two years. With such a large number of Mediaevalists at St Andrews, students can choose from a wide range of specialised Honours Options and Special Subject topics covering both British and non-British historical topics from Late Antiquity to the end of the mediaeval period (from about 500 A.D. to 1500 A.D.) 

Students meet an academic adviser regularly to plan their course selection.

Please note:
Applicants to St Andrews are required to specify on their UCAS application the honours degree which they intend to take. Students may find, however, that in the course of their first two years of study, their interests develop and change and it is not unusual for students to change their degree intention as they enter their final (honours) two years. The breadth of the Scottish first two years, where students usually take at least two other subjects, in addition to their ‘honours’ intention makes this switch possible.


Giotto Mourning Christ