Medieval History MA (Hons) 2021 entry
The MA (Hons) in Medieval History will teach you to engage with sophisticated modes of thought and expression across medieval Europe and the Middle East. You will grapple with complex issues and gain a clear understanding of the historical background which underlies the present day.
Students who study medieval history will engage with a wide variety of historical issues and geographic locations to suit different interests, whether that be in early Islamic Iran, the Britons and Saxons, medieval political thought, or queenship.
The Department of Medieval History at St Andrews is one of the biggest in the UK, and medieval history has been taught at St Andrews for over 50 years.
Master of Arts (single Honours degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 June 2025
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
- Standard entry grades: AAAAB, including A in History
- Minimum entry grades: AABB, including B in History
- Gateway entry grades: BBBB
- Standard entry grades: AAA, including A in History
- Minimum entry grades: ABB, including B in History
- Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6), including HL6 in History
- Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL5 in History
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language, you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.How to apply
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
Students must have studied History at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
The School of History at St Andrews has an international reputation for the diversity of teaching programmes offered. The School has expertise in medieval and modern history, from Scotland to Byzantium, and the Americas to the Middle East and South Asia.
The School was ranked best in Scotland in the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework (REF) for the quality and impact of its research.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2020 as 92.7% of St Andrews final-year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
Find out more about studying history at St Andrews.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), you will take the required modules in medieval history alongside modules in at least one other subject.
Typically, you will take one medieval history module per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours).
Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.
Students will take the following compulsory first-year modules:
- The Fall of Rome and the Origins of Europe (400-1000): examines how political, cultural and social life changed in the Byzantine, British and ‘barbarian’ worlds in response to major upheavals.
- Scotland and the English Empire 1070-1500: compares and relates the societies of the English crown and the kingdom of Scotland in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of England.
Students will take the following compulsory second-year module:
- Medieval Europe (1000-1400): examines key themes that helped to shape continental Western Europe from the aftermath of the Carolingian Empire and beginning of the Crusades to the Black Death and the Hundred Years War.
You will also choose at least one from the following:
- History as a Discipline: Development and Key Concepts: provides an introduction to key theoretical and methodological approaches which have characterised the emergence of history as a discipline since medieval times.
- Introduction to Middle Eastern History: provides an introduction to Middle Eastern history from the dramatic reconfiguration of the Middle East in late antiquity to its contested and contentious recent past.
- Mediterranean Communities: deals with the human settlement and material culture of the entire Mediterranean world throughout classical antiquity.
- Scotland, Britain and Empire (c. 1500-2000): provides an introduction to how and why the British nation state evolved from the separate kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland and how and why it has survived over the last three centuries.
If you decide to take medieval history in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, with topics ranging from the fall of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the modern age, and from Britain to the Eastern Mediterranean.
Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:
- Death and the Afterlife in Later Medieval Europe
- Holy Lives in Late Antiquity
- Italian City States: from Communes to Signorie c.1000 - c.1350
- Queens and Queenship in Early Medieval Europe
- The Mamluks and the Mamluk Sultanate (1250-1382).
Some modules at Honours level are intended to build your portfolio and provide you with career experience. For example, the 'Recording the Past' module allows you to submit a multimedia historical project in the form of a radio programme, video documentary, website or another appropriate medium.
In fourth year, students also undertake a dissertation of around 12,000 words on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
Joint Honours degrees
You can take Medieval History as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects:
You can take Medieval History as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first named subject.
- Medieval History with Persian
“The teaching here is fantastic. Medieval history is all about interpreting scanty, challenging sources, so it is a surprisingly creative discipline, and the adventurous research interests of the staff, from ancient legal systems to the history of death, mean you are always exploring the creative outer limits of traditional history.”
William (West Sussex, England)