Medieval Studies (MLitt) 2024 entry

This interdisciplinary course equips students with the knowledge of different theoretical approaches and current debates in the fields of history, art history, divinity, languages and literature. Students can work on topics suited to their own interests while also expanding their horizons beyond a single discipline.

Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2025
One year full time
School of History

Application deadline

Thursday 8 August 2024

Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date. 
  • a personal statement  
  • a sample of your own, single-authored academic written work (2,000 words) 
  • two original signed academic references (on university headed paper) from your most recent degree awarding institution
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates 

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability.  See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MLitt in Medieval Studies is an interdisciplinary programme run by the St Andrews Institute of Medieval Studies (SAIMS)


  • Draws on the long-established and recognised strengths in medieval studies available from the participating disciplines – Art History, Divinity, English, History, Modern Languages and Philosophy. 
  • Gives students the opportunity to work closely with colleagues covering a vast range of expertise from Late Antiquity to the 15th century and across the medieval world, from the Middle East and the Mediterranean to the British Isles and Scandinavia. 
  • Introduces different theoretical approaches, current debates and the nature of cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary work in the fields of history, art history, languages and literature. 
  • Offers an opportunity to combine training in manuscript studies and palaeography with interdisciplinary work or single discipline modules. 
  • Includes weekly seminars and regular workshops, bringing students into direct contact with visiting academics. 


The modules published below are examples of what has been taught in previous academic years and may be subject to change before you start your programme. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the module catalogue.

  • Approaches to Medieval Studies 1: covers a range of themes essential to understanding multi-disciplinary approaches to the Middle Ages. 
  • Approaches to Medieval Studies 2: explores a broad issue from a variety of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, using selected texts, images and artefacts to anchor discussion. 

Students choose three to five optional modules depending on module credits (students have 60 credits for optional choices from both 10-credit and 20-credit modules). 

Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered. 

  • An Introduction to Palaeography with Codicological and Manuscript Studies 1: equips students to tackle the reading, transcription and interpretation of manuscripts up to c.1200. 
  • An Introduction to Palaeography with Codicological and Manuscript Studies 2: equips students to tackle the reading, transcription and interpretation of manuscripts 1200-1500. 
  • Core Language and Text Skills (Greek or Arabic): provides an introduction to one of the core languages for studying the Middle Ages. 
  • Directed Reading in Medieval Studies 1: a detailed study of a medieval topic of the student's own choice taught via tutorials with one or more colleagues in the participating Schools. 
  • Directed Reading in Medieval Studies 2: a detailed study of a medieval topic of the student's own choice taught via tutorials with one or more colleagues in the participating Schools. 
  • Discipline Skills: introduces students to one particular discipline within medieval studies: medieval art history, medieval English literature, medieval French language and literature, medieval German language and literature, medieval history, or medieval Italian literature. 
  • Latin for Medieval Studies 1: classes are offered at beginner, intermediate and advanced level, so students take the class most appropriate to their needs. 
  • Latin for Medieval Studies 2: classes are offered at beginner, intermediate and advanced level, so students take the class most appropriate to their needs.   
  • Medieval Language: provides an introduction to one medieval language. The languages normally available include Old Norse, Old English, Middle English, Medieval French, Middle High German, Medieval Italian, Medieval Occitan and Middle Scots. 

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development). 

Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in mid-August. 

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt. 


The course comprises two semesters of taught modules followed by a three-month focused period for writing a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words. 

Teaching methods include seminars, language classes and fortnightly tutorials, with class sizes ranging from individual supervision up to around 12 students.

The modules are assessed entirely through coursework; the 'Core Language and Text Skills' modules are assessed on a pass or fail basis.


SAIMS hosts interdisciplinary conferences and weekly seminars. In addition, the School of History runs a Medieval History Postgraduate Seminar Series which is intended to provide a space for postgraduates at all stages to present ideas, discuss research issues, and gain some practical presentation experience. 




More information on tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances.

Whenever it is relevant to your programme and possible, the School makes available competitive language bursaries for training prior to the start of an MLitt programme. To find out more, please contact as early as possible. Note that, when available, the application deadline is normally in the early Spring.

Taught postgraduate scholarships    Postgraduate loans

After your degree


As well as pursuing study at PhD level, other graduates of the course have gone on to pursue careers in a range of sectors including: 

  • journalism 
  • publishing 
  • archives 
  • heritage 
  • government 
  • law 
  • management 
  • teaching. 

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Further study

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere. 

SAIMS provides a unique, internationally recognised research environment for medieval studies, with potential PhD supervisors from a range of disciplines. 

Postgraduate research

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Postgraduate online visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2900
School of History
St Katharine's Lodge
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9BA

School of History website