Ancient and Medieval Warfare (MA)
The MA in Ancient and Medieval Warfare offers students the opportunity to explore military history in the Greek, Roman and Medieval worlds from a broad comparative perspective. The programme consists of a flexible combination of taught modules and individual research, which enables students to specialise in a specific period if they wish, or, if they prefer, to study a particular theme across a wider timespan. The MA provides a solid foundation of research skills which can serve as a basis for doctoral research, but it also provides transferable skills, which will be valuable for a career in any field.
The taught element of the MA runs from October to May, and combines research training modules, study of an ancient language, and a choice of specialised options (listed below). During the taught stage of the MA, students lay the foundations for the second part of the course, which is an individual research project, carried out between May and September, leading up to a dissertation of 20,000 words. The MA can be taken full-time in one year, or part-time over three years.
Please note that some modules are subject to review and may change prior to academic year 2013-2014.
Research Skills and Theory (60 credits)
All students take a group of modules that provide training in the skills and methods needed for research into the history of warfare: current approaches to the subject, research design, bibliographic and computer skills, written and oral presentation, and textual interpretation. All students take:
- Speaking the Past - 10 credits (HST306)
and 30 credits chosen from:
- Understanding Texts - 10 credits (HST011)
- Research Methods - 10 credits (HST301)
- Writing the Past - 10 credits (HST305)
Greek or Latin Language (20 credits)
All students take courses in either ancient Greek or Latin (classical or medieval), to enable them to study source texts in the original language. Tuition at beginners' level is provided for students who have not learned an ancient language before; those who already have some knowledge take part in advanced reading classes, where they study ancient texts chosen according to the research interests of the students participating.
Specialised Options (40 credits)
You can choose from a range of formal taught modules, which introduce you to key themes and approaches through regular classes and seminars, in which students take turns to deliver short presentations, followed by general discussion of issues and problems. Alternatively, the Special Topic modules allow you to research a subject of your choice in depth, under the guidance of a supervisor. We offer a variety of Special Topics linked to the research interests of individual staff, or you can choose the open Special Topic Aspects of Ancient and Medieval Warfare, either to pursue a topic from a taught module in greater depth or to explore a subject that is not covered by the other modules.
- Crusader Ideology - 20 credits (HST907)
- The Military Orders - 20 credits (HST908)
Special Topic modules
- Special Topic: Aspects of the Roman Army - 20 credits (HST037) (not available in 2011–12)
Dissertation (60 credits)
Assessment is mostly by coursework, including several short written exercises, an oral presentation and a portfolio of essays; essay topics are chosen by the student in consultation with a tutor. Language modules are assessed by various combinations of coursework and exams.
Learning Outcomes and Career Preparation
In addition to helping students obtain detailed and critical knowledge of their chosen area of military history, the MA offers them the chance to acquire and perfect valuable skills that are applicable to careers in many different fields. Often referred to as transferable or generic skills, these skills expand students' individual capabilities and make it easier for them to obtain employment and enter their careers with abilities that are widely considered essential for professional success.
Upon completion of the MA in Ancient and Medieval Warfare, students will have acquired the following skills:
Intellectual skills, including the ability to evaluate critically evidence and its interpretation and to be tolerant of differing interpretations; to sustain a logical argument and reach a conclusion that can be defended; to synthesise and analyse information; to compare and contrast theoretical explanations and to integrate different methodologies.
Language skills, including the ability to read and interpret texts in either Latin or ancient Greek.
Communication skills, including the ability to communicate orally in an appropriate professional manner; to make presentations both as an individual and as part of a group; to write effectively at an advanced level.
Information technology skills, including the ability to use electronic resources for historians and classicists; to find, manage and utilise information and data.
Personal skills, including the ability to manage workloads; to adapt and apply skills to new contexts; to assess and formulate priorities, constraints and goals, and to adapt to changing circumstances.
Above all, by the end of the MA, students will be able to critically assess the work of others and of their own, to engage effectively in debate at an advanced level, to plan, design and carry out a coherent research strategy, and to produce detailed and coherent reports and presentations.
Students applying to take the MA should normally have one of the following qualifications:
- At least an Upper Second Class (2.i) undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, such as Ancient History, Classics, Classical Studies, History, Medieval History, Archaeology, War Studies, English (Language and/or Literature specialising in medieval), or Religious Studies
- A good undergraduate degree in a relevant subject from a non-UK university. We encourage applications from students whose undergraduate degrees are from non-UK universities. Please contact the postgraduate admissions tutor to discuss particular requirements.
- Experience, qualifications or achievements in another field of relevance. Potential applicants should contact the postgraduate admissions tutor for guidance.
Please note: Dr Kate Gilliver will be on research leave in the academic year 2011–12, and teaching in the area of Roman warfare will be limited accordingly.
To find out about funding opportunities please visit our Postgraduate Funding Opportunities page.
For more information contact: