Module Convenor: Dr James Davis
The ‘Medieval & Early Modern History’ strand of the MA in Modern History gives students the chance to explore a variety of topics and skills relating to medieval and early modern history. The School offers a breadth of academic expertise that allows students to look at a range of options, from the seventh to seventeenth century, for their dissertation.
This MA consists of five modules:
1. Research Methods (MHY7020) Semester 1 (Sept-Dec)
This module offers an introduction to bibliographic research, archival usage, the handling of primary and secondary sources, methods of documenting research results and practical writing and editing skills, preparatory to the dissertation. It also includes introduction to the more specialised methodologies associated with oral history, statistics and material culture. Training will be offered in using sources specific to your MA strand (Medieval and Early Modern History), including such skills as palaeography, codicology and chronology. You will be encouraged to attend research seminars to support this training, such as the Medieval Cultures seminar series. This module is assessed through a number of practical coursework exercises.
2. Historiography (MHY7035) Semester 1 (Sept-Dec)
This is a two-part introduction to themes in global and area-specific historical theory and practice.
The first part, taught in common with MA Irish History, introduce you to developments in contemporary international historiographies, and includes topics such as memory and orality, new cultural histories, postcolonialism and postmodernism.
In the second part of the module, students will focus on historiographical topics related to Medieval & Early Modern History.
This module is assessed through two research essays of c 3,000 words.
3. Topics in Medieval and Early Modern History (MHY7078) Semester 2 (Jan-June)
Co-ordinator: Dr James Davis
'Topics in Medieval & Early Modern History' gives students the opportunity to explore medieval and early modern documents in depth, drawing on the expertise of particular staff within the School. Students will concentrate on three specific topics during this module, with a number of options available each year. This might include medieval village and town life, saints' lives, frontier societies, the Carolingian court and scholars, the Jews in the Middle Ages, the Komnenoi dynasty, peasants and alewives, the medieval landscape, the European Reformation, and early modern street entertainment.
Students write two essays (3,000 words) for two of these courses on individually-devised topics/questions. Each essay represents 50% of the overall mark.
4. Historical Documents and Sources (MHY7025) Semester 2 (Jan-June)
In this module students will be introduced to techniques of calendaring, indexing and locating primary-source documents. Students may produce either a calendar of previously uncatalogued documents, a finding aid to primary sources on a defined theme, or a database drawn from primary sources. Students on the ‘Medieval and Early Modern History’ strand will work closely with an individual member of staff (usually their intended dissertation supervisor) on sources that will be related to their dissertation topic. Students will be encouraged to develop various documentary and editorial skills, possibly in transcribing or translating a selected corpus of medieval/early modern documents or texts.
Assessment is by a 5,000 word introductory essay and a demonstration of editing skills in transcribing, calendaring or providing a database for selected document(s).
An individually negotiated topic (MHY7011) may be made available by agreement with the course co-ordinator to accommodate students with research interests outside these areas.
Public History Internship (MHY7077) Semester 2 (Jan-June)
This module is provided as an alternative to MHY7025 (Historical Documents and Sources). Students studying for an MA in Modern or Irish History will be offered an opportunity to undertake an internship in public history in a local cultural institution during semester 2. This aims to allow students relate their academic studies to a practical setting and to give them some experience of a work-place environment. More details >>
5. Dissertation (MHY7010: Double module)
The MA or strand co-ordinator will encourage you to identify your dissertation proposal and arrange a suitable supervisor to advise on research and writing. The dissertation must not exceed 20,000 words in total length, be drawn from primary sources, and have a suitable scholarly apparatus. Full-time students must submit their dissertation by mid September. Dissertations will be supervised by academic staff with research interests related to your chosen MA strand. Candidates who pass the assessment for the four taught modules but who fail to submit a dissertation, or who submit an unsatisfactory dissertation, may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma.
Part-time students take MHY7035 (semester 1) and MHY7078 (semester 2) in their first year; MHY7020 (semester 1) and MHY7025/MHY7077 (semester 2) in their second year, and submit their dissertation by 1 May in their third year (a total study period of 31 months).