The MLitt in Medieval English offers a rigorous programme of study covering the medieval literature of England and Scotland from the Anglo-Saxon period to the early Renaissance.
The MLitt in Medieval English is an intensive one-year taught programme run by the School of English. The course covers the medieval literature of England and Scotland from the first appearance of written English to the start of the Renaissance.
- The programme develops the various intellectual and practical skills necessary for research in the field of medieval literature.
- Students will extend and deepen their knowledge of English and Scottish literature from the earliest Old English writings through to the close of the Middle Ages.
- In addition to being a member of the School’s own Medieval and Renaissance Research Group, you will also become a member of the St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies.
- Expert palaeography classes are offered within the School, and students have access to unique manuscript materials provided by the University’s Special Collections.
Over two semesters, students will take taught modules that are conducted as seminars with some didactic classes and hands-on practical sessions. Assessment is conducted through coursework essays, assessed exercises and the final dissertation. The School of English prides itself on its support of student work through detailed feedback and commentary. Class sizes typically range from three to ten students.
During the course of the year, but with particular focus during the last four months, students will research and write a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choosing.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2020–2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.
- Literary Research: Skills and Resources: trains students in the understanding and use of the essential skills and resources of research in English Studies; it also provides preparation for the MLitt dissertation.
- Reading the Medieval Text: provides specific skills and areas of knowledge necessary for undertaking research in medieval literature, including palaeography and codicology, and scholarly editing.
- Old English: Old English grammar and translation with the aim of getting all students to an acceptable level of proficiency in reading and translation.
- Middle English Literature in Context: teaches culturally central Middle English and Scottish texts from the later Middle Ages within their wider cultural context.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry.
Students will choose one optional module out of the following three choices:
- Special Topic in English Studies: a directed reading programme which allows students to explore topics in greater depth than is possible in compulsory modules.
- A compulsory module from another English MLitt programme.
- An approved postgraduate-level module outwith the School of English (whether arranged through the Institute of Mediaeval Studies or independently with another school such as Classics, Modern Languages, Divinity or Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies).
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.
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 specified date in 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.
Conferences and events
The School of English hosts research events through its four research groups:
- Creative Writing
- 18th Century, Romantic and Victorian
- Medieval and Renaissance
- Modern and Contemporary
The School of English normally also hosts an annual colloquium. Recent themes have been:
- The English Legal Imaginary, 1500-1700
- Bannockburn, 1914: Anniversary culture, war and national identity in Scotland
- Opera and Fiction
- World Literature and Dissent
- (Un)Civil War?
- John Keats and Romantic Scotland
- Libraries in Literature.
The Postgraduate Forum offers postgraduates the opportunity to present research in progress to a group of their peers.
All School of English study applicants will be given access to the My Application portal. The Scholarships and Funding area of the portal includes an online catalogue through which you can apply for available relevant awards.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.
- A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject-related area.
- If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative of 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.
- Supplementary application to School of English (Word)
- CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date
- Sample of academic writing relevant to Medieval English (approximately 2,000 words)
- Two original signed academic references
- Academic transcripts and degree certificates
- Evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
After the MLitt
Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrew's.
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Medieval English Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option.
Graduates of the course go on to pursue careers in a range of sectors including journalism, marketing, publishing and teaching.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
About the School
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