Core Module 1: Research Methods & Resources
This module, which is run by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, aims to provide a rigorous introduction to the essential research skills required in the first instance for the successful completion of the MA programme and, in the second instance, for future research at doctoral and postdoctoral level. Students follow a series of seminars aimed at giving detailed, practical, and subject-specific advice concerning information retrieval and literature searches, the preparation of bibliographies, the completion of research grant applications, and the preparation and presentation of conference papers. The module will consist of seminars on the following issues:
- Using on-line and printed bibliographies to conduct literature searches.
- Presenting bibliographies according to specified citation conventions.
- Completing research proposals in a format typically required by funding bodies (i.e. using the headings 'Aims and Objectives', 'Research Questions', 'Research Context' and 'Methodology')
- Preparing and delivering conference papers, including speaking, body-language, eye-contact, the preparation and use of visual aids, and approaches to dealing with hostile post-paper questioning.
Additional sessions may be organised for students of Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Core Module 2: Issues in Medieval and Renaissance Studies
This module is designed to make students familiar with a range of approaches, including interdisciplinary approaches, to the study of the Medieval and Renaissance period, and to equip them with the ability critically to evaluate advanced, specialist literature in at least two fields of Medieval and Renaissance studies. A student having followed this module should have the capacity to understand and evaluate complex debates which relate to defined topics or areas of Medieval or Renaissance studies, and to appreciate the boundaries of thought and argument on such debates. Current topics explored in this module include the following:
- Problems of periodisation
- The Bible
- Medieval and Renaissance Art
- Classical inheritances
- Embedded masculinities
- Editing texts
Seminars will be based on material drawn from at least two disciplines, and student presentations are expected similarly to draw upon material drawn from more than one disciplinary tradition. Students will be directed at the start of the course to literature and other sources on the subjects of the designated seminars. This module is assessed on the basis of an essay/work of textual criticism of up to 5,000 words. Students will also complete an unexamined bibliography as a preparation for their assessed essay.
Each student will, in the course of the MA, be expected to complete a dissertation of some 12,000-15,000 words, which will involve detailed study of a particular aspect of Medieval or Renaissance history, literature, society or culture, and will preferably, though not necessarily, adopt an interdisciplinary approach. Each student will be assigned a supervisor who will help the student to choose a topic, and who will advise on existing literature relevant to it, and on the primary sources most appropriate.