University of AberdeenSpecial Interests

Post Graduate Study

The Taught MLitt in Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)

The one-year taught MLitt in Medieval and Early Modern Studies consists of a combination of taught courses, training courses, and a dissertation and is taken over MLitt 10 months full-time, 22 months part-time, starting in early October. Students can focus more on the medieval or more on the early modern apects of the course menu. The courses — with a choice across the disciplines of literature, history, art history, music and  philosophy— enable students to attain a broad grasp of medieval and early modern culture, and provide a valuable blend of cross-disciplinary options and specialist skills training. The MLitt reflects the diverse yet complementary research interests and energies that converge in the Centre. Students can, for example, focus on the culture of medieval England, Ireland, Scotland and Europe, on warfare, border conflicts, the influence of the Scandinavian world, art and architecture and literature. For early modernists, a special focus can be the growth of national consciousness and imperial identity in Britain, as reflected both in its literature, its art and its history, or compare the culture of Britain and Northern and  North-Eastern Europe (following the University’s strategic theme of ‘The North’). They may look, from an anthropological persective, at the upheavals in religious faith of the period, the theme of witchcraft and gender, as well as the radical changes in early modern political philosophy and science. We cultivate a particular interest in the History of the Scottish and Irish Enlightenment and its comparison and contextualisation with the continental Enlightenment.  Students may also study the impact of the period on the arts: the British and European context of early modern drama, print culture, the visual arts and architecture. Courses from the early modern programme may also be taken in conjunction with other courses from the participating schools, including a MLitt programme in Museum Studies and the MLitt in English Literary Studies.  Further links to internal and external centres and programmes are to be found under Links.

The programme offers training and thematic courses as well as specialist supervision for a 15,000 word dissertation of the students’ own choice. It is suited for students seeking to continue with postgraduate study as well as those simply interested in the early modern era. Research training focuses on the use of archival and primary sources as well as preparation for dissertation writing, and includes:

  • Palaeography (Vernacular and Latin) - 15 credits each
  • Latin (Basic and Intermediate) - 15 credits each
  • Dissertation Preparation - 15 credits
  • Approaching Archives - 15 credits
  • Reading Course and Special Subject - 30 credits each


Students need to acquire 180 credits over the course of the year: 105 in taught courses,  and 75 for the dissertation, with a July deadline.

For more information see, including participating centres and schools, see :

Mlitt in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

We also invite students to apply for the PhD programme via the graduate school, which also offers studentships and bursaries. Information is available at Funding for Research Postgraduates  and on the funding database.

As an old campus university, our postgraduate students are closely integrated into the scholarly community and our research culture via seminar and workshop programmes and our regular postgraduate student conferences. CEMS's membership in the Consortium of the Newberry Library's Centre for Renaissance Studies (as one of only two British universities) means that our postgraduate students regularly participate in Newberry's annual postgraduate conference in Chicago.

Contact Information
For further information contact:
Prof.  Karin Friedrich
Department of History
University of Aberdeen
AB24 3FX
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272451

Dr Andrew Gordon
Dept of English
School of Language & Literature
Taylor Building
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen AB24 3UB
tel 01224 272626

Information for medievalists from:

Dr Frederik Pedersen

Department of History
University of Aberdeen
AB24 3FX

Tel. 01224 272464