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Medieval History

V130 BA (Hons) 3 years


This unique programme in Medieval History examines the history and culture of Britain, Europe and Islam during the Middle Ages. You will also have the opportunity to study some modules focusing on the early modern and modern eras. The first year will introduce you to the diversity of the Middle Ages and to the wide variety of sources used by historians, including non-written evidence such as archaeological material. You will then have great freedom to shape your own studies from a wide range of medieval and early modern options, perhaps focussing on medieval religious cultures, the place of women and minorities in medieval society or the history of the Crusades.

Why study Medieval History at Queen Mary?

In the 2013 National Student Survey, 95 per cent of Queen Mary History students said that staff were good at explaining things and 95 per cent that staff were enthusiastic about their teaching.

In the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), History at Queen Mary was ranked among the top 15 departments in the UK. Our academics are internationally renowned in their fields, and our track record in both research and teaching is excellent. We count the former President of the Royal Historical Society and five fellows of British Academy among our number.

Our staff regularly contribute to academic and public life with books, journal papers, and media broadcasts. Broadcasts from History staff include: BBC Two series Ian Hislop’s a Stiff Upper Lip-An Emotional History of Britain,a series in which Dr Thomas Dixon was a consultant and interviewee. BBC Two’s Behind Closed Doors and At Home with the Georgians and BBC Radio 4’s Voices from the Old Bailey by Professor Amanda Vickery. Professor Julian Jackson delivered a programme on Charles de Gaulle called Monsieur Non for Archive on 4; and Dr Tom Asbridge developed and presented The Crusader’s Lost Fort for BBC2’s Timewatch.

Our intellectual diversity is a key feature of our community. This will enable you to study political history alongside the history of art or film. By following cultural and intellectual themes you could investigate topics as diverse as: the lives of Oscar Wilde; the representation of war in contemporary British popular culture; or the Medieval Islamic world.

You will have membership to the Queen Mary Library and the University of London Library, Senate House, both of which have extensive collections. You will also enjoy reading access to the other college libraries within the University of London, and can take advantage of Queen Mary’s London location and ready access to a wealth of other libraries, museums and archives.


Year 1

Core modules:

  • History in Practice
  • Europe 1000-1500: The Middle Ages and their Legacy
  • The Medieval World: Structures and Mentalities
  • Global Encounters: Conquest and Culture in World History
  • Reformation to Revolution: Europe and the World 1500-1800

History modules may include:

  • Europe in a Global Context since 1800
  • Unravelling Britain: British History since 1801
  • Building the American Nation 1756-1900

Year 2

Core modules:

  • Latin for Medievalists I

Optional modules may include:

  • Women and Gender in Medieval Islam
  • The Crusades (1095-1291)
  • Medieval London: Pubs, Plague-pits and Cathedrals
  • Women and Gender in Late Medieval England, c.1300-c.1500
  • Beer, Books and Longbows: the World of Medieval Objects
  • Outsiders in the Middle Ages 

Year 3

Core modules:

History Special Subject (this includes a dissertation)

Subjects may include:

  • Slaves on Horses: State and Society under the Mamluks
  • The Enthronement of Learning: Medieval Universities and their Legacy
  • Apocalypse Now: Crisis, Change and later Medieval Mentalities
  • Saladin, Richard the Lionheart & the Third Crusade

Optional modules may include:

  • The Reform of Islam: the Legacy of Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328)
  • Islam and the West in the Middle Ages
  • The Hussites: Reform, Revolution and Apocalypse in the Fifteenth Century
  • The World of the Nun: Convent Life in Renaissance Europe 

Entry requirements


ABB from 3 A-levels including History.

Excluded subjects: General studies and Critical Thinking.

International Baccalaureate:

32 with 6,5,5 in Higher Level subjects including History 

Vocational and other qualifications:

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. Please visit our f further information page.

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Information for applicants from outside the United Kingdom, including English language qualifications

Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching:

Most modules are taught in a one-hour lecture followed by a one-hour seminar each week. All of our seminar-based classes are capped at 15 students. Some modules will include extended field trips such as visits to art galleries, museums, the Houses of Parliament and longer study visits, for example study visits to other cities. In your final year you will take a Special Subject that is taught as a two-hour-long seminar. Most students have eight hours of classes per week. This is supplemented by one-to-one discussions in staff office hours and feedback sessions.

Independent Study:

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Assessment is typically by a mixture of examination and coursework, but some modules are assessed entirely on coursework. Coursework may take the form of essays, diaries, case-studies or book reviews. Some modules use screen or slide tests as part of their assessment. Oral presentations may also contribute to your overall mark. You will be provided with feedback to help you improve your performance and understanding of the subject. In the final year you will have the opportunity to work on a special subject research dissertation. These special subject modules are worth half your final year mark and allow you to work closely on primary source material and carry out your own research in a specialised area which particularly interests you.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry
Full-time £9,250

Tuition fees for International students

2017 entry
Full-time £14,500

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary’s BA Medieval History programme go on to work in a wide variety of careers spanning government, heritage, the media, academia, business, finance, the charity sector and legal services.

The national 2011 destination survey confirmed that 93.4% of graduates from the School of History were in employment or study six months after graduation with 67.1% of this group already working or studying at graduate level. Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of History also have a strong earning power, with a median salary of £22,583.

The broad range of skills gained through programmes in the School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, have enabled students to move into careers such as: 

Museum AssistantBenjamin Franklin House
Management GraduateTower Hamlets Council
Marketing AssistantMCBX
Business Development ExecutiveDialogue Communications
Civil ServantThe Home Office
Charity FundraiserGlobal Foundation for the Elimination of Domestic Violence
Communications CoordinatorLB Design
Online Content EditorNet Media Planet
Executive OfficerThe Department of Work and Pensions
Graduate Trading TraineeSchneider
Insolvency PractitionerValentine & Co

Throughout their time at Queen Mary, students have access to a bespoke careers programme to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes workshops on job-hunting and job applications as well as over 70 employer events each year to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options. Employer events include recruitment fairs, networking evenings, professional panels and an on-campus jobs fair.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build work experience throughout their period of study, through, for example, our QM Projects work experience scheme, QM Temps job agency, Experience Works events and QMSU Provide volunteering services. Over 800 vacancies are available to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1,200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from Student Journalist to Library Assistant and from Society President to School Mentor. History students can engage in political debate via on-campus forums such as the Mile End Group and New Turn, or work with the production unit, Mile End Films.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages




Name: Beatriz Ungerer Dal Poz
Studied: BA Medieval History, graduated 2010
Currently: Viewing Assistant, Christie’s

How did you find out about your current job?
Through work experience at Christie’s.

How did your time at Queen Mary prepare you for work?
At Queen Mary I participated in so many different activities, from Freshers’ Crew to Student Representative and it was those opportunities that prepared me for work – not just this position but also any other position I might hold in the future.

What does your current job involve day-to-day?
There is no day-to-day! Every time I go into the South Kensington salesroom I do something different. If it is an auction day I might be telephone bidding with clients or working at the registration desk. If it’s not an auction day, I will be in the gallery helping clients with any queries they might have.

What are your most and least favourite aspects of your job?
My favourite aspect of my job is the incredible variety of objects which I have encountered, from an Enigma machine to a painting of Isabella of Castile. My least favourite aspect is that my working week isn’t Monday to Friday. I work most weekends – often my week starts on Friday and ends on Tuesday or Wednesday but that is the same in many galleries and other commercial spaces. You have to be prepared to be flexible.

What can current students do to prepare for getting a job in your area?
Do as many work placements as possible! It is important to experience the industry from many different perspectives, it will help narrow down what is interesting to you about the art industry – not all jobs at auctions houses are the same.  

Jaspreet Sangha

BA History

“I chose Queen Mary not only because it is one of the top universities in London but also because of the friendly atmosphere that the campus had. The university allows each individual to feel valued and respected through its numerous societies and social events. The History course itself has some of the most renowned historians in the country that have a distinct passion for their field, and that passion is then absorbed by the students.

“The thing that I like the most about Queen Mary is the perfect balance of enhancing your academic ability and allowing you to have a fun social life through its societies and events on campus and in London itself. Queen Mary also helped me find part-time work within a prominent tuition school in London, which has allowed to me to gain the perfect experience I will need in the future for my career in teaching.”

Katie Choi-Yan Lo


Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

“I chose Queen Mary because of its renowned History department, with its wide range of modules covering various periods and countries.

The location of the university is also advantageous, the East End being an area rich with history itself, and the university being close to Canary Wharf and the City.

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

“Queen Mary has offered me great flexibility in my degree, allowing me to study a broad range of topics and specialising in areas of interest to me. The course itself is well-structured, yet diverse, with different methods of assessment, thus helping me to develop a range of key transferable skills. I have had the chance to join many clubs and societies, as well as participate in volunteering schemes, mentor and tutor local students, and complete various internships, exposing me to a wide range of career opportunities.

The tutors have been very supportive both in terms of my studies, but also in other endeavours, including their enthusiasm for the Queen Mary Undergraduate History Journal, for which I am currently the Managing Editor, and also in helping me to obtain a training contract and place at law school after my degree.”


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