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    I would like to apply for an MA in Medieval Studies/Lit next year (for 2012-2013)

    These are my options:

    - King's College
    - UCL
    - Cambridge
    - Royal Holloway
    - Reading

    Does anyone have any experiences regarding course content, application (research proposal Cambridge) etc?

    Thanks,

    Sarah
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    Some of my friends who did Medieval Studies at King's (I did History instead) said that even though it is interdisciplinary and you can take both literature and history classes, overall the programme as a whole leans more heavily towards literature. Though this might not be as much of an issue for you since I guess you're applying to both studies and literature programmes... Some people chose to take Palaeography and Latin (required for Medieval History but optional for Studies) and there were also people in our English government module.

    Hopefully some people with experience of the specific programmes responds soon too.

    Good luck with the applications.
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    Thank you for your reply. It is good to know that you can also focus on literature.
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    I'm currently doing my MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Durham University. When I was looking at universities (unfortunately none from your list), I found that many have leeway as far as which disciplines you focus on in an interdisciplinary program.

    For example, my required modules are a research methods class (which is typical in all humanities programs and departments at Durham) and an Issues module in which the reading and lectures are on many topics. We had classes on literature (English department), Old English place names (archaeology and history), death in the Middle Ages (modern languages), etc. From those, each student chose a research topic which suited their interests; I focused on 14th century English poetry. In addition, I was able to choose my other modules from a selection run by the religion, modern languages, English, and history departments. I also audited classes.

    My point is, in an interdisciplinary program like Medieval Studies, each university will have a range of classes you can take, and due to this you can basically design your own program. Some universities may have requirements (for example, you must take one language), but you can still tailor it.

    I would get on the websites for these universities and/or order a prospectus in order to see what your options and restrictions will be. Also talk to as many of the heads of the programs in which you are interested; they'll be able to tell you what the classes are like, who to talk to in order to best explore your interests, and what the program is like. The universities will have different module options, and so your interests will help you decide which institution is best for you.

    In addition, since you are interested in literature, check the English departments. For example, Durham has a program in Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies through the English department, but the students are still included in mailings, etc. which are sent to the more general MRS students.

    Also: check to see if there is an institute or a centre for medieval studies. If there is one, there are more lectures and conferences. Another great resource is a postgraduate group from your program; there are often presentations and activities, and the students can give you more insight than any website.

    As for the applications, show that you've given some thought to a dissertation topic and that you've got a passion for your subject. Even if you haven't taken classes or have a degree in a related field, displaying your eagerness to learn and your ability to read scholarship and sources independently will put you in good stead. If you don't have a writing sample that is strictly Medieval Studies, I would suggest writing one. Grades, good references, etc. are important, too, but PG study includes a lot of independent work and showing passion and knowledge is essential. In my experience, the unis I applied to looked at my application materials and asked the most questions in interviews, etc. about how I became interested in the MRS or MS program and what my research interests were.

    I hope this was of some use, and good luck!
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    thanks a lot for your answer, you've brought up some interesting points for me to consider.
 
 
 
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