I have a place on a Shakespeare MA starting in September. Yay! But the problem is, in the six months since I made the application, I've realised that I'm equally, if not more, interested in Medieval literature. I'm staying on at my undergrad university and have been told by my tutors that there's a lot of flexibility in changing course, so I could email them and say I wanted to switch to the Medieval programme instead, that's all fine. I could also do a more general 'Literature' MA and take modules from both programmes. I'm trying to decide if this is a good idea or not.
One of the main motivating factors in this decision is that I almost definitely want to move onto PhD study after the MA, and I have a really strong gut feeling that I'd be happier researching Medieval literature than anything to do with Shakespeare.
So really, my question is this. If I want to keep the option of a Medieval-based PhD open for myself, would I absolutely have to have studied that topic at MA level? Would any university fund a PhD that was unrelated to the person's MA? Just for a bit of context, I have done a lot of Medieval stuff during my undergraduate degree and it's one of my high-scoring areas when it comes to results.
Hopefully this will help me make a decision before term starts - thank you in advance for any help!
... and the ones that won't