Bristol's importance as medieval England's second city and a major maritime port for trade and exploration makes it an excellent setting for interdisciplinary intellectual exchange. The renowned Centre for Medieval Studies in the Faculty of Arts has internationally recognised expertise in a wide range of subject areas.
Research towards MPhil and PhD is supported in the following subject areas: archaeology, drama, Old English and Middle English, Scots, Welsh, French, history, history of art, Italian, medieval Latin, music, legal history, religion and theology. Applications from prospective postgraduate students wishing to undertake interdisciplinary research are particularly welcome.
MPhil: a standalone, one-year (full-time) research degree. Students will undertake their own research project, concluding in the submission of a 25,000-word dissertation. Students may have the option to audit units from our taught master's programmes if they are relevant to their research.
PhD: a research project undertaken across three to four years (full-time), culminating in an 80,000-word thesis. As well as having the option to audit taught units, there may be the potential for PhD students to teach units themselves from their second year of study onwards.
The MPhil and PhD can be studied via distance learning.
MPhil: An upper second-class degree (or international equivalent). Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.
PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.Go to admissions statement
Fees and funding
- UK: full-time
- £4,758 per year
- UK: part-time
- £2,379 per year
- Overseas: full-time
- £20,700 per year
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.
More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.
Funding for 2024/25
The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2024. For information on other funding opportunities, including University-funded studentships, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.
A significant number of graduates from this programme develop careers as academics in higher education. Others move into academic-related jobs in archives, libraries or academic administration, with many maintaining the capacity to undertake new and innovative research in the field of medieval studies, comparative literature and the history of the book. Some come to medieval studies as mature students in retirement and go on to become independent researchers.
Meet our supervisors
The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.
The study of the Middle Ages at the University of Bristol includes looking at literature, art, history, language, religion, law and the thought of western European civilisation between c.500 and c.1500. Bristol's medievalists focus on medieval culture and the whole complex of ways in which a society functions, thinks about itself and expresses its identity.
The medievalist community at Bristol is widely recognised as having established truly interdisciplinary methods of working in integrated ways, engaging in vigorous cross-disciplinary dialogues that permeate many aspects of research and postgraduate teaching.
The activities of the Centre for Medieval Studies are varied and build on this track record of interdisciplinary academic exchange and networking. They include research seminars and collaborative projects.
Through the annual Centre for Medieval Studies postgraduate conference and student-led activities, such as reading groups, you are also encouraged to participate in developing your own networks.