Current Research in Medieval Studies (HISM184)

StaffSimon Barton - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks; Term 3: 1 weeks;

Module aims

This module has three aims: 1. To engage students in research communication, focusing on the core skill of the academic paper; 2. To develop students’ own skills in the practice of research communication by preparing them to present a paper on their own research to their peers by the end of the module; 3. To formulate a proposal for a Dissertation project.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Identify current research questions and methodological trends in medieval studies.
  • 2. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of researchers’ use of evidence, interpretation and argument.
  • 3. Understand the research context for medieval studies.
  • 4. Formulate a proposal for a Dissertation project.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Evaluate the effective form and focus for research presentation in medieval studies.
  • 6. Evaluate the strengths and weakness of different stylistic approaches to research presentation in medieval studies.
  • 7. Present a research paper and respond to questioning in medieval studies.
  • 8. Identify key research questions in a given field, the appropriate source materials with which to address them and the characteristics of the research context into which any project arising might be situated.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Participate in a constructive but honest discussion of your own and others’ work.
  • 10. Problematise a subject in respect of key questions, intended outcomes and impact.
  • 11. Present your ideas concisely and clearly, orally and in writing.

Syllabus plan

The module has three teaching components:

  1. Attendance at the Centre for Medieval Studies research seminar (or equivalent medieval-themed seminars or conference papers run by the University): You will be required to attend all seminars, including those beyond your chosen field of specialisation, in order to gain an understanding of the range of research in interdisciplinary medieval studies.  The seminar runs across all three terms, with an average of five papers in the autumn and spring terms, and two in the summer term.  The programme will be organised to ensure coherence and to reflect the range of medieval studies disciplines.  Guided reading will be provided in preparation for each seminar and students will be asked to write a commentary on the seminars they have attended.
  2. Inter-seminar discussions: Three times per term, you will meet with other students and the module convenor to reflect on the papers you have heard: how successful were the papers you heard? How clear and cogent was the argument?  What worked and what didn’t?  These sessions will also provide guidance for the early stages of preparing the dissertation.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities18Attendance at Centre for Medieval Studies research seminar (or equivalent medieval seminar), twelve times across the year. Seminars last approximately 1 ½ hours.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities6Discussion of seminar papers and dissertation planning – 6 x 1 hour seminars
Guided Independent Study126Reading in advance of research seminars and preparation of reflective log and seminar presentation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group Discussion SessionsOngoing through course1-4, 7-8Oral from peers and tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research Seminar Commentary502000 words1-4, 7-8Verbal and written
Seminar presentation2015 minutes3, 5-8Verbal and written
Dissertation proposal301000 words4, 7, 9Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research Seminar CommentaryResearch Seminar Commentary1-4, 7-8Referral/deferral period
Seminar presentationScript as for 15 minute presentation3, 5-8Referral/deferral period
Dissertation proposalDissertation proposal4, 7, 9Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Module convener will suggest appropriate readings linked to Centre for Medieval Studies research seminar each year.

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Available as distance learning?


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Key words search

Medieval Studies, Research, Seminar, Current, Dissertation