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MACrusader Studies

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Interested? To learn more about this study programme, entry requirements and application process, please contact one of our consultants in a country nearest to you.

Programme structure

Core modules
Louis IX of France and the Recovery of the Holy Land
In this module you will develop an understanding of the aims and motives of those who called for and took part in crusades in the thirteenth century. You will look at how crusaders were organised from inception to end, including the preaching of the expedition, the financing of the crusade, the journey to the East, and the progress and outcomes. You will examine the impact of Louis IX’s crusade in the Muslim Near East and consider the crusading and chivalric ethos of the writings of John of Joinville.

The Mongols – ‘A Journey through the Gates of Hell’ – Europe Discovers the Wider World, C.1219 to C.1262
In this module you will develop an understanding of the impact of the arrival of the Mongols on the Christian and Muslim powers of the Middle East and Western Europe. You will look at the form and effectiveness of Latin Christendom’s response in the context of contemporary religious practices and political events. You will examine the Mendicants’ narratives and the evaluate the Mongol attitudes towards other political and religious groups.

Recording the Crusades – The Memory of the Crusades
In this module you will develop an understanding of the memory, impact and legacy of the crusades in the West and Muslim world since the medieval period. You will look at the evolution and mutation of the crusading idea over the last 200 years, examining the European colonial and imperial powers adopted crusading during the nineteenth century, and how the idea was used in World War 1 and by General Franco in the Spanish Civil War. You will consider how historians have interpreted the subject, starting with Michaud in the early nineteenth century, moving through Grousset (1920s), Erdmann (1930s), Runciman (1950s), Prawer, Richard and Mayer (1970s) to Riley-Smith, Housley and Tyerman (contemporary). You will also analyse how the crusade and the jihad have been treated in the Muslim world, tracing colonial and imperialist views through the twentieth century to the present day, including use by Islamists such as Osama bin Laden and Arab Nationalists such as President Nasser of Egypt and President Hafez al-Asad of Syria.

Research Development
In this module you will develop an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of medieval studies. You will learn how to format and deploy sources according to scholary practice, and how to present your research effectively in an oral format. You will engage in critical discussion of research in an oral setting, describing, summarising, comparing and evaluating critical arguments. You will consider how to find, organise, deploy, and assess primary sources for your independent research and examine different types of evidence, such aas non-textual sources and edited texts.

You will carry out an extended piece of research. You will be appointed a member of academic staff who will act as your supervsior, providing you with support and guidance. You will produce a written report of between 10,500 and 12,000 words in length.

Optional modules
In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Byzantium and the Fourth Crusade
In this module you will develop an understanding of the events surrounding the capture and sacking of Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine empire, in April 1204. Starting in 1180, you will look at events in context of relations between the Byzantines and previous crusades and assess how key developments such as the usurpation of Andronicus I, the Third Crusade, and the empire’s internal weakness contributed to its ultimate downfall. You will examine the events of 1198 to 1204, considering accounts left by contemporaries and eyewitnesses (both Byzantine and Western) and why an expedition that set out with the intention of recovering Jerusalem from Islam ended up pillaging the greatest city in the Christian world.

Women, the Crusades, and the Frontier Societies of Medieval Christendom, 1000 to 1300
In this module you will develop an understanding of how the crusading movement arose at a time of significant change for women. You will look at the effects of the Gregorian Reform and contemporary societal change on women’s traditional roles. You will examine how medieval historians used gendered language and moral tales to express their disapproval of women who took the cross, and the role of women in supporting crusader battles, often becoming the casualties of warfare. You will consider the role of noble women in providing political stablibility through regency and marriage after the First Crusade in the Latin society established in the East, and the effects of crusading on women who remained in the West.

Introductory Latin for Medievalists
In this module you will be given specific training in the reading of medieval documents. You will look at simple texts in classical Latin and learn how to parse all five declensions and indicative verbs. You will examine a range of documents in basic medieval Latin such as wills, deeds and accounts and translate two medieval passages plus an unseen passage.

Further Latin for Medievalists
In this module you will further enhance your linguistic training in Latin. You will develop comprehensive grammatical knowledge including all declensions of nouns and moods of verbs, with specific training in a range of documents in medieval Latin, including wills, deeds, and chronicles. You will carry out a series of translations of medieval material.

Career opportunities

On completion of your MA in Crusades Studies at Royal Holloway you will have developed and finessed skills, such as research, analysis and presenting, which will appeal to future employers. Your degree also demonstrates that you enjoy being challenged, understand complex issues, as well as other values and cultures, which equips you to operate successfully in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised and multi-cultural environment. On graduation you will have ideally placed to develop your career in areas that involve the professional creation, evaluation and dissemination of knowledge or wish to progress towards a PhD.

Apply now! Fall semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Please see the university profile or contact us for the deadlines that apply to you
Apply now! Fall semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Please see the university profile or contact us for the deadlines that apply to you