BA (Hons)

Medieval History


In Britain, we love our crumbling castles, noble cathedrals and bloody representations of the medieval age in popular culture. If you have a passion for history with a special interest in the Middle Ages, then this course is perfect for you.

Armoured Knight with sword on a white horse

Course overview

On our Medieval History programme, you study the great sweep of history in Britain and around the world, from the transformation of the Roman Empire to Renaissance court politics.

Studying how people lived in the medieval world is highly instructive. The word medieval has become synonymous with lawlessness and brutality, but this was not always the case. Some populations had the vote, trade happened over long distances, and witch hunts were restricted to certain periods. Learning more about the medieval world and why it exerts such a strong hold over our imaginations can help you to better understand the contemporary world.

In Year 1, you take core modules that explore the nature of history as a discipline. You look at the changing assumptions, methods and definitions of history and explore the current concerns of historians. You also select from a range of possible optional modules, including Early Medieval Britain 400-1066 and Europe 1300-1500.

Having acquired research skills and knowledge in Year 1, your studies in Years 2 and 3 are more specialised. You take core modules that deepen your understanding of the study of history, including Reading History and Practicing History, and optional modules focused primarily on the Medieval World. You either concentrate on how to use original sources (in translated ad printed form where appropriate) or explore, through thematic approaches, social continuity and change over long periods.

In Year 3, you produce your dissertation and take core modules in Writing History, and how History Matters. Optional modules take the form of Depth Studies, using primary and secondary sources as evidence, and Comparative Studies, where more than one country and culture is examined. Depth Studies options may include Ruling England in the Second Viking Age, The Wars of the Roses 1450-1499. Comparative Studies options include The Black Death and Popular Protest in Late Medieval Europe.

Our degrees, combined with inspiring extracurricular activities, such as field trips both in the UK and abroad, offer a wide and deep experience that opens up numerous career paths. Many Winchester graduates carry on to teaching and heritage roles but our alumni can also be found in political think-tanks, the Civil Service, the BBC, automobile and insurance companies and publishing houses, to mention just a few destinations.

What you need to know

Course start date



Winchester campus

Course length

  • 3 years full-time
  • 6 years part-time



Typical offer

104-120 points


From £9,250 pa

Course features

  • History achieved 100% for academic support as rated by final-year undergraduate students in the 2023 National Student Survey
  • Winchester students have secured work placements at leading historic, cultural and entrepreneurial venues such as the Mary Rose and British Museum
  • Learn from expert tutors and their cutting-edge research
  • Join a student-led history society on trips to sites of historical interest and talks by major historians
  • Study in a beautiful city steeped in medieval history

Course details

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.
While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours
  • Independent learning: 984 hours
Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 228 hours
  • Independent learning: 972 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 180 hours
  • Independent learning: 1020 hours

    *Please note these are indicative hours for the course.


Taught elements of the course take place on campus, in Winchester.

Teaching hours

All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.


Our validated courses adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, oral presentations, source-based critical commentaries, reflective journals, seminar response papers, written exams and supervised independent work, including a dissertation in Year 3.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*
  • 66% coursework
  • 25% written exams
  • 9% practical assessment
Year 2 (Level 5)*
  • 62% coursework
  • 25% written exams
  • 13% practical assessment
Year 3 (Level 6)*
  • 63% coursework
  • 21% written exams
  • 16% practical assessment

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.


Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing. The University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed. For further information please refer to


Case Studies 1: Sources and Approaches in History

This module introduces students to the core skills required to study history successfully at degree level. History makes sense of the past by analysing surviving evidence. Such evidence is either secondary, which requires in-depth critical reading, or primary or original, which demands critical contextualisation and analysis. All such evidence has uses to the historian, not necessarily obvious, and all contains partiality, which historians are trained to overcome. Working in small groups with one staff member per group, there will be a balance between developing awareness of these overarching core skills (such as conducting research and mastering referencing conventions) and a case study where students work on academic reading connected to a particular topic. This intensive small group environment will help students adjust to the university environment and provide a venue for delivering other transitional and transferrable skills.

Perspectives on World History

This module takes a broadly chronological approach to world history, examining key themes, events and ‘turning points' from the Classical world to the present day. It will consider the rise and fall of civilizations in Europe and around the world, including Ancient Greece, Rome, China, and the Americas, before moving on to consider the ‘global Middle Ages’, the emergence of more complex states and empires, religious reformations in the Christian and Islamic worlds, scientific and technological innovations, and increasing global connectivity and exchange during the early modern period. Finally, it will address the ‘rise of the modern’ through urbanization, industrialization, and mass politics, including its diffusion, resistance, and the alternative paths societies around the world have taken to get to the present.

Case Studies 2: Independent Study project

This module builds upon Sources & Approaches in History, further developing students’ skills as independent researchers, and giving students an opportunity to do research of a critical nature, using both primary and secondary sources. Continuing to work in the same Case Study groups as, and on a related topic to, Sources & Approaches, students undertake an individual research project, on a topic negotiated with a tutor. In addition, there will be an element of group work as students combine their individual findings, presenting on a subtopic of the module’s overarching theme. As this module concentrates upon developing skills there is an emphasis on training for future employment. Students will be expected to engage with careers service activities in semester 2 and to report their activities in a reflective blog.

Perspectives on Global History

This module builds on Perspectives in World History by taking a more thematic approach to the broad sweep of global history. It introduces first year history students to important themes in global history, and challenges them to think critically about the contours that have shaped different cultures over time. It encourages students to explore how various factors have developed and travelled across different social and cultural contexts, placing strong emphasis on the interconnections of societies in the past. This is done with a focus on various themes for example, technology and economy, ecology, disease and famine, migration, gender and religion. Students are encouraged to make comparisons that will enable them to deconstruct the simplistic binaries of ‘science’ vs ‘religion’ and ‘modern’ versus ‘traditional’ societies, to explore more fully how cultural and material exchange occurred between different societies.

Optional Modules
  • British Introductory Module: Early Medieval Britain 400-1066
  • International Introductory Module: The United States
  • International Introductory Module: Early Modern Europe
  • International Introductory Module: Europe 1300-1500
  • British Introductory Module: English History 1272-1500
  • British Introductory Module: Victorian Britain 1815-1914
  • International Introductory Module: East Asia 1900-present
  • British Introductory Module: Tudor and Early Stuart England 1500-1660
  • International Introductory Module: Rise and Fall of Modern Empires, 1783 - 1997
  • British Introductory Module: Uniting The Kingdom? Britain, 1660-1837
  • International Introductory Module: Modern Europe, 1789-2001
  • British Introductory Module: Seventeenth century England
  • British Introductory Module: Britain in the Twentieth Century
  • International Introductory Module: Europe and The Americas (1763-1914) - change and interchange
  • International Introductory Module: Europe in the Early Middle Ages (c.400-c.888)
  • International Introductory Module: Europe in the Central Middles Ages (c.888-1200)

Classics modules:

  • Introduction to the Classical Greek World
  • Introduction to Classical Greek Literature
  • Introduction to Classical Archaeology
  • Introduction to the Classical Roman World
  • Introduction to Classical Roman Literature
  • Introduction to Classical Theatre

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.


Practising History 1

Practising History 1 provides an overview of ‘doing History’ from the Classical period onwards. It examines the ideas that have underpinned historical research and writing, from Herodotus to Post-Modernity, as well as recent theories of history (many of which have been drawn from other disciplines and including post-colonialism, gender and identity, spatial theory) as they have been used by historians. It provides students with an opportunity to think reflexively about the nature of the historical enterprise. Students are encouraged to link their studies in Practising History 1 with their other second-year modules. This module principally examines the ways in which British historians have worked from the early medieval period to c.2000.  It investigates the influences which shaped their approaches (including, e.g., the work of foreign scholars such as Leopold von Ranke and the historians of the French Annales School). It also investigates theories of history – e.g. Marxist ideas.  It emphasizes the expansion of historical interests and the methodologies which have permitted fresh areas of study in the last thirty years and looks at the current practice of history.

Practising History 2

This module considers the planning and preparation of research and the methods and skills used, with particular reference to – but not sole consideration of – the dissertation. A wide range of historical approaches and methods are assessed, including use of local and national archives, databases and online sources, media and newspapers, visual images, standing remains, landscape and the material environment, public history, oral sources and scientific data. Ethics in historical research are also examined.

Optional Modules

Work Placement

Group Project

Field Trip

Histories on Screen 

Exploring Past Localities 

Volunteering for History

Source Studies:

The First English Empire: c. 1100 to c. 1350 

Culture and Society in Late Medieval England 

Excommunication, False Monks, and Holy Satan: The Papal Imperial Conflict, 1070-1122 

Women Writing and Writing about Women in the Early Middle Ages 

Emirs and Caliphs of Al-Andalus: Iberia under the Umayyads, 756–1031 CE 

The Global Middle Ages 

The Golden Age of Spain 

Religion, Politics & Society in Early Tudor England, 1485-1558 

Theme Studies:

The Age of the Vikings 

Societies at War – England and France, 1189-1529 

The Crusades 

The Iron Century: European Politics and Power in the Tenth Century 

Feud, Vengeance and Justice in Europe, c. 1000 to 1600 

Food and Drink in Medieval and Early Modern England 

The Renaissance Court: Power. Politics and Patronage 

Culture, Society and Economy in Early Modern England   

Collecting and Constructing Classics: Power and Politics in the Museum 


Dissertation in History

The Dissertation (Extended Independent Study) is an 8,000 -10,000 thesis on a subject of a student’s choice. It makes an original contribution to historical knowledge and understanding. It demonstrates an advanced capacity to work as a historian and to employ the conventions of a historian.  Students must produce by due deadlines a proposal acceptable to internal scrutineers, evidence of substantial progress by the end of the first module as part of the assessment for the Research Methods module, and a record of supervision completed by the supervisor with the Dissertation.

Writing History

This module is taught through small seminar groups only. In these groups, students will be able to explore the nature of historical research and historical debate through reflection on their own dissertation and the sharing of best practice with other students. It will allow a more supportive learning environment whilst ensuring a more active engagement with individual research

History Matters

History Matters asks to students to engage with the process of accessing the past both through History as an academic discipline and alternatively in public history. Through the study of a variety of uses of the past in areas such as politics, journalism and popular media, students will engage with the methodological problems and nuances in studying History at degree level. This module will allow students to develop a more nuanced understanding of both popular and academic approaches to the past and to consider the applicability of academic history in more popular arenas.

Optional Modules

Field Trip

Work Placement

Depth Studies:

The Wars of the Roses 1450-1499 

Civil War, Revolution and Republic in the British Isles 

Ruling England in the Second Viking Age 

An Accidental Revolution: the Emergence and Dominance of the Italian City Commune, c.1000-c.1255  

The Italian Wars 1494-1516 and 1521-1559

The Anarchy:  The Anglo-Norman Civil War 1135-1154 

Pax Romana: From the Julio-Claudians to the Severans, AD 14-235 

Comparative Studies:

Supernatural and Witchcraft Beliefs in the British Isles, Continental Europe, and America c.1450-1800 

The Monstrous Regiment: Gender and Authority in Early Modern Europe 

Warfare in the Medieval West from the Ninth to the Twelfth Century 

The Middle Ages in Computer Games 

Chivalry – Knighthood, Warfare and Culture in Medieval Europe 

Popular Protest in Late Medieval Europe 

The Black Death 

Hostages, Prisoners and Slaves: Captivity in the Middle Ages 

Entry requirements

104-120 points

Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:

  • A-Levels: BCC-BBB from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. BBB is comparable to ABC in terms of tariff points)
  • BTEC/CTEC: DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4
  • T Level: Merit in a T Level

Additionally, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32, from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.

In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSE’s are required:

GCSEs English Language at grade 4 or C, or higher. Functional Skills at level 2 is accepted as an alternative, however Key Skills qualifications are not. If you hold another qualification, please get in touch and we will advise further

If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on their website which may be of interest.

International points required

If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:

  • IELTS Academic at 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components (for year 1 entry)
  • We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by contacting our International Recruitment Team via our International Apply Pages.

2024 Course Tuition Fees

  UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland 


Year 1 £9,250 £16,700
Year 2 £9,250 £16,700
Year 3 £9,250 £16,700
Total £27,750 £50,100
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,850 £3,340
Total with Sandwich Year £29,600 £53,440

Additional tuition fee information

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2024, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.

Remember, you don’t have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year.

UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £139.14 and a 15 credit module is £2,087.

* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year.

**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.

Additional costs

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


Dissertation work

Students working on dissertations in Year 3 may incur costs (mainly travel) of visiting archives, dependent upon the specific nature of the dissertation and availability of online resources for a specific subject. This would typically involve either travel to a local archive (e.g. Southampton, Portsmouth or further afield if the student chooses to study a locality away from Winchester) or a national archive, usually in London (TNA, British Library, Women's Library, etc.). If the dissertation work is based in Winchester, then costs will be far less.

Field Trip

Optional week long History fieldtrip in Year 2 - costs vary depending on location and number of students going on the trip. Indictative costs vary between £300-£700.


If students decide to complete an optional History work/volunteering placement it may incur travel costs, which are dependent upon where the student undertakes the placement (if local it may be zero, but costs go up when public transport is used to travel). Students will have a say in where their placement is located. Indictative costs vary from £0 - £300, dependent on location of placement and number of visits required.



Some modules require students to have access to books with an approximate cost of £100 if bought new over the course of a year (but texts can often be purchased at considerably reduced rates second hand). Mandatory modules might also require some core texts. Cost £150 per year.

Printing and Binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 (black and white) pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards page.


Graduates have become historians working in museums, heritage sites, teaching and in many other sectors including in retailing, the arts, press, publishing, marketing and in governmental and non-for-profit organizations at local, regional, national and international level.

The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021, HESA.

Student with careers staff member
‘Things in the medieval past and in the early modern past actually happened here’ Hear from our students and staff on what you can expect studying History at Winchester. History at Winchester

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