Studying Medieval History in KCL, and Why?

Canterbury Cathedral

Written by Cheuk Sze Lo

“What do you exactly study in Medieval Studies?”

I have heard similar questions numerous times when my friends who weren’t into history found out that I’m doing a Medieval Studies MA degree at King’s. The simple answer I always give is “Game of Thrones” (although medievalists know that is not true, but that’s the stereotypical impression so…), “Popes”, “Vatican”, and “Crusades”—but there is actually much more to dive into in the medieval world.

My interest towards the Middle Ages started in Sheffield, where I was doing my undergraduate degree in history. We were only allowed to choose one module for our final year, which included our dissertation topic, and that was the first time that I encountered with medieval history. Since then, I was completely into this historical era, therefore decided to continue this journey with a MA degree at King’s.

Studying at King’s is definitely advantageous, considering its large digital library and access to cross-network databases. The workload may sometimes be a bit heavy, but it’s still manageable if you’re able to get it well-planned. At the same time, being in the historical hub of London, I am able to interact with a lot of medieval materials directly. London is just the perfect geographical location to get access to all sorts of materials—manuscripts in the British Library, an hour’s train to all the medieval sites like Winchester and Canterbury, and many more fascinating things to discover around the city!

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral

So, why am I, an Asian student from Hong Kong who should be doing typical Asian economic or business degrees going into the medieval field? The answer is simple—medieval history is more interesting to me. I do understand it is more practical to go for degrees that might get you a “good job” or anything similar, but hey, we’re young, and that’s what matters for us not to confine ourselves to general social expectations! So if you’re interested in the field, why not give it a try like me?

Written by Cheuk Sze Lo, Medieval Studies MA

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