Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies

Featured story

Canterbury Cathedral hall

Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies (MEMS)

MEMS is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

We are a diverse community of researchers who believe in the importance of interdisciplinary research and teaching. We offer an exciting MA programme taught in the historic city of Canterbury. We provide expert supervision for PhD students within a rich and stimulating research community.

From late antique culture to early modern drama, we believe that the lives of our ancestors can be accessed in multiple ways. From buildings and art to the fragmentary documents of the past such as charters and wills, to the poetry and literatures of the pre-modern world, we believe that our students should be trained in multiple skills to access the past. Our close relationships with the world-famous Canterbury Cathedral and the Canterbury Archaeological Trust allow our students access to a wide range of unique historical, literary and material evidence. We want our students to see archives, buildings, art and the literature preserved in handwritten and early printed books as being accessible, indeed, necessary resources for their understanding of the past.

We have a staff of internationally respected researchers who come from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds and who are dedicated to and proud of the programmes of study that are offered by MEMS. Our core courses provide key technical training in the languages and scripts of the past, and our option modules educate our students in the fundamentals of undertaking postgraduate research.

Our central focus is to turn our students into people that are capable of undertaking professional research, skills that we believe prepares our graduates for a wide variety of careers, as well as being able to pursue further research. Our incredible success of gaining funding for further research by our students has been the best testimony to the success of our MA training.

Supportive community

At the heart of MEMS is its community, and the layers of support we provide for our students, beginning with a dedicated academic advisor and our wonderful student support. MEMS convenes as a group once a week for its seminar, an opportunity to hear world-leading research by a visiting speaker, but also to meet and chat as a community. Our seminar is the best attended in the faculty and provides a touchstone for taught and research students to mingle with one another and with staff.

Our staff and PhD students are also responsible for generating a range of other events which supply opportunities for participation in academic discussion and for socialising with the MEMS community. One yearly highlight is the MEMS Summer Festival, an event entirely organised by MEMS students which attracts postgraduates and senior academics from across the UK, as well as a range of international participants.