Mandatory Classes

Academic Latin: An Introduction to Research Methodology (One-Year MA, Two-Year MA–first-year, Pre-session)
This course is meant to equip all students enrolled at the Medieval Studies Department with a basic knowledge of Latin as a “technical language” still used in academic environments. To this purpose, the course will provide an overview of several types of source publications and secondary literature from various fields and of the Latin terminology attached to these, starting from common phraseology and abbreviations still present in academic parlance, going through practical issues such as identifying and handling relevant bibliographic data of publications issued in Latin (dates, places, names, titles), managing descriptions in Latin of research relevant materials as still used in various research instruments such as source inventories (BHG, BHL, BHO, CPG, CPL etc.) or in manuscript catalogues, and ending with an in-depth discussion of various types of critical apparatus to be found in source editions and the specific language they employ. This course is mandatory for the one-year MA and 1st year Interdisciplinary Historical Studies students enrolled in the Medieval Studies Department, but it is also open to 1st year PhDs of the Medieval Studies Department and the 1st year Interdisciplinary Historical Studies students on the Modern History track. 

Introduction to Research Resources for Medievalists (One-Year MA, Two-Year MA–first-year, Pre-session)
The course introduces new medievalist students to the research resources offered by CEU in general and the Department of Medieval Studies in particular. It incorporates presentations offered by faculty members and visits to the main scholarly libraries in Budapest. Besides this, it gives an overview of the research facilities and main academic journals available for the students in our department.

Introduction to Interdisciplinary Medieval Studies (One-Year MA, Two-Year MA 1st year, Fall Term)
The aim of this course is to provide students with indispensable multidisciplinary tools in historical methodology and theory from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance including East and West, Byzantium and the Islamic world. We will cover various disciplines, such as archaeology, art history, theology and philosophy in various periods stretching from Byzantium to the Renaissance and to the Ottoman era following up the transformation of the Classical heritage. Interdisciplinarity does not mean to know everything about other disciplines but to be able to cross disciplinary borders while still being rooted in at least one of them. An historian should be able to rely on and process archaeological data, an archaeologist will find it useful to know how to interpret images, within a thesis focussed on literary history it may be helpful to be able to say something about hagiography. The seminar will focus on how a multidisciplinary approach can be realized from a methodological point of view.

Academic writing (One-Year MA, Fall Term)
The aim of this course is to help you develop as a writer within the English speaking academic community by raising awareness of, practicing, and reflecting upon the conventions of written texts. In addition to addressing issues related to academic writing, the course will also focus on the other skills you will need to complete your graduate level work in English.

Academic Writing (Two-Year MA–first-year, Fall Term)
This course provides a review of the skills, standards, and expectations of the History and Medieval Studies Departments as regards the skills of academic writing, the documentation of sources, and oral presentations.

MA Thesis Seminar I. (One-Year MA, Two-Year MA–second-year, Fall Term)
This class prepares students for writing a thesis and covers discussions of thesis structure. A segment of the class will be devoted to oral presentation skills.  Each student presents a critique of a previous thesis; each One-year MA presents an outline of his/her proposed thesis. Each student in the Two-year program presents a draft chapter based on his/her research over the summer. 

MA Thesis Seminar II. (One-Year MA, Two-Year MA–second year, Winter Term)
Each student is required to present a draft chapter of the thesis in progress and respond to a critique by other members of the seminar and faculty and to serve as a critic of another student’s draft chapter.  Each student also prepares a poster displaying his/her thesis topic. Discussions of academic writing skills oriented toward thesis preparation are a component of this class.

MA Thesis Writing Workshops (One-Year MA, Two-Year MA–second year, Spring Session)
Students and faculty members meet in small groups to discuss fine-tuning the final versions of the theses. Besides presenting their own work, students are required to become familiar with, and comment on, each other’s work. Thesis-Writing Workshops are held during the thesis-writing period before the thesis submission deadline. Students should be prepared to submit a full chapter (or more) to the thesis-writing workshop instructor or their supervisor by the last workshop meeting. This is intended to move students smoothly toward timely thesis submission.

MA Thesis Planning Seminar (Two-Year MA–first-year, Winter Term)
This course is team-taught by one instructor from the Medieval Studies and one from the History Department.  It is designed to help students work towards their prospectuses and ultimately with their theses. The course deals with the development of research questions including issues of methodology and data collection. It continues in the prospectus-writing workshops in the spring. 

MA Thesis Prospectus-writing Workshops (Two-Year MA–first-year, Spring Session)

Academic Field Trip Seminar (One-Year MA, Two-Year MA–first year, Winter Term)
The Spring Field Trip visits historical, archaeological, and cultural monuments of the region (usually for 5-6 days). The Field Trip Seminar, which meets occasionally during the Winter Term, is a preparatory for the field trip. Students select topics pertinent to the field trip itinerary from a list prepared by faculty members.  By the end of the Winter Term students will have researched their topics, prepared a supporting bibliography, written a 2-page paper, and identified one image for illustration (map, drawing, ground plan, chart, etc.). During the field trip each student presents a 10- to-15-minute oral report on his/her topic. Instructions for preparing the field trip paper will be available on the CEU e-learning site.

Historiography - Theories of History (Two-Year MA 2nd year, Fall Term)

Topical Survey Courses (Two-Year MA–first-year, Fall Term)
Two-Year MA–first-year students must choose two out of three classes.
These courses are team-taught by two professors, usually one from each department. They are broadly thematic and cover interrelated historical processes in medieval, early modern, and modern times. The specific content and readings in the courses vary from year to year depending on the teaching team. 

(a) People, Places and Production (Topics in Comparative Economic and Social History) 

(b) Power, Subordination and Negotiation (Topics in the Comparative History of Institutions and Politics)  

(c) Beliefs, Practices, Images and Representations (Topics in Comparative Religious and Cultural History)  

Medieval Studies Doctoral Colloquium (PhD)

The Medieval Studies Doctoral Colloquium is convened weekly during term time and provides a forum of academic exchange between all doctoral students and all faculty teaching in the Medieval Studies Doctoral Program. In particular, it offers probationary doctoral candidates feedback from more advanced fellow doctoral students and faculty members on the various tasks necessary to achieve transfer of status, especially discussion of the draft prospectus.

Doctoral students must attend this course when in residence. They are expected to support the probationary doctoral students and share their insights gained over their first year of doctoral studies. They are also expected to present their work each year in the form of progress reports, research papers, conference papers, or chapter presentations.

Research methodology seminars and advanced source language classes (PhD)

Each term the Medieval Studies Department offers a suitable range of elective research methodology seminars and advanced source language classes specifically tailored to the needs of doctoral students. These seminars put emphasis on advanced research methodology, recent research trends in various respective fields of multidisciplinary medieval studies, or a combination of these with practical skills, e.g., thorough discussions of recent seminal publications in a certain sub-field of multidisciplinary medieval studies.

These seminars are listed among the departmental lectures and published on the departmental website. The doctoral student’s performance will be graded up to a minimum of seven (7) credits; additional research methodology seminars and advanced source language classes may be taken.

Three (3) credits that are part of the Hungarian Accreditation requirement and formerly was named ‘Advanced Research Methodology Seminar’, can be satisfied by choosing a suitable range of elective research methodology seminars, advanced source language classes, or an independent study course.

Independent study (PhD)

This type of course may be pursued any time during doctoral studies. The independent study units are designed to guide the doctoral students, under appropriate supervision, through the initial stages of writing their prospectuses/dissertations. This type of course will also give doctoral students time to pursue the sources and secondary literature necessary to write a state-of-the-art prospectus and/or dissertation while receiving regular feedback from the mentor of the independent study unit. Any one independent study unit may award a maximum of four (4) credits.

It is the responsibility of the doctoral student to submit a detailed proposed outline of the independent study unit to the mentor, i.e., usually the principal or associate supervisor, by the end of the add/drop period of each term. Requests submitted past this deadline may have to be accommodated in a later term

Elective Classes (MA and PhD, Fall term and Winter term)

These classes are usually two credits. In the Spring Session each elective class is one credit, and during that periode MA students must choose minimum 2 elective classes.These courses, unlike core classes, focus on more restricted topics with increased attention to advanced methodology applied to sensible case studies. Any core area class (without tutorials) can be chosen as an elective class by students registered in a different core area.

Core Classes (CC)
Core classes offer a broad but in-depth coverage within the area, introducing background knowledge and recent developments in research trends. The goal of these courses is for students to develop an intimate familiarity with the subject, mastering research problems and skills. They have an increased reading load and should be the primary class a student focuses on during any given term. They may be team-taught. In this component of the core class, the teacher will be the more active party (by providing the lecture, answering questions, guiding the discussion).

Tutorial Element of the Core Classes
Tutorials are discussions informed by the weekly reading assignments. While core classes cover substantial thematic ground in considerable depth, tutorials allow for discussions of historiographic traditions, methodologies, and hands-on approaches (for instance, learning to read a seal, coin or analyse primary documentary source materials). Tutorials are a chance for students to discuss and question the contents of the assigned readings. A tutorial may be taught by the same faculty member who runs the core class, by another faculty member, or by a PhD student. Tutorials can consist of a second meeting per week of the whole group, or participants in the core class may meet in smaller interest groups. In the tutorial component of the core class the students will be the more active party (by reporting on their reading and raising difficulties in interpretation for discussion). The goal of tutorials is close familiarity with the secondary literature, methods of historiography, current approaches and research methodologies, etc.



Source Language Training Classes (MA, PhD)

A thorough knowledge of medieval source languages is the conditio sine qua non of high-achieving research on historical topics. Future scholars must be able to read source documents in the original, critically and independently. Source language training is therefore a crucial element of our MA program. Up to eight credits per academic year are reserved for source language acquisition. 

Language courses count 3 credits per term, but the program requirement is 4 credits per term. In order to meet the (maximum) 4-credit language requirements in the One-year MA program, students may:
a. Do extra readings/translations in the language of the course and receive an extra credit for the additional work (like writing an extra term paper connected to a thematic course)
b. Take any other language-related course(s) (for example, palaeography or codicology) during the year, including the Spring Session, for 2 credits.

Each student’s degree of proficiency in the source language most relevant for his or her thesis work will be assessed by the relevant language instructor during the Pre-session. The instructor will assign students to a beginner, intermediate or advanced group. During the 2013/14 academic year we provide education in Latin, Ancient Greek, Arabic, Armenian, Turkish (modern and Ottoman), Russian, Syriac.

Source language classes in the language most relevant for their thesis work and/or an additional language chosen in agreement with the supervisor are mandatory during both semesters of the academic year for all students, on the level defined by the instructor of the given language. For those MA students whose previous knowledge of a given source language allows them to read texts at a higher level than intermediate, Advanced Source Language Practice Classes are offered (see below). 

Advanced Source Language Practice (Text Seminars) and Textual Skills (PhD)
One-Year MA and Two-Year MA students are explicitly encouraged to attend

Every term the department offers Text Seminars, i.e., advanced source reading groups, in the source languages of medieval studies at CEU. See the current offerings in the course lists. The emphasis of these Text Seminars is not on teaching grammar – the students who are eligible to attend will already have sufficient knowledge of grammar and vocabulary – but on content and context. Usually a small group of dedicated students and faculty, members of the seminar, will thoroughly investigate and discuss problems of the original text, line by line, with special emphasis on establishing a common vocabulary in English connected to technical and theoretical terms and concepts.

Additionally, classes teaching source-language-related practical methodological skills, such as codicology, palaeography, and diplomatics are included in this group of advanced source language practice courses and may be chosen to meet the credit requirements in lieu of any source language training class or elective class. Students who can demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the source language most relevant for their thesis work and do not wish to acquire another source language or participate in advanced source reading may meet their credit requirements by enrolling in any other elective or core class (without tutorial), with the agreement of their supervisors.

Independent Study
In the terms before the thesis’ submission, 1YMA: maximum of 2 credits, 2YMA: maximum of 6 credits.

Those students whose special interests fall outside the scope of the regular course offerings can register for Independent Study instead of one elective course per term and read important works in their area of interest in consultation with their advisors. PhD students with expertise close to the MA student’s thesis topic can be involved in selecting and discussing the readings. Students may earn a maximum of 2 credits in Independent Study registrations in the terms before the submission of their theses. Students must fill in the relevant forms during the registration period of each term and get those signed by their supervisors. This is the precondition of being registered for these activities by the program coordinator.

Crosslisted Elective Classes


General rules for all courses:

Attendance and class participation count 10% toward the final grade; missing two classes out of twelve or one out of six without a valid explanation will result automatically in a failing grade.

MA students may attend courses marked as part of the PhD curriculum with the permission of the instructor except Medieval Studies Doctoral Colloquim.