Further studies in the Middle Ages

If you enjoyed ENG240Y Old English and would like to take more courses in medieval studies, there are a number of options available to you, both at the University of Toronto and elsewhere. This page lists UofT courses potentially open to successful ENG240Y students, as well as a small selection of graduate programmes abroad.

Medieval-oriented courses in the Department of English

Though you have already taken the only undergraduate course on Old English, there is more to the Middle Ages:

For a list of medievalist graduate courses in the Department of English, see here.

Medieval-oriented courses in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Professor Markus Stock teaches several courses in medieval German (mostly Middle High German) every year, at both the undergraduate and the graduate level. An understanding of Modern German is required for entry into these courses.

Medieval Studies at Saint Michael's College

Saint Michael's College offers an undergraduate programme of medieval studies available as a specialist programme (12 courses), a major (7 courses), or a minor (4 courses). The programme offers (and cross-lists) courses in history, philosophy, theology, manuscript studies, languages, and literatures. Language emphases are Latin and Celtic, but a course in vernacular literature (read in translation) is also on offer. The programme has overlaps with the Celtic Studies and Book & Media Studies programmes at Saint Michael's College.

Graduate studies at the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is unrivalled worldwide in its offer of graduate courses in medieval studies. Whether you are interested in history, philosophy, religion, manuscript studies, language, or literature, Toronto is an excellent place to study the Middle Ages. The Centre for Medieval Studies accommodates just under a hundred graduate students, about a quarter of whom are enrolled in its one-year "taught" MA programme. Students who stay on for the PhD programme also have the opportunity to take full advantage of Toronto's exceptionally strong focus on manuscript studies by taking the Collaborative Program in Editing Medieval Texts as part of their degree, essentially a specialist programme within the School of Graduate Studies. The English Department likewise offers courses on both Old and Middle English.

For most ENG240Y students, grad school is some time away, if considered at all. However, keen undergraduates are sometimes permitted to take graduate courses for credit. This is arranged by obtaining written permission from the instructor and then taking the matter up with your college registrar. Please note that where space is limited, preference will be given to graduate students (for MST courses, enquire about course space with Grace Desa, or get your college registrar to do so); also, any prerequisites are at the instructors' discretion.

course title offered in 2011–12 instructor description/comments prerequisites for undergrads
Old English I yes varies Don't take this as a follow-up to ENG240Y. It covers the same ground, just in a single term. Instead, move on to Old English II! Taught every year. ask instructor
Old English II: Beowulf yes Healey/Orchard (alternate years) Read all of Beowulf in Old English. Taught every year. "A" in ENG240Y
The Exeter Book no Orchard Read through the Old English poetic manuscript of the same title. ask instructor
The Vercelli Homilies no Healey Read a selection of Old English homilies from the Vercelli manuscript. ask instructor
The Blickling Homilies no Healey Read a selection of Old English homilies from the Blickling manuscript. ask instructor
Geography and Identity in Old and Middle English Literature yes Michelet See the instructor's book for a closer understanding of the course's theme. "A-" in ENG240Y
Sources of Anglo-Saxon Magic no Orchard No previous knowledge of the language required. ask instructor
Sources of Norse Myth yes Orchard No previous knowledge of the languages required. ask instructor
Old Norse yes McDougall Normally a thorough year-long beginner's course; every fifth or so year an advanced reading course. In 2011–12, it will be a beginner's course. none
Old Saxon no Stock Read selections from the Heliand. A good choice for ENG240Y students, since the languages and poetic traditions are closely related. Taught every second year. ask instructor
Vernacular Text-Editing no Robins A collaborative editing-project, usually on a Middle English text. It probably only makes sense to take this course after completing at least one term of palaeography. ask instructor

Graduate studies elsewhere

The world houses many institutions offering excellent education in Old English and related traditions. The following list features only a narrow selection of programmes, chosen because they stand out in one of a variety of ways.

institution comments
University of Cambridge In its Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, the University of Cambridge has neatly packed scholars in the languages and history of its three focal areas into a single department. Unfortunately, ASNC can be a difficult department to get into at the M.Phil-level, as it will require that you have completed a BA similar to its unique undergraduate programme. An affiliated BA (read: two-year BA-programme) is also available. Funding is fiercely competitive. Apart from Canadian sources, do apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
Cornell University Cornell is an excellent place for Old English, and it has a legendary library of Old Norse materials. It is also home to the annual Fiske "Norsestock" graduate conference in medieval Scandinavian studies.
University of Iceland The 12-month programme in Medieval Icelandic Studies at Háskóli Íslands provides a unique opportunity to focus entirely on Old Norse literature and history in an English-taught framework. The degree has a primary emphasis on literature, but the study of Old Norse–Icelandic is a key component of the programme. Students use the summer months to write a dissertation. A small number of full scholarships has been available in years past, but their availability is subject to yearly fluctuation depending on the state of the economy and the political landscape. Students may alternatively opt to apply for the BA-programme in Modern Icelandic, which offers a much larger number of scholarships to study what is in effect the same language.
University of Leeds For reasons not yet fully understood, the Leeds Institute for Medieval Studies has had a large contingent of Canadian graduate students in recent years. Between the Institute and the School of English, the university also offers great Old English and Old Norse opportunities. Leeds is home to the International Medieval Congress and the International Medieval Bibliography. Although funding may occasionally be obtained locally, it will not cover the cost of living and should therefore be supplemented with Canadian sources.
University of Oxford The English Department at Oxford offers a two-year M.Phil in Medieval Studies whose course offerings are very rich indeed. Needless to say, funding competition at Oxford is fierce, but the name may help impress Canadian funding bodies.
University of St Andrews Saint Andrews is another popular destination for Canadian medievalists. While its Institute of Mediaeval Studies offers an interdisciplinary MLitt-programme in Medieval Studies, the School of English has both a single-year MLitt and a two-year MPhil, with Old as well as Middle English on the books.
University of York York's Centre for Medieval Studies is one of the foremost institutions of its kind in Britain. Situated in the heart of the Viking Kingdom, it offers Old English and Old Norse literature alongside a wide range of courses on history, archaeology, and especially art history. As with all institutions in the UK, Canadians mostly have to bring in their funding from elsewhere.