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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MEDV5120M Palaeography: Reading Medieval Manuscripts

15 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Prof Julia Barrow

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective


(1) To develop the ability to read a variety of western European hands.
(2) To develop the ability to recognise symbols of abbreviation.
(3) To develop the ability to transcribe manuscripts accurately.


The module focuses on palaeographical training, familiarising students with a range of scripts used in different kinds of documents from Carolingian to late medieval times.

The central weeks of the module will follow a chronological sequence. The examples to be used include formal European and English book-hands, a variety of cursive documentary hands, and cursive book-hands. The languages in which the scripts are written include Latin, French and English.

There will also be consideration of contextual issues, including the techniques and materials of medieval writing, literacy and the politics of script, and the idea of forgery.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours128.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Four written assignments, each comprising of three transcription exercises.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentTranscription exercise to be submitted on Monday of week 633.30
AssignmentUnassessed transcription exercise0.00
AssignmentTranscription exercise to be submitted on Monday of week 933.30
AssignmentTranscription exercise to be submitted on Monday of Revision Week33.40
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:41:15


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