The Byzantine period began in the 4th Century when Constantine I became the Emperor of the eastern and western Roman Empire. Constantine began to build the New Rome, which became known as Constantinople, on the site of the old Greek city of Byzantium. This Byzantine Empire stood at the centre of the European and Middle Eastern world for more than 1000 years. With several periods of political instability and fierce crusades followed by remarkable recoveries, Byzantium is now seen as a superpower of its time. However, by 1453 Constantinople was about all that was left of the Byzantine Empire and after a final wave of attacks by the Turks, the Empire fell.
Byzantine studies has been included in Ancient history and archaeology courses for some time but the interest in this historical period, including its architecture, culture and politics, has increased over the last few years and there are now courses that concentrate solely on the Byzantine period. However, Byzantine studies is still a relatively small area of study and as a result it is possible to research new ground at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Degrees in history, medieval studies, architecture and archaeology may include modules in Byzantine studies but there are some more specific degrees available. These degrees are aimed at students who wish to pursue their studies in a more specialised area of history. You can study Byzantine studies alongside other subjects such as English, other historical periods, philosophy and languages. You will need to check with the institutions themselves to get a more definite idea of the subjects that are covered.
Example areas of study
The actual modules that you may study will vary from course to course so it is important to check the details with the institutions that you wish to apply to before you submit your application.
- Classical studies
- Medieval history
- Semitic languages
- Cultural studies
- Art history
- Greek studies
- Late Antiquity
- Religious studies
- Ottoman Empire
- Byzantine Empire
Some career possibilities
History graduates are often sought after by other professions such as law, business and management and teaching, because of the analytical and research skills that you will learn by studying history. Other careers that you could consider may be archaeology, journalism or you could get involved with charity work or work as an archivist. Postgraduate study and research options are available.
What do I need to get on a course?
The entry requirements tend to vary depending on the course so it is advisable to check these details with the institutions themselves before you submit your application:
- UCAS Tariff: 280 - 300 points
- A-levels: BBC - AAA
- SQA Advanced Highers: BBC - AAA
- Irish Leaving Certificates: BBBBB-ABBBB
- International Baccalaureate: 29-35 points including history and a language
- European Baccalaureate: 65-75% including history and a language
- A relevant Access course
For your application or interview the following may be useful:
- An interest in medieval history, culture and languages would be useful
To find out more about the typical subjects you will study, potential career paths and further information useful for your application log-on to Course Discover at www.coursediscoveronline.co.uk*
*NB: Your school or college will need a subscription to Course Discover in order for you to gain access, for further information go to:www.coursediscover.co.uk