About us


The Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Reading was established in 1965 to facilitate and encourage interdisciplinary study at postgraduate level and to serve as a social and intellectual meeting point for all medievalists.It offers a taught MA (Res) course in Medieval Studies, and a PhD in Medieval Studies, and also provides research training for students in other Departments preparing for an MA (Res) and PhD thesis on medieval topics.In addition it runs an annual programme of visiting speakers and a Summer Symposium.Since 1975, it has published the interdisciplinary journal Reading Medieval Studies and occasional monographs.

The University of Reading began as a University College in 1892, receiving its royal charter in 1926.From its early days it developed a considerable reputation for medieval history due to the presence of Sir Frank Stenton, the author of Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1943), who was its first professor of History and subsequently vice-chancellor.  The University Special Collections still has his library and our annual lecture in his memory.

Professor F.P. Pickering, a distinguished scholar of German medieval literature and of the study of iconography, promoted the development of a Centre for Medieval Studies and was its first Director. The GCMS still hasthe annual Pickering Prize for the best MA dissertation.

There are twenty-four teaching members drawn from eight Departments of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences, namely, Classics, English, French, History, History of Art, Italian, Archaeology, and the ICMA centre. See our staff.

As a self-governing centre within the Faculty, its Director is drawn from its contributing departments on a three-yearly basis, and it is administered by a Board of Studies of all of its teaching staff. The Reading University year runs from October 1, and is divided into three terms.

We have three aims: To facilitate and encourage multidisciplinary study at postgraduate level, to provide a forum for all medievalists within The University of Reading, and to act as a social and intellectual meeting-point for medievalists from the wider community.

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