Research Environment

The Institute offers a dedicated learning environment to its students, with a wide range of opportunities. Some of the resources reserved for postgraduate research students are listed below.

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

Housed in the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (LHRI), the Graduate School brings together postgraduates working across the Faculty of Arts. This facility provides social space and seminar rooms for postgraduates to mix and exchange ideas, as well as providing funding for graduate-led workshops and conferences, and coordinates the Professionalisation programme. Courses offered under this program include: doing interdisciplinary research; research ethics in the arts and humanities; getting published; the REF and applying for research funding. Other courses also provide guidance on applying for your first academic job. More information can be found on the Graduate School website.

Organisational Development and Professional Learning (OD&PL)

The SDDU offers a range of training opportunities for postgraduate research students, under the umbrella headings of: research projects; presenting research; writing and publishing; and academic integrity. See the OS&PL website for more information.

LEAP Training Hub

The LEAP researcher training hub, based in SDDU, provides access to transferable skills training and development opportunities for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Students and Early Career Research Staff. Courses cover a wide range of topics and skills, in the areas of communication skills, research methodologies, professional networking, PhD processes, and career management skills. For more information, see the LEAP webpage.

Teaching Opportunities

PhD students in the IMS are offered the opportunity to teach undergraduates wherever possible. This experience provides valuable career skills in academia and in other professional fields, by expanding on the ability to communicate ideas, inspire creativity and direct group work. No experience is required and we aim to fit in the teaching content with students’ research specialisations. Full training is provided within the IMS and by the OS&PL.

Postgraduate Community Support & Facilities

The strong community of postgraduate students in the IMS has the dedicated study space, the Le Patourel Room, named after Professor John Le Patourel a co-founder at the first director of the Centre for Medieval Studies (a direct predecessor of the IMS) which includes shared study space, small reference library and networked computers and WiFi with access to printing.

The Institute fosters research communities within the University by hosting a variety of events open to staff and students, across the University and beyond, with interests in medieval topics. The postgraduate community organises various reading and discussion groups.

The Medieval Society, of the Leeds University Student Union, is organised and run by a group of students, and delivers a lively programme of events including medieval game nights, film screenings, field trips, and workshops.

International Medieval Congress

The International Medieval Congress is the largest gathering of medievalists in Europe, bringing together upwards of 2,000 attendees from around the world. Students in the IMS have free access to this world-renowned congress and its resources.

The Medieval Group

The Medieval Group is the oldest medieval studies-related association at the University, dating back to the 1950s, and is run by a committee of volunteers from among the staff, PhD, and MA students. Every year in October there is a ‘Medieval Research Afternoon’ which showcases the range of current research in medieval studies at the University. The event also includes presentations from museum curators and archivists about opportunities in research, volunteering, and internships in relevant fields in the Leeds area. Throughout the year the Group runs a seminar series with a broad range of speakers (archaeologists, literature and drama specialists, musicologists, theologians, and art and architecture historians).

Open Lecture Series

The Institute runs an annual Open Lecture Series, delivered by a wide range of high-profile interdisciplinary guest speakers across a broad spectrum of topics. Additionally, the School of History runs a Medieval Research Seminar Series, which includes staff, students, and invited academic speakers. All events are free and open to the public, and advertised through the Institute’s website. 

Work-in-Progress Seminars

All IMS PhD students present aspects of their thesis in the work-in-progress seminars during the academic year. It is a very good opportunity to develop and improve presentation skills, and the audience of academics and fellow students provides constructive feedback in a supportive environment.

Field Trips

The Institute also runs organised field trips to important medieval sites in northern England. These trips are often guided by experts from the University, English Heritage, and other heritage organisations, including archaeologists and curators at the sites where possible.

University Libraries

Leeds University Library is a world-class research library with 2.8 million books and publications, and a wealth of manuscripts, archives, and early-printed materials in its Special Collections. The Yorkshire Archaeological and History Society archives have been moved to the Brotherton Library, and is open to readers. The library is ranked as one of the top libraries within the UK for provision of electronic books, journals, and databases. For more on the library resources please see Library Holdings and the University Library webpage.

Regional Libraries and Archives

Beyond the university libraries, there are a number of other collections within easy reach. The British Library has a Document Supply Centre in Boston Spa, a short bus ride away. The West Yorkshire Archives in Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Halifax, and Huddersfield contain extensive records of the city and region. The nearby Royal Armouries has extensive medieval collections.

Language Training

The University’s Language Centre hosts facilities for the study of a wide range of languages, including all the main European languages and also Hindi, Hebrew, Hungarian, Serbo-Croat, and Swahili. Students may start to learn a new language or improve on previous knowledge. The use of the University’s Language Centre is free for enrolled students. Alternatively, students may choose to take language courses at the nearby Leeds Beckett University for a fee. Advanced reading classes in German, French, and Italian are available as required in-house at the IMS and the School of History.

Pastoral Support

All IMS students are entitled to regular personal tutorials with their programme director to discuss their progress and anything that might be affecting their studies. We aim to support students as much as possible through any kind of personal or health-related situation that might impact on their degree.

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Careers Events

The Faculty of Arts, IMS, and the School of History host a number of careers events, workshops, taster sessions and fairs which attract leading graduate employers. Students are also able to take advantage of events organized by the School of History, the Faculty of Arts and the University in general. Details of Faculty-wide events can be found on the Faculty website.