Medieval Studies

Medieval Studies

Medieval studies which took place at the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge universities were designed around the studies at Paris University.

A lot of tutors and students had gone to this university and so it was expected that the choice of subjects and teaching methods from there would be used. For example, Paris University held a Lenten Determination which was an exam process for a Bachelor of Arts and it finished when the university’s chancellor or president evaluated or worked out the student’s academic knowledge, which was how it came to be the Determination. The term Lenten is because it took place during Lent.

14th-century image of a university lecture
14th-century image of a university lecture

Oxford University introduced its own determination only a couple of years since Paris set up its system. Though Oxford does not appear to have had any ‘proper’ degree exams during medieval England. Students would be presented to their college chancellor before swearing an oath that they had read particular books on the subject, then nine tutors would have to confirm on behalf of each student’s subject ability. The student would be required to present a case on an academic subject in front of a Master of Arts who was typically an Augustinian monk. It is believed that Oxford did not have a set board of examiners.

Oxford and Cambridge’s basic teaching regime was the seven liberal arts, assigned to the Trivium (grammar, rhetoric and logic) and the quadrivium (mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy). Martinus Capaella wrote the main book studied for these subjects in the fifth century.

A BA at Oxford involved four years studying, an MA in medicine consisted of six years of study, a civil law MA was four years and a Bachelor of Decrees for Canon Law consisted of four years study. The fact that most teaching had a religious element meant that a great deal of students entered into holy orders after getting their degree.

See also: Medieval Education

MLA Citation/Reference

"Medieval Studies". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.