Funding Success for former Lincoln MA in Medieval Studies Student!

Here, Holly Shipton, a former University of Lincoln student, shares news of her recent funding success and reflects upon how her experience at Lincoln helped here:

‘Having completed my BA History and MA Medieval Studies at the University of Lincoln I knew the next step for me was to complete a PhD and continue with my academic career. I will begin my PhD at Queen’s University Belfast in October 2021, funded by the DfE research studentship. My doctoral thesis is entitled Landscape, Ecology, and Agriculture in Medieval Ireland: Management and Decision-making on the Manors of Roger Bigod, and will ultimately address questions concerning the issue of agricultural sustainability and ecological sensibility in late medieval Ireland, and will address key gaps in our understanding of manorial management, agricultural production, and English lordship in Ireland during this period.

Studying history at the University of Lincoln provided me with not only an incredible support base, but also a number of skills which set me apart from other students when applying for a PhD. Being able to learn Latin and palaeography in such a specialist environment enabled me to complete a research topic I would not have been able to had I not learnt those skills, as I was able to translate and transcribe thirteenth-century manorial accounts written predominantly in Latin. The range of modules available to me also helped me develop these skills within a number of historical contexts in which I was less familiar, expanding my breadth of knowledge of the medieval world – including topics such as the economic history of North-western Europe and the medieval cult of saints.

When deciding what I wanted to study for my independent project as an undergraduate, and then for my Dissertation at MA level, I knew I wanted to study a topic that was not related to the modules available at the University of Lincoln, but the wide range of medieval specialists meant I could find the perfect supervisor and thus find my own academic path. My MA dissertation won the Lincoln Record Society award for best MA Medieval dissertation 2020, and I was subsequently asked by the LRS to write a short piece about my research for their review – an incredibly opportunity I would not have been afforded had I not studied at Lincoln.

I am extremely grateful to all the lecturers and researchers I interacted with during my time at the University of Lincoln, but I am especially grateful to Dr Mark Gardiner who supervised and supported me through both my dissertations and helped me enormously, along with Dr Jamie Wood, in applying for my PhD and funding.’