Medieval Fashion course

Banner stating Medieval Fashion 1200-1500, taught online course, University of Glasgow

The Medieval Fashion: 1200-1500 course is part of the Art and Art History subject in Short Courses at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

This 10 credit, SCQF Level 7 (1st year undergraduate) course can be studied for credits, or just for fun. It offers the opportunity to explore fashion during the High to Late Middle Ages (1200-1500) through investigating period art, literature and surviving textiles.

The course is aimed at anyone with an interest in Medieval dress, may this be because of art history, historical fiction, or the making of Medieval costumes.

The course is taught online using Zoom and takes place over 10 weeks, involving a 2 hour online seminar each week. Typically, a session will comprise a lecture, activities, and class discussions. It is supported by vast online resources, including recommended and further reading, and curated links to a plethora of primary and secondary sources.

The course is designed around three major themes, which means we engage with visual and textual sources from the period, and investigate extant textiles and surviving dress. This allows us to follow the development of dress and fashion, and to study construction, techniques, patterns, embellishments, and of course the socio-cultural historical context.

This semester the course will take place on Thursday evenings, 18:00-20:00 UK time, and starts on 23rd September 2021. You can book your place for the course here.

Course content
  • Week 1: Introduction / The Medieval World
  • Week 2: Visual sources part I
  • Week 3: Visual sources part II
  • Week 4: Textual sources
  • Week 5: Extant textiles part I
  • Week 6: Extant textiles part II
  • Week 7: Development of fashion
  • Week 8: ‘Class test’ / Medieval Dress Treasure Hunt
  • Week 9: Reconstructing medieval garments
  • Week 10: Project presentations
Course Assessment

Taking the course for credit is entirely voluntary. If you do choose to do so, you get the opportunity to be creative.

Assessment consists of two parts:

  • Assignment 1: Project that is presented to the class including 10 minutes for questions and answer (70%)
  • Assignment 2: Visual test in class (30%)

Assignment 1: Project (70%)

Project due week 10

Choose your own project output, students present or pre-record a video (10 minutes max) of the outcome of their investigation into an aspect of medieval dress in its cultural and historical context. The investigation uses appropriate historical sources from at least two areas (e.g. manuscript illuminations, medieval romances) and includes skills and methods used to produce period clothing.

Project output choices may include the creation of an artefact (a physical object created by the student) in any material; visual design (drawings or paintings in any media); digital representations and presentations.

Assignment 2: Visual test (30%)

Visual test due week 8

In-class written test with a choice from three images of dress in the period 1200-1500, decoding one of the three by answering pre-defined questions around approximate date, status, meaning.

The duration of the test is 1 hour.