Medieval fashion: 1200-1500

Key facts

  • Cost: £150
  • Credits: 10


Dress in Medieval society functioned as symbols of status and circumstance: from indicating economic levels or the marriage status of women, to social class at birth. People were conditioned to decode the complex signage system in dress, beyond and above our contemporary 'reading' of fashion. This course offers the opportunity to explore fashion during the High to Late Middle Ages (1200-1500) through investigating period art, literature and surviving textiles. In this class we will do practical exercises, visual investigations, and discussions. 

Areas you'll explore include: 

  • The development of high-status fashion during the period from 1200 to 1500, focusing on mid-western Europe 
  • The methods and materials/processes used in the Middle Ages and have opportunity to undertake practical exercises such as tablet weaving and embroidery. 
  • How clothing relates to people of the time and how this is reflected in textual and visual sources from the medieval period 

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:  

  • Identify and evaluate art historical approaches to, and interpretations of medieval dress. 
  • Contextualise medieval dress within its cultural and historical setting 
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the skills and methods used to produce period clothing. 

Below is a suggested course courses you might be interested in. 

Women artists in Europe c.1400-c.1890 ADED11974E 

Who is this course for?

Anyone who has an interest in art history and in particular the history of fashion.  


10 Credits at SCQF level 7 (level 1 at undergraduate study)  

Can contribute towards a CertHE in art history 

Mode of study

A mixture of lectures and seminars and practical exercises 


Can contribute towards a CertHE in the history of art.  

Find out more

The University holds open days throughout the year where you can meet with staff to discuss our short course provision. Find out more about University of Glasgow open days