The answers on this page are specifically geared towards students applying for medieval graduate degrees.
Don't forget that more general information on postgraduate life at York, including advice on such things as accommodation and finance, can be found through the University's graduate study pages.
There are indeed a wide range of MA and PhD courses available.
If you are interested in the interdisciplinary MA in Medieval Studies or the interdisciplinary PhD in Medieval Studies, keep reading this page.
If you're interested in doing a single-subject graduate degree - that is, an MA or PhD in either History, English and Related Literatures, Archaeology or the History of Art - then you should apply through that department.
Follow these links which will provide advice as to who to contact and how to apply for single-subject degrees.
Applications for the interdisciplinary MA in Medieval Studies, the most popular of the MA degrees, and the interdisciplinary PhD in Medieval Studies are administered through the Centre for Medieval Studies and are described below.
It is worth remembering that the MA in medieval studies absolutely allows you to take courses (called Options here) in single-subjects that interest you; so, for example, you may take a term-long module in history or archaeology or art history or literature.
Part of what makes the CMS such a stimulating place to study is the wide variety of backgrounds of its staff and students. Recognising this variety, we aim to consider each application sympathetically and on its own merits.
Applicants for the MA are normally expected to have a BA degree, with a good classification (a 2:1 or higher) or Grade Point Average.
Previous study of any of the related fields (ie history, art history, literature, and archaeology - even in non-medieval periods) is particularly helpful, and the ability to write an academic essay is a must.
While some experience of medieval subjects is helpful, you are not expected to have taken many medieval courses before arriving: some students come from institutions with few medieval offerings, others discover the middle ages only later in their academic or professional career.
And we warmly encourage applications from mature applicants, perhaps seeking a specialist qualification after some professional experience or wishing to continue their education after an interval. We recognise that such applicants may have less conventional qualifications and will work with you to ensure your experience is best reflected in an application.
Those applying for the MPhil (2 years full-time research) or PhD (3 years full-time research) programmes should have an MA in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, students may be admitted straight into these programmes after completing a good BA degree, although EU students should note that funding is only rarely awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to candidates who have not undertaken prior postgraduate research training.
Then you'll fit right in! Many of our student body, and even our staff, come from overseas, especially from the US, Europe, Canada and other Commonwealth countries.
Some come to do an MA and/or PhD before returning home to pursue a PhD or an academic career; some wish to be better qualified for a career in publishing, museums, business, or media, preferring a year-long MA here to the 2-year MAs available in the US.
But many come simply for the chance to do a medieval degree at York, attracted by the large community of medievalists at the Centre, by the rich medieval archives and artefacts, or by the idea of living and working in a medieval city (and in a county filled with the remains of castles and monasteries).
Regardless, our large number of international students and staff means that you'll have plenty of peers and many systems of support.
A large number of our staff have moved back and forth between North America and the UK and so understand personally what it's like to do an undergraduate degree in one county and an MA or PhD in another.
Many also work closely with scholars and universities across the world and so are members of networks that span in North America, Europe and Australia. And, of course, you'll find many friends among the student body who have themselves moved to England to study, who can advise on transitions and who are always willing to help celebrate your holidays and festivals!
With so many new overseas students arriving every year, both the Centre and the University are familiar with the particular needs and concerns of those moving countries.
We understand, for example, how important it often is to set up accommodation through the university, so that you know exactly where you'll be living when you arrive. Since university accommodation can't be booked until your finances are all in place, we do advise those applying for loans (eg. Stafford Loans) to do so far in advance (to begin, for example, in May so that the paperwork has plenty of time to go back and forth).
The International Office offers detailed guidance for overseas students, including things to think about before you apply and advice geared to your specific country of origin. And don't forget the Graduate Schools Office which provides advice on all aspects of postgraduate life at York.
If English is not your first language then you may have to demonstrate a level of language proficiency. Graduate work in Medieval Studies requires an IELTS of 7.0 and a TOEFL of 620 (paper-based) / 260 (CBT) / 105 (iBT). For more information see the university pages on English language requirements.
If you have any questions and/or are thinking of applying for the MA, MPhil or PhD in Medieval Studies, then the first thing to do - for everyone! - is to email Brittany Scowcroft (email@example.com), one of our administrators here at the CMS, or to write to her at: Centre for Medieval Studies, King's Manor, University of York YO1 7EP.
Brittany will ensure that you get the advice you need as to how to proceed, based on your own particular circumstances.
You should also solicit references from two referees. For advice on all of these, see below.
Your completed application should be sent directly to the Graduate Schools Office, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD.
Online applications are also accepted:
A good application will demonstrate that you are prepared academically to undertake graduate work in medieval studies.
Many things will help you to do this. Your transcript might highlight good marks in related subjects, or in dissertations or research papers.
Your statement of interests should be as specific as possible, telling us for example
You might also draw our attention to anything else that might demonstrate your commitment to study (work experience, relevant extracurricular activities) and any additional skills or abilities (in languages, for example, even if they may be unrelated to the work you would do here).
Your essays should be long enough to build an argument, but not too long (typically 6-10 pages double spaced is recommended).
The best essays have a clear argument, built by using good material and examples to back up your points, engagement with the ideas of several scholars, good footnotes and a clear conclusion.
Your essays can be from the same or from different disciplines (ie one literature, one art history), but one must be on a medieval topic.
It is usually better to select of piece of work written later in your degree. Your first year's work is usually not as strong as your third or fourth year's.
You may even choose to write an essay specifically for the application, especially if you've been out of education for many years and lost your old essays. A section from a research essay or dissertation might be ideal, but please don't send the whole work! Select a good 6-10 page section and give a very brief introduction explaining how this section fits into the bigger work.
The best referees can speak directly to your academic work. The strongest referees will usually have taught you towards the end of your degree and will be able to talk about your ability to digest information, think, and write.
For applications for the academic year beginning October 2013, you might want to take note of the following:
January 16th: CMS Open Day, Wednesday January 16, 2013 - please reserve this date. It's a great chance to meet the CMS community, find out about living and working here and have answered any questions you may have. For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
March: The deadline last year for AHRC applications was the first Friday in March. Please check the university's AHRC webpages from December 2012 onwards to obtain up-to-date information on the application process.
30 April: this is usually the deadline for the university Teaching Scholarship, Annual Fund Scholarship and ALL Overseas Student Scholarships. Check the following website from October 2012 onwards for further information: http://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-funding/
31 July: The deadline for applications to CMS is 31 July annually. Late applications will be considered only in exceptional circumstances.