York Minster Studentship

This studentship has a value of £1000, and will provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to undertake a placement with York Minster, one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals. The project will involve research into women associated with the sculptures and monuments in York Minster.

  • Funding: £1000
  • Academic year: 2021/22
  • Open to: International (including EU) and UK (home) students
  • Qualification level: Postgraduate taught
Applications for 2021/22 are closed.

The seat of the Archbishop of York, the Cathedral and the Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York, or York Minster as it is better known, is the mother church of the Northern Province and the Cathedral for the Diocese of York. It is a centre for Christian life in the North of England and is one of the most iconic and famous buildings in the United Kingdom.

York Minster has been a place of prayer and pilgrimage for over 1,400 years and worship is still at the heart of Minster life. It is also a gothic masterpiece in stone and stained glass. It is a magnet that draws people to visit the City of York and is a defining symbol of the ancient “capital of the North”. Each year around 700,000 people from all over the world come to explore the Minster, and visitor surveys find a high level of satisfaction from their experience. It is one of the centres of York’s lively cultural life, hosting many concerts and exhibitions alongside the daily pattern of worship and prayer.

York Minster’s collections consist of over 300,000 objects, from stained glass, silver and furniture to archaeology, stonework and textiles. The Minster is home to an Accredited Museum, the Undercroft Museum, the largest Cathedral Library in the country with over 90,000 volumes, and archival records and manuscripts dating back a thousand years.


Open to International (including EU) and UK (home) students.

Open to students in the Department of History of Art.

Studentship applications are welcomed from all full-time students, and part-time students in their second year of study, on the MA in History of Art, or a related pathway degree, regardless of fee status (Home, EU or Overseas).

How to apply

Application deadline: Monday 18 October 2021, 11am BST

Please submit your CV and an enthusiastic personal statement of no more than 800 words which explains your interest in, and suitability for, this partnership opportunity. In particular, we will be looking for:

  • your awareness of, interest in and commitment to the period/theme/collection(s) of the partner institution
  • any relevant skills, knowledge and/or experience
  • how you see the award fitting in with and facilitating your career plans.

You are advised to consult the information on this page, and the Minster’s own website, before you apply. Please email your CV and personal statement to history-of-art@york.ac.uk by the deadline.

Terms and conditions

The placement will be for 3 weeks full-time in May or June 2022 (or an equivalent number of days stretched over a longer period of time).

The successful applicant will conduct a short programme of research on women associated with the Minster’s monuments and sculptures, on the theme ‘More Than A Wife’.  They will develop resources for interpretation and public engagement.

The theme complements the focus within the Minster’s programmes in 2022 on the Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II.  Highlighting the often overlooked influence and agency of women represented in the monuments in York Minster, it will seek to uncover hidden female histories, moving beyond inscriptions documenting women simply as ‘wife of’ or ‘daughter of’ a prominent male figure. Examples include patron of the arts Katherine Dolben, who commissioned Grinling Gibbons to provide the monument to her husband Archbishop Dolben; and Frances Mathew (died 1629), whose bequest of her second husband Archbishop Mathew’s books re-founded the Minster Library.

Expected Tasks include:

  • Research into a number of the women documented on or associated with the Minster’s monuments.
  • Development of resources on the theme ‘More than A Wife’ for the Minster’s sculpture trail.
  • Presentation of findings to staff and volunteers, to inform guiding and public engagement.

Depending on the candidate’s interests and skills, the project may also encompass one or more of the following:

  • A public talk
  • Development of resources for ‘Seldom Heard’ (current low-user) group engagement, including vulnerable women
  • Development of a family trail, or art-themed learning resource for children e.g. planning of a drawing workshop to run during school holidays.

The successful applicant will have independent research abilities and be enthusiastic about developing diverse opportunities and methods for public engagement.  They will be organised, an excellent communicator, and able to work within a team as well as on their own initiative. They will work with the curatorial, learning, library and archive staff of the Heritage Department, and meet with staff of other departments, including the Visitor Experience team.  They will gain insight into how a permanent collection is managed at a heritage site and develop skills and experience useful to careers in fields including museums and heritage, academia, education and arts management.



Contact details

History of Art Postgraduate Admissions Team

Stephanie King/Fiona Watson