Why study at York?

‌Graduate students in the Department of History join an intellectually challenging, friendly, and diverse academic community.

Whether you hope to pursue a career in academia or gain additional skills before entering the job market, postgraduate degrees at York can offer you critical skills, knowledge, and intellectual development.

We offer an exciting range of taught postgraduate degrees, and as we are a large department can supervise research degrees across an incredibly broad spectrum. All of our courses can be studied full-time of part-time.

Advanced research-intensive teaching and learning

We combine groundbreaking research with degree programmes that offer incredible chronological breadth and geographical scope. Our department was ranked 2nd for the quality, significance and impact of our research in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, the most authoritative assessment of research quality in the UK. This confirms York’s reputation as one of the best history departments in the UK and the world.

When you join the department's graduate community, you will find:

  • Weekly research seminars attracting scholars of international standing as well as research students approaching completion.
  • Interdisciplinary research centres which also hold research seminars and day conferences, often leading to publications.
  • Student-focused seminars and discussion groups.
  • One-to-one meetings with world-class members of faculty.
  • Encouragement and financial support for students giving papers at conferences away from York.


Facilities at York are excellent. The library, and particularly the Humanities Research Library, has a large and growing set of print, microfilm, and electronic resources for historians. Adjoining it is the Borthwick Institute for Archives, one of the largest private archives in the UK. The city of York also contains many important repositories including the York Minster Library and York City Archives.

All postgraduates can use the Humanities Research Centre in the award-winning Berrick Saul Building.

Career development

The Department of History is committed to the professional as well as the academic development of its students and has an established record of placing students in academic and professional positions.

We place considerable stress on advancing the employability of our graduates. Our modules develop a range of highly-valuable transferrable skills. These include:

  •  High capacity for independent thought and action.
  •  Complex problem solving.
  •  Advanced research skills.
  •  The ability to communicate imaginatively, lucidly, and succinctly.

Campus and city

Our students enjoy the best of both worlds: life at a campus university that is close to one of the most attractive historic cities in the UK.

The main campus at Heslington is a 200-acre landscaped park built around an extensive lake. The campus brings together all the facilities you may need: teaching and learning space, the library and archive, accommodation, cafes and bars, and sports facilities.

The city, around a 30 minute walk from the main campus, was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD, captured and renamed Jórvík by the Vikings in 866, and became York following the Norman Conquest. It boasts one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe, as well as fabulous museums, shops, bars, and restaurants.

York has fantastic transport links across the north of England and further afield. You can be in London in less than two hours by rail, and there is easy access to international airports.