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Why choose York for part of your Masters degree?

The Departments of English and Related Literature and Language and Linguistic Science are consistently rated as being top departments for both research and teaching, meaning this is an excellent and unique opportunity to study in a world-leading department for a term.

  • You will learn from experts – staff teach modules only in their specific subject or research areas.
  • From day one you learn in a ‘hands-on’ approach, combining theory and practical exploration.
  • You’ll get lots of help with essay-writing including one-to-one supervision sessions where you’ll have the chance to discuss your work in detail.

In short: York’s academic quality, campus community, supportive staff and beautiful city make it an increasingly popular choice.

The Departments

The Department of English and Related Literature 

If you choose to study literature you will be taught and supervised by staff from the Department of English and Related Literature.

The English department is an exceptionally lively and creative department with an innovative and forward-looking approach to teaching and assessment. They were ranked top in the UK for the quality of their research in the most recent national assessment — so you’ll learn in the most stimulating and exciting academic environment possible.

The Department of Language and Linguistic Science 

If you choose to study linguistics you will be taught and supervised by staff from the Department of Language and Linguistic Science.

The linguistics department is one of the leading centres in the UK for teaching and research in theoretical and empirical linguistics. Their major specialisms are in theoretical syntax and semantics, phonetics and phonology, language acquisition, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and forensic speech science.

The University

The University

York is consistently ranked as one of the top ten universities in Britain and one of the top 100 in the world.

  • The University was named THE (Times Higher Education) University of the Year in 2010, and has an international reputation for top-quality teaching and research.
  • The University of York scores very highly in the newly published QS World University Rankings Subject Rankings 2017, with a UK 6th and world 24th ranking for English.
  • In the Times Higher Education Rankings (2018), York was ranked 42nd in the world for Arts and Humanities.
  • For further details of awards and rankings for the University of York see here.

The University’s main campus is in Heslington, on the edge of the city. Here, colleges and departments are grouped around a large lake in 200 acres of landscaped parkland, creating a welcoming community feel.

The college system breaks the university into smaller units, making it easy to meet people and make friends. York thus combines the advantages of a university large enough to provide a vibrant social and cultural environment with those of a smaller community able to be welcoming and friendly to its students.

Whilst in York, our students can participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, and may also use the chance to develop interests in creative writing, music and drama, journalism, and a host of other activities.

Facilities for postgraduate students

Humanities Research Centre

The new Humanities Research Centre, located in the Berrick Saul Building at the heart of the University campus, opened in September 2009. The HRC provides a fantastic new research environment for postgraduate students in the humanities, including successful applicants to either department’s master’s programme.

The wireless postgraduate work space, located on the first and mezzanine floors, is open 24/7, and has beautiful views into Spring Wood on one side, and across to the lake on the other side: many options for inspiration

The HRC also acts as a focus for humanities activities on campus, hosting international colloquia, seminars and conferences, so there are lots of opportunities to participate in a huge range of seminars, workshops and conferences in and beyond your chosen area of study.

The data lab (for linguistics postgraduates)

The data lab is equipped with computers running various software that can be used to conduct data-oriented research, e.g. acoustic, corpus or statistical analysis. The data lab can also be used for meetings, discussions and presentations, or simply as a study space when available.


The University of York Library houses an excellent collection of resources for both English Literature and Linguistics.

York is also the nearest university to the British Library Document Supply Centre at Boston Spa - the largest lending library in Europe. The University Library offers a free minibus service to the British Library Document Supply Centre for students and staff.

Furthermore York is rich in other scholarly resources, which include the Borthwick Institute for Archives, the beautiful and stimulating Minster Library, and lots of good bookshops.

York and beyond

The City of York and Beyond

The City of York

York has been an important political, cultural, religious and trading centre since it was founded by the Romans in AD 71. Later, Viking rulers like King Erik Bloodaxe called the city Jorvik, and made it their capital in the North-East of England.

In medieval times York was England’s second city, and it is still encircled today by its white stone walls with their impressive gateways, while the beautiful York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral north of the Alps, towers over narrow streets full of buildings of historical and architectural interest which have changed little in 500 years.

But York is also a modern city with good facilities for today's town-dweller. The city has cinemas, theatres, concert halls, shopping malls and exhibition centres, as well as some of the most notable museums in Britain, while the thriving central market place offers scenes of lively town life and many varieties of goods.

With a population of approximately 180,000, York is a university town that’s big enough to feel cosmopolitan but small enough not to be overwhelming.

The modern University of York, with its high international reputation, is about three kilometres from the city centre.

Further Information about York:

Beyond York

York is an excellent starting point for the study of many aspects of British life and culture. The large cities of London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh are all roughly two hours away by train, while the large industrial towns of Leeds and Bradford are even closer.

Also close at hand are the beautiful and sparsely populated Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors, where the names of small towns and villages like Whitby and Kirkby Moorside remind the visitor of the intimate connections between Scandinavia and this part of Great Britain.

I absolutely LOVE York!! It is one of the most beautiful cities I know. I love its historical atmosphere, the narrow streets, the old buildings, the shops, the cafes, and, of course, the pubs!

NSC Student, 2007