Written work requirements

A sample of your written work will support your application and be assessed for analytical and critical thinking skills; your ability to construct and defend an argument and your powers of expression.

Departmental requirements

Details of what to include in your sample of written work will be provided during the application process. To help you to prepare before you start your application, you can find out about course-specific requirements below. Your written work must be in English and be your own work.

Supply at least two examples of your recent written work. These may be essays which you have written recently for your present course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written specially for your application to York. The examples you supply should be on topics which are relevant to the subject of your proposed course of study.

Supply at least two examples of your recent written work. These may be essays which you have written recently for your present course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written specially for your application to York. The examples you supply should be on topics which are relevant to the subject of your proposed course of study.

You will not usually be asked to submit written work, although you may occasionally be asked for this once your application has been initially assessed.

Supply two examples of your recent written work. These may be essays which you have written for your present course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written specially for your application to York. The examples you supply should be literary critical essays rather than creative writing and preferably on topics which are relevant to your proposed course of study.

We are looking for self-directed high quality work which shows that you are suitably prepared for postgraduate study.

Your essays should be long enough to build an argument, but not too long (typically six to ten pages double spaced is recommended). The best essays have:

  • a clear argument, built by using good materials and examples to back up your points
  • engagement with existing scholarly work
  • accurate references
  • a clear conclusion.

It is usually better to select of piece of work written later in your degree, as this will be your strongest work. A section from a research essay or dissertation might be ideal, but don't send the whole work. Select a good six to ten-page section and give a very brief introduction explaining how this section fits into the bigger work.

Supply at least two examples of your recent written work. These may be essays which you have written recently for your present course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written specially for your application to York. The examples you supply should be on topics which are relevant to the subject of your proposed course of study.

Supply one example of your recent written work. For example, this may be an essay written recently for your current course or material you have written for an article. You may also include any supporting documentation.

MA in Music Technology (by research)

Provide a short portfolio of extracts (no longer than five minutes) of your previous work in music production. You can attach an mp3 file along with your application on the online system (below). You will also need to provide a short written statement (maximum 500 words) describing the portfolio items and how they were produced. Also, provide in under 500 words a short written statement describing the musicianship, scholarship or research that is relevant to the production.

Music (all other research degrees)

If you wish to specialise in composition, supply two examples of scores you have composed and, if available, recordings of performances of your compositions.

If you wish to specialise in performance, you will be required to play or sing if you are invited to an interview, and you should bring with you to the interview an essay of about 3,000 words on a topic related to performance practice. If you are unable to attend an interview then you should send a certified recording of a recent performance and an essay of about 3,000 words on a topic related to performance practice.

If you wish to specialise in another area, eg musicology, analysis, ethnomusicology or music education, supply an essay of 3,000 to 5,000 words on a topic related to your proposed field of study.

PhD/MPhil

Supply one 3,000-word essay written on a philosophical theme. This could be an essay written for a previous Philosophy degree.

MA in Philosophy (by research)

Supply one 3,000-word essay written on a philosophical theme. This could be an essay written for a previous Philosophy degree.

Include a written work sample from your most recent studies or a written work sample prepared specifically for your application. The example you supply should be on a topic relevant to your proposed area of research and written in an academic format. It should be at least 1,500 words in length.

You will need to submit written work for the following courses:

  • PhD in Environment and Politics
  • PhD in Politics.

You may include a written work sample from your most recent studies or a written work sample prepared specifically for your application. The example you supply should be on a topic within the broad field of Politics, relevant to your proposed area of research and written in an academic format. It should be at least 1,500 words in length.

MA by research / MPhil / PhD

Supply at least one example of your recent written work. This may be an essay which you have written recently for your present course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written specially for your application to York.

The example you supply should be on a topic which is relevant to the subject of your proposed course of study.

PhD in Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media/PhD in Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media by Creative Practice

Supply a 2000-word example of your recent written work. This may be an essay which you have written recently for your present course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written especially for your application to York. The example you supply should be on a topic which is relevant to the subject of your proposed course of study.

MA in Filmmaking (by research)

We require the submission of a Word or PDF document with links to sample work, eg portfolio of short films, television projects, etc. This will give us a sense of your filmmaking skills and knowledge of the process (we cannot accept physical media). These samples can be in any genre (narrative, non-fiction, animation, etc) and should demonstrate your talent and ambition. We prefer to see entire works, but you may also include a link to a showreel, so long as you include a link to at least one entire film or TV project as well.

In a separate document (one page maximum), please describe your specific role in the creation of each project, eg producer, production manager, director, etc. You should also indicate whether this was a project you initiated or one that was part of a group exercise. This will allow us to better assess your filmmaking abilities.

MA in Screenwriting (by research)

We require a ten-page script extract as evidence of your creative work. It can be a stage play or a screenplay.

MA in Theatre (by research)

Supply an example of recent written work, which should be around 5,000 words in total. This should be analytical writing, which may be an essay which you have written for your present course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written especially for your application to York. The work you submit should cover topics which are relevant to the subject of your proposed area of research.

MPhil in Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media

Supply a 2,000-word example of your recent written work. This may be an essay which you have written recently for your present course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written especially for your application to York. The example you supply should be on a topic which is relevant to the subject of your proposed course of study.