Written work requirements

Some courses require a sample of your written work to further demonstrate your suitability.

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

Your written work must be in English and be your own work.

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.

Archaeology

Please 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.

Chemistry

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.

Eighteenth Century Studies

MA in Eighteenth Century Studies

Please 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.

English and Related Literature

Please 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 6-10 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 and a clear conclusion.

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. 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.

History

MA/Diploma courses

Please 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.

Graduate Certificate courses

Please supply a short essay (500-1000 words) explaining the nature of your interest in the subject, what you understand the subject to be and why the course is important to you

History of Art

All applicants for the taught MA in History of Art and pathway degrees should submit one sample of academic-style writing, maximum 1500 words in length. Where possible the subject matter should concern art history, but if your background lies in other areas, we would welcome work in another field such as literature, history or other subjects.

If you have any questions or concerns about the writing sample, please feel free to contact the Graduate Chair in History of Art for advice.

Please note that if you submit your writing sample electronically, you may need to remove digital images from your work so that the file size does not surpass 1MB. We will read art-historical writing samples without images so long as your text indicates which images were originally included.

Law

Please supply one example of your recent written work. This may be an essay written recently for your current course, material you have written for an article etc.

Medieval Studies

MA in Medieval Studies

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.

Music

MA/Diploma in Music Production

Please provide a short portfolio of extracts (no longer than 5 minutes) of your previous work in music production. You can attach an mp3 (or AAC, AAC+ etc.) file along with your application on the online system (you may be asked to provide a link to a higher resolution version prior to interview).

Please also provide a short written statement (maximum 500 words) describing the portfolio items and how they were produced.

All other courses

If you wish to specialise in composition, please 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 for 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 (e.g. musicology, analysis, ethnomusicology), please supply an essay of 3,000-5,000 words on a topic related to your proposed field of study.

Philosophy

Graduate Diploma

Please supply one 3,000-word essay which may have been written for a discipline other than Philosophy.

MA in Philosophy

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

Politics

If you do not meet our advertised entry requirements, you must supply one example of your recent written work. This may be:

  • an academic essay which you have written recently for your present course
  • academic material you have prepared for some other purpose
  • an academic piece that you have written specifically for your application to York.

The example you supply should be on a topic within the broad field of Politics, relevant to your chosen subject of study and written in an academic format. It must be at least 1,500 words in length.

Politics, Economics and Philosophy

Please supply an 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.

Theatre, Film and Television

MA in Digital Film and Television Production

To accompany your application we ask that you send us a short portfolio of your creative work. This could include samples of directing, editing or cinematography that demonstrate your talent and ambition.

There is no need to send many examples – just what you consider your best work. You may also, if you wish, present an edited version of your work (such as a showreel). Please send us links (YouTube, Vimeo etc) where we may view your work by uploading a document which includes the links. We will also accept physical media (e.g., DVD, Blu-Ray) but it must be in PAL format. Please note that we are unable to download files.

Hard copies should be posted to:

TFTV PG Admissions
Department of Theatre, Film and Television
Baird Lane
University of York
York
YO10 5GB
UK

MA in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance

Please supply at least two examples of recent written work.

Creative work (i.e. a play-script) is acceptable, but ideally you should include one piece of 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 specially for your application to York.

The work you submit should cover topics which are relevant to the subject of your proposed course of study.

MA/MSc in Postproduction with Visual Effects

To accompany your application we ask that you send us a links to a short portfolio of your creative work. This could include samples of visual effects related work in which you have been involved. Examples are: short film, television or video programmes, or animations etc.

Please include in a separate document (1 page maximum) providing details of your role in these projects. These examples should demonstrate your talent and ambition. There is no need to send many examples – just what you consider your best work.

Please send us either hard copies (printed, or CD/DVD) or upload a document with links (YouTube, Vimeo etc.) where we may view your work. Hard copies should be posted to:

TFTV PG Admissions
Department of Theatre, Film and Television
Baird Lane
University of York
York
YO10 5GB
UK

MA/MSc in Postproduction with Sound Design

To accompany your application we ask that you send us a short portfolio of your creative work. This could include samples of sound design-related work in which you have been involved. Examples are: short films, television or video programmes with an original soundtrack, sound or music recordings, audio applications you have programmed, etc.

Please include in a separate document (1 page maximum) providing details of your role in these projects. These examples should demonstrate your talent and ambition. There is no need to send many examples – just what you consider your best work.

Please send us either hard copies (printed, or CD/DVD) or links (YouTube, Vimeo etc,) where we may view and listen to your work. Hard copies should be posted to:

TFTV PG Admissions
Department of Theatre, Film and Television
Baird Lane
University of York
York
YO10 5GB
UK

Women's Studies

Please supply an essay of about 2,000-3,000 words.

If you do not have a recent essay which you feel is appropriate, you may write something specifically for us. Some titles are suggested below, but you may if you prefer to write on a subject of your choice.

  • Why Women's Studies?
  • What does literature have to tell us about the position of women in society?
  • Discuss the effect of motherhood on women's place in the labour market.
  • Is the reason 'because you are a woman' ever a good reason for treating someone differently?
  • How have ideas of women's role differed from the reality of women's experiences in any one historical period of society?