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. It will be assessed for your analytical and critical thinking skills; 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.

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.

In most cases a sample of written work isn't required. If we do require an example we'll let you know after we have assessed your application.

MA Eighteenth Century Studies

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 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.

MA Renaissance and Early Modern Studies

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. Ideally, at least one will relate to the Renaissance and Early Modern period.

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, feel free to contact the Graduate Chair in History of Art for advice.

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.

MA Stained Glass Conservation & Heritage Management

The written sample for the MA in Stained Glass Conservation & Heritage Management does not have to be on a stained glass topic, but needs to show use of scholarly mechanisms and an ability to construct arguments.

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 Medieval Studies

You should include two essays as part of your application. 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.

Your essays can be from the same or from different disciplines, ie one from literature and one from art history; but one must be on a medieval topic.

It is usually better to select pieces of work written later in your degree rather than your first year.

You may even choose to write an essay specifically for the application, especially if you've been out of education for many years. 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.

MA Culture and Thought after 1945

You should include two examples of your recent written work which demonstrate some links to the MA content. They should be at least 3,000 words in length but not significantly more. You may write something specifically for this application if you wish.

MA Music Production

Provide a short portfolio of extracts (no longer than five minutes) of some of your previous work in music production.

You can attach an mp3 file along with your application at You@York, or you can provide a text document containing an external download link for your portfolio.

Please also 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 work that you wish to do.

MA Music

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. If you are unable to attend for interview then you should send a certified DVD recording of a recent performance.

For the Music Production pathway, 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. Also, provide in under 500 words a short written statement describing the musicianship, scholarship or research that is relevant to the MA pathway that you wish to pursue.

If you wish to specialise in musicology, supply an essay of 3,000 to 5,000 words.

Graduate Diploma

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

MA Philosophy

Supply one 2000 to 4000-word essay written on a philosophical theme. This could be an essay written for a previous Philosophy degree.

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.

MA Social Research

Supply one piece of written work you have written recently for your present course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written specifically for your application to York. The example you supply should be on a topic within the broad field of Social Sciences, relevant to your chosen subject of study. It must be at least 1,500 words in length and you must be the primary author.

MA Film and Television Production with Cinematography

To accompany your application, please send us a short portfolio highlighting your best creative work through filmmaking. This should include samples of cinematography where possible, but examples of directing and editing can also be submitted to further demonstrate your talent and ambition. It is not essential to send multiple examples – just send us what you consider your strongest creative work. At least one piece should be a completed film/show you had a key role in creating; preferably as cinematographer or another role in camera/lighting.

Complete films or short edited scenes you've made are often preferred for showing off your storytelling abilities in film/TV, but we can also review showreels if submitted.

Send us links (Youtube, Vimeo, Google Drive, etc.) where we may view your work by uploading a document (Word or PDF) with the links included as part of your submission. To support your portfolio submission please also include a separate document (1 page maximum) providing details of your specific role(s) in any film project examples you choose to submit as part of your application. This will allow us to better assess your filmmaking skills and abilities. If you have difficulties uploading, please contact us by email and we will assist you.

MA Film and Television Production with Producing

Ideally, you will have some experience of film, television or video production. However, we will consider applicants with experience in other performance arts or media, such as theatre or music, who have an interest in producing. In all cases we want to see examples of your media production work and details about your specific role in creating it.

To accompany your application, send us a Word or PDF document with web links to your work, eg Youtube, Vimeo, DropBox etc., so we can view it directly (we cannot accept physical media). These sample projects can be in any genre, such as narrative, non-fiction or animation. They 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 project as well. If you have difficulties uploading, please email us and we will assist you.

In a separate Word or PDF document, describe your specific role in the creation of each project, eg producer, production manager or director. 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 skills and abilities.

MA Film and Television Production with Directing

To apply to this course you must have some prior experience in directing film, television or video.

To accompany your application, please send us a Word or PDF portfolio document with web links to your sample directing work so we can view it online, eg through Youtube, Vimeo or DropBox. We cannot accept physical media. Sample projects can be in any genre, eg narrative, non-fiction or animation. They should demonstrate your talent and ambition. You may also include a link to a showreel so long as you include a link to at least one entire project as well. We consider quality over quantity, so please only send links to your best work. If you have difficulties uploading to your application, please contact us by email and we will assist.

In a separate Word or PDF document, give details for each project listed in your portfolio document including:

  • your specific role(s) in the creation of it
  • whether it was a project you initiated or one that was part of a group exercise
  • a brief description of your specific creative objectives for it.

This will allow us to better assess your filmmaking skills and abilities.

MA Playwriting

Supply at least two examples of recent written work. One should be a piece of your own creative writing (for example, a playscript). The second should be a piece of analytical writing. It 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.

MA Theatre-Making

You must include one piece of recent written work for your application. This should be a piece of analytical writing of approximately 2000 to 3000 words. It may be an essay that you have written for a present or past course, material you have prepared for some other purpose, or something you have written specially for your application to York.

Additionally, you may choose to submit a recording of some recent creative work, eg an acting or directing project. Upload a document to your application via You@York with links where we may view your work. Sharing websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, OneDrive are recommended. We ask that you do not use YouKu or Baidu etc. We are unable to download files.

MA/MSc Film and Television Production with Sound

Alongside your application, we would like to see a short portfolio of your creative work. This could include samples of sound design-related work in which you have been involved.

Examples could include:

  • a short film or television/video programmes with an original soundtrack
  • sound or music recordings
  • audio applications you have programmed.

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

Upload a document to your application via You@York with links where we may view your work. Sharing websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, OneDrive are recommended. We ask that you do not use YouKu or Baidu etc. We are unable to download files. If you have difficulties uploading to your application, please contact us by email, and we will assist you.

MA/MSc Film and Television Production with Visual Effects

To accompany your application we would like to see a short portfolio of your creative work. This could include samples of visual effects related work in which you have been involved.

Examples include:

  • a short film
  • television or video programmes
  • animations .

Include in a separate document (1 page maximum), 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.

Upload a document to your application via You@York with links where we may view your work. Sharing websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, OneDrive are recommended. We would ask that you do not use YouKu or Baidu as we are unable to download files. If you have difficulties with uploading, please contact us by email and we will assist you.

Supply an essay of about 2,000 to 3,000 words.

If you do not have a recent essay which you feel is appropriate, you may write something specifically for us. You may write on a subject of your choice if you prefer, but some suggested titles include:

  • 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?