Study the literature, culture and history of the long 18th century from new perspectives.
Develop your understanding of some of the major issues, debates and discourses that shaped British cultures and their relation to other cultures in the 18th century. Taught by world-leading scholars from the Departments of English, History, History of Art, and Archaeology, you’ll explore many different aspects of the era. You can construct a distinct programme of study from a range of options across the different disciplines. You'll develop an intellectual curiosity that is open to different methods of inquiry, and will carry out a substantial piece of independent research.
You’ll engage with the wider research culture of the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, which is based in the historic King's Manor, and be part of the Humanities Research Centre, a vibrant interdisciplinary hub.
Archaeology is top 20, English is top 25, and History is in the top 50 of the QS World Rankings 2020.
Choose from a wide range of option modules with global reach across different fields of study.
Study in a beautiful historic city, and use the York Minster Library, King's Manor and the Borthwick Institute.
How did writers, artists and others attempt to explain changes in the structure and value of their societies, with issues such as the revolution in France, the status and function of the arts, the relationship between the sexes, the authority of the aristocracy and the effects of Empire? Investigate these questions through a range of literary, visual and material sources.
You can study from 1650-1850, and you'll be introduced to staff specialisms in subjects such as gender, the body and women’s writing; empire, exploration and the cultural history of warfare; reading communities and literary networks; science and medicine; landscape and visual culture; and fashion, material culture and consumption.
Whatever your disciplinary background we'll introduce you to a range of conceptual and analytical tools to explore some of the languages, images and central themes of the history and culture of the period. Our staff have research teaching and expertise from Archaeology, English, History and History of Art.
You'll choose three 20-credit option modules. Recent modules have included:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Your dissertation offers you the chance to examine a topic in depth and to develop your research skills.
In Summer Term and over the vacation you'll work on a 14,000-16,000-word dissertation with regular supervision from a member of staff. You'll submit your dissertation in September.
If you are studying part-time we encourage you to use the first Summer Term of your two years to begin working on your dissertation topic.
Recent dissertation topics have included:
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
The interdisciplinary methods that I was exposed to during the MA have shaped both my research interests and my working methods in profound ways during my PhD research, and in my subsequent work as a lecturer and researcher, where I combine my study of literature with an interest in political expression, print culture, and the history of science.Mary, former MA and PhD student
|Study mode||UK (home)||International and EU|
|Full-time (1 year)||£8,440||£18,700|
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status
Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
We offer four bursaries for this MA, each worth £1,000 towards fees. All successful applications accepted by 30 June will be automatically considered, unless another major award has already been allocated. These are open to all eligible UK, EU and international applicants.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
We had the highest proportion of world-leading (4*) research of all UK English departments. We are first in the UK for History of Art research impact. The Department of History is second in the UK for research performance, and Archaeology is top five in the UK for research impact. (Times Higher Education’s ranking of the most recent Research Excellence Framework 2014)
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.
Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)
We hope to deliver this course as advertised for 2021/22 entry, but it’s unclear when we’ll be able to return to a normal timetable. For an idea of how this course might be affected, see our changes for 2020/21 entry.
You'll normally attend two 2-hour seminars each week during the Autumn and Spring Terms. If you are a part-time student you'll attend one 2-hour seminar a week during the Autumn and Spring Terms of Year 1 and Year 2.
Seminar groups consist of fewer that 15 students in most modules, though some core modules may involve a larger number of students. You'll complete essential reading for each seminar, and we encourage you to read more widely around the topic.
You'll attend a series of training lectures and workshops, designed to address presenting your work, writing at MA level, transferable skills, and career development.
Over the course of the year, you'll give regular seminar presentations and attend research seminars and day conferences hosted by the Centre and other arts and humanities departments.
Almost all the major online databases for research into the 18th and early 19th centuries – including ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online), EEBO (Early English Books Online), the British Periodicals Collection, the 19th-century British Library Newspaper Collection and the 17th- and 18th-century Burney Newspaper Collection – are available at the University.
You'll have access to the extensive resources of libraries on the Heslington campus, including special collections of rare books, the comprehensive collection of more than 12,000 reels of microfilmed 18th-century books and ephemera, and the unique and extensive archival resources of the Borthwick Institute for Archives.
King’s Manor Library has a large collection of 18th-century resources, including microfilm collections of prints, images, periodicals and newspapers. King’s Manor is next door to the York City Art Gallery and York City Archives, and a few minutes from the major 18th-century collections at York Minster Library. York’s excellent resources are backed up by the presence of the British Library at Boston Spa, easily accessible using the University’s free minibus service.
You will be based in the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at King's Manor in the city. Most of your contact hours will be at King's Manor with some additional teaching on Campus West.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You'll submit an essay for each module of approximately 4,500 words. The Postgraduate Life in Practice module will be assessed on the completion of a series of tasks connected to your core work for the MA. Your final assessment is a dissertation of 14,000-16,000 words.
When completing an MA at the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies you’re encouraged not to confine yourself to one set of interests, but instead to explore a variety of areas of study with an open mind.Olivia, MA Eighteenth Century Studies
Our postgraduates go into academia and teaching, arts administration, journalism, broadcasting, public relations, social work, politics, the civil service, and management consultancy. Many alumni have also gone on to become successful novelists, poets and playwrights.
The fortnightly Research Seminars where visiting academics present papers on their own research have been interesting and have helped me to widen my areas of interest. They have inspired further reading on topics which are new to me, improving my own research skills.Eleanor, MA Eighteenth Century Studies
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent qualification. We do not assume that you have any prior knowledge of more than one discipline, or that you wish to abandon whatever discipline you pursued in your earlier studies. We will consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules or appropriate professional experience.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||7.0, minimum 6.5 in each component|
|PTE Academic||67, minimum 61 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||185, minimum 176 in each component|
|TOEFL||96, minimum 23 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Distinction in all components|
|Duolingo||120, minimum 110 in all other components|
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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