Study the whole range of medieval English literature — a dynamic, multilingual literary culture in which English interacted with many other languages and literatures.
Taught and supervised by world-leading scholars, with expertise in Latin, Old English, Middle English, Old Norse, Old French, medieval Italian, medieval Arabic, and Palaeography, you'll learn a range of linguistic and technical skills which are essential for further medieval research. You'll apply these skills to a substantial piece of independent work, giving you a foundation for doctoral research, as well as transferable skills for careers in heritage and culture, teaching, publishing, and arts management.
You'll be based at the Centre for Medieval Studies, King's Manor, which has a lively interdisciplinary research culture.
You’ll also engage with the wider research culture of the Department of English, one of the UK's largest research centres in English, and there will be a diverse schedule of seminars, conferences and reading groups for you to attend. You’ll be part of the Humanities Research Centre, a vibrant interdisciplinary hub which will enable you to form close social and intellectual bonds over the course of your study.
This MA has hugely expanded my knowledge of the subject itself, the scholarship growing up around it, and endowed me with invaluable experience in researching, writing, delivering seminar papers, and basically being an active postgraduate.Abigail, MA Medieval Literatures
We’re a top ten research department according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).
English at York is ranked 35th in the world and 11th in the UK in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023.
Explore York Minster and medieval art and architecture in the city. Study the exciting collections of medieval texts and images at the King’s Manor Library.
You'll study modules from a wide range of choices offered by the Department of English and Related Literature or the Centre for Medieval Studies. You can study the literature of medieval England, and explore other medieval European literatures as well.
You'll also study research skills, and complete a research dissertation. The total number of credits for the course is 180.
Reading the Middle Ages skills options
Our skills modules give you the choice of studying two European medieval languages, a language and palaeography, or Arabic.
Options typically include Latin (4 levels), Old English (2 levels), Old Norse, Old French, and three different periods of palaeography.
Either: Reading Medieval Texts or Multilingual Middle Ages or Medieval Arabic
Option modules may cover topics such as:
There are also a wide range of further option modules offered across all the Department's MA programmes which are available to you.
You may also choose available modules from other arts and humanities departments.
Our 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. You'll work on a 14,000-16,000-word dissertation with regular supervision from a member of staff.
You'll submit your dissertation at the end of your course. Recent dissertation examples include:
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.
|International and EU
|Full-time (1 year)
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a Student 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.
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.
You'll need copies of the texts set for each module. Where possible, we will provide digital access. We'll let you know which texts and editions you'll need to buy (whether new or second-hand) before the start of each term.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
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.
The Centre for Medieval Studies is one of the world’s leading centres for postgraduate study and research into the Middle Ages. We are one of the largest and longest established providers of Medieval Studies courses in the UK, combining world renowned knowledge, expertise and research from across the University. Combining the disciplines of Medieval Art and Architecture, Medieval Archaeology, Medieval Literature and Medieval History and drawing on the unrivalled resources available in the medieval city of York, the Centre offers you a truly interdisciplinary Medieval Studies experience and a unique MA in Medieval Studies.
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.
You'll normally attend two 2-hour seminars each week. If you are a part-time student you'll attend one 2-hour seminar a week.
Seminar groups consist of fewer than 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 Department. Many of these events will be organised through the Humanities Research Centre, a state-of-the-art facility unique to York.
As a postgraduate student at the Centre for Medieval Studies, you will have access to a wealth of world-class resources to support your studies. These include the King’s Manor library, the Borthwick Institute for Archives, the York Minster Library and Archives, and JB Morrell Library.
These libraries hold a large collection of medieval manuscripts, archives, and early printed books, as well as extensive collections of modern critical books, journals, catalogues, and e-resources. Medieval materials from these libraries are regularly used by staff and students for research and teaching. The libraries also offer a variety of study spaces, for both group work and quiet study.
A short bus trip away from York is the British Library resource at Boston Spa, which offers students an invaluable opportunity to access any document from the entire British Library collection.
But perhaps the greatest resource is the city of York itself. Few cities in the UK can rival York as a place to study the Middle Ages, and teaching and research at the CMS makes full use of it.
You will be based at the Centre for Medieval Studies at King's Manor in the city. Most of your contact hours will be at King's Manor with 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. Your final assessment is a dissertation of 14,000-16,000 words.
The MA in Medieval Literature has been challenging, interesting, and so rewarding. There is never a dull day between the Middle-English romances, Anglo-Norman histories, Viking poetry, and everything else that we get to study.Ellen, MA Medieval Literatures
Our postgraduates go into a wide variety of industries, from arts administration to law. Many alumni have also gone on to become successful novelists, poets and playwrights.
|2:1 or equivalent. You do not need to have specialised in medieval literature at undergraduate level, or already mastered the languages required for the degree as we will provide intensive training during the course. 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
You will need to submit examples of written work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting written work.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS (Academic and Indicator)
|7.0, minimum 6.5 in each component
|C1 Advanced: 185, with 176 in each component
|8, minimum 7 in each component
|130, minimum 120 in all other components
|C1 with 33/50 in each component
|75 with a minimum of 70 in each component
|495-526, with 459-494 in all other components
|Skills for English
|C1: Pass overall, with Pass in each component
|67, minimum 61 in each component
|96, minimum 23 in each component
|Trinity ISE III
|Distinction in all 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.
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