University of York

University of York

Medieval Studies

York's Centre for Medieval Studies is the oldest interdisciplinary centre for postgraduate study of the Middle Ages in Great Britain, and it is also one of the most respected centres in the world. It is one of the few institutions in the world where postgraduate students undertake interdisciplinary research in Medieval Studies. The faculty are world experts in their fields, the whole atmosphere is friendly and supportive, and a PhD from York is well regarded throughout the world when you move on to seek academic employment. Students studying toward the PhD in Medieval Studies work on research projects that span or blur traditional disciplinary boundaries, and are supervised jointly by staff specialising in 2 different subject areas. Subject areas include Archaeology, Art and Architectural History, History (social, economic, political, cultural, ecclesiastical, intellectual and gender) and Literature (including Old and Middle English, Old Norse, Latin, Italian, French), Viking studies, codicology and palaeography. Tuition can be offered in medieval languages (Medieval Latin, Old English, Old French, Old Norse). Palaeography and Diplomatic are taught by specialists in the early, high and late Middle Ages. Modern language teaching can be provided by the university's Languages for All centre.

Entry requirements

Applicants require a UK 2.1 or international equivalent in the relevant subject, although mature students with relevant experience are also very welcome. Previous study in any of the related fields of history, history of art, literature or archaeology is particularly helpful. Some experience of medieval subjects is beneficial, but not essential. If you are a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability. You need to show enough fluency in all aspects of English (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to the required level of the course you are applying to.

Course modules

CMS: Early medieval York; Renovatio (Renaissance and Renewal in the 12th Century); gender and sexuality, 1300-1550; cities and hinterlands; tales of kings and prophets. Archaeology single discipline modules: the age of the Vikings; medieval settlement and communites. Literature, single discipline option modules: England in Europe (from Beowulf to the Roman d'Eneas); fictions of audacity Middle English popular romance; from Boethius to Dante (literatures in medieval Italian society c. 500-1500); literature, language and power in the age of Angevins (c.1154-c.1216); major middle English authors; textual criticism and codicology; Viking poetry; writing history in high medieval England (language, politics and the past). History single discipline option modules: Frontiers of reason; lliteracy and writing in the Dark Ages; saints and sanctity in the early Middle Ages; debating chivalry in the Middle Ages; medicine and culture in Western Europe in the Middle Ages; medieval English civic archives; the transformation of English government, 1250-1450; saving the sinners (the medieval church and the laity); medieval European family. History of art single discipline option modules: Churches and high crosses (the art of stone in Anglo-Saxon England); scrolls and serpents (the arts of the early insular world); art and imagery of York Minster; art as urban culture in 15th-century Bruges and Florence; Dürer, Grünewald, and Holbein (the concept of the 'northern Renaissance' artist in early 16th-century Germany); the domestic interior in Italy c.1400-c.1550; 'painting on light' (stained glass in the medieval tradition).

Assessment methods

Assessment is made through coursework and dissertation.

Sponsorship information

A range of scholarships and studentships are available at postgraduate level. Some scholarships are funded by the University (such as the York Master's Opportunity Scholarship) and some are funded by Research Councils, alumni, businesses and charities.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time September 2016 - 1 years
MA Part-time September 2016 - 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
University of York York YO10 5DD Yorkshire and the Humber

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Postgraduate Administrator
Telephone number: 
01904 323910