M.A. Medieval English Literatures

University of York

Application deadline: as early as possible
Tuition fee:
  • € 5,560 / Year (EEA)
  • € 15,305 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: October  2015
Credits (ECTS): 60 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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As well as making a substantial contribution to the interdisciplinary MA in Medieval Studies offered by the Centre for Medieval Studies, the English Medieval School offers an MA in Medieval English Literatures.

This MA caters for those students who wish to study literature on its own, or to explore the inter-relatedness of different literary traditions. The MA in Medieval English Literatures is a one-year programme that combines the study of Old and Middle English, relating these to other medieval literatures. In the Middle Ages several literary languages were used in England, and the influence, at different times, of Latin, Norse, and French was particularly strong: hence our focus on plurality. The course takes a theme-based rather than a chronological approach, paying attention to both medieval and modern ideas about literature. This MA takes full advantage of staff expertise in Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, Old Norse and Medieval French (including Anglo-Norman); other areas of special focus are Palaeography and women's literary culture.

The course teaches a range of linguistic and technical skills which are essential for further medieval research.

Students will be based at the Centre for Medieval Studies, King's Manor, which has a lively interdisciplinary research culture.


The programme for the MA in Medieval English Literatures consists of taught modules taken in the first two terms, and a dissertation of 20,000 words researched and written under individual supervision during the third term and the summer vacation.

In the first term students take the core module, Approaching the Literatures of Medieval England, which introduces issues, methodologies and critical approaches essential for the integrated study of early and late medieval English literatures, including seminars on, for example: 'Negotiating the Conquest', 'Literature at Court', 'Authors and Authorship'. Student also take a further module from a range of literary and interdisciplinary topics which may include: Cultural Identity in Anglo-Saxon Literature, The Monsters and the Critics, Textual Criticism and Codicology, Cities and their Hinterlands and Early Medieval York.

In the second term students take the core module, Rereading Old Books, which takes as its focus texts which influenced the thought and writing of the Middle Ages, when ideas of 'authority' were especially powerful. Texts may include: the Psalms, the Apocalypse, writings by Virgil, Ovid, Boethius and Bede. Students also take a further module chosen from the literary and interdisciplinary topics on offer, which may include: Fictions of Audacity (on Middle English Romance), The French of England, Saints and Texts, Viking Poetry, Renovatio (on the 12th-century Renaissance) and Gender and Sexuality.


The normal minimum requirement for entry to the MA is a good B.A. degree (in UK terms, an upper second or the equivalent), with English literature as a major subject. Mature applicants seeking a specialist qualification after professional experience, or those wishing to return after an interval to continue their education, are welcome even if they do not have recent conventional qualifications. All applications are sympathetically considered on their merits.

Applicants need not have specialised in medieval literature at undergraduate level, nor need they have already mastered the languages required for the degree. The aim of this programme is to provide intensive training during the course, and for this the most important pre-requisites are intelligence, enthusiasm, a capacity for very hard work and a desire to learn - as well as a fascination with the Middle Ages.

Applicants for whom English is a second language are normally expected to have achieved one of the following scores: IELTS: 7.0; TOEFL: 620 (paper-based test)/260 (computer-based test)/105 (internet-based test); or (preferably) Cambridge Proficiency: A or B.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

200 (Grade A)
TOEFL paper-based test score : 620
TOEFL iBT® test: 105

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


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