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University of York Featured Masters Courses

Medieval culture is an open chapter, it has been constantly rethought and reinterpreted in subsequent epochs.

You'll explore the extraordinarily rich material legacy of the period, including the shaping of urban structures, places of worship, sites of government, and universities. You'll be able to study in one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe.

Our flexible course enables you to learn about art geographically across much of Europe and the Islamic world, and particularly the material culture of the British Isles. You can investigate a wide variety of art objects and their related visual practices, take modules from related disciplines, as well as a module that is jointly taught in collaboration with our partners (eg the Tate or the V&A).

We have developed successful partnerships with museums, churches and galleries which will enrich your medieval studies and may offer you placement opportunities and privileged access to collections of medieval art.

Course content

You play an active role in building your degree, developing a heightened methodological awareness, and designing research projects. You'll forge a more sophisticated understanding of how artworks create meaning, and why some artworks have been deemed culturally more significant than others.

The course enables you to develop advanced communication skills and effective project management. You'll acquire a high level of expertise in visual analysis and art historical research through object-focused study and an intensively researched MA dissertation.

You can develop your interdisciplinary interests by taking modules with the Centre for Medieval Studies, or in related disciplines such as history, literature, archaeology, philosophy, sociology and others. Due to the impact of the medieval on subsequent eras you'll also study medieval revivals and be taught by specialists in later time periods which will encourage transhistorical work.

Our expert academic staff support you every step of the way through small-group teaching, individual tutorials and field trips. You'll benefit from our specialist knowledge covering the late Roman Empire to the Renaissance and Reformation.

At least two of your option modules, your research skills module and your dissertation must be completed on Medieval Art and Medievalisms. You can either specialise entirely in this area, or select up to two option modules from other fields.

Taken full-time, the one-year taught MA consists of:

  • Autumn and Spring Terms: Research Skills and Methods in Medieval Art and Medievalisms. 
  • Autumn Term: two taught option modules of your choice. 
  • Spring Term: two further modules of your choice.
  • Summer Term and vacation: a dissertation of 15,000 words.

If you study the course part-time you'll take one option in each of the Autumn and Spring Terms, and work on your dissertation during the Summer Terms and vacations.

Teaching and assessment

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.

Teaching format

Each option module is taught by weekly two-hour seminars, and the core module is taught on a fortnightly basis. You'll have the opportunity to go on field-trips organised by the Department to view art and architecture, these will be an integral part of your learning.

You'll be taught with lectures, seminars and one-to-one meetings with your lecturer or supervisor. You'll have between seven and nine hours on average per week of classes.

You'll study independently for 31-33 hours per week on average. This time gives you space to read widely and develop your thoughts on specialised topics.

We offer an extensive programme of research seminars and events which are an invaluable way to engage with different aspects of your subject, along with discussing module themes with your peers, and the staff weekly office hours.

Facilities

You'll be part of the vibrant interdisciplinary Humanities Research Centre and as a History of Art student you'll also have access to extensive resources. There is a specialist library collection for stained glass and conservation studies at King's Manor, part of the campus in the city. You'll be able to attend related lectures, conferences or site visits offered by the Medieval Art and Medievalisms Research School.

Assessment and feedback

You'll submit a 4,000 word essay per option module. For the Research Skills module you'll produce a dissertation synopsis as your assessment. You'll also complete a dissertation.

Careers and skills

We offer amazing partnerships and placements with numerous museums and galleries that will help you in your future career. We work with York Minster, the York Museums Trust, the National GalleryTate, and the V&A. We have excellent relationships with regional museums, galleries, churches and country houses— including the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern ArtCastle Howard, the Hepworth WakefieldYorkshire Sculpture Park, and the Henry Moore Institute. Our collaborations will support your learning and research through modules jointly designed with the partnership institution, and with opportunities for exclusive partnership studentships, work experience and privileged access to collections. The course prepares you for higher research degrees and a range of possible careers. Read about some of our alumni and where their degree has taken them.

Career opportunities

  • Museums, galleries and auction houses
  • Cultural management
  • Heritage and conservation
  • Journalism and media
  • Teaching
  • Academia
  • Education
  • Art administration

Transferable skills

  • The ability to analyse and interpret information from different sources
  • Intellectual independence and autonomy
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Applying and adapting methodologies appropriate to your own research
  • You'll be familiar with principal archival, bibliographic and art-historical resources
  • Delivering projects to meet time constraints

Visit the History of Art (Medieval Art & Medievalisms) - MA page on the University of York website for more details!

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