Masters in Medieval Studies (York / Oxford)Watch
I'm looking to apply to Medieval Studies masters next year, and two unis catch my eye: Oxford and York.
I'd like to write a thesis on the life of 'urban cities' like Paris, Rothenburg and Bologna in the late Medieval ages. Both Oxford and York have specialists. Really, I'm fascinated by 'the mood and ambiance' of urban areas like taverns and markets. I imagine myself studying art, history, literature, religion and languages, even maybe music.
I've run into a few questions, however.
1) Oxford or York? Both as universities in the field of medieval studies, but also places to live. As I've lived in Australia all my life, I'm looking forward to a change of scenary from Sydney. Nothing wrong with my city, but I want a different experience, you know?
2) I have relevant work experience (I run a publication about literature and the arts with growing success) and have just started submitting to magazines about medieval topics. Could that help with my application to either university?
3) I'm going to try to submit to history journals (undergraduate ones). Would either York or Oxford care about that?
4) As a career, I'm interested in the field of 'public history.' Unsure how common that term is in the UK. Really, it's about history-related journalism, writing and publishing (or working at a musuem or gallery). Really passionate about educating the general public about history and literature outside of an academic context. Would both degrees give me sufficent preparation? Unsure whether I want to do a Ph.D.
5) Is it feasible to do weekend trips to nearby towns and cities on weekends in the UK? Or is that a term-break thing? I would like to soak up on the history in places like Bath, Coventry, etc.
Thanks for any advice or tips. My marks are slightly lower for Oxbridge, but I'm hoping work experience / publications can help make up for it. Plus, 2 of my 4 subjects next semester are about medieval history.
Have a good everyone.
Need more help on going postgrad?
I was fascinated to read your very interesting post. What a great subject to pick, and two great cities to study in!
York is a great railway town ( with an amazing railway museum) and there will be easy access to other cities ( although you may have to change somewhere) . Both cities have medieval links. Check out the castle museum in York with its recreated Victorian street.
As far as getting into Oxford is concerned, I know someone who got into law senior status and he needed a first class degree to meet his offer. I am not sure if you need the same mark for a masters course. I would recommend you go to the Oxford postgraduate thread and ask on there.
Certainly the medieval colleges in Oxford would inspire you, plus the bear is the oldest pub in Oxford dating from 1200 and something. The turf tavern, which I frequent every time I visit Oxford, is a bit younger.
Oxford also has the largest history department in Europe!
If it’s Oxford you want, work really hard to get your grade up to a first. I absolutely think Oxford and York would be delighted to see that you submit your articles for publication and very interesting they must be as well.
I would heartily recommend either city. The uk welcomes you.