Taught course

English Building History

University of York · Centre for Lifelong Learning

Entry requirements

Normally students will be expected to hold a Bachelor’s Degree in a related subject area. CLL will also favourably consider any student previously awarded a BA/BSc in any subject, and with evidence of recent HE level study in this area.

As a Centre based upon the cornerstone of open access, Lifelong Learning will also seek to ensure that those without the qualifications highlighted above, but with the obvious ability to succeed, have the opportunity to engage.
In such instances, the presentation of a critical essay in the field of English Building History may be requested and considered by the admissions panel; the Admissions Panel reserves the right to ask any student for academic work to support their application.
Any student may be called to interview.
Students must have an IELTS score of 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in Writing (or equivalent). Details of the requirements for distance learning students can be found at English language requirements: distance learning 2017/18

Months of entry

October, September

Course content

The MA in English Building History is a collaborative programme delivered by Lifelong Learning and the Department of Archaeology.

Over the course of study, we broadly cover England’s architectural history from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day. A range of significant buildings and sites from vernacular dwellings to the Country House are considered, and thus the difference between vernacular and polite styles of building. As well as engaging with key themes and debates, students will be trained in the practical skills of analysis. You will learn how to recognise archetypal styles, and how these were shaped by technological, social, economic, geographic and cultural forces; different methods of investigation; and the relevance of such buildings today, drawing on examples from across the country.

The programme starts in late September/early October, concurrent with each new academic year – places are limited to ensure a constructive atmosphere for discussions.

This is a three-year, part-time, MA programme delivered online in a fully-supported learning environment, with blended learning support for the final year Independent Study Module. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma if their circumstances change


  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge and expertise of English building history and of key buildings c.1000-1950
  • Demonstrate understanding of buildings as manifestations of complex social, cultural, economic, and political influences characteristic of a particular historical era and an awareness of the associated scholarly themes and debates
  • Apply a range of specialised skills required for analysing, understanding, and interpreting English built history
  • Assimilate material from a variety of sources and contextualise information in relation to the history of buildings in various forms
  • Identify a range of historic buildings’ developments and analyse their phases, date, materials, style, and function
  • Identify, select, and employ appropriate media for communicating ideas clearly on English building history to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Research and develop a critical argument using resources from a broad spectrum of intellectual fields
  • Apply contemporary interpretive and theoretical approaches to the form, function, and meaning of a range of historic building types
  • Complete a dissertation that is a substantial piece of independent research and present an assessed lecture
  • Apply research skills in the field of English Building History.

The MA is an excellent degree for providing a broad range of skills which are integral to students’ employability. Successful students will be better able to conduct research projects in English Building History as well as identify, evaluate and analyse a range of historic building types, styles and materials meaning that problem-solving skills are developed through each distinctive module. However, self-management is also a critical skill of postgraduate and distance learning study and students have to develop their self-motivation and time management, particularly when researching their independent study projects. A key focus is teaching students to develop research skills and report writing throughout their degree but particularly in independent studies. Creativity and innovation is important and we encourage students to generate new ideas. Many of our modules encourage social, cultural and global awareness and students learn to identify the legislative issues associated with their research projects and in relevant cases, apply the correct procedures.

The programme offers a solid grounding that could be critical to a variety of positions within the archaeology, art and heritage sectors in addition to law, local government planning, chartered surveying and estate/land management, accountancy and financial services, teaching and the police and civil service, as well as providing sound knowledge for further doctoral research. It may also serve as valuable CPD for numerous professional qualifications related to English Building History to support career promotion

Fees and funding

Students may be entitled to a government-backed loan of up to £10,000 under the UK Government Postgraduate Loan scheme. More information can be found at Government Masters loans.

Students can spread the cost of their tuition fees, including by paying monthly in advance. More information can be found at Finance and financial support for distance learners.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at the University of York, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fee. See more information about the York Graduate Loyalty Discount.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
part-time: 36 months

Course contact details

Emily Limb
+44 (0)1904 32 8482