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British University Medieval Programs: Leeds vs. Durham vs. York

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Does anyone have any personal experience with the Institute of Medieval Studies at Leeds or the Centre for Medieval Studies at Durham? I am interested in early post-Roman England, and have been accepted into both taught MA programs. Leeds' manuscript library sounds very good, as does its association with the International Medieval Congress. However, I looked up the Guardian rankings and apparently Durham, in addition to being an older school, is ranked higher. Do rankings have an effect on admittance to good PhD programs in the UK? Or should I be only paying attention to which Uni has more professors which specialize in the fields I'm interested in?

Also, an older acquaintance of mine says that I should wait to see whether I have been accepted to University of York before I make my decision. Should I wait? Thoughts on replying earlier versus later? I just got my acceptance letters within the last two weeks.


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  • 1 year later...

I recently applied to the MA in Medieval Studies at Leeds and have a similar concern. If you could share any knowledge you've gained about it since you posted, it would be appreciated.

I'm not sure if this will help you: I was an undergrad at York, which is, of course, very close to Leeds geographically. Leeds is a well respected and popular University in the UK. It has good train links and a short journey time to London and other major cities for research purposes/ conferences etc. The UK doesn't really have a ranking system for graduate programmes but I believe the Medieval Department of Leeds to be highly regarded within its discipline. Anyway, hopefully this will allay some of the concerns that you have regarding your application to Leeds.

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