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JMU North of England Programme


Chester, York, and Ripon, England

Program Description

The programme requires two classes from the list of five, one of which must be Hist 391. We will stay in Chester, Ripon and York, with lectures in the mornings and site walks or excursions in the afternoons. Weekdays are busy with classwork, but weekends are free for independent student travel. In 2014 and 2015, students visited Dublin, Edinburgh and London on successive weekends. All are readily available by aeroplane or train, as are the castles and mountainous landscape of North Wales and the beauties of the Lake District in NW England.

Read Roman inscriptions, climb Hadrian’s Wall at Housesteads, walk Medieval walls, ride through Viking Jorvik, hear Evensong in the greatest cathedral of the North (York Minster), marvel at the Georgian elegance of Fairfax House, dine in the great Mansion House of York in the specially catered group banquet, see how silk was woven in Macclesfield and view the royal trains at the National Railway Museum. Give yourself an academic and cultural education which you will remember the rest of your life. Learn why the North is so distinctive within England and enjoy the sweet and savoury glories of English bakeries.


REQUIRED: HIST 391. Travel History Seminar: Life, History, and Culture - North of England (3)


HUM 250. Foundations of Western Culture: The Ancient Mediterranean (3)

HIST 271. The Ancient Mediterranean (3)

ENG 302. Special Topics in Literature and Language: Literature in Northern England (3)

HIST 489. Selected Topics in World History: Ancient and Medieval Britain (3)

Location Description

The locations are the beautiful historic cities of York, Ripon and Chester in addition to an excursion to the dramatic medieval city of Durham and Hadrian’s Wall. These cities were amongst the greatest in the north from the Romans to the onset of the industrial revolution. York, Chester and Durham boast great churches and cathedrals, fine museums, intact Tudor and Georgian architecture and the remains of powerful fortifications. York and Chester were both Roman legionary forts, have largely intact Medieval city walls and became fashionable Georgian cities with racecourses which remain active to this day. The great crafts traditions of silver in Chester and the powerful medieval guilds of York generated the wealth that gave the cities prominence for centuries. York became a centre of railways and chocolate manufacturing in the industrial revolution without losing its great charm. Ripon is a medieval cathedral city with the stunning ruins of Fountain's Abbey nearby. The cities are located in beautiful countryside of different character: the plain of Cheshire with its picturesque villages, the Pennine mountains contrasting with the fertile Vale of York and the stark beauty of the Yorkshire dales around Ripon and Northumbrian hills on which Hadrian’s Wall stands.


Stephen Chappell | | History


In Chester, we stay at the excellent dorms of the University of Chester. Each student has an en suite private dorm room.
In Ripon, we stay at the Royal Oak Hotel in the heart of the historic city. Most rooms are shared.
In York, we stay at the Alcuin Lodge and the Hedley House Hotel. Some rooms are shared.

Breakfast included as part of accommodation and a generous stipend of twenty pounds per day for lunch and dinner (about $31 on the current exchange rate, but food is cheaper in the UK). In Chester the breakfast is continental, but proper cooked breakfasts are available with a range of other options in Ripon and York.

Additional Items to Consider

No visas or immunisations are necessary. You should bring a laptop and mobile and will need an electrical adapter for them in the UK. They cost about six pounds in Britain ($9-10).

NOEP fulfills requirements for the History and English Majors and for the Classics and History minors, possibly also Medieval/Renaissance Studies depending on the courses you pick.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Open to all majors

Application Process

(Program Open)

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU and first semester transfer students.

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


HIST 391: Travel Studies Seminar: The Life, History, and Culture Northern England from the Palaeolithic to 1997 (3 credits) - REQUIRED

HUM 250: Foundations of Western Culture: The Ancient Mediterranean (3 credits)

HIST 271: The Ancient Mediterranean (3 credits)

ENG 302: Special Topics in Literature and Language: Literature in Northern England

HIST 489: Selected Topics in World History: Northern English History (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.