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Masters Degrees (Art Gallery)

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The MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies aims to provide students with critical understandings of issues in curatorship, museology and museum management. Read more

The MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies aims to provide students with critical understandings of issues in curatorship, museology and museum management. The course considers the ways in which material culture has been represented and interpreted by historians and cultural theorists, the methodologies behind museum practice and methods of display and interpretation, and also puts theory and practice into dialogue.

Through the course, students develop critical understandings of the histories of art galleries and museums and explore and challenge key ideas that have shaped museum practice. Students will also deploy these historical and theoretical understandings to develop innovative approaches to curation, interpretation and engaging audiences.

You will develop practical skills through working on an interpretation project in our archives and collections on campus, and undertaking a negotiated work placement. Supported by the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, you will gain the knowledge and skills for a successful career in the museum and art gallery sector.

You will study in the heart of a cultural hub for this diverse and vibrant region. Leeds is home to a wide variety of world-leading and innovative arts and heritage organisations, from the Royal Armouries, Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Northern Ballet through to nine council-run museums, galleries and heritage sites and many contemporary art spaces.

We are also close to everything the rest of Yorkshire has to offer, from The Hepworth Wakefield to the National Science and Media Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Brontë Parsonage Museum. We have close links with many of these cultural institutions to support your practical learning.

Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage

All students on the degree become members of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and enjoy opportunities from networking events and links to alumni to conferences, seminars and reading groups.

Course content

A set of core modules form the bedrock of the programme, introducing you to the concept of the ‘museum’ and the ways in which Western museums have represented and interpreted history and historical material.

You’ll also use contemporary theory to consider 20th-century museum practice and key questions around curatorship, museology and museum management. The role of the curator, funding and sponsorship and the display and interpretation of objects are among the topics you’ll cover.

Your core modules will give you the chance to apply your theoretical knowledge and gain practical skills. You’ll take part in an interpretation project in the University’s Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, as well as completing a work placement in an external arts or heritage organisation.

All MA students in the School take two core modules which develop the research skills to complete research projects such as your essays and dissertation.

This will build to our unique MA Symposium in Semester 2, where you present some of your own research across interdisciplinary panels, and a dissertation which enables you to undertake research in a topic of interest to you.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Research Skills 15 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 25 credits
  • History and the Museum: Representation, Narrative and Memory 30 credits
  • Museum, Object, Practice 30 credits
  • Interpreting Cultures 30 credits
  • Dissertation 50 credits

Optional modules

  • Derrida and Deconstruction 30 credits
  • Capitalism-Criticism-Contemporary Art 30 credits
  • Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30 credits
  • From Chagall to Kitaj and Beyond 30 credits
  • Critical and Curatorial Challenges in Contemporary Art: The Documenta Exhibitions at Kassel 1992-2012 30 credits
  • Encountering Things: Art and Entanglement in Anglo-Saxon England 30 credits
  • Anthropology, Art and Representation 30 credits
  • Humanity, Animality and Globality 30 credits
  • Audience Engagement and Impact 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Art Gallery and Museum Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Art Gallery and Museum Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught by leading researchers and experienced practitioners in their fields, and you’ll benefit from a range of teaching and learning methods. They include lectures and seminars, gallery and museum visits, as well as hands-on experience of specific collections in library sessions.

You’ll also learn from practical experience when you undertake your work placement, and a variety of external speakers will give you an insight into contemporary practice in the sector. Independent study is an important element of the degree, allowing you to develop your research and critical skills.

Assessment

We use a range of assessment methods including essays, presentations, assignments and literature reviews among others, depending on the modules you choose.

Career opportunities

Through a combination of theory and practice, the programme produces graduates who are able to develop professional careers in the museums and heritage sector whilst retaining a critical and reflexive eye on their own practice and that of the institutions in which they work.

It will equip you with a good understanding of the issues and approaches to art gallery and museum studies, as well as practical work experience – a combination which is very valuable to employers. You’ll also develop advanced skills in communication, research and analysis as well as cultural awareness.

Our graduates now work as heads of collection, curators and education staff in local authority museums, for national heritage organisations like the National Trust, charitable trusts and in arts marketing and public relations.

A significant number have also returned as research students and have secured scholarships to pursue their research topics, including Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) scholarships. Former research students are now forging academic careers in the UK, Canada and the US.

To get a flavour of the kinds of career trajectories our graduates have taken see the ‘news’ section of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and the alumni pages of the School website.



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Art Gallery and Museum Studies (AGMS) has been taught at The University of Manchester for more than 40 years. It is one of the longest established MA degree courses in museum studies in the country, and our alumni have reached senior positions in museums and galleries throughout the UK and overseas. Read more

Art Gallery and Museum Studies (AGMS) has been taught at The University of Manchester for more than 40 years. It is one of the longest established MA degree courses in museum studies in the country, and our alumni have reached senior positions in museums and galleries throughout the UK and overseas.

Today, the AGMS course is continually being reviewed and developed in response to new research, emerging critical approaches and shifts in museum practice. Manchester's traditional focus on the art gallery remains, but is now balanced by course units which address history, theory and practice in a range of institutions.

Throughout the degree, you will examine diverse issues related to museum theory and practice, visit numerous museums, galleries and cultural organisations, and have many opportunities to discuss ideas and issues with professionals and academics in the field. The AGMS course combines both guided and independent study, and includes seminars, guest lectures and site visits.

Special features

Work Placement (Semesters 1 and 2)

One of the most popular aspects of the AGMS is the work placement that you undertake in a museum or gallery. Each placement involves a minimum of 20 days work on a specific project, such as exhibition development, collections management, or education programme. Many students find this such a positive experience that they carry on working in their museum when the work placement has finished, and each year a few students are offered jobs by their placement hosts. Work placements start in Semester 1 (November/December) and finish in Semester 2 (June).

You can take the work placement either as 15-credit or 30-credit course.

During the MA, students have opportunities to design and participate in live projects with cultural organisations in Manchester. These include curating a collection, developing exhibitions, producing cultural events and working on creative collaborative projects.

Teaching and learning

Most teaching takes place in small interactive seminar groups, involving, as appropriate, directed-reading, fieldwork in museums and galleries, staff and student presentations, discussion, debate, problem-solving and group-work.

Most courses run one day/week over 12 weeks and there are variations in the number of class hours per teaching day depending on the course/week (i.e. 2-5 hours). As a general rule, a 30 credit course includes 300 learning hours, which can be roughly divided as follows: a third in classes or class-related work; a third in independent study; and a third in preparation of assignments.

Students undertake also a collections management group project (as part of the 'Managing Collections and Exhibitions' and an exhibition group project (as part of the 'Professional Practice Project' course) in collaboration with a museum, gallery or related cultural organisation in Manchester or the North West of England.

Postgraduate life in the Centre for Museology

Both the Centre for Museology and the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures host a varied programme of activities and events for postgraduate students, including occasional master classes and workshops, as well as our regular calendar of:

  • Museology research seminars
  • 'Showcase' seminars at the Manchester Museum
  • Institute for Cultural Practices events
  • Research forum for PhD students

Full-time or part-time?

The AGMS MA is available as a 1 year Full-time or a 2 year Part-time course. We particularly welcome part-time students and there are many advantages in combining study with work practice, whether you already have a museum post, or are just setting out on your career. Each year, a number of mid-career professionals take the MA degree on a part-time basis and find that the University provides a valuable space for reflection as well as for further learning. Part time students have classes one day per week (usually Tuesday or Thursday; although in Semester 2 it might be a different day depending on the option course you choose). On this one should also add our Thursday 5pm research, professional practice and academic skills workshops. You should also count time for library work/fieldwork that may require you coming to Manchester and although sometimes this can be done on the day of teaching, often one needs to come in a second day (and if you do this on Thursdays then you can combine it with the 5pm workshops). When the work placement kicks off (about November/December in Year 1 or Year 2) you should also count one more day/week (on average) at the Work Placement institution (which, if appropriate or relevant, can be the organisation where you currently work; but undertaking a project different to your day-to-day work) - this is of course if you decide to take the Work Placement module.



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This MA provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art. This programme allows you to spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent facilities. Read more
This MA provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art.

This programme allows you to spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent facilities. For the spring term you relocate to our Paris centre to study in a historic corner of Montparnasse. This programme can also be studied in Paris only.

Particular focuses include contemporary art, photography, Renaissance art, medieval art, 18th-century British painting, 19th-century French painting, modernism, aesthetics and the philosophy of art and film. You may elect to take a Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics pathway, which draws on the expertise of our Aesthetics Research Group.

The programme is intended for graduates in art history, philosophy and cognate subjects, such as fine art. It gives you the opportunity to pursue your interest in visual art at advanced level, to develop a high level of expertise in topics in history and philosophy of art and to prepare for doctoral research in history of art or philosophy of art.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/99/history-and-philosophy-of-art-paris

About the Department of History & Philosophy of Art

The History & Philosophy of Art Department provides opportunities for graduate study with well-established researchers in the fields of art history, philosophy of art and aesthetics. Staff research covers contemporary art and aesthetics, modernism, theories of art, the historiography of art and the Cold War; biographical monographs, the photograph (in its historical, contemporary and critical contexts), and the historical interplay of image, theory and institutions from the Renaissance to the present (especially European and North American).

Developing areas of interest include the cultural and historical significance of the print, and the role of performance and new media in contemporary art practices. In particular, postgraduates have the opportunity to participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary Aesthetics Research Centre and the Art History and Visual Cultures Research Centre. There is also a full programme of visiting speakers from across the constituent subject areas within the School of Arts, which includes Film and Drama.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

HA838 - Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art (30 credits)
HA841 - Modern Art in Paris (30 credits)
HA898 - History & Philosophy of Art Dissertation (60 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is by two assignments per module and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with a focused programme of taught postgraduate study in history and philosophy of art

- provide you with a taught foundation for subsequent postgraduate research

- enable you to acquire or deepen your knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary topics within the history of art and philosophy of art

- enable you to develop your art historical and philosophical skills beyond that expected of an undergraduate

- enable you to develop, articulate and defend art historical and philosophical ideas as they relate to art

- enable you to engage with historical and contemporary theoretical thought about the arts from art historical and philosophical perspectives.

Study support

Postgraduate resources
There is a large and wide-ranging library holding for History & Philosophy of Art, covering the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, aesthetics and contemporary visual communications. There is a substantial stock of periodicals, online access to e-journals and a slide library with well over 100,000 images, covering areas such as contemporary art, visual cultures, garden history and the film still, as well as traditional media. Kent is ideally located for access to galleries in London and on the continent.

In 2010, we moved into the purpose-built, and RIBA award-winning, Jarman Building located at the centre of the Canterbury campus. The new building is home to the Studio 3 Gallery and a range of teaching and social spaces as well as a dedicated postgraduate centre.

Support
All postgraduate students are offered research skills training and the opportunity to take part in reading groups and research seminars at departmental, school and faculty level. Research students have the added opportunity for funded conference attendance. There is also a dedicated student support office at our Canterbury campus, which can offer support and guidance throughout your studies, in addition to an office in Paris.

In recent years, several members of the History & Philosophy of Art Department, both full-time and part-time, have been awarded University prizes for excellence in student support, curriculum innovation and research-based teaching – an ethos which we seek to extend to the postgraduate community.

Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: British Journal of Aesthetics; Art History; History of Photography; Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism; Journal of Visual Arts Practice; and The Philosophical Quarterly.

Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/gsa.html). The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability

Research areas

The Department has a collective interest in developing interdisciplinary projects, including projects informed by art history and philosophy of art or aesthetics. Shared areas of research interest include: photography, art theory from the Renaissance to recent times and contemporary art.

Careers

Arts postgraduates have gone on to work in a range of professions, from museum positions and teaching roles to marketing and gallery assistants. Our graduates have found work with Tate Britain, the V&A, Museum of Childhood and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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If you do not have the appropriate undergraduate preparation to embark on one of our MA courses, you may apply for our nine-month Graduate Diploma in Art History and Theory, which can constitute a qualifying year for the relevant MA course. Read more
If you do not have the appropriate undergraduate preparation to embark on one of our MA courses, you may apply for our nine-month Graduate Diploma in Art History and Theory, which can constitute a qualifying year for the relevant MA course.

Our Graduate Diploma consists of eight modules at 3rd-year undergraduate level (up to two of these can be at 2nd-year level). You must complete the appropriate coursework and examinations, and can also write a project on a topic of your choice if this is agreed with your course director.

At Essex, you have the freedom to study what most interests you. Some of the topics you may choose to explore include the history of photography; modern and contemporary art; curatorial practice and exhibition design; as well as more vernacular forms of visual culture, such as body art and activist placards.

Regardless of the topics you pursue, we are committed to research-based teaching, with a particular emphasis on bringing the approaches of art history into contact with other disciplines and discourses. In so doing, we seek to facilitate a critical engagement with artworks and forms of visual culture, both within and beyond the traditional canons of art history.

On campus, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA), Europe’s largest collection of contemporary art from Latin American, will provide an invaluable resource for studying art and curatorial practice first-hand.

One of the major reasons for choosing Essex is the quality of the education you will receive. We are 6th in the UK for research excellence, with 89% of our work rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014). We also achieved an exceptional 95% student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey.

Our expert staff

Essex Art History features a dynamic group of art historians who investigate the production and reception of images and built environments, across cultures and media from the early modern period to the present. Our staff are experts on topics as diverse as activist art, 19th-century medical photography, the art of Latin America, urbanism, exhibition design and body art.

We also have significant experience in curation and public engagement. Recent projects include:
-Dr Gavin Grindon curated a section of Banksy’s Dismaland show and co-curated the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which was one of the most well attended shows in the museum’s history.
-Dr Matt Lodder has acted as contributor for various television shows on body art and body modification, including the Today programme, the Jeremy Vine Show, Sky News, BBC Breakfast News, ‘Coast’, and National Geographic’s ‘Taboo’.
-Dr Natasha Ruiz Gómez co-organised a major conference on Collect, Exchange, Display: Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum at the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London.

Specialist facilities

At Essex, you have the best of both worlds: on the one hand, you are part of a tight-knit, campus community with close ties to several small but excellent museums in the nearby town of Colchester; on the other hand, you can travel from campus to London in an hour, which puts the world’s best museums and galleries at your fingertips.

Our facilities enable you to gain curatorial experience and engage in object-based learning, a cornerstone of our approach when teaching the history of art and its modes of display:
-Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) is the most comprehensive Latin American art research resource in the UK and has a state-of-the-art teaching and research space. Many of our students gain work and research experience through our collection
-Our onsite gallery Art Exchange runs an on-going programme of contemporary art exhibitions, talks and workshops by curators and artists, as well as exhibitions organised by our postgraduate curatorial students
-Enjoy regular visits to London galleries, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the National Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, as well as many independent and alternative spaces
-Colchester’s iconic Firstsite gallery features an exciting programme of contemporary art exhibitions, film screenings and talks, and exhibitions organised by our students

Your future

The visual arts and culture industries have become an increasingly significant part of the national and international economy, and art history graduates leave Essex with the skills to take advantage of this growing opportunity.

Graduates from our programmes are ideally prepared for roles in the media, in advertising, in museums and galleries, in education (in schools, universities, and cultural institutions), as conservators, as auctioneers, dealers and antiques specialists, in charities, in publishing, as specialist arts lawyers, as PR agents, in fashion, or to run their own galleries.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of roles including:
-A member of the valuation team at Sotheby’s (New York)
-Head of Learning at firstsite (a contemporary arts centre in Colchester)
-Visual Merchandising Manager at John Lewis (Oxford Street, London)

We also offer research supervision for students who wish to continue their studies with a PhD or an MPhil. We cover the major areas of European art, architecture and visual culture from 1300 to the present, as well as the art and architecture of Latin America.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Graduate Diploma - Art History and Theory
-Art & Ideas III (optional)
-Curatorial Project
-Art, the Law and the Market (optional)
-Contemporary Art: 1980 to the Present (optional)
-Dissertation - Final Year Art History and Theory (optional)
-Final Year Dissertation Project (optional)
-Inventing the Future: Early Contemporary 1945-1980 (optional)
-Photography in History (optional)
-Reworking the Past (optional)
-Study Trip Abroad (Final Year) (optional)
-Study Trip Abroad (Year 2) (optional)
-Art and Power (optional)
-The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Film, New Media, Software and the Internet (optional)
-Visualising Bodies (optional)
-Picturing the City I (optional)
-After Impressionism: European Art From Van Gogh to Klimt (optional)
-Becoming Modern: European Art From Futurism to Surrealism (optional)
-Art in Latin America (optional)
-Art and Ideas II: More Art, More Ideas - Critique and Historiography in the History of Art (optional)
-Collect, Curate, Display (optional)
-Picturing the City II (optional)

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This MA provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art. Particular focuses include contemporary art, photography, Renaissance art, medieval art, 18th-century British painting, 19th-century French painting, modernism, aesthetics and the philosophy of art and film. Read more
This MA provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art. Particular focuses include contemporary art, photography, Renaissance art, medieval art, 18th-century British painting, 19th-century French painting, modernism, aesthetics and the philosophy of art and film. You may elect to take a Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics strand.

The MA gives you the opportunity to pursue your interest in visual art at advanced level, to develop a high level of expertise in topics in history and philosophy of art, and to prepare for doctoral research in history of art or philosophy of art.

The programme is also available at split site between Canterbury and Paris.
https://www.kent.ac.uk/arts/study/postgraduate.html

About the Department of History & Philosophy of Art

The History & Philosophy of Art Department within the School of Arts, provides opportunities for graduate study with well-established researchers in the fields of art history, philosophy of art and aesthetics. Staff research covers contemporary art and aesthetics, modernism, theories of art, the historiography of art and the Cold War; biographical monographs, the photograph (in its historical, contemporary and critical contexts), and the historical interplay of image, theory and institutions from the Renaissance to the present (especially European and North American).

Developing areas of interest include the cultural and historical significance of the print, and the role of performance and new media in contemporary art practices, which draw upon our links with other subjects within the School of Arts and the Faculty of Humanities. In particular, postgraduates have the opportunity to participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary Aesthetics Research Centre and the Art History and Visual Cultures Research Centre. There is also a full programme of visiting speakers from across the constituent subject areas within the School of Arts, which includes Film and Drama.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

HA898 - Philosophy of Art Dissertation (60 credits)
HA838 - Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art (30 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with a focused programme of taught postgraduate study in history and philosophy of art

- provide you with a taught foundation for subsequent postgraduate research

- enable you to acquire or deepen your knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary topics within the history of art and philosophy of art

- enable you to develop your art historical and philosophical skills beyond that expected of an undergraduate

- enable you to develop, articulate and defend art historical and philosophical ideas as they relate to art

- enable you to engage with historical and contemporary theoretical thought about the arts from art historical and philosophical perspectives.

Study support

Postgraduate resources
There is a large and wide-ranging library holding for History & Philosophy of Art, covering the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, aesthetics and contemporary visual communications. There is a substantial stock of periodicals, online access to e-journals and a slide library with well over 100,000 images, covering areas such as contemporary art, visual cultures, garden history and the film still, as well as traditional media. Kent is ideally located for access to galleries in London and on the continent.

In 2010, we moved into the purpose-built, and RIBA award-winning, Jarman Building located at the centre of the Canterbury campus. The new building is home to the Studio 3 Gallery and a range of teaching and social spaces as well as a dedicated postgraduate centre.

Support
All postgraduate students are offered research skills training and the opportunity to take part in reading groups and research seminars at departmental, school and faculty level. Research students have the added opportunity for funded conference attendance. There is also a dedicated student support office at our Canterbury campus, which can offer support and guidance throughout your studies, in addition to an office in Paris.

In recent years, several members of the History & Philosophy of Art Department, both full-time and part-time, have been awarded University prizes for excellence in student support, curriculum innovation and research-based teaching – an ethos which we seek to extend to the postgraduate community.

Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: British Journal of Aesthetics; Art History; History of Photography; Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism; Journal of Visual Arts Practice; and The Philosophical Quarterly.

Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/gsa.html). The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.

Research areas

The Department has a collective interest in developing interdisciplinary projects, including projects informed by art history and philosophy of art or aesthetics. Shared areas of research interest include: photography, art theory from the Renaissance to recent times and contemporary art.

Careers

Arts postgraduates have gone on to work in a range of professions, from museum positions and teaching roles to marketing and gallery assistants. Our graduates have found work with Tate Britain, the V&A, Museum of Childhood and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Read less
Our MA Art History and Theory is ideal if you are interested in working in academia, the art world or any other field in which visual, written and analytical skills are essential. Read more
Our MA Art History and Theory is ideal if you are interested in working in academia, the art world or any other field in which visual, written and analytical skills are essential.

At Essex, you have the freedom to study what most interests you. Some of the topics you may choose to explore include Early Modern art and architecture; the history of photography; modern and contemporary art; curatorial practice and exhibition design; as well as more vernacular forms of visual culture, such as body art and activist placards.

Regardless of the topics you pursue, we are committed to research-based teaching, with a particular emphasis on bringing the approaches of art history into contact with other disciplines and discourses. In so doing, we seek to facilitate a critical engagement with artworks and forms of visual culture, both within and beyond the traditional canons of art history.

To supplement what you learn in the classroom, frequent staff-led visits to London museums and galleries will expose you to the some of the world’s best museums and galleries, and you will be strongly encouraged to apply for a placement in order to gain experience in the museum and gallery world. On campus, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA), Europe’s largest collection of contemporary art from Latin American, will provide an invaluable resource for studying art and curatorial practice first-hand.

One of the major reasons for choosing Essex is the quality of the education you will receive. Our Art History programme is 6th in the UK for research excellence, with 89% of our work rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014). We also achieved an exceptional 95% student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey.

This course is available on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Our expert staff

Essex Art History features a dynamic group of art historians who investigate the production and reception of images and built environments, across cultures and media from the early modern period to the present. Our staff are experts on topics as diverse as activist art, 19th-century medical photography, the art of Latin America, urbanism, exhibition design and body art.

We also have significant experience in curation and public engagement. Recent projects include:
-Dr Gavin Grindon curated a section of Banksy’s Dismaland show and co-curated the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which was one of the most well attended shows in the museum’s history.
-Dr Matt Lodder has acted as contributor for various television shows on body art and body modification, including the Today programme, the Jeremy Vine Show, Sky News, BBC Breakfast News, ‘Coast’, and National Geographic’s ‘Taboo’.
-Dr Natasha Ruiz Gómez co-organised a major conference on Collect, Exchange, Display: Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum at the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London.

Specialist facilities

At Essex, you have the best of both worlds: on the one hand, you are part of a tight-knit, campus community with close ties to several small but excellent museums in the nearby town of Colchester; on the other hand, you can travel from campus to London in an hour, which puts the world’s best museums and galleries at your fingertips.

Our facilities enable you to gain curatorial experience and engage in object-based learning, a cornerstone of our approach when teaching the history of art and its modes of display:
-Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) is the most comprehensive Latin American art research resource in the UK and has a state-of-the-art teaching and research space. Many of our students gain work and research experience through our collection
-Our onsite gallery Art Exchange runs an on-going programme of contemporary art exhibitions, talks and workshops by curators and artists, as well as exhibitions organised by our postgraduate curatorial students
-Colchester’s iconic Firstsite gallery features an exciting programme of contemporary art exhibitions, film screenings and talks, and exhibitions organised by our students

Your future

The visual arts and culture industries have become an increasingly significant part of the national and international economy, and art history graduates leave Essex with the skills to take advantage of this growing opportunity.

Graduates from our programmes are ideally prepared for roles in the media, in advertising, in museums and galleries, in education (in schools, universities, and cultural institutions), as conservators, as auctioneers, dealers and antiques specialists, in charities, in publishing, as specialist arts lawyers, as PR agents, in fashion, or to run their own galleries.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of roles including:
-A member of the valuation team at Sotheby’s (New York)
-Head of Learning at firstsite (a contemporary arts centre in Colchester)
-Visual Merchandising Manager at John Lewis (Oxford Street, London)

We also offer research supervision for students who wish to continue their studies with a PhD or an MPhil. We cover the major areas of European art, architecture and visual culture from 1300 to the present, as well as the art and architecture of Latin America.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example Structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Art History and Theory - MA
-Dissertation - MA Schemes
-Researching Art History
-Art, Science, Knowledge (optional)
-Collecting Art From Latin America (optional)
-Critique and Curating (optional)
-Curating Inside Out (optional)
-Exhibition (Joint Project) (optional)
-Current Research in Art History (optional)
-Topics in Art History (optional)
-Art & Politics (optional)
-Art, Architecture and Urbanism (optional)

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interdisciplinary opportunities we offer create an engaging professional experience investigating the practice and discourse of fine art. Read more

interdisciplinary opportunities we offer create an engaging professional experience investigating the practice and discourse of fine art. You can choose areas of specialism in drawing from the archive, art in space and place and curating art, alongside your own studio work.

Full-time students use our purpose-built studio space. You have access to a wide range of workshops and technical expertise from all areas of media and fabrication. These include • sculpture • painting • live art • drawing • computer programming • metalwork • video editing • dark rooms • sound studios • film production equipment • printmaking.

Our teaching staff are experts in fine art and art education who not only exhibit their work but also contribute to conferences, journals and publications at national and international levels.

Vibrant and supportive learning environment

The course offers a supportive community to foster your practice and your ambitions as a fine art professional. It is particularly suitable if you are • open-minded • ambitious • keen to experience new personal challenges that expand your creative development • interested in understanding all areas of the fine art discipline.

You are encouraged to create experimental and innovative works and to engage with the critical context of art in our time. Dialogue with peers, practicing artists and structured teaching throughout the course enables you to identify your practice within the wider field of fine art to achieve new goals, develop networks and find new inspirations to enrich your creative ambitions.

Excellent creative resources

We have a comprehensive range of technical resources and an excellent programme of high profile guest artists from across the visual arts spectrum to stimulate debates on issues of art and culture. If you are doing your work placement in another European country there may be funding available through the Erasmus programme.

Dynamic and creative art community

Fine art students work and exhibit in the heart of Sheffield's Cultural Industries Quarter. The course has links with • Sheffield Contemporary Arts Forum • studio groups such as S1 and Bloc • Yorkshire Art Space Society • the Showroom Cinema • Site Gallery.

Sheffield has a dynamic and vibrant creative community. We work collaboratively with artists and curators, as well as researchers and students in other areas. You have access to a network of public galleries, art organisations and artist-run spaces. Opportunities for exhibiting and publishing take place throughout the year.

MA and MFA study

MA and MFA students complete the same modules during the course except that MFA students complete an extra project module. The MFA project encourages you to develop professional skills that help you to identify, instigate, and deliver projects with external partners, such as communities, galleries or businesses. You find a project partner, agree a brief and then deliver the project to a professional standard.

This course is part of the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), an amazing, diverse community of makers – where staff, students and partners work as equals to deliver real innovation and creativity. SIA opened in 1843 and is one of the UK's oldest Art and Design Schools. We have recently moved into the Head Post Office, a redesigned Grade II listed building. It includes state-of-the-art workshops which provide you with a unique studio-based learning environment in the heart of the creative community.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Research directions and critical studies

In this module you extend your knowledge of the range of approaches to research that have been used in art, and those that derive from other disciplines. You are introduced to an advanced range of contemporary critical theories, and examine key texts embodying these theories. Principles of research planning and the theory and practice of information searching ensure you are ready to effectively carry out your own research and critical practice.

  • Advanced art practice

During this studio-based module, you produce a body artwork in preparation for an exhibition. Your work may manifest itself across a range of contemporary art practices arising from individual intellectual and creative concerns. You have access to specialist workshop surgeries where you can seek individual support and advice to further your practical work.

  • Art

On this module you produce a body of work in any chosen media form. It draws together strategies of research, professional practice and critical thinking to form an advanced, mature, informed and professional practice. The module holds together these key aspects to reflect, and enable transition into, the wider contemporary art world.

Optional modules

You select from options that are led by research active staff who will introduce you to their own professional interests including • art writing • curating art • art in space and place • drawing from the archive • gallery – public realm: making art inside and out

MFA core module – MFA students only

  • Studio methods

You reflect on and consider methodologies of fine art to develop an individual method of making.

  • Art and its publics

Your work on this final MFA project involves public presentation of your work supported by a mentor who guides you as you make the leap into the professional world.

Assessment

Self-negotiated models of examination enable students to present agreed bodies of work for self and peer group assessment as well as evaluation by tutors.

Employability

We provide a learning environment that supports your individual needs while developing your involvement in the wider art world.

You are regularly involved in a range of exhibition, curatorial, performance, screening and publishing projects at regional, national and international levels.

You gain confidence to exploit opportunities for practicing artists and work in associated fine art-related culture. You can also register for further study at MPhil/PhD level within our Art and Design Research Centre.

Graduate successes include

  • Andrew Cooke was commissioned by Art Sheffield 08 for the Millennium Gallery in Art Sheffield. His work and the exhibition were reviewed in the Guardian.
  • Lesley Guy exhibited work in Amsterdam and Sheffield, while also developing a review column in the Metro newspaper




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The MA in History and Philosophy of Art (with a term in Rome) provides a structured introduction to postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art. Read more
The MA in History and Philosophy of Art (with a term in Rome) provides a structured introduction to postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art.

It includes a term in Rome where we run the MA with the American University of Rome. A range of themes and approaches are considered in this MA with a particular focus on medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art in Italy. The first term is taught in Canterbury.

During the term in Rome you will study the art of Rome first hand, visiting relevant sites and museums, with options to study the history of Rome and specific artists. Kent staff are present for part of the spring term in Rome to ensure continuity of academic guidance and pastoral support. The campus is located in the Monteverde district of Rome, a picturesque district with a wide range of shops and amenities. From nearby Trastevere, it is a short bus-ride to the historic centre of Rome with its astonishing range of Roman sites, monuments, churches and museums.

The programme is intended for graduates in art history and other arts subjects. It gives you the opportunity to pursue your interest in visual art at advanced level, to develop a high level of expertise in topics in history and philosophy of art and to prepare for doctoral research in history of art.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/344/history-of-art-rome

About the Department of History of Art

The History of Art Department within the School of Arts, provides opportunities for graduate study with well-established researchers in the fields of art history, philosophy of art and aesthetics. Staff research covers contemporary art and aesthetics, modernism, theories of art, the historiography of art and the Cold War; biographical monographs, the photograph (in its historical, contemporary and critical contexts), and the historical interplay of image, theory and institutions from the Renaissance to the present (especially European and North American).

Postgraduates have the opportunity to participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary Aesthetics Research Centre and the Art History and Visual Cultures Research Centre. There is also a full programme of visiting speakers from across the constituent subject areas within the School of Arts, which includes Film and Drama.

Course structure

You take one core module and one optional module during your first term in Canterbury and your second term in Rome. Over the course of these two terms you discuss with the course director your ideas and plans for your 15,000-word dissertation. The writing of the dissertation takes place in the summer with completion in August.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Term 1 (Canterbury):

Compulsory modules:
HA838 - Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art

One option from:

HA826 - History and Theory of Curating
FI812 - Advanced Film Theory
FR872 - Theories of Art in Modern French Thought
HA826 - History and Theory of Curating
HA835 - A Matter of Taste: The Art and Aesthetics of Food and Drink
HA898 Dissertation

Term 2 (Rome):
Compulsory Module:
HA833 Discovering Rome in Rome: Arts in Rome from antiquity to the present day

One option from:

Optional modules in Rome are taken through the American University in Rome and change each year. Past options have included:

- Michelangelo in Rome

This seminar on Michelangelo examines the work of the Renaissance master; his sculpture, painting, architecture and literary production. His works are investigated within their specific historical context, focusing on issues of commission, iconography, censorship, biography, historiography and aesthetics. An excursion to Florence is also planned. Beyond a complete comprehension of Michelangelo’s work, the course aims toward a mastery of art historical research skills, the evaluation of current scholarship and independent critical thought on art.

Term 3: Dissertation
HA833 - Discovering Rome in Rome: Arts in Rome from Antiquity to the Present Da (30 credits)
HA838 - Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art (30 credits)
HA898 - History & Philosophy of Art Dissertation (60 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is by two assignments per module and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with a focused programme of taught postgraduate study in history and philosophy of art; enhanced through the opportunity to study for one term in Rome

- provide you with a taught foundation for subsequent postgraduate research

- enable you to acquire or deepen your knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary topics within the history of art and philosophy of art

- enable you to develop your art historical and philosophical skills beyond that expected of an undergraduate; especially through study abroad and site visits

- enable you to develop, articulate and defend art historical and philosophical ideas as they relate to art

- provide access to enhanced intercultural awareness and understanding through the opportunity to study for one term in Rome

- enable you to engage with historical and contemporary theoretical thought about the arts from art historical and philosophical perspectives

- provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication and research skills and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector.

Research areas

The Department has a collective interest in developing interdisciplinary projects, including projects informed by art history and philosophy of art or aesthetics. Shared areas of research interest include: photography, art theory from the Renaissance to recent times and contemporary art.

Careers

Arts postgraduates have gone on to work in a range of professions, from museum positions and teaching roles to marketing and gallery assistants. Our graduates have found work with Tate Britain, the V&A, Museum of Childhood and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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The MA in Arts Management, Policy and Practice enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history, theory and practice of arts management; to gain an insight into the range of professional opportunities in the creative and cultural sector; and to acquire direct experience of the many areas of arts management. Read more

The MA in Arts Management, Policy and Practice enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history, theory and practice of arts management; to gain an insight into the range of professional opportunities in the creative and cultural sector; and to acquire direct experience of the many areas of arts management. The programme has a strong practical, hands-on element. At the same time it offers a solid theoretical grounding, exploring cultural policy in its historical context and encouraging critical engagement with the philosophical, political, social and economic imperatives informing contemporary practice. Above all, we aim to produce pioneers rather than bureaucrats.

Lecturers from the Centre for Arts Management teach the MA with considerable input from arts professionals including staff from the Martin Harris Centre, Contact Theatre, the Royal Exchange, Whitworth Art Gallery and many other local cultural organisations. We also work closely with our sister programme, the highly regarded MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies.

Aims

The programme is designed to serve as an entry-level qualification for recent graduates as well as offering professional development for mid-career practitioners. It offers flexibility and opportunities for specialisation, while ensuring a thorough grounding in essential principles and methodology. It provides a solid foundation for careers in different areas of the arts and creative industries, and caters for arts practitioners as well as aspiring managers.

Special features

The siting of the programme close to a range of leading arts venues offers a unique opportunity for students to engage with the practical considerations of arts management. The Martin Harris Centre is a hub of cutting edge research and interdisciplinary investigation: in addition to the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall and John Thaw Theatre, it is home to the Tipp Centre (Theatre in Prisons and Probation), the Centre for Screen Studies, Centre for Applied Theatre Research, Manchester Theatre in Sound (MANTIS), Manchester Centre for Music in Culture (MC2), and the NOVARS Research Centre for Electroacoustic Composition, Performance and Sound-Art. Other cultural organisations based at the university - Manchester Academy, Contact Theatre, Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery - are only a few minutes' walk away.

The programme also benefits from the exceptionally rich grouping of arts-based institutions and agencies in Manchester and the North West - an area celebrated for containing more theatres than any other region outside London and now hosting the BBC at the new Media City at Salford Quays. Liverpool (European Capital of Culture 2008), Leeds and Sheffield are all within easy reach. A wide range of regional arts venues and organisations contribute to the programme by providing guest lecturers, site visits and work placements.

The programme is based within the School or Arts, Languages and Cultures. The core of the School's interest is the field of human cultures, beliefs and institutions. Its work embraces the material, visual, creative and performative dimensions of culture, and as such fosters a rich interdisciplinary culture led by world-renowned scholars with a diversity of expertise, from analysts to creative artists, from historians of ideas to cultural theorists. We work particularly closely with staff from the highly-rated departments of Music and Drama.

Coursework and assessment

All students take two core modules (Arts Management: Principles and Practice, and Cultural Policy) and write a dissertation (15,000 words, or for a practice-based dissertation 8,000-10,000 words plus project documentation). The remaining credits (two or three additional modules) are taken from a range of options including:

  • Work Placement in an arts organisation
  • Business Strategies for the Arts (Marketing, Finance and Business Planning)
  • Creative Learning: Arts, Heritage and Education
  • Professional Practice Live Project
  • Subject to availability, modules may also be selected from the MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies or from elsewhere in the school.

All modules include a programme of guest lectures and/or practical seminars by experienced professionals based in cultural institutions in and around Manchester. The programme also features visits to a selection of key sites and venues in the North West.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

This programme prepares graduates for a diverse range of career opportunities as managers, administrators, policy-makers or practitioners in various branches of the arts and cultural and creative industries. Opportunities exist in the public, private, and voluntary sectors; in theatres, opera houses, concert halls, arts centres, museums and galleries, and the media; with orchestras, theatre companies, dance companies, etc.; or with the Arts Council, British Council, Local Authority, Tourist Board and various funding bodies. Discrete posts include: programming manager; marketing director; education director; development or outreach officer; tour organiser; promoter, agent or artist's manager; website, database or IT manager; producer; consultant or market researcher; fundraiser; community artist; freelance workshop leader. Graduates may also find work in related areas such as teaching, social and educational work. Some students go on to pursue further study and research at doctoral level.



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This course is for you if you need to improve your English language skills and subject knowledge of art history before going on to a Masters course. Read more
This course is for you if you need to improve your English language skills and subject knowledge of art history before going on to a Masters course. You improve your language fluency and academic vocabulary, develop your academic skills, and gain experience of western methods of teaching and learning so that you can progress onto a relevant Masters course in our School of Philosophy and Art History.

At Essex, you can progress onto our MA Art History and Theory, MA Curating Contemporary Art, MA Gallery Studies and Critical Curating, or MA Gallery Studies with Dissertation.

Our International Academy offers some of the best routes for international students to enter higher education in the UK. Our innovative courses and programmes have proved very successful with international students and have also attracted UK students because of the distinctive learning environment we offer.

If you are an international student, you may find that the education system in the UK is slightly different from other countries and, sometimes, that the transition to the British system can be challenging. Our courses help you to settle in and adapt to life in the UK.

Alongside improving your academic English skills, you also study two important areas of art history, focusing on a combination of Italian Renaissance art, modern European art, and contemporary art.

Our School of Philosophy and Art History is ranked 6th among art history departments in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014) - ahead of all but three of the Russell Group - with 89% rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. As such, you will be taught by some of the most innovative scholars in the field. Additionally, because we are a small school, you will be taught by our expert staff in your very first year, a rarity in UK art history courses.

Our expert staff

We are a dynamic group of art historians who investigate the production and reception of images and the built environment, across cultures and media, from the early modern period to the present day.

Our staff’s research interests include activist art, modernist art and totalitarianism, art and science, the artistic status of body modification, expressions of societal anxiety in art, as well as architecture and urbanism.

We also have significant experience in curation and public engagement. Recent projects include:
-Dr Gavin Grindo co-curated the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which was one of the most well attended shows in the museum’s history
-Dr Matt Lodder has acted as contributor for various television shows on body art and body modification, including the Today programme, the Jeremy Vine Show, Sky News, BBC Breakfast News, ‘Coast’, and National Geographic’s ‘Taboo’
-Dr Natasha Ruiz Gómez co-organised a major conference on Collect, Exchange, Display: Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum at the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London

Specialist facilities

By studying within our International Academy, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer:
-We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
-Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
-Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends

Our outstanding art history facilities give you the opportunity for object-based learning, which is rare in other universities, and also e-nable you to gain curatorial experience:
-Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) is the most comprehensive Latin American art research resource in the UK and has a state-of-the-art teaching and research space. Many of our students gain work and research experience through our collection
-Our onsite gallery Art Exchange runs an ongoing programme of contemporary art exhibitions, talks by curators and artists, and exhibitions organised by our curatorial students
-Enjoy regular visits to London galleries, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the National Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, as well as many independent and alternative spaces
-Access our lively common room and departmental film collection
-Colchester’s iconic Firstsite gallery runs an exciting programme of art exhibitions, film screenings and talks

Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Art History with English for Academic Purposes - Graduate Diploma
-English for Academic Purposes
-Advanced English for Academic Purposes
-Critical Reading and Seminar Skills
-Extended English for Academic Purposes Project
-Photography in History (optional)
-The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Film, New Media, Software and the Internet (optional)
-Art & Ideas III (optional)
-Art, the Law and the Market (optional)
-Reworking the Past (optional)
-Visualising Bodies (optional)
-Inventing the Future: Early Contemporary 1945-1980 (optional)

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The History of Art MA at UCL draws on the world-leading research and teaching expertise within the department, and is designed to enable students to acquire specialised knowledge pertaining to the field of art history and to develop independent research skills. Read more

The History of Art MA at UCL draws on the world-leading research and teaching expertise within the department, and is designed to enable students to acquire specialised knowledge pertaining to the field of art history and to develop independent research skills.

About this degree

Students develop skills for engaging with visual materials and gain historical knowledge, enabling them to interpret artefacts in relation to their social and cultural contexts. They are introduced to current methodological debates in the field and encouraged to define their own position through reasoned historical and theoretical arguments.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a core module (30 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Methods, Debates and Sources in History of Art

Optional modules

Options may include the following:

  • Human and Non-Human in Medieval Art
  • Transformations of the Body in Early Modern Cabinets of Display
  • Vision, Tourism, Imperialism: Art and Travel in the British Empire, 1760-1870
  • American Media: Publicity and the Logics of Surveillance
  • Politics of the Image: Germany 1890-1945
  • Art as Theory: The Writing of Art
  • Art and Technology in Nineteenth-Century France
  • Photographic Cultures: Photography's Publics and the Production of Politics
  • On Sex and Violence
  • Race/Place: Exotic/Erotic
  • Tracing the Body: Technologies of Representation in 18th and 19th-Century France
  • Seeing Through Materials: Matter, Vision, and Transformation in the Renaissance

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 13,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, as well as gallery and museum visits. Assessment is by two essays for each of the taught modules (six essays in all), the dissertation and a viva.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: History of Art MA

Careers

UCL's History of Art graduates have an excellent record of success in entering PhD programmes, careers in museums and galleries, the art trade, the heritage industry, art publishing, and art conservation. The unique combination of visual analysis and intellectual rigour offered by the MA has also proven valuable in diverse careers including journalism, publishing, and advertising. For those aspiring to an academic career, the MA is a requirement for a PhD, and many former MA students have successfully received funding for research degrees, and subsequently obtained academic positions, at prestigious institutions in the UK, North America, and elsewhere.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Assistant Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Gallery Co-Ordinator, Frith Street Gallery
  • PhD in History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Museum Intern, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
  • Exhibitions Assistant, Whitechapel Gallery

Employability

Our History of Art MA provides focused training in the history of art and its methodologies. It encourages students to develop original critical thinking on all aspects of visual culture, and promotes a serious engagement with historical and contemporary cultural debates. You will learn how to work collaboratively as well as independently to develop your skills in written and oral communications. The MA is an excellent starting point for a career in academia, curating, for working in the heritage industry, commercial art galleries, and other sectors of the cultural industries. 

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL History of Art is one of the most dynamic centres for the study of art history and visual cultures in the world. It is one of the leading departments in the UK for research; and all staff are active researchers in a range of specialist fields. Our teaching and research move beyond traditional forms of art history to address visual and material cultures more broadly, and we are committed to a wide range of critical and historiographical enquiry. 

The MA in History of Art is a challenging and versatile degree; you will study in a community of approximately 40 graduate students; at the same time you will work in smaller groups and in close contact with tutors in your special subject courses.

The department is located in Bloomsbury, close to the Warburg Institute, the British Library, and the British Museum. The National Gallery, Tate Galleries, and the Victoria and Albert Museum are also within easy reach. UCL's own Art Museum holds many rare and important works.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: History of Art

85% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The Aberystwyth MA in Fine Art and Art History provide you with an excellent opportunity to develop your artistic skills, understanding and technical aptitudes as you strive to pursue your art. Read more

About the course

The Aberystwyth MA in Fine Art and Art History provide you with an excellent opportunity to develop your artistic skills, understanding and technical aptitudes as you strive to pursue your art. In every area of this course, technical, stylistic, and conceptual experimentation is enthusiastically encouraged and you will be encouraged to contribute to the School’s academic knowledge of art history through your own research. You will also have the opportunity to submit articles for publication to contextualize your practice and develop your engagement with critical and public opinion. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (2014) it was found that 75% of publications were of an internationally recognised standard or higher.

One of the central strengths of this course is your personal development as an artist. You will be challenged to experiment, test hypotheses, and extend your field of action in preparation for exhibitions. You will develop a portfolio of work that is a creative and imaginative interpretation of subject matter demonstrating the acquisition and refinement of technological dexterity and stylistic sophistication. You will also benefit from gaining new insight into careers in fine art, defining concepts of the subject and the crucial importance of professional identity.

The course is a full-time programme, taught over one year, and is divided into two parts over three semesters. In part one, you will study a number of core modules, together worth a total of 120 credits, whilst directing your own study in part two where you will explore and resolve your chosen artistic problem, culminating in the second of your two public exhibitions. This study is equivalent to a Master’s dissertation project and is worth 60 credits.

The subject of this final public exhibition will be agreed in consultation with your supervisor(s) and, in tackling it, you will be encouraged to develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of work. Subject to the satisfactory completion of the study modules and exhibition, the MA in Fine Art and Art History is awarded.

Upon graduation from the MA in Fine Art and Art History, you will have demonstrated artistic excellence, personal rigor and critical engagement with yours and others’ work, which will define you as an artist. You will be well-prepared for the realities – both creative and practical – of life as a professional artist.

This degree will suit you:

- If you wish to develop your personal, creative, productive, and imaginative artistic abilities;
- If you wish to be stimulated by vigorous intellectual inquiry into Art;
- If you aim to pursue a career in Art or serious effort to exhibit your work in public and critical arenas;
- If you wish to develop a conceptual, practical and historical framework for your art.

Course content

Core modules:

Dissertation
Exhibition 1: Consolidation
Vocational Practice

Contact Time

Approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

Assessment

The taught part of the course (Part 1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practical exercises and exhibitions. Successful completion of your exhibition (Part 2) leads to the award of an MA.

Employability

Every aspect of the Aberystwyth Master’s in Fine Art and Art History programme is designed to enhance your employability. Successful completion of this degree is in itself certain to do so by building your CV; but more significant is the hugely enhanced array of knowledge, abilities and skills with which you will graduate.

Your pursuit of personal development as an artist, coupled with increased critical faculties, will make you a strong candidate for any post where people and opinions meet. Likewise, the study skills, technical knowledge and hands-on experience of artistic processes will give you a tremendous advantage in employment within the Arts. Similarly, other modules will provide opportunities to gain experiences and transferable skills. By managing the practicalities of exhibition preparation, installation, and curation, you also gain direct experience in every aspect of events and venue management. Though the conditions may be subject-specific, the skills you will learn in the process are highly marketable.

Whether your chosen career path points you towards drawing, painting or print work, or towards criticism, collecting, art journalism, your Masters Degree in Fine Art and Art History from Aberystwyth University will signal to prospective employers your commitment to personal excellence, professional rigour and technical innovation.

Professional Independence

The course acknowledges the difficulty artists face in the transition from the requirements of a degree level course to the emerging independent direction required of professional practising artists. By playing an active, learning-based role in the operation of the School’s galleries, you will gain an insight into the work needed to sustain a busy gallery. You will stage public exhibitions in the School’s galleries and elsewhere, and part of the course’s assessment relates to your performance as a professional, exhibiting artist.

Studio work is designed to increase students’ technical possibilities, and the School is particularly well equipped in all areas of the graphic arts. The course seeks to assist the student by developing individual abilities and direction in a certain area of art practice to the highest standards possible. In addition to this subject-specific training, this MA is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of situations. Whether this is further study, personal artistic pursuits or employment, you will be better equipped to pursue success in your chosen field.

Your work in the Contemporary Context

This course does not operate in isolation, and you will examine your own work in the wider context of contemporary practice. As mentioned above, your assessed exhibitions will give you first-hand experience of the vital but often daunting rite of holding up your work for scrutiny by your tutors, peers, critics and the public. You will also encounter and engage with the debate in cultural theory regarding the interface between art practise, art theory and the concept of visual culture. By considering its implication for the study of fine art and art history, your course of study encourages you to improve your capacity for conducting a critical review of yours and others’ work through discussion, presentation and writing.

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Whether your chosen career path involves curating, exhibiting, criticism, collecting, art journalism or any other route, by undertaking this course you will develop essential skills, expertise and experience. Read more

About the course

Whether your chosen career path involves curating, exhibiting, criticism, collecting, art journalism or any other route, by undertaking this course you will develop essential skills, expertise and experience. By studying the history of art through personal research and excellent tutorage you will engage in vigorous intellectual inquiry in the subject and delve deeply into your chosen specialism.

Why study MA Art History at Aberystwyth University?

The School of Art at Aberystwyth provides supervision and specialist knowledge in a broad range of subjects and is rapidly become one of the UK’s most popular places to study and creatively explore Art. Writing in the Guardian, journalist Miles Brignall concluded that the twice-yearly MA Art History Exhibitions at Aberystwyth are among the top four ‘pick of the shows’ UK-wide. Aberystwyth was the only institution he selected outside London.

There are over 20,000 original artworks in Aberystwyth School of Art’s collection

Aberystwyth School of Art holds registered museum status from the Museums and Galleries Commission of Great Britain

Opportunity to submit articles for publication to develop your engagement with critical and public opinion

Opportunity to curate your own exhibition from the School’s art collections

Aberystwyth University is a top 50 university for research power and intensity – REF 2014

100% of Aberystwyth School of Art’s research was either world leading or internationally excellent in terms of research impact – REF 2014

75% of the School of Art’s publications were of an internationally recognised standard or higher – REF 2014

Opportunity to study within one of the UK’s long-established Schools of Art and to work closely with staff in a stimulating research environment

Aberystwyth School of Art administers the Catherine Lewis Trust Fund, which continues to acquire important works of art for the University

Course structure and content

The course can be studied either one year full-time or two years part-time. The taught part of the course is delivered through lectures, seminars, and practical exercises. During semester three (June-September), you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

In the first two semesters (September to May), you will study a number of modules, together worth a total of 120 credits. This includes a 60 credit research project, taught over the two semesters, research training modules to prepare you in research methodologies, and a module on Art & Visual Culture, where you examine art and art criticism within the broader context of contemporary visual culture. In the final semester (June to September), you will undertake a 60 credit MA dissertation.

Contact Time

Approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

Assessment

In the first two semesters, students are assessed via a mix of exhibitions, portfolios, essays, presentations, web-design production, and teaching experience projects. Successful completion of the dissertation leads to the award of an MA.

Skills

Throughout this course you will develop a wide array of skills that will not only market you as a professional artist, but also as a mature individual with attractive skills and qualities for potential employers. This course will encourage you to:

- Develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of work
- Play an active, learning based role in the operation of the School's galleries
- Hold up your work against scrutiny from tutors, peers, critics, and the public
- Improve your capacity for conducting a critical review of yours and others' work through discussion, Forum seminars, presentation and writing
- Improve your capacity for critical reading, discussion, presentation and writing, as well as developing an awareness of art practice in relation to art history and theory
- Contribute to the School's academic knowledge of art and art history through your own research
- Increase your critical faculties
- Engage critically with contemporary art and art history
- Undertake art historical research involving applied skills such as gallery education, cataloguing and database work, archive and oral history projects, or the curation of exhibitions
- Develop study and research skills.

Careers

The range of posts to which our graduates progress widens all the time. Our alumni have gone on to work:

- For designing companies
- In museums and galleries
- As art teachers
- On education programmes in galleries
- In gallery assistant posts
- Producing family-based learning activities in galleries and museums

Our graduates have also taken up exciting internships and traineeships with a variety of national and international organisations, progressed to further academic study (PHDs).

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History of art is a rich and dynamic discipline, combining the rigorous investigation of the visual arts with the creative exploration of their connections to culture, politics and society. Read more
History of art is a rich and dynamic discipline, combining the rigorous investigation of the visual arts with the creative exploration of their connections to culture, politics and society. Postgraduate study in this area trains you at a high level in looking at, thinking about and researching art and its histories.

Birkbeck's MA History of Art offers the opportunity to study with internationally recognised experts. Our teaching staff are defining the field, conducting ground-breaking research in periods from medieval to contemporary, focusing on painting, sculpture, print culture, architecture, photography, digital art and museology.

The MA History of Art exposes you to key art historical approaches, and allows you to focus in depth on areas and periods of particular interest to you, in early and modern (including contemporary) periods, through taught options (see an indicative list of modules on the 'course structure' tab) and independent research. The course also offers opportunities for work placements with London museums, galleries and archives.

The course develops your visual acuity and your understanding of art's histories, while stimulating critical debate and stretching your research skills. In addition to independent written work, you will take part in group discussion, give oral presentations and engage with the Department of History of Art's research culture.

In all of this, you will work closely with our staff while also benefiting from our diverse and vibrant student body of all ages and backgrounds. The teaching programme is enriched by museum and site visits, visiting speakers, screenings and opportunities to get involved as volunteers in research and community outreach activities. The department also offers an exciting study trip every spring.

Students are encouraged to become involved in the lively research culture of the department through the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre and the Vasari Research Centre, which has pioneered the field of digital art history. In addition to the core teaching and individual research support, students benefit from many events in the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck, including: the postgraduate Research Seminar, which brings art historians from all over the UK and beyond to speak at Birkbeck; the biennial Murray Lecture; the Murray Seminar on Medieval and Renaissance Art; and the programme of exhibitions and displays at the Peltz Gallery, the School of Arts' purpose-built exhibition space. Students are also welcome to attend other seminars and events across the School of Arts and at the Birkbeck Institute for Humanities.

We offer taster events and information evenings for prospective students interested in our history of art programmes throughout the year.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
You will work closely with leading international experts in the history of art.
You can choose to specialise in a wide range of periods and geographies, from medieval European architecture and cityscapes to contemporary global art practices.
You can study flexibly, full-time or part-time, with all teaching in the evenings.
On class visits and in your independent research you will have access to London's world-class art collections, museums and libraries.
Your fellow students are from a wide range of backgrounds and are often already working in the field, offering a high level of discussion and excellent networking opportunities.
You will have access to the Birkbeck Library and an in-house resources centre. In addition, our location in Bloomsbury offers excellent access to specialist libraries in the University of London. These include the University of London Library, Institute of Historical Research, Warburg Institute and School of Oriental and African Studies, together with the major national resource of the British Library.
You will also have easy access to specialist art libraries not far from Birkbeck, including the library of the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Royal Institute of British Architects library and the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), as well as the great visual resources of the British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and V&A, commercial galleries and salesrooms. Temporary exhibition galleries like the Barbican Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Hayward Gallery and Royal Academy also make London a particularly good place in which to undertake research.
You can participate in the rich research culture of the Department of History of Art.
Keep up-to-date with our research on the Birkbeck History of Art blog.

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The Art Museum and Gallery Studies MA, PGDip provides you with the opportunity to develop skills as a curator or gallery educator in the fields of both historical and contemporary art. Read more
The Art Museum and Gallery Studies MA, PGDip provides you with the opportunity to develop skills as a curator or gallery educator in the fields of both historical and contemporary art.

We aim to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to establish or progress your successful career working in art museums or galleries.

Working in collaboration with our key partners - Hatton Gallery and Laing Art Gallery - you will curate a public-facing group exhibition and organise and deliver a programme of public activities and learning events, designed to provide you with an unparalleled experience and a professional edge.

The course encourages a hands-on approach and involves major input from a range of art museum and gallery professionals from the region and beyond. This includes those involved in independent initiatives, national art collections, and internationally significant exhibitions.

Delivery

The course covers all aspects of art museum and gallery work and we use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to help you achieve your learning objectives. This includes a large proportion of guided independent study. The scheduled contact time takes place either on the Newcastle campus or off-site at our partner venues (the Hatton Gallery or the Laing Art Gallery) and includes:
-Seminars and practical sessions
-Workshops
-Fieldwork
-Lectures

You will also go on study visits to venues such as:
-BALTIC, Centre for Contemporary Art
-Laing Art Gallery
-Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

Dr Emma Coffield and Iain Wheeldon lead the course and they will work closely with you throughout your time with us. Emma and Iain are also responsible for supervising MA dissertations.

The academic year usually starts in late September with Welcome Week. We provide a unique blend of theoretical knowledge, understanding and practical experience. This means you will have a mixture of taught modules and work-based placements.

You will take five compulsory modules, with a further choice of two possible pathways. Part time study consists of the same modules and options as the full time course, but spread over a longer period.

Placements

Work placements or work related-projects are usually off campus. You will have the opportunity to complete a placement in a suitable gallery, museum, or heritage site. This could be either 12 days long or 6 weeks long, depending on which pathway you chose in Semester 2.

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