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Masters Degrees (Art History)

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The joint MA degree in art history builds upon the combined resources of Alabama’s two premier institutions of higher learning. The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Read more
The joint MA degree in art history builds upon the combined resources of Alabama’s two premier institutions of higher learning: The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

One Program, Two Campuses

Students enroll on one of the two campuses and take the majority of their courses on that campus, but they also take 6 hours of art history on the other campus and have access to the library holdings (including in the visual arts) of both campuses.

An art history symposium offered each year on alternating campuses provides the students in the program with an opportunity to present a formal paper in an informal setting. A highlight of our annual symposium is the visit by a renowned art historian who participates by meeting the students and discussing the papers.

After Graduation

The MA degree in art history is an appropriate terminal degree for positions that are open in museums, galleries, libraries, and archives, and in the fields of teaching at the junior college level. Graduates of the program have secured positions in area museums, including the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Montgomery Museum of Arts and the Mobile Arts Museum, and as visual arts curators and teachers of art history in area colleges and universities, including Livingston College, Shelton State College, and Jefferson State College. Students interested in pursuing a teaching career at the University level are encouraged to continue their study of art history in a doctoral program; graduates of the joint MA program in art history have been accepted into the PhD programs of Rochester University, Emory University, Kansas University, and Florida State University.

Degree Requirements

The MA in art history requires completion of 24 semester hours in art history, a comprehensive exam, and a written thesis.

Coursework

The MA requires 24 semester hours of art history coursework, of which 6 hours may be taken in a related field, such as history, religion, or anthropology. Courses are grouped into seven general areas: Early Modern (Renaissance and Baroque), 19th-century, Modern, Contemporary, American (including African American) and South Asian.* Students must identify a major area and a minor area.

A required course, ARH 550, Literature of Art, is offered once a year on alternating campuses. A maximum of 6 hours of 400-level courses may be taken for graduate credit. Students enrolled on The University of Alabama campus must take 6 hours of coursework at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

*Students may take classes in South Asian art, but it cannot be their major field.

Comprehensive Exam

A reading knowledge of French or German must be demonstrated before the student is eligible to take the comprehensive written exam. The language requirement may be satisfied either by completing both semesters of the graduate reading proficiency sequence offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Classics or by scheduling a written exam with the appropriate language area in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics.

The student who has completed 24 semester hours of graduate coursework and satisfied the language requirement is ready to be examined in a written comprehensive exam administered in the fall and spring semesters. The written comprehensive exam is divided into two parts: (1) a slide exam that tests the student’s broad knowledge of the history of Western art, and (2) an essay portion that tests for expertise in two fields of concentration.

The student must declare intent to take the exam in writing to the director of graduate studies in art history at least one month prior to the exam date. At that time an exam committee is formed that includes at least two art history professors from the Tuscaloosa campus and one art history professor from the Birmingham campus. The committee members represent the two areas of concentration declared by the student. The committee evaluates the written exam and notifies the candidate of the results. An exam must be judged to be of at least “B” quality in order to be considered a pass. A student who does not pass the exam may take it once more at the normally scheduled exam time.

Thesis

The MA degree also requires a written thesis submitted to the Graduate School. In consultation with a professor, the student identifies a thesis topic. (Often, a thesis topic originates with a written seminar paper.) The thesis proposal is a brief statement of the topic for research, a summary description of the individual thesis chapters, and a working bibliography. The thesis advisor circulates the thesis proposal among the committee members for their approval. The thesis committee is usually but not always identical to the student’s exam committee. The student writes the thesis while enrolled in thesis hours (ARH 599) for up to 6 hours. When the thesis is completed to the satisfaction of the thesis advisor it is distributed to the thesis committee for comments. The final step in the completion of the thesis is the oral defense. In the oral defense the student justifies the methodology and the conclusions of the thesis to the committee.

The student must complete all of the required revisions and corrections to the thesis to the satisfaction of the committee before submitting the finished thesis to the Graduate School. The final written thesis must conform to the requirements of the Graduate School for it to be accepted. The student must provide an electronic copy of the thesis for The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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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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Through object-based, interdisciplinary research, this Masters programme focuses on the act of making and everything that entails. Read more
Through object-based, interdisciplinary research, this Masters programme focuses on the act of making and everything that entails. We study studio practices from a variety of disciplines, their materials and techniques, but also intentions and concept. We examine art technological sources to register the artist’s voice, and other testimonies on artistic practice, make reconstructions of historical recipes and modern techniques to understand practices, ageing and its consequences as well as other changes artworks go through. Researching this all-inclusive story of an artefact is known as technical art history. It is an exciting and rapidly growing field involving (technical) art historians, scientists, conservators while also reaching out to other disciplines such as economic and social history, history of science, anthropology and aesthetics.

Why this programme

◾You will work with objects and benefit from staff contacts including those at: the City Collections, Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, Glasgow Museums, National Museums and National Galleries of Scotland, National Trust Scotland and Historic Scotland.
◾You will take a study trip to Amsterdam or Munich, visiting major museums and their conservation studios and research labs as well as research institutions working in the field of technical art history.
◾You have the opportunity to take part in a project-based work placement engaging in interdisciplinary research, where you can explore a possible future career while meeting professional practitioners and developing your skills and experience.
◾You will benefit from guest speakers from the technical art history field, broadening your horizon and offering you network occasions and research contacts.
◾You will participate in two reconstruction workshops of historical painting techniques, as well as workshops on the reconstructions of pigment recipes and scientific examination techniques.

Programme structure

Drawing upon the expertise of an interdisciplinary team, the programme will include taught and research components as well as practical workshops and work placements.

This MLitt develops your skills in object-based research, as well as examining the authenticity, attribution and dating of art works – and their change and survival. You do not need any background in science or conservation. We will provide you with the right tools to understand what science can deliver, what conservators can do, and what role you can play in this truly interdisciplinary field.

You will take five core courses and one optional course. This is followed by a period of self-study towards a dissertation 15,000 words in length (including footnotes but excluding bibliography) and will be on a topic chosen in consultation with the tutors and the programme convenor.

Core courses

◾Research methods in practice
◾Art in the making: historical techniques
◾Art in the making: modern and Avant-Garde techniques
◾The authentic art work
◾Testimonies on painters' practice: documentary and visual sources

Optional courses

You may choose from the following options
◾Work placement
◾Independent study

Career prospects

Career opportunities include curatorial positions in museums and galleries, working with collections within cultural heritage organisations, or in the commercial environment of auction houses performing object-based research including technical investigation. The programme will also prepare you for a further postgraduate education in conservation or academic research.

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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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Explore 21st century art history and learn about this ever-expanding discipline, marked by interdisciplinary cross-overs, varied and competing methodologies, and a huge range of objects of study that can break through the boundaries of the traditional notion of ‘art’. Read more
Explore 21st century art history and learn about this ever-expanding discipline, marked by interdisciplinary cross-overs, varied and competing methodologies, and a huge range of objects of study that can break through the boundaries of the traditional notion of ‘art’. Study issues as diverse as authorship, subjectivity, reception studies, and cultural and gender identity. You’ll be primed to undertake art-historical investigation and a research project on a specific topic of your choice.

Key features

-Develop your application of the critical theories and approaches relevant to art history providing you with experience in research methods and skills in arts and humanities.
-Gain experience in research methods and skills in the arts, humanities, creative and cultural industries, and related fields. Leave the course with the skills necessary for a career in research.
-Choose to study full time or part time to fit in with your career plans or other commitments. You can study full-time (12-18 months) or part-time (24-36 months).
-The programme also delivers a through route from undergraduate level to MPhil/PhD via Masters degree. It is an ideal route if you have a strongly conceived research project and do not wish to undertake a taught MA yet do not have the skills base for an MPhil/PhD.
-Focus on an art-historical project within a vibrant and challenging interdisciplinary research community. Study issues as diverse as authorship, subjectivity, reception studies, and cultural and gender identity.
-Be inspired by our research-active staff, conducting research in the Centre for Humanities, Music and Performing Arts (HuMPA). The centre supports the work of over 50 academics across the disciplines of English, creative writing, history, art history, theatre, dance, performing arts and music.
-Take the opportunity to improve your continuing professional development - if you are a teacher or academic working in the South West and do not currently have a postgraduate research degree.
-If you are awarded a distinction in this programme you’ll be automatically offered a place on our MPhil/PhD programme in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, subject to appropriate supervision and resource arrangements being in place, and will be allowed to ‘fast track’ to the transfer stage - you may apply to transfer from MPhil to PhD status prior to the usual 12 month full-time guideline.

Course details

ResM students study research methods in art history and research in the arts and humanities. You’ll also attend individual tutorials with your supervisor and regular research seminars. The programme leads to either a written thesis or one combining critical writing with creative/professional practice. The ResM can be studied either full or part time. Having completed your taught modules in Year 1 (whether full or part time), your following year will involve an agreed tutorial schedule and work plan. You may attend additional training, workshops and research seminars. As a full-time ResM student, you’ll submit your thesis after 18 months (part time, after 24 months) or pay a nominal sum for up to six months additional ‘writing up’ time (part time, 12 months). Your viva takes place following submission of your thesis. To discuss which route is best for you, please contact Dr Péter Bokody (our postgraduate coordinator).

Core modules
GSRARHI2 Research Art History
MARE703 Research Methods in Art History
GSRARHI1 Research Art History
MARE700 Research in the Arts and Humanities
GSRARHI3 Research Art History

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The MA in Art History draws upon the exciting research and outstanding teaching expertise of the department. Read more

MA in Art History

The MA in Art History draws upon the exciting research and outstanding teaching expertise of the department. Studying art history at postgraduate level will deepen your understanding of art, architecture and visual culture, build your analytical and critical skills, and develop the skills needed for independent study and research. You will start by exploring the core concepts and recent developments that have shaped art history from Renaissance Italy to the contemporary Caribbean, before building on these foundations to expand your understanding of visual and material objects – incorporating architecture, art and design. You will complete the degree by researching and writing a dissertation on an agreed topic of your own devising.

Key features of the course

• Engages critically with key theories and approaches developed to interpret and explain works of art and architecture
• Examines critical debates both within the academic discipline of art history and in the 'real world' contexts of heritage, curating and museums
• Prepares and inspires you to confidently develop and articulate your own standpoint within the discipline
• Concludes with a substantial piece of independent research and a dissertation on a topic of your choice

This qualification is eligible for a Postgraduate Loan available from Student Finance England.

Modules

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits from the following compulsory modules:

• MA Art History part 1 (A843)
• MA Art History part 2 (A844)

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Credit Transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

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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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The taught masters (MA) programme in art history considers works of art and visual material in the broadest sense. Read more
The taught masters (MA) programme in art history considers works of art and visual material in the broadest sense. We encourage the examination of the social and material histories of objects and images; explorations of the processes of cultural production, circulation, and consumption; and the development of original theoretical approaches to understanding works of art and associated cultural phenomena.

The Department of Art History offers two pathways for the MA in Art History: 'Renaissance to the Present Day' and 'Modern Art, Criticism' and Display'. Students of both pathways study the core module 'Critical Approaches to Art History and Visual Culture'.

Your choice of pathway will almost certainly relate to your present interests in art history or visual culture. All MA pathways are modular and the choice of pathway affects the modules available to you. With the help of a knowledgeable and supportive teaching staff, the pathway programme is designed to offer necessary flexibility to help you make important decisions about modules and dissertation topics.

Students on the 'Modern Art, Criticism and Display' pathway use a virtual 3D gallery software system to produce their own projects in which they are able to virtually 'curate' art exhibitions in virtual three-dimensional gallery spaces.

Studying art history gives students valuable transferable skills, an advanced qualification in the discipline and a rigorous foundation for further research and progression to PhD research, all of which are ideal for a range of careers.

Our MA programmes are particularly suited for those wishing to work in the contemporary art world. Our students have an excellent record of obtaining internships in major UK-based international galleries while they study, which is ideal preparation for future employment.

The Department of Art History incorporates the Nottingham Institute for Research in Visual Culture (NIRVC), which is a forum for research in art-historical and visual culture studies, drawing on a range of disciplines, within and beyond the University.

The University’s custombuilt Lakeside Arts Centre provides an excellent environment to support postgraduate studies in visual culture, with contemporary and historic art exhibitions at the Djanogly Art Gallery, and the DH Lawrence Pavilion – a newlybuilt drama, film, and performance space.

Visit http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/art-history for information about the Department, programmes, and funding opportunities.

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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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The MA in Art History and Curating offers a theoretical and critical approach to the study of art history and curatorial practice. Read more
The MA in Art History and Curating offers a theoretical and critical approach to the study of art history and curatorial practice. Focusing mainly on the modern period (19th and 20th centuries), the programme will address key developments in art and art history up to the present day. For students who do not wish to undertake a full MA, a Postgraduate Certificate is also available.

The programme would appeal to graduates who have studied Fine Art, Art History or any other Arts and Humanities discipline, or those from non arts backgrounds wishing to pursue a new subject. It will also appeal to those already working in the museums or galleries sector wishing to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD). There are opportunities to participate in overseas study tours and in recent years the department has visited Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bilbao, Milan, Paris, Florence, Venice and New York. London visits and regional exhibition visits may also take place, depending on the exhibition programme for the year. The Arts play a significant and growing role in wealth creation and the regeneration of urban and rural environments. Visiting galleries and museums has never been more popular. The numbers of Art Education and heritage sites are expanding and all look to recruit postgraduates with a background in the Arts and Art History.

Study Details / Module Information

At the outset you will be introduced to the Art History and Curating programme through a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials, delivered by specialist academic staff. Your tutors will provide you with a firm foundation and knowledge of visual cultures and applied arts primarily in Europe and the U.S. enabling you to understand your own learning and study needs within the context of the subject. A contextual journal is introduced that will underpin your academic studies facilitating a personal and individual perspective.

You will continue to develop your theoretical skills through continuous tutorial consultation and supervision enabling you to devise your own work programme from the range of courses on offer. Teaching is by lectures, seminars, tutorials and gallery visits to enable the first hand study of artworks; their context and curation. We expect a critical approach towards writing with an awareness of contemporary art practice and the historical socio-political and cultural forces that inform it. Your programme of study will be agreed with your subject tutors, and will make full use of the museums and galleries on Merseyside and beyond.

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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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Are you fascinated by visual culture and exhibition practice?. Do you want to pursue a career in the gallery and arts sectors?. Read more
Are you fascinated by visual culture and exhibition practice?

Do you want to pursue a career in the gallery and arts sectors?

The MA in Art History and Curating is one of the few postgraduate programmes in the country that offers you the opportunity to work in a team with academic and museum professionals to curate an art exhibition in a public gallery. This will take place in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts on campus or at Grand Union in Birmingham city centre.

This unique programme enables you to develop the knowledge and skills to conduct original research into art objects, to understand at first hand the history, theory and contemporary practice of their curation, to co-curate a public art exhibition and complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

The core components of the programme include the 40-credit module ‘Curatorial Practices’ that provides you with a range of skills to curate an exhibition, and two single modules, 'Postgraduate Research Training and Methods,' which will help you to develop essential research skills, and 'Criticism and Methods in the History of Art and Visual Culture,' which provides a theoretical foundation for your studies.

The programme also offers you the flexibility to select a further two options from a range of complimentary practical, theoretical and historical modules. These include: a 12-week placement with a local gallery or other arts organisation set up on your behalf; the history and theory of exhibitions; aesthetics and the philosophy of art. As a result, this unique programme will provide you with the knowledge, experience and employability skills invaluable to the museum, commercial and academic sectors whilst enabling you to establish professional networks in both.

You will complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation, supported through one-to-one tutorials with your academic supervisor.

About the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

The School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music brings together a number of internationally renowned departments to offer an extensive portfolio of innovative and interdisciplinary programmes in an exciting and creative environment, underpinned by a vibrant research culture.
We received outstanding results across the School in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, with at least 75% of our research judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ across all subject areas.
The Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies is located in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which houses the Barber Institute gallery and an exceptional Fine Art Library. The Department of Music is based in the Bramall Music Building, with state-of-the-art facilities including the 450-seat Elgar Concert Hall, a suite dedicated to the study and performance of early music, five electroacoustic studios and a large rehearsal room. We also have one of the best music libraries in the country, with special collections including materials on 20th-century English music, Baroque music and an extensive microfilm collection.
In addition to housing one of the UK’s largest groups of internationally renowned researchers in the national cultures of Europe, the Department of Modern Languages also hosts a Language and Media Resource Centre which specifically supports language learning through the latest interactive learning technology. We have a vibrant, international postgraduate community and offer excellent study and research opportunities in a supportive working environment.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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These degrees are designed to allow students the maximum choice of specific modules. The History of Photography module choices are slightly more constrained than Art History. Read more
These degrees are designed to allow students the maximum choice of specific modules. The History of Photography module choices are slightly more constrained than Art History. The majority of these modules are offered each year according to staff availability and sufficient student demand. We recommend that you confirm with the School that the courses of interest will be available during the period in which you plan to attend St Andrews as not all modules are available every year.

Teaching methods

Students take four modules during the two semesters of coursework. We recommend you take the module focused upon methodology and resources. The modules are taught as smallgroup discussion seminars, with an average size of 4-8 students in each group. There is a minimum of 12 hours’ contact time for each 30-credit module. Additionally, there may be class trips where relevant to the taught modules and there is a research seminar with guest lecturers for all staff and students every two weeks. Across the two semesters, students also participate in a series of skills workshops designed to help prepare for the dissertation element.

Assessment

The assessment for the taught modules is based on coursework. Students complete a sequence of research-driven tasks designed to consolidate and extend their knowledge and to develop analysis and writing skills. Assessment components include book reviews, annotated bibliographies, visual analysis and object analysis essays, reading journals and research papers.

The dissertation module provides the opportunity to undertake an independent research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff. The dissertation is researched and written over the summer semester. It is a substantial piece of academic research, 15,000 words in length.

Careers

A postgraduate degree in Art History, History of Photography or Museum and Gallery Studies provides an excellent foundation for a career in the art or museum world.

The Museum and Gallery Studies course provides a theoretical foundation combined with hands-on, practical and transferable experience. Recent graduates have gone on to work for a range of institutions, from the Scottish Light House Museum to the National Museums of Scotland, the Victoria and Albert Museum to the Detroit Institute of Arts, the McManus Galleries in Dundee to Zhejiang University Museum of Art & Archaeology, and auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull, and Bonham’s, among many others. Two year-long traineeships within University Collections are open uniquely to Museum and Gallery Studies graduates, as is the four to five month David Nicholls Curatorial Internship at the South Georgia Museum in Antarctica.

Recent postgraduates in Art History and History of Photography are employed in universities and archives, museums and galleries, auction houses, radio stations, publishing houses and magazines and are also working in journalism, teaching, and retail.

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The MA in Art History is a stand-alone program providing an intensive two years of coursework during which students will gain an understanding of the centrality of art historical study in comprehending the contemporary world and the history of ideas that are embedded in the subject. Read more
The MA in Art History is a stand-alone program providing an intensive two years of coursework during which students will gain an understanding of the centrality of art historical study in comprehending the contemporary world and the history of ideas that are embedded in the subject. In their first year students are exposed to both the most current thinking in the field and to art history’s disciplinary archive through the Department’s required Methodologies seminar. Through their coursework and research students are encouraged to explore and engage with the art historical discourse and supplement their understanding of art and its cultural context. Students also augment their skills by completing a language requirement and by presenting their research to peers, faculty, and the public during Round Tables.

The MA degree culminates in a thesis designed to train students in scholarly research and analysis, providing the opportunity to contribute to a significant and relevant global discourse.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Arts
- Specialization: Art History
- Subject: Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Arts

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The Critical and Curatorial Studies Program aims to address the growing need for curators and critics who have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in analyzing institutions, preparing displays and communicating about contemporary art. Read more
The Critical and Curatorial Studies Program aims to address the growing need for curators and critics who have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in analyzing institutions, preparing displays and communicating about contemporary art. The program aims to produce individuals who are:
- able to engage productively with critical discussions of art and visual culture
- capable of developing and working with new modes of exhibition
- able to work creatively in both traditional and innovative situations
- familiar with issues and institutions affecting contemporary art

Critical and Curatorial Studies (CCST) is an emerging field of scholarship and training that looks directly at the roles and responsibilities of curators and critics as mediators between objects, institutions, experiences, individuals and groups. While this involves investigating and negotiating a number of disciplinary fields, from ethnography to aesthetics, organizational behaviour to cultural studies, the main focus is on contemporary conditions of display and understanding.

CCST students take three required graduate seminars that engage with historical frameworks and contemporary contextual issues within curatorial practice, and case studies in exhibitions and institutions. These popular seminars are open to other graduate students as well and foster interesting dialogues on issues surrounding curation. CCST students supplement their knowledge with Art History courses and are given the opportunity to take additional credits outside the department as well. They are also challenged to achieve reading knowledge of a language other than English for their language requirement, along with the MA in Art History and PhD students.

During the graduate practicum students gain professional experience through the research, planning, and realization of a significant project and are expected to rationalize their exhibition in written work and presentations at various stages during its production. Students are exposed to the practical and theoretical concerns of exhibition creation and are rewarded in their endeavour with local, if not national and international exposure.

The final requirement for the MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies program is the Major Paper. This extended essay provides students with the opportunity for original and in-depth research on a topic related to the themes or cases examined in the course of study.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Arts
- Specialization: Art History (Critical Curatorial Studies)
- Subject: Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Major Project/Essay required
- Faculty: Faculty of Arts

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