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Masters Degrees (History Of Photography)

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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 MLitt in History of Photography offers a unique opportunity to study the history of photography as a specialised field of research. . Read more

The MLitt in History of Photography offers a unique opportunity to study the history of photography as a specialised field of research. 

Highlights

  • This innovative degree is inspired by the important role played by St Andrews in the early history of the most influential visual medium of the modern era.
  • Students are introduced to the theoretical and methodological challenges and debates that photography’s multiple functions and contexts have provoked since its invention.
  • Classes make full use of the outstanding photographic collections of the University Library and associated archives, such as that held by the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.
  • Small class sizes prioritise discussion with peers and interaction with the tutor.

The MLitt degree requires two semesters of full-time (or four semesters part-time) coursework, normally equivalent to four modules. Each module has a minimum contact time of 16 hours. The modules are taught as small group discussion seminars, with an average size of four to eight students in each group. Additionally, there may be class trips where relevant to the taught modules.

The assessment for the taught modules is based on coursework including:

  • book reviews
  • critical bibliographies
  • visual analysis and object analysis essays
  • reading journals
  • research papers.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.



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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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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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Photography has become the major form of image-making and visual communication since its development in the nineteenth century. Its importance has been recognised in many areas of scholarship. Read more
Photography has become the major form of image-making and visual communication since its development in the nineteenth century. Its importance has been recognised in many areas of scholarship: history of art, media and cultural studies, literature, memory and memorialisation, gender and identity, philosophy and law. Its role in all fields of the arts and sciences, including those most personal, is being expanded, renewed and questioned by the mushrooming of digital culture.

This programme enables you to learn about - and to negotiate your individual path through - historical and contemporary photographic cultures, in order to develop your interests, whether your engagement with the medium is academic, artistic, personal or vocational.

After an initial introductory core module, and with tutorial guidance, the programme allows you to specialise through your selection of option modules and topics for your research project and dissertation. Options cover a wide range of photographic practices and cultures, past and present, and allow you to explore diverse methodologies and internationally 'local' practices. The course also offers opportunities for work placements with London museums, galleries and archives.

You will develop subject-specific and transferable research, critical and writing skills that will enhance your career opportunities in the field and beyond, whether in academia or teaching, photography as a practice, galleries and museums, or in the media. The programme is also ideally suited to preparing students with a practice-based background considering a PhD, academic or practice-based.

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

As well as regular museum and gallery visits, the department 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 the Humanities.

Staff teaching on this programme

Dr Patrizia Di Bello (Course Director)
Dr Suzannah Biernoff
Dr Fiona Candlin
Professor Annie E Coombes
Professor Mark Crinson
Professor Steve Edwards
Dr Tag Gronberg
Dr Akane Kawakami
Dr Gabriel Koureas
Dr Luciana Martins
Professor Lynda Nead
Dr Leslie Topp

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.
Unique international coverage of photographic cultures, making use of modules offered across the School of Arts.
Taught by renowned research-active academics and writers from a variety of disciplines, including history of art, media and cultural studies, journalism, modern languages and the humanities.
Cross- and interdisciplinary approach to the study of photography in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Research culture and networking opportunities offered by the Birkbeck History and Theory of Photography Research Centre.
You will have access to the Birkbeck Library and an in-house slide library and self-access centre (including the Vasari Digital Media Research Centre).
You will also have access to the Jo Spence Memorial Library and Terry Dennett Archive.
There are opportunities for you to become involved in curating and organising exhibitions in the Peltz Gallery in the School of Arts.
Our location in Bloomsbury offers excellent access to specialist libraries and archives 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.
Exclusive visits to photographic archives, and group visits to exhibitions, talks and events.
You will also have easy access to specialist libraries and photographic archives, including the Courtauld Institute of Art, the National Art Library and the photographic collection in the Prints and Drawings Study Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of London, the National Portrait Gallery (Heinz Archives), the Photographers’ Gallery and the Tate Gallery. We are also near many commercial galleries, photography book specialist dealers and exhibition spaces such as the Barbican, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Hayward Gallery, INIVA and the many other places that exhibit photographs from time to time.

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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 MA Museum Cultures offers you the opportunity to study this expanding and dynamic field at close proximity to the most world-distinguished museums and galleries. Read more
The MA Museum Cultures offers you the opportunity to study this expanding and dynamic field at close proximity to the most world-distinguished museums and galleries. If you are contemplating a career in the museum and gallery sector and if you are interested in developing an in-depth understanding of contemporary debates about museums and their cultural significance, then this is the course for you. Our MA gives you the chance to develop a range of key skills, from critical thinking and writing to practical experience through a work placement in a museum, gallery or archive. Museums have been of enormous importance in shaping empires, nations and cities, and their collections are connected to wider histories of conflict and social change. To study museums is to study the development and fierce contestation of our collective cultural imagination and memory.

You begin with a core course that introduces interdisciplinary perspectives on the study of museums and a research skills module where you work collaboratively with your classmates. You then take 2 options in areas of specialist interest and either an independent research project or a work placement in a museum, gallery or archive. Finally, you will be individually counselled in your choice of dissertation topic.

The Department of History of Art at Birkbeck has an international reputation for its innovative approaches to the history of art, visual culture and museum studies. Our expertise extends into areas such as postcolonial museums, museums in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, the senses and museums, architecture and museums, museums and art, museums and memory, museums and conflict, museums and gender, small museums, and museums, politics and heritage. As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we offer an exciting study trip abroad 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 department’s postgraduate events; the annual Murray lecture where speakers have included Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain and Neil McGregor, director of the British Museum; 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 the Humanities.

Our flexible approach to full-time and part-time evening study is ideal if you are thinking about undertaking paid or voluntary work experience in London’s museums and galleries during the daytime, while studying for a postgraduate degree that can give you a head start in a competitive jobs market.

We offer taster events and information evenings for prospective students interested in our MA Museum Cultures programme 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.
Taught by scholars across Birkbeck, including our Department of History of Art, Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies and Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. This programme offers an interdisciplinary perspective on contemporary debates within museum studies and encompasses museums in Africa, Asia and the Americas as well as in Europe.
We provide students with supervised work placements in museums, galleries and archives including Tate, the British Museum, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Horniman Museum. Past students have helped design and run schools programmes, documented collections that were previously uncatalogued, conducted visitor research and assisted curators in producing exhibitions.
This course of study offers you access to cutting-edge research by some of Britain’s foremost scholars and all the flexibility of evening study at Birkbeck. Whether you have a busy job, have other commitments or want to maximise library time during the day, evening study makes MA study work better.
You can choose option modules from postgraduate courses including History of Art and Arts Policy and Management.
Students studying Museum Cultures are invited to attend postgraduate events in the Department of History of Art and across the School of Arts. Guest speakers include international curators, museum directors, art historians and artists.
The department attracts a rich programme of visiting scholars and practitioners. Our History and Theory of Photography Research Centre and the newly established Architecture, Space and Society Centre offer students the opportunity to develop their knowledge of those areas, as does the Centre for Film and Visual Media which is based in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies.
The Department of History of Art has an outstanding reputation for offering critical and creative programmes designed and taught by leading academics and practitioners in the field, within a learning environment that is supportive of the needs of students from a wide range of educational backgrounds.
With our location in Bloomsbury in central London, you can explore some of the world's best architecture, galleries and museums, collections and arts spaces - many of which are on our doorstep or a short distance away. The British Library is within close proximity as is the British Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Foundling Museum, Wellcome Gallery, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and V&A.
We have a state-of-the art cinema and exhibition spaces, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive collection of books and journals in art history and museum studies. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, the British Library and the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A).

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The History of Design and Material Culture MA focuses on both objects from everyday life and representations of them since the eighteenth century as a basis for research and analysis. Read more
The History of Design and Material Culture MA focuses on both objects from everyday life and representations of them since the eighteenth century as a basis for research and analysis.

The course allies theory and practice in seminar-based discussions that embrace various methodological issues and perspectives, including Marxism, discourse theory, phenomenology, semiology, museology, gender, race, class, memory and oral testimony. Depending on the material you analyse in your essays and seminars, as well as the dissertation topic you choose, you can also emphasise your own intellectual and subject-specific interests.

Since its inception in the late 1990s, the MA has garnered a national and international reputation as one of the pioneering and most successful programmes of its kind. As a research-led course, it harnesses the academic expertise of staff with a recognised wealth of teaching and research excellence in subject areas such as fashion and dress history, the history and theory of advertising, photography and the mass-reproduced image, and heritage and museum studies.

Under guidance, you will be encouraged to explore the relationship between theory and practice and to develop your own skills as an independent researcher, thinker and writer.

Course structure

The History of Design and Material Culture MA draws on the wide-ranging academic expertise of staff in the fields of the history of decorative arts and design, dress history, material culture, museology and social history.

It stimulates innovative and interdisciplinary study in the history of design and material culture in both their western and non-western contexts, considering the relationship between local, national and international patterns of production, circulation, consumption and use.

The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, study visits and tutorials. Considerable emphasis is placed on student involvement in the weekly seminar readings and discussions within the two thematic core modules, Exploring Objects and Mediating Objects.

Based at Pavilion Parade, a Regency building overlooking the famous Royal Pavilion, teaching takes place close to the seafront and city centre amenities.

Syllabus

• Exploring Objects

The Exploring Objects module introduces you to a series of different research methods and historiographical approaches, as you interrogate and make sense of designed objects in terms of how they are designed, produced, circulated, consumed and used in everyday life. It covers the period from the late eighteenth century to the present time and typically involves discussion and debate on the following themes, theories and methods: Marxist and post-Marxist historiography; production and consumption; gender and taste; phenomenology; object-based analysis; the use of archives; and 'good writing/bad writing'. It also introduces you to the academic rigour of postgraduate dissertation research.

• Mediating Objects

This module complements Exploring Objects by focusing on the mediation between 'this one' (the object itself) and 'that one' (the object as represented in word and image). On one level, it examines how objects are translated in various texts and contexts, from museum and private collections to photographs, advertisements, film and fiction. On another level, it examines how objects are transformed through the embodied processes of everyday rituals such as gift-giving and personal oral and collective memories. The module therefore deals with the idea of intertexualities and how the identities of things and people are phenomenologically bound up with each other. By extension, you examine objects in relation to ideas concerning sex, gender, class, generation, race and ethnicity.

• Dissertation

The centrepiece of your MA studies, the dissertation is a piece of original writing between 18,000 and 20,000 words on a research topic of your own choosing. It allows you to pursue a specific research topic related to your own academic and intellectual interests in a given area of the history of design and material culture, for example fashion and dress, textiles, ceramics and glass, product design, interior design and architecture, graphic communications, advertising and photography, film, museums, collecting and curating, and design pedagogy. The dissertation is largely based on primary research, often using specialist archives and surviving historical material.

Facilities

This course makes use of the University of Brighton Design Archives, which include the archives of the Design Council, Alison Settle, FHK Henrion and the South of England Film and Video Archive.

Close professional contact with national institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as with local collections and centres of historical interest (such as Brighton’s unique Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, with its internationally famous collection of decorative art from the 1890s onwards), present research opportunities for students registered on the course.

The course is closely linked to our arts and humanities research division through a joint research lecture series, and we have successfully encouraged high achievers to register for the MPhil/PhD programme.

The student environment also includes the thriving postgraduate Design History Society as well as opportunities for conference presentation, professional contact and career development in the field.

Careers and employability

The course has an extremely healthy track record in helping students to take up careers in related areas of employment and further study. Many of our postgraduates have succeeded in finding work as lecturers, curators, journalists, designers and design consultants, while many others have pursued doctoral research, most often also securing prestigious funding from the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council).

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This programme, delivered by School of Arts and specialist visiting lecturers, develops your skills and provides experience relevant to a career in curating. Read more
This programme, delivered by School of Arts and specialist visiting lecturers, develops your skills and provides experience relevant to a career in curating.

Based at the School of Arts Studio 3 Gallery, you are involved in all aspects of the running of the Gallery. You work closely with partner organisations such as Canterbury museums and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

You have the opportunity to develop your own project, working within the Gallery’s exhibition programme.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/96/curating

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules provide an overview of the history of collecting and exhibitions through a series of case studies, taking advantage of our proximity to major London collections. We also cover theoretical issues relating to curating and museology.

Optional modules focus on providing practice-based opportunities for developing curatorial skills.

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.

HA826 - History and Theory of Curating (30 credits)
HA827 - Curatorial Internship (60 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is through a combination of coursework essays, critical logbooks and practice-based exercises. A long dissertation is required for the Exhibition Development and Design module.

[[Programme aims
This programme aims to:

- create and interpret knowledge at the forefront of the discipline through the development of critical, conceptual and practical abilities

- develop a self-directed programme of practice and related research

- contextualise and theorise practice in relation to, and through critical evaluation of, the work of contemporary practitioners and leading researchers within the discipline

- develop a comprehensive understanding of methodologies applicable to independent research

- develop autonomy in practice work within a context that fosters collaborative learning

- sustain an advanced practice that encompasses the disciplines of writing, discussion and producing practice-based outcomes

- achieve high-level skills and competencies as a preparation for professional practice and further development in the field of curating

- embed your research within the context of the University and utilise the resources offered in the research environment such as staff expertise, symposia and colloquia

- develop public outcomes outside the University in a range of formats

- attract students from a diversity of arts contexts and contexts that inform artistic practice, including fine art, history of art, sociology, journalism, English literature, film studies architecture and philosophy

- attract intellectually able and talented students who are enquiring, open to experimentation, discussion and collaboration as well able to work independently

- provide a forward-thinking, dynamic learning environment that responds to the current climate of debate and production in the arts.

- forge an international identity within the field of study through developing partnerships with international universities and non-HEIs

- support specialism and progression by allowing students to opt for specific routes of study that include curating, art history, cultural history, arts management, conservation or museum studies.

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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Highly respected qualification in buildings archaeology. Established more than 15 years ago, this course is one of the longest-established and most respected buildings archaeology and buildings history programmes in the UK. Read more
Highly respected qualification in buildings archaeology.

Why choose this course?

Established more than 15 years ago, this course is one of the longest-established and most respected buildings archaeology and buildings history programmes in the UK. It brings together experts in buildings survey and recording, archive research, legislation and policy, conservation, theoretical interpretation and computer modelling to deliver a dynamic course, which will equip you with the specialist skills and knowledge required for a career in researching, managing and conserving historic buildings.
-Learn the specialised skills required for researching, analysing and recording historic buildings.
-Gain experience in rectified photography, photogrammetry and other 3D recording methods, CAD drawing and computer modelling of historic buildings.
-Develop the knowledge and skills essential for careers in the architectural and archaeological sectors.
-Study in the cultural heritage capital of the UK – experience buildings archaeology in action.
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including survey support, archives and libraries.
-Receive careers advice from staff with significant experience of recruiting within the sector.

York is one of the best places to study Archaeology, Heritage or Conservation. The Department has an excellent reputation and is one of the largest Archaeology teaching centres in the UK. The historic City of York is rich in architectural and archaeological treasures and resources which you will have easy access to during your studies.

What does the course cover?

The MA in the Archaeology of Buildings is designed to train students in the systematic research, recording, analysis and interpretation of historic buildings.

Through a combination of academic studies, practical training and research projects, the course will:
-Introduce the specialised skills required for the historical research, visual analysis and archaeological recording of buildings.
-Give you a foundational knowledge of the history of architecture in the UK, from c.1000 to the present day.
-Introduce you to current intellectual and professional research priorities in the archaeology of buildings.
-Introduce you to conservation legislation, policy and practice.
-Enable you to develop excellent research and communication skills relating to the research, analysis and interpretation of historic buildings.

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for students of Archaeology, History of Art, Architectural History and related subjects, as well as for mid-career professionals seeking to develop or enhance their professional specialism in buildings archaeology.

What can it lead to?

The discipline of buildings archaeology has grown in confidence, with new theoretical and methodological developments allowing archaeologists to record, date, model and present research in exciting new ways. There is significant demand for buildings archaeology professionals in the commercial sector and in national and local heritage organisations.

Course alumni have successfully launched careers in key roles with organisations across the heritage sector, including English Heritage, National Trust, Historic Scotland and Historic Royal Palaces, as well as with local authorities and conservation bodies, conservation architects, archaeological units and commercial developers.

Placement

Work placements provide a valuable opportunity to gain practical experience of working in the professional buildings sector. Your placement will draw on and contribute to the knowledge and experience you have gained on your taught courses, while enabling you to develop new insights, understanding and expertise in buildings archaeology that will be extremely valuable in future employment.

Aims
-To provide students with experience of buildings archaeology in a professional working environment.
-To consolidate students’ knowledge and understanding of buildings archaeology procedures and issues gained from the taught modules.

Learning outcomes
Upon completing these placements you should have:
-Gained experience and knowledge of how building recording and research inform conservation and heritage practice, under the guidance of experienced professionals.
-Developed experience in practical applications, facilitating critical reflection on the theoretical and philosophical issues raised in both core modules.

Placement providers
Although the organisations offering placements change from year to year, according to availability, the following list is a good indication of the choices likely to be available:
-English Heritage
-National Trust
-Council for British Archaeology
-York Civic Trust
-West Yorkshire Archaeology Service
-The Churches Conservation Trust
-Purcell Architects
-Quercus Design
-City of York Council
-Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
-York Archaeological Trust
-Cathedral and Church Buildings Division

Careers

The MA in the Archaeology of Buildings offers practical skills and research training that provide excellent preparation for a range of careers. By the end of the course you will be able to:
-Record and analyse structures of all types, selecting a level of record appropriate to the end use.
-Execute hand, metric and photographic surveys and present the results in hand drawings, photographs and CAD.
-Recognise and apply the principles of structural analysis to elucidate a building’s history.
-Draw on a sound knowledge of British architectural history and, where appropriate, that of other countries.
-Carry out research using a wide range of archival sources on buildings in the UK and integrate these critically and effectively into the interpretation of buildings.
-Discuss and debate current research agendas in buildings archaeology.
-Direct your own independent work, and also interact with others as a member of a recording or conservation team.
-Communicate the results of research effectively through oral, written and graphic forms of presentation.

Alumni from the course have been employed in a range of commercial and heritage organisations across the UK, including:
-Field Archaeology Specialists (FAS Heritage)
-Oxford Archaeology
-URS Corporation
-Purcell Architects
-AOC Archaeology Group
-Pre-Construct Archaeology
-Headland Archaeology
-Arc Heritage
-York Archaeological trust
-English Heritage
-National Trust
-Historic Scotland
-Historic Royal Palaces
-West Yorkshire Archaeology Service
-MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology)

Others have been employed as freelance building archaeologists, local authority conservation officers and museum professionals.

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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.

This programme is also available at Canterbury only or full-time at Paris.
https://www.kent.ac.uk/arts/study/postgraduate.html

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This course will engage you in the challenging task of making sense of the multitude of photographic images that shape the world today. Read more

This course will engage you in the challenging task of making sense of the multitude of photographic images that shape the world today.

It is the first MA in the UK to combine the history and theory of photography with practice and curation in a genuinely interdisciplinary context.

You’ll explore the pivotal role of photography over the past two centuries across diverse global contexts – from the ways in which photography represents the complexities of 19th-century world views to the ubiquity and power of photography in our digital age.

You’ll also develop your practical skills, working with expert practitioners and leading photography curators.

Why choose this course?

  • Learn from leading academics – in fields including Art History, English, Photography, Media, Film, History and Politics – and enjoy direct access to their cutting-edge work.
  • Benefit from our exceptional links with a range of the UK’s premier photography institutions – including Brighton Photo Biennial, Tate, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the photographic Archive of Modern Conflict and our partnership networks of museums and galleries across the South East.
  • Experience professional master classes by internationally recognised photographers and curators. You have the opportunity to take part in the programme of the Centre for Photography and Visual Culture, which attracts world-renowned artists, writers, filmmakers and curators.

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.

For details about the part-time course, contact course co-ordinator Sophie Heath at 

How will I study?

You may choose to study this course full time over one year, or part time over two years to suit your work schedule or other commitments.

You’ll learn from our faculty and also external experts and professionals. Teaching is by lectures, seminar debates and visits to collections of photographic materials across the south of England.

The MA is structured for you to explore theoretical and practical aspects of photography in core modules during the autumn term(s). In the spring term(s), you choose from a range of options on topics such as: 

  • technologies of capture 
  • photography: documentary, politics, landscape 
  • photography and 20th-century visual culture 
  • the art and politics of contemporary image culture.

During the summer, you choose to either write a dissertation or develop a practice-based project.

Assessment methods include essays and practice-based projects, encouraging you to develop a portfolio of practical and critical skills and expertise.

This course is currently subject to validation, in line with our procedures for assuring the quality of our degrees. This means that some course detail may change. The validation process will be concluded before the course starts.

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Careers

You’ll gain academic and research skills as well as a crucial range of professional skills directed at working in the cultural, creative and heritage sectors – an arena in which millions of people are employed worldwide.

This MA prepares you for a variety of exciting careers across:

  • photography
  • the visual arts
  • curating
  • the media
  • the creative industries.

It also provides an ideal foundation for doctoral research.



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A pathway degree combines specialisation with flexibility. It is suited both to those of you who are beginning a journey towards a PhD in a particular field, and to those of you who wish to further develop undergraduate or personal interests. Read more
A pathway degree combines specialisation with flexibility. It is suited both to those of you who are beginning a journey towards a PhD in a particular field, and to those of you who wish to further develop undergraduate or personal interests. The pathways have emerged from clusters of excellence and expertise in the Department and relate directly to our Research Schools of Architectural History and Theory, British Art, Medieval Art and Medievalisms, Modern and Contemporary and Sculpture Studies. We therefore have concentrations of staff working in these areas, and related lectures, colloquia and site visits taking place.

The Modern and Contemporary Art pathway

If you select the Modern and Contemporary Art pathway you could choose options focusing on a wide range of works ranging from painting, sculpture and architecture, to photography, installation, performance and contemporary works engaging with new media and the digital. You will study works of art from geographically diverse regions, from the international rise of ‘pop art’ across the globe from the 1960s, to the arts of the Americas, and art from west and east Europe from the early twentieth century to the present day. As well you will be introduced to a range of formal, methodological and theoretical ways of thinking, writing and talking about the work of art in this period.

In order to complete the degree, at least two of your four option modules and your dissertation must be completed in Modern and Contemporary Art. Beyond this, the programme structure provides the flexibility for you to either specialise entirely in Modern and Contemporary Art, or to select up to two of your option modules from art history modules outside the field, or from modules offered by other humanities departments and interdisciplinary centres. Training will be offered in both general and pathway-specific research skills, which will prepare you for the development of a sustained independent research project for your dissertation, on which you will work closely with an academic supervisor who is expert in the field.

Degree Structure

Taken full-time, the one-year MA in History of Art (Modern and Contemporary Art) consists of:
-Autumn and Spring Terms: A core module focusing on Research Skills and Methods in History of Art, including pathway-specific sessions.
-Autumn Term: Two taught modules of your choice; an option is always offered on historiographical and theoretical approaches to art history.
-Spring Term: Two further modules of your choice.
-Summer Term and vacation: A dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words.

Taken part-time over two years, you would do one option in each of the Autumn and Spring terms, and work on your dissertation during the Summer terms and summer vacation.

Each option is taught by weekly two-hour seminars and assessement is in the form of a 4,000 word essay. Field-trips to view art and architecture are included in the programme, as appropriate.

The Research Skills and Methods in History of Art module, which is taught on a fortnightly basis across the Autumn and Spring Term, culminates in the production of a dissertation synopsis, on which the module is assessed.

The programme culminates in the production of a 15,000-20,000 dissertation, produced under the supervision of a member of staff. The work accounts for 50% of the final degree mark.

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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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Would you like to apply your arts or applied sciences background to the conservation of fine art?. Northumbria University’s MA Conservation of Fine Art course is the only Master of Arts course in the UK that specialises in the conservation of easel painting and works of art on paper. Read more
Would you like to apply your arts or applied sciences background to the conservation of fine art?

Northumbria University’s MA Conservation of Fine Art course is the only Master of Arts course in the UK that specialises in the conservation of easel painting and works of art on paper.

Integrating a mix of fine art, science and forensic techniques, you will study a range of subjects including studio and work-based practice, conservation theory, science, technical examination, -preventive conservation and research training skills.

In addition to the core modules studied, you will have the option to undertake a work placement during years one and two in the UK or abroad.

Learn From The Best

This course is taught by a team of specialist academics who have extensive experience in the field of conservation, science and the Fine Art sectors.

Applying their specialist knowledge to their day-to-day teaching, the members of our staff are actively involved in research and consultancy - activities which are helping to define this exciting and complex profession.

We also engage with the wider conservation sector to ensure that the content of this course is in-line with professional standards and employer expectations.

Throughout the duration of this course you will receive ongoing support from our teaching staff to ensure you leave equipped with - the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully pursue a career within conservation or a related discipline.

Teaching And Assessment

Offering the opportunity for you to specialise in either works of art on paper or easel paintings conservation, this course consists of modules that will explore a range of key areas including conservation theory and practice, conservation science, art history and preventive conservation

You will leave with the technical skills required to undertake examinations, cleaning, structural repairs and stabilisation of works of art, in addition to an in-depth understanding of the historic significance artistic practice and materials play-in understanding artworks.

Significant emphasis is also placed on ethics and developing your skills in research development.

This course is primarily delivered through practical workshops where you will develop a wide range of skills using especially prepared materials and case studies selected from our unique archive collection. These activities inform and run parallel with work conducted on project paintings and other challenging artefacts.

Assessment methods focus on you applying your practical skills, academic concepts and theories to your project documentation and the authentically constructed materials that mirror real life scenarios. You will also undertake a dissertation to further demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of this subject.

Learning Environment

When studying the MA Conservation of Fine Art course you will be housed in a Grade II listed building in the heart of Newcastle city centre. You will be able to utilise techniques such as x-ray, infra-red reflectography, and ultraviolet florescence and false colour infrared photography to examine materials and artworks spanning centuries, in addition to gaining access to intriguing archives and cutting edge technology.

You may also have access to other advanced technologies such as UV fluorescence microscopy, polarised light microscopy (PLM), UV/VIS spectrophotometry, fourier transform infrared (FTIR), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX).

You will also receive ongoing support through our innovative e-learning platform, Blackboard, which will allow you to access learning materials such as module handbooks, assessment information, online lectures, reading lists and virtual gallery tours.

Research-Rich Learning

Research-rich learning is embedded throughout all aspects of this course and our staff are continuously involved and informed by fast-moving emerging developments in conservation research and ethical debates.

All of our staff possess individual specialisms, in areas such as the development and evaluation of conservation treatments for paintings, characterisation of artists’ materials and techniques, studies in material deterioration and comprehensive documentation of works of art.

Our team also collaborate with national and international research organisations.

When studying this master’s degree, you are encouraged to develop your own individual research skills to ensure you graduate with confidence in your own practical and academic experience. These skills are further enhanced when you undertake your dissertation under the guidance of your assigned tutor.

Give Your Career An Edge

This course has been developed to reflect national guidelines and ensure that you graduate with the necessary skills and knowledge to kick-start your career within this profession. There are also many additional opportunities available to further enhance your career edge whilst you study.

Throughout the duration of this course you will create a professional portfolio, which will include examples of practical work and displays of your intellectual achievement to provide a demonstration of your skills and enhance your performance at interviews.

In addition to completing a placement to further enhance your development you will also have the opportunity to present research papers at an organised symposium.

We actively encourage you to engage with professional bodies and attend key conferences to allow you to network with professionals who are already working within the profession, and you may also have the opportunity to advantage of our partnership with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, whose collection supports a number of activities. Our long standing links with the National Trust, Tate Britain and the estate of Francis Bacon have created exciting projects for our MA and PhD students.

Your Future

This course will equip you with a deep understanding of both the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in fine art conservation laboratories or conservation jobs across the world.

You may choose to work in galleries or museums, or progress your research to PhD level.

Recent illustrious alumni list, include Virginia Lladó-Buisán Head of Conservation & Collection Care Bodleian Libraries, Britta New, Paintings Conservator at the National Gallery in London and Eleanor Hasler, Head of Paper Conservation at Kew Gardens.

As your professional development is in-line with the current postgraduate professional standards for the Conservation of Fine Art, your access to postgraduate professional jobs within the conservation sector is likely to be enhanced.

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