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Art History/History of Photography (MLitt)

Course Description

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.


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.


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.

Visit the Art History/History of Photography (MLitt) page on the University of St Andrews website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A degree in the history of art is strongly recommended but is not an essential requirement for admission to the Art History or History of Photography course of study leading to the MLitt. For all degrees in Art History, History of Photography and Museum and Gallery Studies a Personal Statement/Statement of Interest is also required.

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