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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. Postgraduate study in this area trains you at a high level in looking at, thinking about and researching art and its histories.
A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent (for example, professional experience).
For students with a degree in a subject other than history of art, our Graduate Certificate in History of Art and Architecture can be used as a conversion course. A merit will normally guarantee you a place.
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each sub-test.
'I looked at several History of Art Master’s courses at London universities and was impressed by the broad range of modules that were offered at Birkbeck. I appreciated the variety and the fact that I could study periods ranging from the Renaissance to the Victorians. The fact that the lecturers are leaders in their fields was an added bonus and the digital facilities were excellent too.
'While I was studying I worked part-time in the students’ union and also undertook some marketing internships and volunteered in museums and galleries. These days, employers expect you to have work experience when you graduate and the part-time study at Birkbeck means that you can balance study, paid work and internships.
'As well as giving me the opportunity to gain work experience while studying, the skills and knowledge that I gained at Birkbeck have also helped me to secure a graduate position in an advertising agency. As part of an assessment day which I attended I had to give a presentation on a subject which I was really passionate about. I used knowledge from my Birkbeck MA to talk about Victorian advertising, and how this was the start of the advertising industry as we know it. I’m sure this helped me to secure the job.
'The Master’s enabled me to develop my critical thinking skills further than at undergraduate level and taught me to analyse visual culture – which is at the heart of a career in advertising.
'I went into the Master’s straight from my undergraduate degree and found it inspiring to be in class with older learners who were incredibly enthusiastic about and committed to their studies. I would definitely recommend Birkbeck to people my age who want to access good teaching, good resources and develop in other areas at the same time.'