The specific character of this programme lies in the way it unites the close study of objects and related images, with historical research and cultural theory. Emphasis is placed on the design, production, diffusion and consumption of domestic goods - whether for elite markets or everyday use - rather than capital goods. Approaches to the history of the decorative arts and design are inter-disciplinary and make use of methodological developments in ethnography, gender studies, economic history and other academic fields. Students can either pick a specialist or generalist pathway on this programme to suit their own specific interests, depending upon their personal choice of essay and dissertation research directions.
The University of Brighton is recognised nationally and internationally as one of the leading institutions for the study of the history of decorative arts and design. This course is the only MA in the field based in a school which gained a grade 5 in the national Research Assessment Exercise, an indication of international excellence.
The course 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. The department is based in a Regency building overlooking the famous Royal Pavilion of Brighton constructed in the late eighteenth-early nineteenth century period, close to Brighton's famous sea front and in the heart of the city.
Career and progression opportunities The course has a healthy employment record, many graduates taking up careers in museums, galleries, arts administration, auction houses, journalism, publishing and education. Others study for further professional qualifications or postgraduate study.