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MA History and Philosophy of Art (Paris)

University of Kent School of Arts

Full time September MA 1 year full time

About the course

This is the only MA programme in History and Philosophy of Art offered by a British university in Paris and taught in English.

It provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art and is intended for graduates in art history, philosophy and related subjects, such as fine art. It gives you the opportunity to pursue your interest in visual art at advanced level and within an interdisciplinary context, 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.

You spend the entire year in the French capital, which allows you to participate in excursions to prominent cultural locations and make use of research resources that are only available in

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or better, usually in a relevant humanities subject. In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path or who may have relevant experience in the industry. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies.Your application should include a sample of your academic writing. Ideally this will be an essay, on a similar or related topic, that you have recently written as part of your undergraduate degree programme. Please upload this to your application portal.

Course Content

Where is University of Kent


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Paris School of Arts and Culture

Student Profile(s)

Michael Healey

I graduated with confidence, believing that I had the necessary skills and experience to work in the fiercely competitive art world. Indeed, having befriended the artist Humphrey Ocean, I undertook an internship with him, archiving his work – a hugely enjoyable and invaluable experience, which I am continuing with.

As a result of writing on average two essays per module, and reading the work of other art theorists and critics, the degree also improved my writing style considerably. Indeed, in a positive review of Krikey! Kentemporary Prints (an exhibition I curated as part of my degree) which appeared in the scholarly print journal Print Quarterly, Paul Coldwell singled out the catalogue essay I wrote for particular praise. The ‘Print Collecting & Curating’ module, for which I curated the aforementioned exhibition, has had the most profound effect on me, both in terms of personal development and employability. As regards the latter, as well as archiving for Humphrey Ocean, I was put in touch with an art dealer, on whose behalf I have been selling artworks, from 19th century political prints to modern and contemporary paintings. In so doing, I have sold to museums, galleries, societies and universities.

My biggest success so far has been turning a £600 investment into over £11,000 profit. I
am in the process of devising an exhibition proposal – based on a University essay I wrote – and am in discussion with a major London institution to host it.

Alice Helliwell

I chose this course because of the robust philosophy element; my background is in philosophy and psychology and I was looking to move into an art-related field, so this course was perfect for me. I chose to study in Paris because I wanted the chance to study my degree in a city filled with both art historical richness and contemporary creativity. There are so many enriching experiences for us to take part in. We have been to art openings, museums and live shows and visited artists’ studios and private collections of art. There are regular talks from creatives and professionals in the arts that we can attend. We also have the opportunity to create our own arts journal and festival. Moving to a new country may seem scary but everyone is in the same boat and there is so much support available. Within a few months you’ll have forgotten all your apprehension! The teaching is brilliant, you will learn a lot from your fellow students and will be supported to achieve your career goals, all while experiencing the wonders of Paris.

Sarah Bolwell

The fact that the course was in Paris was a major draw. Studying art history in Paris allows you to really get up close to the paintings and artworks under discussion. You can trace the history of modern art on every street corner in Paris, as well as in the galleries.

The building where Kent’s Paris School of Arts and Culture is based is also home to other major universities such as Columbia (New York), and Sarah Lawrence College, which gives you the chance to meet and share ideas with other students. The building is also just a stone’s throw from Modigliani’s studio, one of Picasso’s studios and a whole heap of bars that Hemingway drank at.

Studying in Paris also gave me the chance to develop my language skills, not just in the bars and marchés – the School provides a French tuition class.

The course was great in that it filled in the gaps in my art historical knowledge. The set texts were challenging and engaging; seminar discussions were often lively. All the lecturers who come to teach at the Paris centre are internationally recognised academics, but still approachable and genuinely interested in your research. I had a great relationship with my supervisor, although he was based in Canterbury, I was always able to get in touch to talk through ideas and possible research directions.

I also took advantage of the chance to attend modules from other disciplines, sitting in on some English literature seminars and participating in a creative writing class.

I was very lucky in that I was headhunted for a role at The Burlington Magazine (an academic art historical journal founded in 1903) while I was still in Paris. It all happened very quickly: I handed in my MA dissertation on Friday, packed my bags Saturday, got the Eurostar back to London on Sunday and then started my job on Monday morning! I started as Production Editor and am now Assistant Articles Editor.


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