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MA History and Philosophy of Art (Paris)

Course Description

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 Paris. You have the unique opportunity to study the arts at postgraduate level within the context of a city that has been at the very centre of many crucial artistic and art theoretical developments in the past few centuries.

Students interested in taking this MA as a part-time option would take two modules each year (one per term), plus the dissertation in the final year. The programme can also be studied in Canterbury only or with the year shared between Canterbury and Paris.

About the Department of History & Philosophy 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, the history and philosophy of portraiture, 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).

Studying art as a postgraduate at the University of Kent in Paris will give you the opportunity to experience our rich resources of academic expertise and participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary Aesthetics Research Centre and the Art History and Visual Cultures Research Centre. Our research and teaching will engage you in a dialogue with aesthetic, conceptual and historical perspectives.

Course Structure

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.

The programme will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. The core compulsory modules are:

Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art
Modern Art in Paris
In order to allow you to explore other subject areas that interest you will have the option to take one of the modules from other programmes that are on offer at the Paris campus:

From the Idea of a City to Philosophies of Urban Design
Architecture and Cities 1840s-1960s
Modernism and Paris
Film and Modernity
Paris and the European Enlightenment
Identity, Trauma and Sexuality in Modern French Literature
Paris: Reality and Representation
Best of Enemies: Images of Britain and France in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Religion and European Thought
Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art
Modern Art in Paris
History & Philosophy of Art Dissertation


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.

Visit the MA History and Philosophy of Art (Paris) page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

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.


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.

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