History of Art MA

The History of Art MA at UCL draws on the research and teaching expertise within the department, and is designed to enable students to acquire specialised knowledge pertaining to the field of art history and develop independent research skills.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,750
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,500

Application date

  • All applicants: 14 June 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

Students develop skills for engaging with visual materials and gain historical knowledge, enabling them to interpret artefacts in relation to their social and cultural contexts. They are introduced to current methodological debates in the field and encouraged to define their own position through reasoned historical and theoretical arguments.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

UCL History of Art is top rated for research; and staff are active researchers in a range of specialist fields. It is a challenging and versatile degree; you will study in a community of circa 35 graduate students; at the same time you will work in smaller groups and in close contact with tutors in your special subject courses.

The department is located in Bloomsbury, close to the Warburg Institute, the British Library and the British Museum. The National Gallery, Tate Galleries and the Victoria and Albert Museum are also within easy reach. UCL's own Art Museum, housed on site in the Strang Print Room, holds many rare and important works.

Collaboration with the Courtauld Institute, Birkbeck College and staff from national museums, enables UCL History of Art to offer access to a range of expertise in virtually any aspect of the subject.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of a core module (30 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Methods, Debates and Sources in History of Art


  • Options may include the following:
  • Human and Non-Human in Medieval Art
  • Cannibalism and the Early Modern Image
  • Vision, Tourism, Imperialism
  • American Media: Publicity and the Logics of Surveillance
  • Politics of the Image: Germany 1890–1945
  • Art as Theory: The Writing of Art
  • Contemporary Art and Globalisation


All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 13,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, as well as gallery and museum visits. Assessment is by two essays for each of the taught courses (six essays in all), the dissertation and a viva.

Further details available on subject website:


The department awards several bursaries covering a proportion of fees to Master's or Research students.

Scholarships available for this department

Overseas Master's Bursary

Frances Stracey Awards

For prospective History of Art MA applicants from the UK/EU.

Childcare Support Grant

Selection based solely on financial need.

Graduate Support Bursary

For a prospective UK Master's student from under-represented background enrolling on a participating programme. Selection based solely on financial need.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 14 June 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme is designed for those with a first degree in the History of Art, or with some experience of the subject, who have a high level of commitment and an aptitude for academic work.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study History of Art at graduate level
  • why you want to study History of Art at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to elaborate on your reasons for applying to this programme and how your interests match what the programme will deliver. It is essential to study the departmental website carefully in order to write a meaningful statement.


UCL's History of Art graduates have a record of success in entering PhD programmes, careers in museums and galleries, the art trade, the heritage industry, art publishing, art conservation and teaching. The unique combination of visual sensitivity and intellectual rigour has also proved valuable in journalism, publishing and advertising.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Royal Library of Windsor, Curatorial Internship (paid), 2013
  • Hayward Gallery, Exhibition Assistant, 2011
  • Christies, Administrator, 2011
  • UCL School, Art History Teacher, 2010
  • London Southbank UNiversity, Aimhigher Events Officer, 2010


Our History of Art MA provides focused training in the history of art and its methodologies around a set of specialised themes. It will encourage thew student to develop original thinking on all aspects of visual cultures, and familiarise them with historical and contemporary cultural debates. You will learn how to work collaboratively as well as independetly to develop your skills in written and oral communications. The MA is an excellent starting point for a career in curating, for working in the heritage industry, commercial art galleries and other sectors of the cultural industries, as well as in art criticism. For those inspiring to an academic career, the MA is a requirement for doing a PhD, and many of our former MA students have been successful to get funding fo a research degree in the UK, North-America and elsewhere.

Next steps


Ms Jenni Grove

T: +44 (0)20 3108 4011


History of Art

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Prospectus subject

History of Art

Faculty overview

Social and Historical Sciences


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Student View

"The ability to see works of art in situ, both in London galleries and department-subsidised trips to Europe, proved the department's commitment to the analysis of the physical art object and an understanding of the criticality of the work's context."

James Baskerville

Degree: History of Art MA

Staff View

"The UCL History of Art Department appealed to me because of its long-standing commitment to critical theory, a willingness to embrace interdisciplinary approaches and a research culture in which period isn’t the chief organising factor."

Dr Robert Mills

Reader in Medieval Art