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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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£18,670 (FT) £9,285 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

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.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

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.

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 information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site History of Art MA


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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


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 degree

  • Curatorial Internship (paid), Royal Library of Windsor
  • Exhibition Assistant, Hayward Gallery
  • Administrator, Christie's Auction House
  • Assistant Education Officer, Kettle's Yard
  • Collections Assistant, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts


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 independently 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 for a research degree in the UK, North-America and elsewhere.

Why 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.

Student / staff ratios › 17 staff › 43 taught students › 45 research students

Department: History of Art

Degree reviews

Staff review

"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

History of Art MA, History of Art PhD, Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA
Reader in Medieval Art
Student review

"I have really enjoyed the freedom to explore both major and minor elements of the subjects covered by the taught courses. My primary interest in Old Masters has been developed by one of my taught courses and by my choice of dissertation topic was in turn influenced by a seemingly unrelated course on nineteenth-century technology. It is the predominant focus on the visual (and indeed sometimes not-visual) in conjunction with a strong theoreticall framework that develops the students of the History of Art MA into strong well-rounded critical thinkers."

James Baskerville

History of Art MA

Application and next steps


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.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.

Contact Information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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