The History of Art MA at UCL draws on the world-leading 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 to develop independent research skills.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
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
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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:
About this degree
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).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in History of Art.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
- Methods, Debates and Sources in History of Art
These focused modules are linked directly to the current research of staff in the department, and change regularly. Approximately seven are offered each year, in a range of periods. Options may include the following:
- Modern Medieval: Reception, Revival, Replication
- Seeing Through Materials: Matter, Vision and Transformation in the Renaissance
- Transformations of the Body in Early Modern Cabinets of Display
- Gold, Silver, Bronze: Art, Materiality and Value, c.1400 to the Present
- Colonialism and Its Legacies in Latin American Art
- Vision, Tourism, Imperialism: Art and Travel in the British Empire, 1760–1870
- Time, Media, Revolution: Art and Politics in France, 1789–1871
- Politics of the Image: Germany 1890–1945
- Art as Theory: The Writing of Art
- American Documentary: Inventions, Reinventions and Afterlives
- Intermedia: Art and Materiality in the 1960s and 1970s
- On Sex and Violence
- Race/Place: Exotic/Erotic
- Toil and Trouble: Feminism and Art Now!
All MA students take two modules from the optional module offerings.
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 modules (six essays in all), the dissertation and a viva.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
The department awards several bursaries covering a proportion of fees to Masters or Research students.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Deadline: 27 April 2020
- £10,000 towards tuition fees (50% per year if part-time) (1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time))
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Deadline: 10 May 2021
- One-off award of up to £15,000 (Duration of Programme)
- UK, EU, Overseas
- Based on academic merit
- Deadline: 14 May 2021
- Full fees plus stipend (1-2 years)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
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 an excellent record of success in entering PhD programmes, careers in museums and galleries, the art trade, the heritage industry, art publishing, and art conservation. The unique combination of visual analysis and intellectual rigour offered by the MA has also proven valuable in diverse careers including journalism, publishing and advertising. For those aspiring to an academic career, the MA is a requirement for a PhD, and many former MA students have successfully received funding for research degrees, and subsequently obtained academic positions at prestigious institutions in the UK, North America and elsewhere.
Our History of Art MA provides focused training in the history of art and its methodologies. It encourages students to develop original critical thinking on all aspects of visual culture, and promotes a serious engagement with historical and contemporary cultural debates. Students 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 academia, curating, for working in the heritage industry, commercial art galleries and other sectors of the cultural industries.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL History of Art is one of the most dynamic centres for the study of art history and visual cultures in the world. It is one of the leading departments in the UK for research and all staff are active researchers in a range of specialist fields. Our teaching and research move beyond traditional forms of art history to address visual and material cultures more broadly, and we are committed to a wide range of critical and historiographical enquiry.
The MA in History of Art is a challenging and versatile degree. You will study in a community of approximately 40 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 holds many rare and important works.
Department: History of Art
What our students and staff say
"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 MillsHistory of Art MA, History of Art PhD, Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA
Reader in Medieval Art
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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is designed for those with a first degree in history of art, or with some experience of the subject, who have a high level of commitment and an aptitude for academic work.
- All applicants
- 30 April 2021
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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.