Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

History of Art

History of art is a rich and dynamic discipline, combining the rigorous investigation of the visual arts with the creative exploration of their connections to culture, politics and society. Postgraduate study in this area trains you at a high level in looking at, thinking about and researching art and its histories. Birkbeck's MA History of Art offers the opportunity to study with internationally recognised experts. Our teaching staff are defining the field, conducting ground-breaking research in periods from medieval to contemporary, focusing on painting, sculpture, print culture, architecture, photography, digital art and museology. The MA History of Art exposes you to key art historical approaches, and allows you to focus in depth on areas and periods of particular interest to you, in early and modern (including contemporary) periods, through taught options (see an indicative list of modules on the 'course structure' tab) and independent research. The course also offers opportunities for work placements with London museums, galleries and archives. The course develops your visual acuity and your understanding of art's histories, while stimulating critical debate and stretching your research skills. In addition to independent written work, you will take part in group discussion, give oral presentations and engage with the Department of History of Art's research culture.

Entry requirements

Good Honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent (for example, professional experience). For students with a degree in a subject other than history of art, the 1-year part-time Graduate Certificate in history of art and architecture can be used as a conversion course. Students who successfully complete the graduate certificate with merit will normally be guaranteed a place on this programme. If you are in this position, you do not need to complete an admissions exercise. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

MA

Core module:

Current Approaches to History of Art .

Option modules:

Art and Identity: 'Race', Ideology, Culture;
Art in the Age of Giotto: evidence and interpretation;
Creating a Public. Museums and their audiences;
Gender, Modernity and the City;
Gothic in England: Architecture, Liturgy and Identity 1170-1360;
Histories in Transition: Visual Culture, History and Memory in South Africa and Beyond;
Inventing the Victorians;
Museum Environments;
Museums, Memory and National Identity;
Photography and the Index;
The Art of Persuasion: Religious Imagery and the Catholic Reformation .

Research project/work placement option modules:

Museum Cultures Work Placement;
Research Project Report MA History of Art .

Dissertation.

PgDip

Core module:

Current Approaches to History of Art .

Option modules:

Art and Identity: 'Race', Ideology, Culture;
Art in the Age of Giotto: evidence and interpretation;
Creating a Public. Museums and their audiences;
Gender, Modernity and the City;
Gothic in England: Architecture, Liturgy and Identity 1170-1360;
Histories in Transition: Visual Culture, History and Memory in South Africa and Beyond;
Inventing the Victorians;
Museum Environments;
Museums, Memory and National Identity;
Photography and the Index;
The Art of Persuasion: Religious Imagery and the Catholic Reformation .

Research project/work placement option modules:

Museum Cultures Work Placement;
Research Project Report MA History of Art .

PgCert

The programme consists of a combination of a compulsory module and 1 option module. These assessed elements are supported by a series of research skills workshops.

The compulsory module, Current Approaches to History of Art, is designed to explore methodologies and issues involved in the current study of the discipline (around such topics as exhibition, reception and interdisciplinarity).

The option module allow you to pursue specific interests and areas of research in selected topics from the the medieval period to the present.

The option modules listed below are a selection of those offered in past years. Please get in touch with Programme Director Dr Leslie Topp with any queries about option modules for the current academic year, which term and evening each option is offered, and the process for choosing your option modules.
Core module:

Current Approaches to History of Art .

Option modules:

Art and Identity: 'Race', Ideology, Culture;
Art in the Age of Giotto: evidence and interpretation;
Creating a Public. Museums and their audiences;
Gender, Modernity and the City;
Gothic in England: Architecture, Liturgy and Identity 1170-1360;
Histories in Transition: Visual Culture, History and Memory in South Africa and Beyond;
Inventing the Victorians;
Museum Environments;
Museums, Memory and National Identity;
Photography and the Index;
The Art of Persuasion: Religious Imagery and the Catholic Reformation .

Assessment methods

MA

3 coursework essays of 5000 words each, a research project report of 6000 words and a 15,000-word dissertation.

PgDip

Coursework essays of 5000 words each and a research project of 6000 words or a work placement.

PgCert

Coursework essays of 5000 words each.

Sponsorship information

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses - and you don't have to start repaying until 2019. Funds are available to support research expenses for your coursework on this MA. The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students. Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 11,500 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (England) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 5,750 per Year 1 (International) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (EU) 2 years
MA Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
MA Part-time October 2017 - 2 years
PgCert Part-time October 2016 - 1 years
PgCert Part-time October 2017 - 1 years
PgDip Full-time October 2016 - 1 years
PgDip Part-time October 2016 - 2 years
PgDip Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
PgDip Part-time October 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus Bloomsbury WC1E 7HX South East

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Contact: 
Department of History of Art and Screen Media
Telephone number: 
020 7631 6110