Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture

The course is offered by the Warburg Institute in collaboration with the National Gallery, London. The purpose of the programme is to provide high level linguistic, archive and research skills for a new generation of academic art historians and museum curators. The art historical and scholarly traditions of the Warburg Institute are linked to the practical experience and skills of the National Gallery to provide an academic programme which will equip students either as academic art historians with serious insight into the behind the scenes working of a great museum or as curators with the research skills necessary for high-level museum work. This 12 month, full-time programme provides an introduction to: Museum knowledge, which covers all aspects of curatorship including the technical examination of paintings, connoisseurship, materials and conservation, attribution, provenance and issues relating to display. Art history and Renaissance culture to increase students' understanding of methods of analysing the subjects of works of art and their knowledge of Renaissance art works and the conditions in which they were commissioned, produced and enjoyed. Current scholarship and professional practice in these areas as well as new and emerging areas of research and scholarship. The programme will be taught through classes and supervision by members of the academic staff of the Warburg Institute and by National Gallery curatorial and archival experts. The teaching staff of the Warburg Institute are leading professors and academics in their field who have published widely and are involved with research related to the topics they teach.

Entry requirements

The normal minimum entry requirement is an upper 2nd class Honours degree from a British university, or an equivalent qualification from a foreign institution, in any discipline in the humanities which is related to the course. In addition to a good knowledge of Art History, especially related to the Renaissance, a reading knowledge of 1 and preferably 2 European modern languages, apart from English, is required. All students whose 1st language is not English must provide recent evidence that their written and spoken English is adequate for postgraduate study.

Course modules

All students will take 3 core modules and 2 elective modules. Core modules include: Art history (iconology); curatorship in the National Gallery; language, paleographical and archive skills. Optional modules include: Artistic intentions 1400 to 1700; Islamic authorities and Arabic elements in the Renaissance; music in the later middle ages and the Renaissance; new worlds, ancient texts (Renaissance intellectual history and the discovery of the Americas); Renaissance art literature; Renaissance philosophy; Renaissance material culture; sin and sanctity in the Reformation.

Assessment methods

All students are required to submit 3 essays of 4,000 words, 1 at the beginning of the 2nd term and the remaining 2 at the beginning of the 3rd term. A dissertation of 15,000 words, on a topic agreed by the student and supervisor, has to be submitted by 30 September. The course is examined on these 4 pieces of written work, a catalogue entry (submitted at the end of the 1st term), and examinations in language, palaeographical and archive skills. Students are allocated a course tutor and, in addition, are encouraged to discuss their work with other members of the staff at the Warburg Institute and the National Gallery. Because of the small numbers involved (places are limited to 12 per year), students have frequent contact, formal and informal, with their teachers.

Sponsorship information

Students accepted at the Warburg Institute for MA and MPhil/PhD degree study may apply for bursaries offered by the Institute.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (EU) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (England) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 14,950 per Year 1 (International) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (Scotland) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (Wales) 12 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Warburg Inst, School of Advanced Study, Uni of London Camden Wc1H 0AB South East

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Key information

Telephone number: 
020 7862 8663