MA History and Philosophy of Art
History & Philosophy of Art at Kent provides opportunities for graduate study with well-established researchers in the fields of art history, philosophy of art and aesthetics. Staff research covers contemporary art and aesthetics, modernism, theories of art, the historiography of art and the Cold War; biographical monographs, the photograph (in its historical, contemporary and critical contexts), and the historical interplay of image, theory and institutions from the Renaissance to the present (especially European and North American).
Developing areas of interest include the cultural and historical significance of the print, and the role of performance and new media in contemporary art practices, which draw upon our links with other subjects within the School of Arts and the Faculty of Humanities. In particular, postgraduates have the opportunity to participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary Aesthetics Research Centre, and there is also a full programme of visiting speakers from across the constituent subject areas within the School of Arts, which includes Filmand Drama.
This MA provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art. Particular focuses include contemporary art, photography, Renaissance art, medieval art, 18th-century British painting, 19th-century French painting, modernism, aesthetics and the philosophy of art and film. You may elect to take a Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics pathway, which draws on the expertise of our Aesthetics Research Group.
The programme is intended for graduates in art history, philosophy and cognate subjects, such as fine art. It gives you the opportunity to pursue your interest in visual art at advanced level, to develop a high level of expertise in topics in history and philosophy of art and to prepare for doctoral research in history of art or philosophy of art.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
- Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art
- Introduction to Research in History & Philosophy of Art
- Reading the Contemporary
- Advanced Film Theory
- Theories of Art in Modern French Thought
- Post-Conceptual Art and Visual Arts Criticism
- History and Theory of Curating
- A Matter of Taste: The Art and Aesthetics of Food
- The Art of Portraiture: Historical and Philosophical Approaches
- Philosophy of Art Dissertation
Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.
Postgraduate resources There is a large and wide-ranging library holding for History & Philosophy of Art, covering the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, aesthetics and contemporary visual communications. There is a substantial stock of periodicals, online access to e-journals and a slide library with well over 100,000 images, covering areas such as contemporary art, visual cultures, garden history and the film still, as well as traditional media. Kent is ideally located for access to galleries in London and on the continent.
In 2010, we moved into the purpose-built, and RIBA award-winning, Jarman Building located at the centre of the Canterbury campus. The new building is home to the Studio 3 Gallery and a range of teaching and social spaces as well as a dedicated postgraduate centre.
All postgraduate students are offered research skills training and the opportunity to take part in reading groups and research seminars at departmental, school and faculty level. Research students have the added opportunity for funded conference attendance. There is also a dedicated student support office at our Canterbury campus, which can offer support and guidance throughout your studies, in addition to an office in Paris.
In recent years, several members of the History & Philosophy of Art Department, both full-time and part-time, have been awarded University prizes for excellence in student support, curriculum innovation and research-based teaching – an ethos which we seek to extend to the postgraduate community.
A first or 2.1 honours degree in a relevant humanities subject. Applicants without these qualifications will be judged on the basis of a sample of written work, an interview and relevant experience.
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