The course aims to equip students for interdisciplinary research in the late medieval and early modern period, with a particular emphasis on the reception of the classical tradition. The programme combines the study of images and texts, art history, philosophy, the history of science, European literature and the impact of religion on society and is offered full-time or part-time.
Working with text in its original language is an important part of this programme and we welcome those with language skills and those with interests in learning languages. During this twelve-month, full-time course, students will improve their knowledge of classical and/or European languages and will acquire the library and archival skills essential for research on primary texts. Although it is a qualification in its own right, the MA is also designed to provide training for further research at doctoral level. It is taught through classes and supervision by members of the academic staff of the Institute and by outside teachers. The teaching staff are leading academics in their field who have published widely and are involved in research related to the topics they teach.
This programme is also available as a Master of Research (MRes) programme, suitable for those students who wish to undertake a substantial piece of original academic work, or a Postgraduate Certificate, ideal for students who wish to undertake further study but cannot commit to a full time master's degree.
Structure and Modules
Modules are taught by academics at the Warburg and museum professionals at the National Gallery, giving you the opportunity to combine your academic study with behind-the-scenes training on a range of curatorial practices.
All students take three core modules and two option modules. The core module on Language, Palaeographical, Archival, and Curatorial Research includes training at all levels in one language which can be Latin, Italian or French. You will have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project through the dissertation, which is completed in the summer term under the guidance of a supervisor from either the Warburg or the National Gallery.
The programme is supported by an unassessed Methods and Techniques of Scholarship module that will introduce you to the nuts and bolts of the historiography and methods of scholarly work in early modern cultural history and prepare you, through a term of workshops, to choose, develop, and research the topic that forms the subject of your dissertation.
Mode of study
12 months full-time | 24 months part-time | 36 months part-time plus
How will this course benefit me?
As a student at the Warburg Institute, you will have unrivalled access to the best resources and expertise for academic study in London. Alongside our official programme we organise visits and training sessions at neighbouring institutions, such as the British Museum, Government Art Collection, Wellcome Collection and British Library, and further afield the Victoria & Albert Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Courtauld Gallery. You will have the opportunity to speak with artists, curators and academics, many of whom are Warburg alumni, to enrich your learning experience and develop research projects.
In addition to the MA programme, there is a varied and exciting range of public lectures, conferences, events and talks available to students at the Warburg Institute and National Gallery. You will have the opportunity to consult and exchange ideas with the community of academic art historians who use the Warburg Institute as their base and provide access to networks which will support you in your future profession.
The normal minimum entrance requirement would be a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree from a recognised university in the UK, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in any discipline in the humanities that is related to the course. In addition to a reading knowledge of one European language, applicants should have the desire to begin studying another.
Applications from candidates who do not meet the formal academic requirements but who offer alternative qualifications and/or relevant experience, could be considered.
English is the language of instruction and applicants are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency.