The MLitt in Art History offers a diverse range of subject areas, from early medieval art and architecture to contemporary performance art; modules address major themes and concepts that connect different periods of art history.
The MLitt in Art History is designed to develop and enhance core research and writing skills, to introduce and deepen knowledge of the theoretical and methodological foundations of Art History, and to enable students to explore current critical debates, art media and contextual questions.
The choice of modules allows a wide-ranging study of thematic or methodological issues, as well as focused research pathways.
Small class sizes prioritise discussion with peers and interaction with the tutor.
Students have the opportunity to attend class trips, and there is a research seminar with guest lecturers for all staff and students every two weeks. Students may also apply to take part in a summer exchange programme with the École du Louvre in Paris.
Students have access to extensive library holdings including a major Visual Resources Collection with over 150,000 images and a microfiche copy of the Conway and Witt photographic archives, comprising some two million images of works of art.
The MLitt degree requires two semesters of full-time (or four semesters part-time) coursework, normally equivalent to four modules. Each module has a minimum contact time of 16 hours. The modules are taught as small group discussion seminars, with an average size of four to eight students in each group. Additionally, there may be class trips, relevant to the taught modules.
The assessment for the taught modules is based on coursework including:
visual analysis and object analysis essays,
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.
Themes in Art History: introduces students to a selection of key issues, concepts, and writings in the field.
Art History students choose three postgraduate-level course modules, with the option of one of those modules being selected from the undergraduate-level Honours programme. Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.
Art and Technology
The Book as Object and Idea
The Classical Tradition
The Documentary Impulse
The Image of the Artist
Issues in Photographic Criticism
Representation and the Body
The University of St Andrews Photographic Collection
Writing on the Visual
The final three months of your course will be focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation. Across the two semesters, students participate in a series of skills workshops designed to help prepare for the dissertation element. Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by a date specified in August.
Students may also apply to attend a three-week summer school as part of an exchange programme with the École du Louvre in Paris, in which case they write a correspondingly shorter dissertation. Students are expected to arrange and pay for their own travel and accommodation.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and, assuming you have attained appropriate grades, receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
Recent postgraduates in Art History are employed in universities and archives, museums and galleries, auction houses, radio stations, publishing houses and magazines.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. A degree in art history is strongly recommended but is not an essential requirement.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
personal statement (500 words).
a sample of academic written work (2,000 words).
two original signed academic references.
academic transcripts and degree certificates.
evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.