Our PhD programme is one of the largest and most renowned in the world for art history and conservation. We take around 20-30 students each year and at any one time has a student body of over 100 scholars at various stages of their studies. Our PhD graduates are to be encountered everywhere in the academic, museum and gallery world, from the Director of the National Gallery in London to the Director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. As a graduate with a Courtauld PhD you will be part of an international network, with a qualification that is valued and respected all over the world. We have great expectations of our PhD students, and recognize the value they bring to the Institute and its intellectual life. Our status as the leading centre for doctoral training in art history and conservation is recognized by our outstanding achievements in the 2014 ‘Research Excellence Framework’, and by the large number of AHRC (now CHASE AHRC) funded awards for studentships we have been allocated over many years: more than half of our Home/EU PhD students have received full funding from this route.
As a PhD student at The Courtauld you will be part of a rich, vibrant and active research community, and will take full part in the academic life of the institute. Our postgraduates take part in seminars, specialist reading groups, site visits, and conferences and workshops, and contribute to The Sackler Research Forum’s intensive programme of cutting edge research and debate by scholars from across the world, including visiting professors, curators, conservation scientists and artists. They edit and produce our journal of postgraduate research, immediations and are able to contribute to curatorial work in our gallery and print room. Our doctoral students have opportunities to gain professional experience by teaching at BA and MA level, and through work with our public programmes department.
Although we have a large body of PhD students, as a single subject institution The Courtauld remains an intimate place where students and staff know each other well, and access to the faculty members and postdoctoral scholars is easy and frequent. The faculty who will make up your supervisory team will meet with your regularly, both formally to discuss drafts of your work and informally at lectures and seminars, and the receptions held frequently after them; they will be responsible for guiding your research, helping plan, develop and shape your thesis, monitoring your progress and finding ways to support your project in whatever way they can – either though proposing particular training options, providing contacts for you in national and international museums or archives, and helping you develop your professional skills and experience, as well as your own network of scholars in your field.
You can find out more details about current faculty who may be able to supervise your PhD at the Courtauld through our staff pages. You might also be interested in information about current PhD students, and about our extensive network of Courtauld alumni and their activities.