Frequently Asked Questions, Postgraduate Study - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Frequently Asked Questions, Postgraduate Study

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Frequently Asked Questions

Postgraduate Study


How to Apply to Postgraduate Courses

Frequently Asked Questions, Postgraduate Study

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding filling in the Online Application Form for the MA History of Art, MA Curating the Art Museum and the Graduate Diploma degree programmes.

Can I apply for more than one programme in the same year?

You can apply for more than one programme.

What type of reference should I provide / It's been a long time since I attended university. Can I submit professional references?

As your referees will be asked to attest to your academic abilities, you should make every effort to provide two academic referees.

If this is not possible, you may use professional referees instead. They will still be expected to be able to provide an assessment of your intellectual abilities and potential to learn.

References must be written in English – if this is not possible, please contact

As your referees may be unavailable to write a reference at the last minute, you should contact your referees well in advance of submitting your application – preferably 4-6 weeks. Your application cannot be considered until after we have received both references and any English translations of references, if necessary.

We will contact you if we have not heard from your references two weeks after you submit your application. However, please note that we will not contact you once references are received.

Please note that references are automatically contacted by via our application portal once you have submitted your application.


My degree will not be completed by the time of application. Should I send in an academic transcript of my grades and courses up until this point or wait until my degree is complete?

Please do submit an interim (or in- progress) transcript from your current University/Institution. Final transcripts showing the degree conferred must be received by the Admissions team at The Courtauld by August 31st.

I am booking an English test but am unable to do so before the application deadline, can I still submit my application?

If you are unable to book a test at a centre ahead of the application deadline, then you may submit your application without an English proficiency result. It will be passed to the tutors for consideration. You must email your test result as soon as it becomes available to you. Any offer made in the absence of a test result will be conditional on your achieving the required score. IELTS test results must be no longer than two years old.

What is the latest date I can submit my English proficiency test results?

You can submit your test results no later than August 31st. However, we strongly advise that you plan ahead and submit your test results well in advance of this date.

I am not a native English speaker, but I studied for my degree at an English-speaking institution. Do I ned to take an English proficiency test?

If you have studied at an institution for three or more years where English is the language of instruction, you do not need to take an English language test. However, you must provide a letter from your University/ Institution verifying this.

Can I apply after the deadline?

We do not accept late applications for MA in Curating the Art Museum or Research. We may consider late applications for the other programmes – please check the How to Apply page to see if the programme you are interested in is still accepting applications. A late application will be processed and considered after applications received before the deadline.

Can I apply for deferred entry to the MA History of Art/ MA Curating/Graduate Diploma?

We do not accept applications for deferred entry into our postgraduate programmes.

Can I study part time?

We do not offer the opportunity to study our MA History of Art, MA Curating or Graduate Diploma courses on a part time basis.

I'm American and I don't know what information to give for my high school/ university qualifications.

Under the section ‘School Attended’ put your high school. Leave the ‘examining body’ part blank, and add N/A for years attended and then put ‘High School Diploma’. Don’t worry about subject. Additionally, put in your AP exams by skipping ‘School Attended’ and list the AP exam, when you took it, your Subject and for what level you scored. Do the same for SAT and ACT.

For University/Institution attended, first indicate what universities you attended during which years, and finally your major, your GPA and your degree title (if conferred or the date it should be conferred).

It's been a long time since I attended university. What kind of writing sample should I send in?

If you have recently attended a course or summer school for which you have submitted written work, you should provide that. If you are required to write as part of your job, you could provide examples of this kind of written work provided they are relevant to your application. The samples need not be on an art historical subject, but should demonstrate your capacity for writing in academic English. Your written work should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words for the MA courses. If you do not have a suitable piece of this length you may submit two shorter pieces.

If you are applying for Graduate Diploma, you may submit a new piece of writing. Please see the Programme Application Instructions for more information.

If you are submitting a piece of written work in another language, you may provide an official translation or translate the piece yourself.

How many hours per week can I expect to attend class?

If you are studying for the MA History of Art, you can expect to attend lectures and tutorials 4 hours per week in the Autumn/ Spring term. The Summer term will be devoted to writing your dissertation. You will also be participating in other activities such as visits to various galleries and museums.

If you are studying for the MA in Curating the Art Museum, you will be be attending lectures and tutorials 6-8 hours per week. You will also be participating in other activities such as visits to various galleries and mu

I have been made a conditional offer – what does that mean?

If you have not yet completed your degree, you may be made a conditional offer. This offer is conditional upon achievement of a specified level of performance in your degree (for example, achievement of a good 2:1). If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you may be made an unconditional offer.

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