MA History of Art

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MA History of Art

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Postgraduate Taught Courses

MA History of Art

Course Overview

The Courtauld MA History of Art provides the best in research-led teaching by world class faculty in a unique, single-subject setting. It is renowned for offering outstanding training in the specialised analytical and communication skills necessary for further research or for employment both in the arts sector and across a wide range of other careers. The programme excels at developing well-rounded and intellectually astute art historians and museum professionals equipped to make an important contribution to public life.

Special Options taught in small groups of 8-10 remain the hallmark of the Courtauld MA History of Art. Renowned for their rigour, their breadth and scope continues to expand, with options on China, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Russia. Special options range across media, temporalities and geographies to include topics such as ‘Strolling Isfahan: Masters, Merchants and Monarchs’, ‘Countercultures: Alternative Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America 1959-1989’ and ‘Photography, Film and Video in Global Contemporary Art’. Recent additions to the programme include ‘Circum-Atlantic Visual Culture c. 1700-1830’, ‘The Court Arts of China in Beijing and Beyond’, ‘Miniature to Monumental: Encounters with Medieval Art’ and ‘Romantic Revivals: The Search for Origins 1950-1870’.

The MA History of Art structure combines our long-standing commitment to specialism with new means to foster fresh dialogues among students from across our tightly-knit community. Throughout the first term, you will attend a signature new weekly lecture course designed and delivered by faculty to explore cutting-edge thinking from across the breadth of our discipline, followed up by discussion classes led by our outstanding community of research students. You will also have expanded opportunities to participate in shared interest study strands designed to complement your chosen Special Option.

Key Facts

Status: Full-time

Location: Vernon Square Kings Cross, London WC1X 9EP (during The Courtauld Connects project)

Duration: 9 months

Awarding Body: University of London

Intake: 160 – 180

Initial Application Deadline: 15 January 2019

Open Days and Campus tours

Entry Requirements

UK qualifications: Students will hold a BA degree or equivalent (normally in the Humanities or Social Sciences) with at least a 2.1 (average 65% or above in the UK). If your academic background is non-Humanities / non-Social Sciences, you may be invited to apply to the Graduate Diploma before being eligible for the MA.

Overseas qualification: Equivalent to a good 2.1 in a UK first degree (e.g. US applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above).

If you hold a qualification from outside of the UK, please contact the Admissions Team at pgadmissions@courtauld.ac.uk

Please note that applicants are invited to interview on a case-by-case basis.

English language requirements: If your first language is not English, we require proof of English language proficiency –please see the English Language Requirements page.

Teaching & Programme Structure

The Courtauld MA History of Art offers a unique combination of taught and supervised research-based elements. A range of teaching methods and learning strands are deployed. Over the course of the MA, you will participate in lectures, seminars and discussion groups, deliver individual presentations within their special option groups, and benefit from an extensive programme of individual tutorials designed to hone critical and written communication skills in dialogue with the special option tutor. The course is structured as follows:

Term 1

Within the framework of their Special Option, you will attend two classes per week: one takes the form of a Special Option seminar, while the other may take the form of a Shared Interest seminar or lecture which brings together students from different Special Options working on shared historical or theoretical concerns, providing a robust foundation for specialisation. In addition to the Special Option and Shared Interest classes, you will participate in a flagship art historical methodologies component at the start of each week. This consists in weekly lectures delivered by permanent faculty, followed up by way of seminar discussions led by research students in groups of 10-12. Over the course of the term, you will complete a range of informally assessed writing and presentation tasks, and participate in planning and feedback tutorials devoted to the production of the first formally assessed essay.

Term 2

Having begun planning and research for their second formally assessed essay over the Christmas break, you will attend two Special Option seminars per week in the second term. In addition to the taught component of the course, you will spend the spring term researching and writing your second formally assessed essay and developing their independent virtual exhibition project. Planning for the dissertation begins following the submission of the virtual exhibition Project.

Term 3

The third term is devoted to the research of writing of the 10,000-word dissertation project. You will benefit from tailored individual support, one-to-one tutorials with faculty and receive extensive feedback on drafts of their dissertation. The results are often highly original contributions to scholarship across a wide field and are regularly commended by external examiners for being of exceptional, often publishable quality. Past MA History of Art dissertations are made available for consultation and listed in our electronic library catalogue.

Assessment

The formal assessment of MA History of Art is based on the following four components:

1. A 4,000 word essay relating to the special option, valued at 15% of the overall degree classification (Term 1).

2. A second 4,000 word essay relating to the special option, valued at 20% of the overall degree classification (Term 2).

3. A virtual exhibition assignment, involving the selection and presentation of works of art to be included in an exhibition addressing a particular theme, selected from a list provided for each epical option, valued at 15% of the overall degree classification (Term 2).

4. A 10,000 word dissertation, researched and written over a period of approximately three months with supervision from the special option leader. The topic generally arises from the previous two terms’ study. The dissertation is valued at 50% of the overall degree classification (Term 3).

Careers & Employability

The MA programme is designed to produce graduates with highly transferable skills, which will prepare you for a wide range of employment opportunities, or further academic study. Our graduates are not only equipped with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the History of Art, but also learn how to:

  • Analyse visual imagery and articulate sophisticated arguments in formal writing and in oral presentations.
  • Read critically and economically.
  • Assimilate complex material.
  • Formulate and express a broad range of different ideas.
  • Present research to a varied audience.
  • Develop independent research skills.
  • Experience collaborative work in groups.

With these skills, Courtauld graduates go on to further study and to jobs across the economy including:

Curators, Conservators, Art Dealers, Auction House experts, Lawyers, Entrepreneurs, Publishers, Media professionals, Teachers, Banking and Finance, Journalists, Business / Marketing & Communications, Fashion buyers, Civil servants

You can access bespoke, one-to-one careers guidance throughout their studies. The Courtauld Careers Service offers advice and support on exploring career and further study options, finding internships, enhancing employability, understanding and navigating the jobs and self-employment market, and making successful applications. This service is available to all graduates for up to two years after graduation.

Fees & Funding

2020/21 fees are available here.

Fees are subject to change each academic year. Fee information, including what qualifies as home, EU, and overseas fees, can be found here.

Financial support for your studies:

Postgraduate Master’s Loan Please visit the Student Finance England website for further information and to apply online.

Courtauld Institute of Art Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit combined with financial need. The average postgraduate scholarship awarded in 2019/20 was £6,000. Applications are welcomed from Home, EU and Overseas students applying to or currently studying in 2020/21.

Alumni Loyalty Scheme: This scheme is open to any graduate of The Courtauld Institute of Art admitted to a taught postgraduate programme of study. Recipients will receive a 10% loyalty discount off their tuition fee for the duration of the course.

Further information about loans, grants, and bursaries to support you during your studies at The Courtauld can be found here.

Support

To support you through the degree, we offer:

Wellbeing: We have a dedicated Wellbeing team, with counsellors and advisors.

Academic Skills: The academic skills tutor offers group and one-to-one help to develop the skills and confidence you need to succeed on the degree. We also have two Royal Literary Fund fellows who will help you with your writing skills – concentrating on how to structure and improve your writing.

Whilst many options are still accepting applications, others are now full, or only accepting applicants for a place on their wait list. Please see below for details on the status of the options available for 2019/20.

Apply for this course

Apply for this course or download a prospectus for more information.

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