About the school
St Andrews has been rated as one of the top five places in the UK to study the history of art in 2014 by the Guardian, and Independent newspapers and The Complete University Guide (2014) judged the School of Art History the top department for student satisfaction.
The School is based at 79 North Street in the centre of St Andrews and next door to the University Library. It is located in a handsome terrace of townhouses dating from 1824-25 which has been entirely refurbished in order to provide attractive teaching and study rooms complete with up-to-date computing and image projecting equipment.
The School performed extremely well in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. It was ranked fourth overall in the Art and Design Unit of Assessment and second overall among Art History departments. The research and teaching interests of its staff range from the medieval to contemporary periods, and encompass architecture, sculpture, painting, the applied arts, performing arts and the history of photography.
We are a lively, friendly and supportive community of 24 staff (20 academics and 4 support staff) and over 500 students each year. Around 70-80 students graduate annually with a degree in Art History. Some students take a joint degree, combining Art History with another subject (e.g. English, History, Anthropology), and many more enrol for occasional Art History modules in their first and second years. This is one of the advantages of the Scottish University system: it allows students to take unfamiliar subjects in their first two years and many decide to change their degree choice to Art History after enjoying our introductory modules in, for example, Renaissance or Modern Art.
The School also has a substantial number of postgraduates (60-70) taking taught modules in Art History, History of Photography or Museum and Gallery Studies, or working on research projects for higher degrees (MPhil & PhD). Our fortnightly Research seminars provide an opportunity for students and staff to get together for discussion and to interact with scholars from other universities and galleries. We also have a full programme of conferences and lectures by distinguished speakers.
The MA in Art History opens the way to employment in various occupations, not just in the arts but also in business, management, finance, broadcasting, publishing and other fields. Art History in St Andrews has grown considerably since being established as a degree subject in 1967. Former students from all over the world, many of whom are now employed in senior positions in their chosen careers, can testify to the value of a St Andrews education and the significant part that the School, and the training they received, has played in their lives.