About the School of Art History

Picture of Window with an Art History blind showing

Welcome to one of the largest and most dynamic art history departments in Britain. We are an international community with a global outlook. We were ranked first in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2024 and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Our Art History strategy 2021-26 (PDF)  outlines our mission, aspirations and commitment to world-leading and inclusive teaching and research. 

The School is located at 79 North Street, a nineteenth-century townhouse in the centre of St Andrews, and a stone’s throw from The Quad, the University Chapel, the Main Library and the Richardson Research Library at Martyrs Kirk. Much of our teaching is conducted in our seminar rooms in this building. 

Teaching and Research

Our teaching is research driven and our colleagues are internationally recognised for their expertise. The School has specialists in a wide range of fields across many geographies, including the Medieval period, the Italian Renaissance, the Islamic world, the early modern Iberian world, modern central and eastern Europe, art in France and its empire (1600-today), photography in Japan, the post-Second World War era, the arts of Africa, modernisms in the Americas, and museum studies. Art historians at St Andrews are at the forefront of research into Scottish art and architecture, increasingly focusing on its transnational links.

A full listing of our research profiles can be found on the People webpage.

Many of our faculty actively participate in the University’s cross-disciplinary research centres and institutes, and the School is home to the Museums, Galleries and Collections Institute, and the Centre for Contemporary Art.

The School's Art History Research Lecture Series provides an opportunity for students and staff to get together for discussion and to interact with scholars from other universities and museums. Throughout the academic year, there is also a regular programme of conferences, workshops and lectures by distinguished speakers.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Study

At graduate level, we offer three taught masters programmes – in Art History, History of Photography, and Museum and Gallery Studies. For our undergraduates, we offer in the region of twenty-four special subject honours modules in any given academic year, while our team-taught survey modules for first- and second-year students introduce a range of major historical and thematic topics that appeal to experienced students as well as those who are completely new to the subject.

Public Engagement

Outreach, public engagement and research impact are key commitments within the School. Faculty members regularly collaborate with a wide range of institutions globally to advance our understanding of arts and culture. To read more about our Research Impact Case Studies, please consult our Research pages.

To follow our activities online, please have a look at our Events pages, as well as the School of Art History Twitter Feed.