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About the school

St Andrews has been rated as one of the top four places in the UK to study the history of art in 2017 by the Guardian, and Independent newspapers and one of the top three according to The Complete University Guide(2017). Moreover, the CUG (2017) judged the School of Art History the top department for student satisfaction.

The results of the National Student Survey were released in early August and St Andrews performed extremely well, attaining first place in the UK for the quality of its undergraduate teaching for the second year running.

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 well in the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise, with 75% of our research being judged 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading'. Staff interests range from the Medieval to Modern periods and encompass Architecture, the History of Photography as well as the Fine Arts.

We are a lively, friendly and supportive community of 27 staff (23 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.


School of Art History
University of St Andrews
79 North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Tel: 01334 462399

See also

  • University contacts