Art History

Teaching and research interests in Art History at the University of St Andrews extend from the medieval to the modern periods. Study in this subject focuses on the major arts of painting, sculpture and architecture, but also encompasses applied arts, graphic arts and photography.

Students of Art History gain intellectual breadth and learn to become verbally and visually articulate. You will learn to assess images of all kinds critically and perceptively, considering a wide range of factors:

  • the analysis of style, content and meaning
  • patronage and social significance
  • the implicit and explicit ideas behind works
  • broad questions of theory and aesthetics.


Undergraduate - 2020 entry

Art History MA (Hons)
Gateway to Arts Pathway to MA (Hons)
FE-HE Pathway to Arts  Pathway to MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

You can take Art History MA (Hons) with another subject as part of a joint degree.

International Foundation programmes - 2020 entry

International Foundation programmes prepare international students for undergraduate study in the UK and at the University of St Andrews in particular.

Social Sciences and Humanities September Foundation
Social Sciences and Humanities January Foundation 

Postgraduate - 2020 entry


Art History MLitt
History of Photography MLitt
Museum and Gallery Studies MLitt



Please contact a supervisor in your research area to enquire about PhD opportunities.

Visit St Andrews


If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day or talk and tour to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 1 April 2020
  • Wednesday 8 April 2020
  • Wednesday 15 April 2020

Visit us


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 11 March 2020

Sign up

Research in Art History

The main strengths of research in Art History at St Andrews are in the areas of:

  • medieval and Renaissance art
  • European and American modernism
  • the history of photography
  • museum and gallery studies.

Staff and students of Art History participate in University-wide research centres and institutes

Find out more about research in Art History.

Careers for graduates in Art History

A degree in Art History from St Andrews provides an excellent foundation for a career in a wide range of fields, including:

  • museums and galleries
  • arts administration
  • the art trade
  • teaching
  • publishing and media
  • PR and marketing
  • law
  • business and finance
  • retail, catering and hospitality.

Recent graduates in Art History are employed in universities and archives, museums and galleries, auction houses, radio stations, publishing houses and magazines.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Find out more about careers in Art History.

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students.


There is a range of undergraduate funding opportunities offered by the University of St Andrews.

Undergraduate scholarships


The School of Art History offers a number of scholarships specifically for postgraduate Art History courses. These funding opportunities include:

See the School of Art History funding page for more details. 

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students  

The School of Art History offers a number of scholarships specifically for postgraduate Art History courses. See the School of Art History funding page for more details.  

Funding for PhD students


REF 2014

The School of Art History was rated top in Scotland and fourth in the UK for research excellence in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.

University league tables

The School of Art History was ranked first in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020 and first in Scotland and third in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2020.


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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2399

Art History website

Art History research portal