The MA (Hons) in Art History will teach you to critically and perceptively assess images of all kinds, allowing you to become visually and verbally articulate. The main focus of the course is on the major arts of painting, sculpture and architecture, but it also encompasses the applied arts, graphic arts and photography.
As part of your degree, you will learn to analyse the style, content, meaning, theory and aesthetics behind works of art. You will learn different approaches to art by studying patronage and social significance, and the implicit and explicit ideas behind each work.
More information for 2020 entry will be available in September 2019. For information on the current year of entry for this course see the 2019 page.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
Standard entry grades: AAAB
Minimum entry grades: AABB
Gateway entry grades: BBBB
Standard entry grades: AAA
Minimum entry grades: AAB
Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5)
Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.
You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.
SQA National 5 (B) or equivalent in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
GCSE (B or 5) in English, English Language or English Literature, and one GCSE (B or 5) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
St Andrews students meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2018 as 94% of St Andrews final year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
A degree in Art History provides an excellent foundation for a career in museums and galleries, arts administration, the art trade or teaching. As Art History is studied in social, geographical, cultural and psychological contexts, you will develop an understanding of how different societies evolve and how art impacts our lives.
Popular career areas for Art History students include:
business and finance
catering and hospitality
In recent years, Art History graduates at St Andrews have secured employment in a wide range of positions, including at:
the British Library
Country Life magazine
Legal and General
National Museums Scotland
Tiffany and Co.
The Week magazine.
In your degree, you will also gain a number of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers across all sectors. These include the ability to:
understand aspects of culture and history in different time periods and geographical locations
produce logical and structured narratives and arguments supported by evidence
effectively communicate ideas by deploying visual material in conjunction with written or oral presentation
work constructively and productively in groups.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Art History students may participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the Study Abroad site.
From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions - notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.
Students of Art History may be interested in joining the following student societies:
ArtsSoc holds weekly life drawing classes, goes on trips to exhibitions, and organises talks with artists.
The School of Art History is located in a handsome terrace of townhouses in the centre of St Andrews next door to the University Library. Students will usually attend lectures, seminars and tutorials at this location.
The town of St Andrews itself has much to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland. Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.
“Art History allows you to view the world and its history through an aesthetic and social perspective. We cover a huge breadth of western art history, from the Renaissance to the present. The course is also quite broad including lectures on Islamic art and includes field trips to galleries in Edinburgh and Glasgow.”
Gemma (Hong Kong)
School of Art History University of St Andrews 79 North Street St Andrews KY16 9AL
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).