Art History MA (Hons) 2018 entry

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.

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UCAS code

V350

Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Art History page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Typical entry requirements

SQA Highers AABB
GCE A-Levels AAB
IB points 35

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.

International applicants

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.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous knowledge of Art History is required.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

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 webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.

Timetables

St Andrews students must meet with their advisor 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.

Course information

The MA (Hons) in Art History is a four-year course run by the School of Art History. Art History is a well-rounded discipline and embraces aspects of economic, social and political history, languages and literature, philosophy, and psychology to provide you with the relevant context with which to analyse works of art.

In the first two years, you will cover a chronological survey of European art (covering painting, sculpture and architecture) from the 13th century to the present day.

Alongside Art History, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised.

During your final two years, you may either retain this chronological breadth of study or choose a more in-depth focus of particular periods or topics. Specialist subject areas may include:

  • art of the mediaeval period
  • Gothic architecture
  • Renaissance painting, sculpture and architecture
  • 19th-century art
  • history of photography
  • Orientalism and art
  • Art Nouveau
  • Russian art
  • aspects of Scottish art
  • 20th-century Modernism
  • contemporary art.

Final year students must also complete a 6,000 to 12,000-word dissertation on an Art History topic chosen in consultation with teaching staff.

Graduates in Art History from St Andrews can expect to have a highly developed sense of independent critical thinking and judgement, and will have developed both a broad, and in some areas, a deep knowledge of art and art history.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about studying Art History at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Art History alongside modules in at least one other subject.

Typically, you will take one to two Art History modules per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students will take the following first-year modules:

Students will take both of the following second-year modules:

If you decide to take Art History in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including modules in mediaeval art, Gothic architecture, and history of photography.

Art History Honours modules which have been offered in previous years include:

  • The Age of Klimt, Olbrich and Mucha
  • The Scandinavian Art of Building and Design (1890-1960)
  • Seeing the Sixties
  • Approaches to Modern Sculpture
  • Manuscript Illumination in Western Europe
  • Romanticism and Visuality.

In fourth year, students also undertake a 6,000 to 12,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.


The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

Art History sub-honours modules are primarily delivered through formal lectures (130 to 200 students) complimented by small group tutorials (8 to 10 students). Lectures are illustrated by visual presentations, with tutorials providing an opportunity for students to develop and discuss their thinking in a small and friendly environment.

At Honours level, students attend smaller lectures (15 to 25 students) along with seminars (7 to 12 students).

Regular visits, both at sub-honours and Honours level, are organised to galleries and monuments around Scotland.

When not attending lectures, tutorials and seminars you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise in Art History. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

You can find contact information for all Art History staff on the School of Art History website.

In addition to your studies in the School of Art History, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.

Assessment

Almost all the modules in Art History are assessed by a balanced combination of coursework and written exams. At Honours level, some modules are assessed entirely by coursework, while others include written examinations.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

The School of Art History provides feedback on every assessment, with a view to improving your performance in future, and aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

Visit St Andrews

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

Fees

Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £21,290

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Accommodation fees for 2018 are yet to be set. Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017-2018.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take Art History as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.

Your future

Careers

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:

  • museums and galleries
  • arts administration
  • public relations
  • advertising
  • journalism
  • publishing
  • TV and radio.

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 structure 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.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Student life

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.
  • Art History Society promotes the enjoyment of art through criticism and study.

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 lots 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.

Contact

School of Art History

University of St Andrews
79 North Street
St Andrews
Scotland
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2399
Email: art.history@st-andrews.ac.uk

Art History website