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, providing relevant contexts and critical approaches with which to analyse works of art.
In your first year, you will cover two main areas of study. The first comprises medieval and Renaissance art in Europe and beyond. This provides you with a thematic survey covering painting, sculpture and architecture in Southern and Northern Europe, as well as key points of contact with the non-Western world, from roughly 1300 to 1600. The second is a survey of European art and architecture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It covers the Baroque and Enlightenment eras, global networks of trade and exploration, and an introduction to early modern Islamic art.
In second year, you will take two modules. The first is in the history and theory of European art, architecture and design from the French Revolution to Vienna 1900. This focuses on the most significant art-historical developments of the long 19th century. The second module covers art, culture and politics from 1900 to now. Here you will explore some of the most compelling episodes and issues of international 20- and 21st- century art.
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:
- 19th-century art
- 20th-century Modernism
- Art of the medieval period
- Contemporary art
- Gothic architecture
- History of photography
- Islamic art
- Orientalism and art
- Renaissance painting, sculpture and architecture
- Russian art.
Final year students must also complete either a 6,000 or 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-depth 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.