Art History MA (Hons) 2021 entry
The MA (Hons) in Art History will teach you to critically and perceptively assess artworks 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.
Master of Arts (single Honours degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 June 2025
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
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: ABB
- 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.How to apply
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
No previous knowledge of art history is required.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
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.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2020 as 92.7% 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.
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 art history module 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:
- The Art of the Renaissance in Italy and Northern Europe: a survey of painting, sculpture and architecture in Italy and northern Europe from 1280 to 1580.
- European Art and Architecture in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: an introduction to European art from Baroque Italian architecture to 18th-century French paintings.
Students will take both of the following second-year modules:
- Art, Culture and Politics, from 1900 to Now: a survey of some of the most compelling episodes in 20th-century art, including Cubism, Abstract Expressionism and Postmodernism.
- History and Theory of European Art, Architecture and Design from the French Revolution to Vienna 1900: a study of the most significant art developments in 19th-century Europe, along with a close study of the most significant artists and the emergence of avant-garde movements.
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 medieval art, Gothic architecture, and history of photography. Subject to availability, these may include:
- African Modernisms
- The Arts of AFrica: Histories, Themes and European Collections
- A Survey of Islamic Art
- Art and Politics in France, 1945-1975
- Art, Science and Technology 1700 - 1900
- Histories of Photography (1835 - 1905)
- Images and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe
- Leonardo da Vinci, 500 years later
- Michelangelo: Sculptor, Painter, Architect
- Modern Art Beyond the West
- Portuguese Renaissance: From Local to Global
- Principles and Protagonists of Italian Renaissance Architecture
- Romanticism and Visuality
- Seeing the Sixties
- Spanish Painting in the Age of Velazquez
- The Arts of Africa: Histories, Themes and European Collections
- The Art of War: Battle, Rivalry, Paragone, 1400-1700.
In fourth year, students also undertake either a 6,000 or 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 compulsory modules listed here must be taken 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 appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
Joint Honours degrees
You can take Art History as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.
"I love how versatile the degree is and how engaging the lectures are. I really value the emphasis on independent research and the range of subjects to study. I like the open-minded attitude of the School of Art History and the small class sizes – you really receive individualised attention. St Andrews strikes the perfect balance between academic rigour and university life. The friendships you cultivate and the calibre of the education you receive is outstanding."
Lara (California, USA)