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Art History (MLitt) 2021 entry

The MLitt in Art History offers a diverse range of subject areas, from early medieval art and architecture to contemporary performance art; modules address major themes and concepts that connect different periods of art history. 

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Key information

Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 6 September 2021
  • End date: 30 September 2022

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time or two years part time

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

Home: £9,900
Overseas: £20,370

Application deadline

Wednesday 11 August 2021. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
  • personal statement (500 words)
  • sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MLitt in Art History is designed to:

  • develop and enhance core research and writing skills
  • introduce and deepen knowledge of the theoretical and methodological foundations of art history
  • enable students to explore current critical debates, art media and contextual questions.

Highlights

  • The choice of modules allows wide-ranging study of thematic or methodological issues, as well as focused research pathways.
  • Small class sizes prioritise discussion with peers and interaction with the tutor.
  • Students have the opportunity to attend class trips, and there is a research seminar with guest lecturers for all staff and students every two weeks. Students may also apply to take part in exchange programmes at our partner institutions
  • Students have access to extensive library holdings including a major visual resources collection with over 150,000 images and a microfiche copy of the Conway and Witt photographic archives, comprising some two million images of works of art. 

Teaching format

The MLitt degree requires two semesters of full-time (or four semesters part-time) coursework, normally equivalent to four modules. Each module has a minimum contact time of 16 hours. The modules are taught as small group discussion seminars, with an average size of five to ten students in each group. Additionally, there may be class trips where relevant to the taught modules.

The assessment for the taught modules is based on coursework including:

  • book reviews
  • critical bibliographies
  • visual analysis and object analysis essays
  • reading journals
  • research papers.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2020–2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.

  • Themes in Art History: introduces students to a selection of key issues, concepts, and writings in the field.

Art History students choose three postgraduate-level course modules, with the option to choose one of those modules from the undergraduate-level Honours programme.

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).

Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered.

  • Art and Technology
  • The Book as Object and Idea
  • The Classical Tradition
  • The Documentary Impulse
  • The Image of the Artist
  • Issues in Photographic Criticism
  • Object Lessons in Photography
  • Representation and the Body
  • The 'New Vision' in Twentieth-Century European Photography
  • Writing on the Visual

The final three months of your course will be focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation. Across the two semesters, students participate in a series of skills workshops designed to help prepare for the dissertation element. Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and, assuming you have attained appropriate grades, receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students. 

The next virtual visiting day will be in November 2021.

Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.

Online information events

Conferences and events

The School of Art History supports a large, active and diverse postgraduate community. Postgraduate students publish the peer-reviewed North Street Review journal containing articles on a wide range of topics by students at St Andrews and other universities.

The School also organises postgraduate research seminars and occasional symposia. Each year they invite a number of artists and scholars to give lectures.

The School was institutional in establishing the Museums, Galleries and Collections Institute (MGCI) which is a leading centre for training and research in the heritage sector. 

Funding

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships.

After the MLitt

Research degrees

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Art History Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option.

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.

PhD in Art History

Careers

Recent postgraduates in Art History are employed in:

  • universities
  • archives
  • museums
  • 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 in building their employability skills.

"A large amount of work is expected, but I still have found the time to take part in plenty of extracurricular activities and I have a healthy and balanced daily schedule, mixing study, sports, music, nature and social events. Every activity is intertwined in this small town, which makes it easy to fill your days. The close contact with teachers and the accessibility of the staff is without any doubt a huge asset as they support creative research and are always open to innovative ideas. This degree has provided an opportunity for me to broaden considerably my knowledge of society and cultural phenomena."

Julien
Julien
- Hasselt, Belgium

Contact

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

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

Art History website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

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).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).

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