Thursday 10 August 2023
Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- A 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. A degree in art history is recommended but is not an essential requirement. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
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.
- CV or résumé
- personal statement (500 words)
- sample of your own, single-authored academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. See approved English language tests and scores for this course.
The MLitt in History of Photography is a taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Art History. The MLitt offers a unique opportunity to study the history of photography as a specialised field of research.
- This innovative degree is inspired by the important role played by St Andrews in the early history of the most influential visual medium of the modern era.
- Students are introduced to the theoretical and methodological challenges and debates that photography’s multiple functions and contexts have provoked since its invention.
- Classes make full use of the outstanding photographic collections of Special Collections, University Library and associated photographic archives.
- Small class sizes prioritise discussion with peers and interaction with the tutor.
- Students may apply to take part in exchange programmes at our partner institutions.
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 2022-2023 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2023 entry.
- Issues in Photographic Criticism: provides an introduction to key writings and debates in the history of photographic criticism from the 1830s to the present day.
History of Photography students choose three postgraduate-level course modules. One of the three modules may be selected from the undergraduate-level Honours programme, from the MLitt programme in Art History or from reading and bibliography modules on advisement.
Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered:
- Object Lessons in Photography
- The Documentary Impulse
- The 'New Vision' in Twentieth-Century European Photography.
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.
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 in part 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 receive a PGDip instead of a MLitt.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2023 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
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 four to eight 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.
The School organises postgraduate research seminars and occasional symposia. Each year they invite a number of artists and scholars to give lectures.
More information on tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.
Funding and scholarships
After your degree
Recent postgraduates in History of Photography are employed in:
- auction houses
- web design
- publishing houses and magazines.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Art History Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option.
Many History of Photography graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.Postgraduate research
What to do next
Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.
We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.
- +44 (0)1334 46 2399
- School of Art History
79 North Street