History of Photography (MLitt) 2018 entry

The MLitt in History of Photography offers a range of innovative courses covering the 19th-century origins of photography and the camera to high-modernist art photography, and the documentary narratives and technological advances of the 20th century.

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Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 September 2019

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 History of Photography page. 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

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. A degree in art history is strongly 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.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £8,500
Overseas: £17,600

Application deadline

Applications are accepted until shortly before teaching starts in September. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • 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 History of Photography offers a unique opportunity to study the history of photography as a specialised field of research. 

Highlights

  • 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 the University Library and associated archives, such as that held by the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.
  • Small class sizes prioritise discussion with peers and interaction with the tutor.

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.

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 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 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, with the option of one of those modules being selected 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).

  • The ‘New Vision’ in Twentieth Century European Photography
  • The Documentary Impulse
  • The University of St Andrews Photographic Collection

Students also have the option to select the undergraduate Honours module, Histories of Photography, 1835-1905, and also select one module from among the optional modules offered by the Art History MLitt programme.

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 2018 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

 

Visit St Andrews

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

Postgraduates

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 14 November 2018

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Conferences and events

The School of Art History supports a large, active and diverse postgraduate community. Postgraduate students publish the North Street Review: Postgraduate Art History Journal, an annual 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 of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.

The Scottish Society for Art History 
The SSAH promotes scholarship in Scottish art and art located in Scotland. They offer research support grants from £50 to £300 to assist with research costs and travel expenses.

PhD in Art History

Careers

Recent postgraduates in Art History are employed in universities and archives, museums and 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 to build their employability skills.

Contact information

School of Art History
University of St Andrews
Old Union Building
79 North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AJ

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).