In our contemporary society, with innovative technologies of visual research and communication, the ability to analyse images, art and architecture is more valuable than ever.
Our flexible degree programme is exceptional in its historical and geographical breadth and depth, encompassing a wide variety of art objects and their related visual practices from the antique to the contemporary.
You’ll have the choice of a wide range of modules giving you the opportunity to study art by time period, to focus on a specific media, or to pursue a specific methodological perspective. This includes modules that are jointly designed and taught in collaboration with the Tate.
The programme caters for generalists with broad interests, and those who are coming to art history from another discipline, however you can also specialise at a later stage of your degree via your module and dissertation topic choice.
We are one of the largest and most vibrant History of Art departments in the UK, recognised for the excellence of our research environment and research-led teaching.
We have developed successful partnerships with museums, galleries and country houses which will enrich your studies and may offer you placement opportunities and privileged access to collections.
The course at York offers a great deal of approaches to art history, whilst many will know of York as a centre for studying the medieval, the course offers many opportunities to study more contemporary works and consider the theories behind them as well as considering multi-disciplinary approaches.Paul, MA History of Art
Read more about the course from Paul.
Find out more about the benefits of studying your MA in History of Art at York.
Our collaborations support your learning and research through jointly designed modules, privileged access to collections and studentship opportunities.
You play an active role in building your degree, furthering your established or emerging specialisms and designing exciting research projects. You will also develop a heightened methodological awareness, helping you to forge a more sophisticated understanding of how artworks create meaning and why some artworks have been deemed culturally more significant than others.
The course enables you to develop advanced skills in verbal and written communication, and effective project management. You will acquire a high level of expertise in visual analysis and art-historical research through object-focused study and an intensively researched MA dissertation.
You also have the option to develop your interdisciplinary interests by taking modules in related academic disciplines such as history, literature, archaeology, philosophy, sociology and others.
Our expert academic staff support you every step of the way through personalised, small-group teaching, individual tutorials and field trips.
You'll study one core module and four option modules. Further information about the degree structure.
Core module Research Skills and Methods in History of Art (10 credits)
You'll study archival, bibliographic and art-historical resources, and you'll be introduced to a range of significant methodologies. You'll learn how to apply and adapt methodologies appropriate to your own research and to develop your own independent research skills.
The list of options offered each year will vary according to staff availability, but will include modules to which curatorial or research staff from Tate will contribute. Read more about your choice of option modules.
You can choose up to two option modules from those offered by other humanities departments at York and by our world-class Interdisciplinary Centres in the Humanities.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
You'll complete your dissertation during the Summer Term and summer vacation with the support of your academic supervisor. The dissertation will be 15,000-20,000 words. You'll submit this in September, and it will account for 50% of your final degree mark.
Recent dissertation topics have included:
The Department of History of Art offers so much more than I had ever dreamed of when I was applying. It is an amazing academic community to be a part of.Nina Sipova, MA History of Art graduate
Read more from our students.
|Full-time (1 year)||£7,580||£16,780|
|Part-time (2 years)|
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
A wide range of funding opportunities includes placements with funding from the Department's partnership studentships with museums and galleries, AHRC-funded studentships offered via the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities, departmental studentships, overseas scholarships, travel fellowships, and funding for students with specific research interests.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
Each optional module is taught by weekly two-hour seminars, and the core module is taught on a fortnightly basis. You'll have the opportunity to go on field-trips organised by the Department to view art and architecture, these will be an integral part of your learning.
You'll be taught with lectures, seminars and one-to-one meetings with your lecturer or supervisor. You'll have between seven and nine hours on average per week of classes.
You'll study independently for 31-33 hours per week on average. This time gives you space to read widely and develop your thoughts on specialised topics.
We offer an extensive programme of research seminars and events which are an invaluable way to engage with different aspects of your subject, along with discussing module themes with your peers, and the staff weekly office hours.
You will be based in the Department of History of Art on Campus West.
Most of your contact hours will be in Vanbrugh College, with some additional teaching on Campus West and King's Manor in the city.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You'll submit a 4,000 word essay per optional module. For the Research Skills and Methods in History of Art module, you'll produce a dissertation synopsis as your assessment. You'll also complete a dissertation.
We offer amazing partnerships and placements with numerous museums and galleries that will help you in your future career. We work with the National Gallery, Tate, the V&A, and York Museums Trust. We have excellent relationships with regional museums, galleries and country houses— including the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Castle Howard, the Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and the Henry Moore Institute. Our collaborations will support your learning and research through modules jointly designed with the partnership institution, and with opportunities for exclusive partnership studentships, work experience and privileged access to collections. The course prepares you for higher research degrees and a range of possible careers. Read about some of our alumni and where their degree has taken them.
The faculty are encouraging, understanding, and patient, and they get excited with you about your projects. I’ve been introduced to approaches I’d never considered before, which has really invigorated my studies. Luckily, I get to apply these ideas to my work as a graduate student partner with Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a funded placement offered through the History of Art department.Kat, MA History of Art (Modern and Contemporary Art)
We welcome students who have previously studied History of Art, but also those from other backgrounds.
You should have, or be about to complete, a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification.
We will consider applications from mature students or applicants without formal academic qualifications if you have substantial related experience. We may ask you for an interview in this instance.
If you are unsure about your eligibility, or want an informal chat about whether this course would be suitable for you, please contact us.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.
You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.
Contact our admissions team if you have any questions
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