Modern and contemporary art has great cultural significance-numerous galleries and museums globally specialise in these works, and offer diverse definitions of modernity and the contemporary era.
Our Masters in Modern and Contemporary Art will develop your ability to analyse images, art and architecture in a conceptual way; a valuable skill in a contemporary society with innovative technologies of visual research and communication.
Our flexible programme enables you to study a wide variety of works ranging from painting, sculpture and architecture, to photography, installation, performance and contemporary works engaging with new media and the digital world. You can study modules that are jointly designed and taught in collaboration with the Tate.
You’ll go on field trips for practical experience, and benefit from Yorkshire’s strong modern and contemporary art presence with the Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Henry Moore Institute all within easy reach.
We have developed successful partnerships with a range of modern art museums and galleries, which will enrich your studies and may offer you placement opportunities and privileged access to collections.
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)
Our range of collaborations and partnerships with leading museums and galleries will be invaluable to your education.
You play an active role in building your degree, furthering your established or emerging specialisms and designing exciting research projects. You can study works of art from the nineteenth century to the contemporary, or focus on a specific period, issue, or media.
The course enables you to develop advanced skills in verbal and written communication, and effective project management. You’ll 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 via the Centre for Modern Studies.
Our expert academic staff support you every step of the way through personalised, small-group teaching, individual tutorials and field trips.
You’ll study artworks from geographically diverse regions. You’ll engage with the international rise of pop art in the 1960s, to the arts of the Americas, and western and eastern European art from the early twentieth century to the present day. You’ll 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.
You'll study two core modules and three option modules. Further information about the degree structure.
Modern and Contemporary Art (20 credits)
You'll explore the tools and methodologies specific to research in modern and contemporary art. The focus of the module changes year by year in keeping with the most recent trends of the discipline. It takes place in the Autumn Term to bring our cohort of students together.
Research Skills in History of Art (10 credits)
You'll be introduced to key concepts and cutting-edge methods of art historical research so to improve your understanding of artwork, to develop a critical attitude towards existing scholarship, to identify future fields of inquiry and to hone your communicative and digital skills. This course runs throughout the year.
Option modules (20 credits each)
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:
I am always interested in art and I was fascinated by the discussion of modernity during undergraduate study as an English major. I chose York because I really appreciated the flexibility to combine modules from different paths and different departments together.Yayi, MA History of Art
Read more about the course from Yayi.
|Full-time (1 year)||£7,810||£17,370|
|Part-time (2 years)|
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
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 additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
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 option 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'll be part of the vibrant interdisciplinary Humanities Research Centre and as a History of Art student you'll also have access to extensive resources. You'll be able to attend related lectures, conferences or site visits offered by the Modern and Contemporary research group, and you'll benefit from our close links to the Centre for Modern Studies.
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 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.
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.
You should provide an academic writing sample as part of your application.
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.
Get in touch if you have any questions
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to deluxe.
Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.
Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.