In contemporary society, with innovative technologies for visual research and communication, the ability to analyse images, art and architecture is more valuable than ever.
Our flexible course has exceptional historical and geographical breadth and depth, encompassing architecture, 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 medium, or to pursue a specific methodological perspective.
The course caters for generalists with broad interests, and those who are coming to art history from another discipline. You can also specialise at a later stage in your degree, with your dissertation topic choice.
We are one of the largest History of Art departments in the UK. We have developed successful partnerships with museums, galleries and country houses that 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, while 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 multidisciplinary 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 research projects. You will also develop your 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 will have free choice of option modules giving you the opportunity to study art chronologically, to focus on one medium, or to pursue a particular methodological perspective, leading to the production of supervised essays and a dissertation at the forefront of scholarly research.
You will also study four option modules. Examples may include:
The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information, please get in touch.
You can choose a limited number of modules from those offered by other humanities departments at York and by our centres.
Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
You'll complete your dissertation with the support of your academic supervisor. The dissertation will be up to 15,000 words.
Recent dissertation topics have included:
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
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.
Visit high-profile museums and galleries, local country houses, churches and our partnership institutions. Explore the region's Henry Moore Institute, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Hepworth Wakefield as well as its Anglo-Saxon and medieval heritage.
Our strengths include architectural history & theory, British art, contemporary art, film & new media, medieval art, sculpture and stained glass.
York is a UNESCO City of Media Arts and part of the Creative Cities Network.
|International and EU
|Full-time (1 year)
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a Student 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.
UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.
Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.
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.
Each option module is taught by weekly two-hour seminars. 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 six 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 option module. For the Research Skills in History of Art module, you'll produce a dissertation portfolio 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.
|2:1 or equivalent. We welcome students who have previously studied History of Art, but also those from other backgrounds. Applicants below 2:1 or equivalent will be considered on condition of an interview with the programme leader
|Other qualifications and experience
|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.
|Other international qualifications
|Equivalent qualifications from your country
You will need to submit an example of written work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting written work.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS (Academic and Indicator)
|6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
|B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component
|7, minimum of 6 in each component
|120, minimum 105 in all other components
|B2 with 33/50 in each component
|70 with a minimum of 65 in each component
|459-494, with 426-458 in all other components
|Skills for English
|B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
|61, minimum 55 in each component
|87, minimum of 21 in each component
|Trinity ISE III
|Merit in all requirements
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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