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History of Art (Graduate Diploma) (2024 Entry)

This image shows a female History of Art student showcasing a piece of art

Explore our History of Art taught Graduate Diploma.

The History of Art Diploma is designed for students whose background may not be in art history but wish to study the subject at postgraduate level. Ranked in the top 10 in all major UK league tables (Complete University Guide 2021, The Guardian University Guide 2021, The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021), Warwick's History of Art department will provide you with a strong foundation in history of art as a discipline.

Course overview

Our Graduate Diploma is specifically designed for students whose background may not be in art history, but who wish to study the subject at postgraduate level.

The Graduate Diploma provides an ideal bridge to further postgraduate study and is designed to prepare students for the MA, providing a strong foundation in history of art as a discipline. When the opportunity arises seminars will be taken out of the classroom and artworks will be studied in situ. The independent research project will enable you to work closely with your supervisor on a one-to-one basis to research and write on a topic of your choice.

Skills from this degree

  • The ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility, to take decisions in complex and unpredictable situations, and to learn independently
  • Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
  • Continue to advance knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent).

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:

  • Band B
  • IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.

Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Core modules

Practices of Art History

This module will introduce you to the ways in which art history has developed as an academic discipline, illustrating the manifold ways in which it has been practiced from its beginnings in the 19th century to the present.

Academic Preparation for Art Historians

This module (which is not taken for credit) will help you to develop the academic skills you need for graduate study in History of Art. It will facilitate the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study, as well as helping you to engage with History of Art as a new discipline.

Independent Research Project

The Independent Research Project is an extended essay of 8,000 words in length about a topic that you select, with the support of your supervisor. It allows you to pursue your interests in much greater detail than is possible in course work and results in a significant piece of research, which could lay the groundwork for further postgraduate study.

Optional modules

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

  • The Renaissance: North and South
  • Art and Disruption, 1900-today
  • East meets West: The Visual Arts in Colonial and Post-colonial India
  • Reality After Film
  • Visual Art and Poetry
  • Deconstructing Medieval and Early Modern Buildings


The Practices of Art History module provides you with an introduction to the discipline and helps you understand the ways in which the history of art can be studied. You can develop your interests by choosing other modules ranging in focus from the Middle Ages to Contemporary Art and Architecture.

Teaching takes place in small group seminars where you are encouraged to reflect upon and discuss works of art and the ways in which these have been interpreted. When the opportunity arises, seminars are taken out of the classroom and artworks are studied in situ.

Your studies culminate in the independent research project (8,000 words), in which you will work closely with your supervisor on a one-to-one basis, to research and write on a topic of your devising.

Class sizes

Class sizes will naturally vary, however seminars normally involve 8 to 14 students.

Typical contact hours

You will have between six and ten hours on average per week of classes.


Modules are assessed via a mixture of written assessments, slide tests, formal examinations, presentations and project work.

Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules when you join us.

Your career

Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for a range of sectors, including Arts Management, PR, Teaching, Galleries and Auction Houses. Many others have undertaken further study at PhD level.

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Careers History of Art Alumni workshop
  • Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries
  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • History of Art – Securing Internships
  • Career planning and making applications

History of Art at Warwick

Take the perspective that brings you closer

Art history is about getting closer to art, immersing yourself in art, seeing art from the perspective of the artist. But it is also about bringing your own perspective – your knowledge and experience – to bear. Art is where you and the artist meet.

Get to know us better by exploring our departmental website.

Our courses

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Find your taught course fees  

Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support. 

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed. 

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.

Additional course costs

Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

Applications will close on 2 August 2024 for students who require a visa to study in the UK, to allow time to receive a CAS and complete the visa application process.

How to apply for a postgraduate taught course  

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Postgraduate fairs

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in the UK. These events give you the chance to learn about our Master's and PhD study routes, and the wider context of postgraduate study.

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