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History of Art and Visual Studies (MA) (2024 Entry)

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

Explore our History of Art and Visual Studies taught Master's degree.

Develop your research skills on our History of Art and Visual Studies MA. Warwick's History of Art department, 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), allows you to explore the broader issues in the discipline today, such as global art history, display and performance, aesthetics and perception, and architecture and urbanism.

Course overview

Our MA is designed to prepare students for specialised postgraduate research in the fields of Art History and Visual Studies.

The course enables you to develop your research skills by studying different periods and media in the history of art, and by taking an active part in research, exploring some of the broader issues in Art History today such as cross-cultural interaction and the arts, the spatial contexts of art, architecture and urbanism, and the arts within a global society.

Find out more about this course on our History of Art Webpages

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in History of Art or a related subject.

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

In addition, all applicants to the MA programme must submit:

  • a sample of written work of 2,000 - 4,000 words on an art-historical or related topic (for example, historical, cultural-historical, literary, etc.) with their application - this should preferably be work submitted for your undergraduate degree.
  • an undergraduate degree transcript.

Core modules

Art History and its Methods

You will become acquainted with the major approaches that have shaped the history of art as an historical discipline. To this end, this module will examine several theories of the history of art that either construct art as something with its own (internal) history, or understand it as something determined by wider social and political contexts. The module may also engage with some of the more pertinent methodological and interdisciplinary issues on the boundaries of Art History, for example Material Culture Studies.


The Dissertation is an extended piece of writing of 15,000 words in length about a topic that you select, with the support of your supervisor. It allows you to demonstrate your research skills and formulate an independent perspective on your topic. You will be supported in your research and writing not only by your supervisor but through the Academic Preparation for History of Art module, and a series of planning workshops during the spring term.

Academic Preparation for History of Art

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.

Optional modules

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

  • Research in Medieval and/or early Modern Art/Architectural History
  • Research in Modern and/or Contemporary Art and Architecture
  • East meets West: The Visual Arts in Colonial and Post-colonial India
  • Crafting the Global Early Modern
  • Architecture and Urbanism in the Midlands
  • Visual Art and Poetry
  • Reality after Film
  • Giotto and Assisi
  • Deconstructing Medieval and Early Modern Buildings


Optional modules taught in small groups allow you to create your own pathway to the dissertation. The dissertation (15,000 words) enables you to work closely with your supervisor on a one-to-one basis to research and write on a topic of your choice.

Class sizes

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

Typical contact hours

You will have between six and eight hours on average per week of classes, with some seminars taken out of the classroom and artworks studied on site.


Modules are assessed by a 5000-word essay.

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.Link opens in a new window

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

We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Students will be classified as Home or Overseas fee status. Your fee status determines tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available. If you receive an offer, your fee status will be clearly stated alongside the tuition fee information.

Do you need your fee classification to be reviewed?

If you believe that your fee status has been classified incorrectly, you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire. Please follow the instructions in your offer information and provide the documents needed to reassess your status.

Find out more about how universities assess fee status

Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad.

For departmental specific costs, please see the Modules tab on the course web page for the list of core and optional core modules with hyperlinks to our Module Catalogue (please visit the Department’s website if the Module Catalogue hyperlinks are not provided).

Associated costs can be found on the Study tab for each module listed in the Module Catalogue (please note most of the module content applies to 2022/23 year of study). Information about module department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below:

  • 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  

After you’ve applied

Find out how we process your application.

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Admissions statement

See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

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Our hosted events run throughout the year, with a mixture of virtual and in-person sessions. These events are a great way to learn more about our courses and departments, chat to current students and staff, and find out more information about accommodation, careers, and how to apply.

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Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.

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Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.

Warwick Talk and Tours

A Warwick talk and tour lasts around two hours and consists of an overview presentation from one of our Recruitment Officers covering the key features, facilities and activities that make Warwick a leading institution. The talk is followed by a campus tour which is the perfect way to view campus, with a current student guiding you around the key areas on campus.