MRes History of Art

If you want to focus on researching one specific area in the history of art without going straight into a PhD, then the MRes is the programme for you. At the end of it, many of our graduates continue on to the PhD, where they undertake a much more extensive research project.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Combined research and taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Start date: September 2014

Details

The core of the MRes programme is a 20,000-word dissertation, and this is supported with generic research skills training as well as the module, Criticism and Methods in the History of Art and Visual Culture which examines the theories and methods of art history, visual culture and film. The module addresses traditional art historical topics such as formalism, iconology and connoisseurship, as well as discussing more contemporary theoretical perspectives informed by gender, psychoanalysis, Marxism, semiology, post colonialism and anthropology. 

You also chose one optional module. Recent subjects have included; Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art; Cultural Analysis; Art, Heritage and Digital Cultures.

The History of Art MRes aims to:

  • develop your subject-specific analytical skills
  • enhance your generic research skills
  • provide a critical framework of the historiography and methods of the discipline of art history
  • enable you to produce a substantial thesis in the history of art, showing competence in relevant methods of research, clear presentation and demonstrating independent judgement
  • develop your skills of verbal presentation and argument
  • develop a deep understanding of the interpretation of visual material

It also aims to provide you with following skills:

  • originality in the application of art historical knowledge
  • ability to use research techniques to seek out and utilize significant, new or pertinent resources, both primary and secondary
  • ability to engage with current debates and, where appropriate, use them in order to frame or enhance arguments
  • self-discipline, initiative and independence in identifying and solving problems and in carrying through their research and writing to a planned timetable
  • capacity to discuss and debate verbally and in writing, using the critical and theoretical perspectives of others in a scholarly framework

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2014/15 are currently as follows:

  • Home / EU £3,996 full-time; £1,998 part-time
  • Overseas: £12,565 full-time; £6,282.50 part-time

Learn more about fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

University of Birmingham graduates - including those due to graduate in summer 2014 - may be entitled to a fee reduction through the College of Arts and Law Alumni Bursary scheme.

Entry requirements


Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

Most of the teaching on the MRes programme takes place in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which houses the Barber Institute Gallery, a valuable teaching collection, used by all members of staff on a regular basis. It is an excellent and representative collection of post-medieval European art, including paintings, engravings and drawings by artists such as Rembrandt, Turner, Van Dyck, Veronese and Vigée-LeBrun as well as a major collection of 19th- and 20th-century works by artists such as Degas, Gauguin, Käthe Kollwitz, George Grosz, Manet, Miró, Picasso and Whistler.

The Barber Institute is home to an onsite research library which, in conjunction with the holdings of the University Main Library and the Special Collections of the Cadbury Research Library, makes Birmingham one of the best resourced Departments of History of Art in Britain.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Employability

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Over the last five years 100% of History of Art postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation using transferable skills gained in their degree. Many of our postgraduates have gone on to choose jobs relating to gallery and museum curatorship, (for example, we currently have students working as curators in Tate Britain, Royal Holloway and Wolverhampton), management and research, while others have moved on to further postgraduate study to pursue a career in academia.