You will study two core modules, taken in your first term:
Criticism and Methods in the History of Art and Visual Culture
The specialised research skills module prepares you for both writing your dissertation and develops your wider employability skills.
You will also study a range of optional modules, choosing one Special Subject module – with options including the distinctive ‘Curating Research’ module – and two 20-credit modules. Further module information is available below.
The programme culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation in a research area that you choose with the guidance of academic staff.
You will study two core modules:
Criticism and Methods in the History of Art and Visual Culture
This module looks deeply at the historiography, methods and theoretical underpinning of contemporary practices of artistic and visual analysis. Based on close reading of key scholarly texts, you will engage with traditional art historical methods as well as more recent approaches to the study of art and visual culture. You will be asked to consider the relevance of these methods to a range of examples, including the potential topics of their own developing ideas for your final Masters thesis
This specialised module prepares you for both writing your dissertation and develops your wider employability skills.
You will also choose one Special Subject module, including the distinctive Curating Research module:
In recent years curating exhibitions and academic art history have moved closer together. This module provides the opportunity to curate an exhibition and thus gives you an introduction into the museum and gallery world. Moreover; you will become familiar with working with a variety of collections and ways to transform art works into exhibits as well as studying a particular theme or art-historical period in depth. Seminars will focus on various aspects of curatorial practice and management. The teaching will be provided by both academic staff and specialists in curating, publishing, sponsorship, budgeting, marketing, displaying works and museum education.
Recent exhibitions that have been curated by postgraduate students held at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts have included: Print Power: The Religious, the Social & the Body (2010) on twentieth-century prints, and Gem of a Game |(2011) to accompany the Court on Canvas exhibition. The exhibition for 2013-14 will use works on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Other special subject options include:
Inside Out. Interiors and Interiority in French Art, Design and Visual Culture 1840-1940
Contemporary Visual Arts and Postcolonialism
After Modernism. Art and Culture since the 1970s
Women and Artistic Culture in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Period
You will also choose two 20-credit modules from a range including:
Architecture and public art in sixteenth-century Venice
The module will examine the architecture and the decoration of public buildings (e.g. the Doge’s Palace; churches and scuole) in Venice and certain Venetian mainland territories during the course of the sixteenth century. It will examine, in particular, how the styles and subject matter changed during the period; chronicle the emergence of new kinds of building (e.g. the villa and new kinds of palace and church); and chart the effects of changing artistic practices. The architects covered will include Sanmicheli (in Verona) and Palladio (in Vicenza) as well as Sansovino (Venice’s official architect); among the artists studied will be Carpaccio, Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto. The module will place special emphasis on artistic traditions and themes that had a particular significance for Venice, and it will make regular reference to primary source material.
Art, Heritage and Digital Cultures
Digital Cultures offers you the opportunity to engage with History of Art through the application of digital technologies. This module will introduce you to the range of technologies that are becoming available and provide practical experience with a range of them. You will have the opportunity to work on material relevant to History of Art and Visual Studies.
Significantly, this module will teach you the different cultures of engagement between your own disciplines and Digital Cultures to understand, for example, the difference in languages used. In this way, the module will focus on the breaking down of barriers to learning and engagement with cultural information in both practical and theoretical ways, offering you the chance to develop your own digital content and to demonstrate its value within your own disciplines and beyond.
Other 20-credit module options include:
Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
The Body and its Representations in Visual Culture
Visual Cultures of Revolution in France, 1789-1848
Special subject and 20 credit module options may vary from year to year.
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:
Home / EU: £6,210 full-time; £3,105 part-time
Overseas: £14,140 full-time
For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two of your programme.
Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students
Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about
postgraduate tuition 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 may be entitled to a fee reduction through the College of Arts and Law Alumni Bursary scheme.
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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