Birkbeck, University of London: History of Art with Photography (MA/Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert/Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip)

InstitutionBirkbeck, University of London View institution profile
Department History of Art
Telephone 020 7631 6110
Study type Taught


Photography has become the major form of image-making and visual communication since its development in the nineteenth century. Its importance has been recognised in many areas of scholarship: history of art, media and cultural studies, literature, memory and memorialisation, gender and identity, philosophy and law. Its role in all fields of the arts and sciences, including those most personal, is being expanded, renewed and questioned by the mushrooming of digital culture.

This programme enables you to learn about - and to negotiate your individual path through - historical and contemporary photographic cultures, in order to develop your interests, whether your engagement with the medium is academic, artistic, personal or vocational.

Sponsorship info

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.

Funds are available to support research expenses for your coursework on this MA.

The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.

Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

10 course options

Qualification MA
Level RQF Level 7
Entry requirements

Good honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent (for example, professional experience). For students with a degree in a subject other than history of art, the 1-year, part-time Graduate Certificate in History of Art and Architecture can be used as a conversion course. Students who successfully complete the graduate certificate with merit will normally be guaranteed a place on this programme and do not need to complete an admissions exercise. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.


3 essays (1 for each core course and option module) of 5000 words each; a research project, which can take the form of a visual submission; and a 15,000-word dissertation, which may include a visual component.


Part-time students take the compulsory module, choose 1 option module and undertake a research project or work placement in Year 1. You then choose a further option module and undertake your dissertation in Year 2.
Core module:

Current Approaches to History of Art .

Indicative option modules:

Art Nouveau: Art, Design, Modernity in Paris 1889-1914;
Creating a Public. Museums and their audiences;
Framing and Narrating Modern Art in the Museum;
Gender, Modernity and the City;
Histories in Transition: Visual Culture, History and Memory in South Africa and Beyond;
Inventing the Victorians;
Museums, Memory and National Identity;
Photography and the Index .

Research project/work placement option modules:

Museum Cultures Work Placement;
Research Project Report MA History of Art;
Research/Placement Project and Report MA Film, Television and Screen Media .


Location Bloomsbury Campus
Malet Street


EU 8175 GBP for Year 1
England 8175 GBP for Year 1
Northern Ireland 8175 GBP for Year 1
Scotland 8175 GBP for Year 1
Wales 8175 GBP for Year 1
International 14850 GBP for Year 1

Birkbeck, University of London

Postgraduate courses at Birkbeck Birkbeck, University of London is a world-class research and teaching institution, a vibrant centre of academic excellence and London’s only specialist provider of evening higher education. Birkbeck provides the highest quality postgraduate teaching by world-class academics engaged in cutting-edge research. Over 90% of Birkbeck academics are research-active – the highest rate for any multi-faculty institution in London. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) confirmed the College’s status as a world-class research and teaching institution. Birkbeck entered over 90 per cent of its eligible staff into the RAE and the College was ranked in the top ...

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