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Birkbeck, University of London: History of Art

Institution Birkbeck, University of London View institution profile
Department School of Historical Studies
Web http://www.bbk.ac.uk/
Telephone 0203 907 0700
Study type Taught

Summary

History of art is a rich and dynamic discipline, combining the rigorous investigation of the visual arts with the creative exploration of their connections to culture, politics and society. Postgraduate study in this area trains you at a high level in looking at, thinking about and researching art and its histories.

Our MA History of Art exposes you to key art historical approaches and allows you to focus in depth on areas and periods of particular interest to you, in early and modern (including contemporary) periods. It develops your visual acuity and your understanding of art's histories, while stimulating critical debate and stretching your research skills.

This postgraduate degree offers you the opportunity to study with internationally recognised experts. Our teaching staff are defining the field, conducting ground-breaking research in periods from medieval to contemporary, focusing on painting, sculpture, print culture, architecture, photography, digital art and museology. You will work closely with our staff while also benefiting from our diverse and vibrant student body of all ages and backgrounds.

Your studies will also be enriched by museum and site visits, visiting speakers, screenings and opportunities to get involved as volunteers in research and community outreach activities.

Highlights

  • Birkbeck was ranked as one of the top four universities in the UK for its Art and Design research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

  • We offer a number of bursaries for postgraduate students. Funds are also available to support MA coursework research expenses.

  • You can attend a wide range of events, including the Postgraduate Research Seminar, which brings art historians from all over the UK and beyond to speak at Birkbeck, the biennial Murray Lecture, the Murray Seminar on Medieval and Renaissance Art, the exhibitions and displays at Birkbeck's Peltz Gallery, and events at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Find out more about our staff and student activities on the Birkbeck History of Art blog or join us at one of our information evenings, held throughout the year.

  • You will have access to an incredible range of resources, including the Birkbeck Library and our in-house resources centre, the British Library, specialist libraries at the University of London, Courtauld Institute of Art, Royal Institute of British Architects and V&A, as well as the visual resources of the British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, V&A, Barbican Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Hayward Gallery and Royal Academy, and many commercial galleries and salesrooms.

  • We encourage you to become involved in our lively research culture through the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre, the Centre for Museum Cultures and the Vasari Research Centre, which has pioneered the field of digital art history.

  • You will have the opportunity to apply for a work placement with London museums, galleries and archives, and the option to join our study trips, offered each spring. Cities visited in the last few years include Florence, Paris, Venice, Vienna, Rome, Berlin and Moscow.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue career paths in the creative arts, media and education. Possible professions include:

  • museum/gallery curator

  • arts administrator

  • advertising account executive

  • community arts worker

  • multimedia specialist

  • higher education lecturer.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

MA

Birkbeck, part of the University of London, offers nearly 300 taught and research postgraduate programmes across arts and humanities, business and economics, law, science and social science. As an evening teaching specialist, Birkbeck offers its taught postgraduate courses between 6-9pm, with some courses available through distance learning. As with undergraduate courses, postgraduates can study full-time or part-time.

Home to 44 research and specialist institutes, Birkbeck is the sixth largest provider of taught postgrad courses for UK and EU students - some 44% of its 11,000-plus students are on postgrad programmes. Around 90% of its academics are active in research, and …

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