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The University of Edinburgh: History of Art, Theory and Display

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department Edinburgh College of Art
Study type Taught


This programme offers you the opportunity to explore the history and theory of art, and of its display in exhibitions and museums. Based in one of the largest art history departments in the UK, it is perfect for providing you with a comprehensive overview of the discipline as well as giving you access to an exceptionally wide range of art-historical expertise across time and place.

The city of Edinburgh is a World Heritage Site of leading museums and galleries with a rich range of collections and exhibitions, while its Scottish setting gives you access to an exceptional wealth of historic properties, buildings and sites, from medieval castles to the palace and parliament of Holyrood.

Within the university there are also research collections and noted museums and galleries ranging from contemporary art to the history of medicine as well as rare illustrated books and manuscripts. You will also have access to the National Library of Scotland with exceptional collections in rare books and manuscripts and their exhibition display.

You will examine art in its historical contexts, the theoretical frameworks of interpretation and their relationship as physical objects to practices and concepts of display. You will have the opportunity to put your learning into practice through an optional internship within one of Edinburgh’s many museums or galleries.

The programme content will allow you to develop an excellent knowledge of the discipline of art history, advanced research abilities and valuable vocational experience.


Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

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