Postgraduate study

History of Art, Theory and Display MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

This programme offers you a number of ways in which to explore your chosen field of study and is perfect for providing you with a comprehensive overview, prior to taking on more specialised studies.

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

Equally spread over the pre- and post-1800 periods, the programme content will allow you to develop an excellent knowledge of the discipline of art history, advanced research abilities and valuable vocational experience.

Teaching includes a mixture of small-group teaching, individual tutorials, research seminars, lectures, and an internship, subject to availability.

Approximately half of the working week involves independent study and research.

Formal assessment is by means of essays, project work, poster session, presentations, and a dissertation.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScHistory of Art, Theory and Display1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

Students who successfully complete the programme will:

  • have studied courses offering them a thorough grounding in the History of Art
  • if choosing the internship option, students will have valuable work experience in a field related to art history, and/or in writing art criticism
  • have completed a major piece of original, independent art historical research
  • have shown themselves to be capable of further research in the History of Art

History of Art is an interdisciplinary subject that provides transferable skills in the analysis of images and texts, research, academic writing, public presentations, and IT.

The wide-ranging nature of this programme will equip you for further, more specialised study, and potentially a future academic career.

The vocational element of your learning is the ideal stepping-stone to a career in art history, possibly within one of the many institutions that make up Edinburgh’s rich cultural fabric.

You’ll also have gained an array of highly transferable skills, such as communication, curatorial practice and project management, which will prove an asset in any career.

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree with a mark of at least 65%, or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 08/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 09/05/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScHistory of Art, Theory and Display1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScHistory of Art, Theory and Display2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Claudia Bolgia
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 1370
  • Contact: c.bolgia@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Claudia Bolgia
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 1370
  • Contact: c.bolgia@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX