Postgraduate study

History of Art MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: History of Art

The MSc by Research programme is for students with a good general knowledge of the subject area, who wish to focus their interests and deepen their knowledge of a specific topic.

To complete the programme you will normally submit two independent research essays (5,000 words each) on topics chosen in consultation with your supervisor. You will also be required to complete the History of Art core course, “Research Theories and Methods” (which is assessed by means of a 3,000-word essay) and another relevant course (usually chosen from a broad range of taught postgraduate option courses, assessed by a 4,000-word essay, or a credit-bearing language course). At the end of the summer, you will be required to submit a 15,000-word dissertation.

The MPhil and PhD degrees are both major pieces of independent research, preparing you for a future in academic scholarship. These degrees are obtained by research and presentation of a thesis of up to 60,000 words (MPhil) or 80,000–100,000 words (PhD). The first year of a PhD is probationary, meaning that you must pass a First Year Review before you are permitted to continue to the second year of the PhD. At your review, you will be required to give an oral presentation about the project and discuss with a review panel a proposed chapter plan, timeline for completion, and a draft chapter of at least 10,000 words.

The MSc by Research consists of assessed work, split between a dissertation (15,000 words) and supervised research essays on topics related to the dissertation.

The programme also includes a compulsory research training course and either a methodology course or another course from another MSc programme, if agreed to be more suitable by your supervisor and postgraduate director

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
MScRHistory of Art1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScRHistory of Art2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors. Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required. On occasion more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRHistory of Art1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScRHistory of Art2 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:

  • Postgraduate Research Director, History of Art, Professor Viccy Coltman
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 8426
  • Contact: viccy.coltman@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Office
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE

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.

You must submit two references with your application.

You should submit a research proposal that outlines your project's aims, context, process and product/outcome. Read the application guidance before you apply:

Although we welcome perceptive proposals on traditional subjects, using established methodologies, we are particularly looking for applicants prepared to challenge and expand the traditional boundaries of the discipline.

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

Further information

  • Postgraduate Research Director, History of Art, Professor Viccy Coltman
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 8426
  • Contact: viccy.coltman@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Office
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE