Postgraduate study

Global Premodern Art: History, Heritage and Curation MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

This programme invites you to join one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of medieval, renaissance and early modern art historical expertise in the UK. Together, we will uncover neglected narratives and scrutinise assumptions that have often served as the foundations of art historical scholarship.

This programme aims to diversify art history, revealing meaningful connections and shared concerns by embracing a breadth of theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches to objects from across the world. You will cover a period from the third to the seventeenth century, with a far-reaching geographical scope, including:

  • the British Isles
  • the Mediterranean
  • Latin America
  • the Middle East and North Africa
  • India, China and Japan

You will also study cultures from Christian to Islamic and Hindu to Buddhist.

The programme will allow you to conduct in-depth research projects in Edinburgh’s rich collection of archives and libraries, with behind-the-scenes access to world-leading galleries and museums.

You will also have the opportunity to spend a week in Rome, working closely with members of the programme team. 

You will study three compulsory courses:

  • Approaching World Objects - focuses on exhibition design and interpretation (Semester 1)

    • Global Rome - incorporates an optional study week in Rome (Semester 2)
    • Dissertation - on a subject of your choice (Summer)

You will also choose four option courses, from a range reflecting the expertise of the programme’s staff, as well as relevant courses in:

  • music

    • literature
    • history
    • languages
    • architectural history

You will have the option to gain hands-on experience through our internship opportunities at national and local institutions that specialise in the display, documentation and social relevance of art and culture. 

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
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2022/23
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2022/23

Students who successfully complete this programme will be able to:

  • Critically analyse, evaluate, and synthesise the study of global art histories informed by developments at the forefront of research

  • Scrutinise the setting and display of art historical objects, taking account of their physical, institutional, cultural, and historical context

  • Plan and execute a significant project of research, including defining research questions or problems and testing them against evidence and existing research

  • Deploy a wide range of media to present art history to a broad public

  • Pursue professional careers in art history and the cultural and heritage sectors

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

The vocational element is the ideal stepping-stone to a career in art history, whether in the public or private heritage sectors, including:

  • museums
  • galleries
  • libraries
  • archives
  • auction houses
  • the media

Transferable skills

You will gain an array of highly transferable skills that employers look for in graduates. These include:

  • communication
  • project management
  • problem-solving

More specifically, our approach means you will gain confidence in employing analytic skills especially attuned to the nuances of cultural exchange and a global outlook.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

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 Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

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:

Additional programme costs

The optional study trip to Rome is not included in the programme tuition fees.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 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
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Catriona Murray
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5940
  • Contact: C.A.Murray@ed.ac.uk
  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU

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 one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Catriona Murray
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5940
  • Contact: C.A.Murray@ed.ac.uk
  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU