Postgraduate study

Modern & Contemporary Art: History, Curating & Criticism

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

This programme will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and theory of modern and contemporary art, and prepare you for further research and/or a range of careers in the art world. The programme focuses on academic study and you can also opt for a cultural sector internship in or near Edinburgh.

There are two compulsory courses, Research, Theories and Methods and Cultures and Politics of Display, and a selection of option courses that covers the latest developments in contemporary art theory and attends to the complexities of modern art.

An external Fellow in Contemporary Art Theory and Curating, a leading voice in the field, will teach you, normally for two weeks in March. Your work culminates in a dissertation of around 15,000 words. Extracurricular research seminars will introduce you to emergent trends and world-class researchers.

The programme is delivered through a mix of large and small group teaching, individual tutorials and supervision, while research seminars enhance the student experience. You will be taught by research-active staff, including leading experts in their fields. You are also expected to undertake independent study and research. Formal assessment is by means of academic essays, a dissertation, and project work where appropriate. The optional internship involves learning in a work environment.

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
MScModern and Contemporary Art: History, Curating, Criticism1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScModern and Contemporary Art: History, Curating, Criticism2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

Students will acquire knowledge and understanding of the field of modern and contemporary art, as well as transferable research skills. The possibility of an internship in a museum, gallery or comparable work environment can provide hands-on experience.

The comprehensive nature of this programme, including its specialised option courses, will equip you for a confident start in a range of art-world and related work contexts and will be invaluable if you are interested in an academic or curatorial career.

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

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): 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

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • 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 a reference with your application.

Your application's personal statement should answer the following questions:

  • How have your first degree and work experience prepared you for post-graduate study in the discipline of art history?
  • Where do your specific interests lie within this broad field?

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

Further information

  • 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