Postgraduate study

Art in the Global Middle Ages

Awards: MSc

Funding available

Programme website: Art in the Global Middle Ages

This programme is designed for students seeking a distinctive and unique perspective on the arts of the Middle Ages. Visual culture, throughout the medieval period, is addressed from a global viewpoint.

The programme combines study of the arts and their audiences in Europe (particularly France, Italy and the Netherlands) and Early Medieval Britain and Ireland with the arts of Islamic World, South Asia, Japan and China focussing on issues stemming from considerations of cultural exchange and transregional interactions.

One example is the practice of exchanging gifts, its traditions, the diplomatic significance of such interactions, and intellectual consequences. The programme will also consider issues concerning pilgrimage and conquest, and will address questions arising from study of the rise of global trade and travel. These embrace such topics as:

  • material exchange
  • shared artistic vocabularies
  • pilgrimage
  • literature and its uses
  • artistic and technological exchange
  • the taste of the exotic

The programme includes the possibility of taking an internship in a museum, public institution or similar organisation. It aims to:

  • introduce you to research in medieval history of art at the highest level
  • open up issues of global cultural exchange for academic debate
  • draw attention to contemporary resonances stemming from study of medieval visual culture
  • prepare students for further scholarly research, or for a career working with medieval objects, images or works of art, in museums, libraries, archives, and other collections

This programme is taught through a combination of small-group seminars and tutorials, one-to-one supervision and private study. You will be examined through coursework 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
MScArt in the Global Middle Ages1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScArt in the Global Middle Ages2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

The programme seeks to inform students from three vantage points:

  • an overview of the multiple cultures active within the medieval period
  • a more specific knowledge of the various points of intersection between these cultures
  • an in-depth, expertise in of one cultural area with special emphasis on its interactions with other areas

More specifically upon completion of the course, students should have an understanding of how the relationships and connections between cultures are formed and the way in which a specific culture perceived itself, presented itself, as well as how it was perceived abroad as evidenced both in text and images.

More broadly, it is expected students will gain a more considered understanding as to the question of influence within the context of cross-cultural exchange.

Finally, students are expected to gain an understanding of the theories and methodologies relevant to the study of medieval visual culture and inter-cultural studies.

Should you be considering advanced study in art history, this programme provides the perfect preparation, as you will have gained both a strong foundation in the discipline and identified a particular area of interest. This study may, in turn, lead to an academic career, or a rewarding position in the cultural heritage field.

A UK 2:1 honours degree with a mark of at least 65%, 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.

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