Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

MA History of Art and Architectural History

UCAS code: V360

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA History of Art and Architectural History

This programme will introduce you to art and architecture from different periods and world cultures.

You will:

  • learn how, and for whom, works of art were made
  • explore the meanings of works of art and visual culture and the ways they continue to be interpreted

In Years 3 and 4, you will have the opportunity to specialise in particular aspects of each field.

Year 1

In Year 1 you will:

  • study History of Art 1, covering the period from the fall of the Roman Empire until the end of the Counter-Reformation, including non-Western material
  • study Architectural History 1a and Architectural History 1b, covering the periods from antiquity to the 18th century and from 1800 to the present day
  • choose optional courses from another subject area

Year 2

In Year 2 you will study:

  • History of Art 2, which covers the 18th century to the present day
  • Urbanism and the City: Past to Present, which examines the city as a social and cultural phenomenon
  • Architectural History and Heritage in Practice, which introduces heritage management and conservation techniques and practices

As with Year 1, you can choose optional courses from another subject area.

Year 3

In Year 3 you will:

  • study Text and Theories in Western Architecture
  • choose from a selection of history of art and architectural history courses
  • complete an independent research project for the history of art
  • carry out a work placement related to history of art or architectural history

You will also have the opportunity to study abroad in Year 3.

Year 4

In Year 4 you will:

  • select courses that build on your subject choices in Year 3
  • write a dissertation in either history of art or architectural history

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2024/25)

Our facilities

Most of our teaching takes place in Minto House in the University's Central Area or within the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA).

Take a virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the Edinburgh College of Art and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Take a virtual tour of Edinburgh College of Art


There is a work placement option in Year 3.

Study abroad

You can apply to study in Europe and North America through international exchange schemes.

See the student exchanges section of the Edinburgh Global website for details.

Student Exchanges

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught through:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • individual supervisions
  • field trips
  • museum and gallery visits


In Year 3 you can take on supervised independent projects.

These offer opportunities to build skills relevant to careers in areas such as:

  • galleries and museums
  • heritage management
  • auction houses
  • art journalism
  • architectural practices
  • building preservation trusts
  • other charitable organisations and statutory bodies

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by coursework and exams.

In Years 3 and 4 you will complete at least one independent project and a longer dissertation.

Our programme prepares you to work in a range of sectors, including:

  • the art world
  • architectural or conservation firms
  • charitable trusts
  • the public sector

Careers include:

  • curatorships in galleries and museums
  • art journalism
  • publishing
  • art dealing
  • tourism
  • graphics
  • advertising
  • heritage management
  • auctioneering

Some graduates use their skills and experience for careers in management or teaching, while some choose to go on to further study.

The University's Careers Service offers effective help and advice.

Careers Service

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S5 or AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 18/04/2024 to lower entry requirements from AAAB by S5, or AAAA by S6.)
  • A Levels: AAB. (Revised 18/04/2024 to lower entry requirements from AAA.)
  • IB: 36 points with 665 at HL. (Revised 18/04/2024 to lower entry requirements from 37 (666).)

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 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 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 65 with at least 54 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.*

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

(*Revised 24 May 2024 to change PTE Academic requirement from total 62 with at least 54 in each component, and to clarify that we do not accept PTE Academic online.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA History of Art and Architectural History

Additional costs

You will pay for the costs of printing.

There may be other costs associated with travel to visit exhibitions. These are usually limited to £10 to £20 per visit.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding