A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification.
If you do not already hold a first degree, but believe that you are a suitable candidate for the Graduate Diploma through other experience and educational achievements, please contact the admissions tutor.
Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.
Months of entry
The Graduate Diploma in History of Art and Architecture is an intensive conversion course designed for students with a first degree in another subject who wish to pursue a Master's degree in the history of art or architecture.
On this course, you will gain the chance to work closely with internationally recognised experts who are defining the field conducting groundbreaking research in periods from medieval to contemporary and focusing on painting, sculpture, print culture, architecture, photography, digital art and museology. Our History of Art and Architecture Graduate Diploma is also enriched by museum and site visits, visiting speakers and screenings.
Over the course of the Diploma you will develop skills of visual analysis, critical thinking, academic writing and research experience that will prepare you to embark on further postgraduate study, for example our MA History of Art, MA History of Architecture, MA History of Photography, MA History of Art with Curating or MA Museum Cultures.
Please contact us if you are unsure about what level of study would best suit you.
- Birkbeck was ranked as one of the top four universities in the UK for its Art and Design research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
- You can attend a wide range of events, including the Postgraduate Research Seminar, which brings art historians from all over the UK and beyond to speak at Birkbeck; the biennial Murray Lecture; the Murray Seminar on Medieval and Renaissance Art; the exhibitions and displays at Birkbeck's Peltz Gallery, and events at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Find out more about our staff and student activities on the Birkbeck History of Art blog or join us at one of our information evenings, held throughout the year.
- You will have access to an incredible range of resources, including the Birkbeck Library and our in-house resources centre, the British Library, specialist libraries at the University of London, Courtauld Institute of Art, Royal Institute of British Architects and V&A, as well as the visual resources of the British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, V&A, Barbican Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Hayward Gallery and Royal Academy, and many commercial galleries and salesrooms.
- We encourage you to become involved in our lively research culture through the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre and the Vasari Research Centre, which has pioneered the field of digital art history.
- You will have the option to join our study trips, offered each spring. Cities visited in the last few years include Florence, Paris, Venice, Vienna, Rome, Berlin and Moscow.
Graduates can pursue career paths in the creative arts, media and education. Possible professions include:
- museum/gallery curator
- arts administrator
- advertising account executive
- community arts worker
- multimedia specialist
- higher education lecturer.
Read how undertaking our MA History of Art helped one student secure her dream job at Tate Britain.
We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.
Information for international students
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Qualification, course duration and attendance options
- full time12 months
- Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
Course contact details
- Student Advice Service
- +44 (0)20 3907 0700