Taught course

Graduate Diploma in the History of Art

Courtauld Institute of Art

Entry requirements

UK qualifications: Students will normally have achieved a good 2.1 in their Bachelor’s degree (typically in the Humanities or Social Sciences), considered to be an overall average 65% or above.

Overseas qualification: Equivalent to a good 2.1 in a UK first degree (e.g. US applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above).

Please note that applicants are invited to interview on a case-by-case basis.

English language requirements: If your first language is not English, we require proof of English language proficiency –please see the English Language Requirements page.

Months of entry

October, November

Course content

The Graduate Diploma is a concentrated form of the undergraduate degree and gives graduates of other disciplines the opportunity to transfer their existing skills to the study of Art History.

Through ‘Foundations’ modules, which run in two parts across the Autumn and Spring semesters, you will gain a broad overview of art historical themes and methods. Alongside this, you will take a ‘Constellations’ module each semester, devoted to looking in greater depth at a theme and/or period in the History of Art. Finally, you will also write a 5,000- word assessed essay, which allows you to explore a particular issue and develop your individual research skills.

The teaching is a mixture of lectures (with up to 100 students) and seminars in groups of 10–15 students.

The programme is supported by a personal tutor and by study sessions and workshops on topics such as reading art historical texts and essay writing. Students have access to all that The Courtauld has to offer, including world-class events run by the Research Forum, careers events and one-to-one sessions with professional writers.

In addition to the compulsory elements of the programme, you are welcome to attend lectures from other programmes, including the other Constellations options and ‘Frameworks’, which provides a challenging introduction to art historical methodologies, ranging from biography, formalism and iconology to Marxism, psychoanalysis and postcolonial theory.

The Diploma is particularly suitable for people coming back into higher education after a period away, or those who want to gain a broad overview of the possibilities of Art History before moving on to more specialised study. It provides a rigorous and solid foundation for further postgraduate study, and many graduates from the programme continue to MA study at The Courtauld or elsewhere. Others go on to careers in the art world, such as art education or publishing, or combine skills and knowledge from a previous career with Art History to take an entirely new path. There are others who take the Diploma purely for their own satisfaction and personal development.

Whatever your motivation, you will become part of a diverse and rich cohort, ready to share experiences and knowledge in a way that fosters high levels of engagement, academic achievement and a unique sense of community that often long outlasts the taught programme itself.

Information for international students

Explore our international students pages for more information.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • GradDip
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions