Taught course

Aesthetics and Art Theory

Kingston University · School of Humanities

Entry requirements

Applicants must normally have a 2:2 or above honours degree in Philosophy or a humanities-based subject.

Applicants with academic qualifications in other subjects, or relevant work experience, will be considered on an individual basis.

Months of entry


Course content

This course combines a grounding in philosophical aesthetics in the modern European tradition with a study of contemporary art theory and the philosophy of art history. It offers an overview of philosophical approaches to modern art, distinguishing between 'aesthetic', 'Romantic' and 'Modernist' problematics, and considers current debates on situated and 'planetary' aesthetics.

Modules engage with figures like Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Rancière, Rosalind Krauss and Benjamin Buchloh.

You will study at the UK's leading Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, which hosts conferences, workshops and regular seminars.

You'll study canonical authors including Adorno, Aristotle, Benjamin, Deleuze, Derrida, de Duve, Duchamp, Greenberg, Heidegger, Kant, Krauss, Rancière, and Schlegel, and gain a clear overview of the main philosophical approaches to modern and contemporary art.

The course will distinguish between ‘aesthetic', ‘Romantic' ‘Modernist' and ‘Contemporary' (global) problematics, and will offer a distinctive grounding in ongoing debates over the reception of contemporary art.

Information for international students

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12-24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details