Research course

Art History

Open University · Department of Art History

Entry requirements

PhD: The normal minimum entrance requirement is an upper second class honours degree or master's degree, relevant to the proposed area of study, from a recognised higher education institution in the UK. You should also have experience of academic research in the previous four years, normally in the form of either a master's degree in research methods, an undergraduate degree with a research element in the final year, or work-related experience with evidence through research reports.

MPhil: Applicants should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a bachelors degree with at least first or upper-second class honours, or an equivalent qualification. However, entry requirements differ between academic areas, and sometimes a taught masters degree is also required.

Months of entry


Course content

Staff in the Art History discipline at The Open University specialise in high-quality research and teaching relating to several areas of art and architectural history, including Byzantine art; the Renaissance (both in Italy and in Northern Europe); art and art theory from the 17th through to the 20th century; recent and contemporary art practice; a cross-period interest in gender studies; architecture and material culture; and global art. Our fully illustrated teaching books have attracted international recognition and many are best sellers. We run a popular MA in Art History and supervise PhD students.

Research groups include:

  • Art Histories in Focus (includes Early Modern Art, Eighteenth-Century Art and Modern Art Theory and Practice)
  • Cross-Cultural and Artistic networks
  • History of Architecture and Design.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
      part time
      72 months
      • MPhil
        full time
        15 months
          part time
          24 months

          Course contact details

          Art Research School

          +44 (0)1908 652479