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 and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months


full time
15 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Art Research School
+44 (0)1908 652479