Research course

Art History

Open University · Department of Art History

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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 in art and architectural history. We have gained international recognition for our ground-breaking test books, co-published with leading university presses, many of which have become best sellers. We run a successful MA in Art History, from which we recruit many of our PhD students.

Areas of particular expertise:

  • Early Modern Art (including Byzantine and Italian Renaissance art)
  • Eighteenth-Century Art
  • Modern and contemporary Art Theory and Practice
  • Cross-Cultural and Artistic networks
  • History of Architecture and Design.

We welcome applications for research based in any of these areas, including projects that work across them. Applicants should normally hold a BA degree with at least first- or upper-second class honours or equivalent qualification, and an MA or equivalent research experience. Further information can be obtained via the contact details below.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    part time
    24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    15 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Art Research School
+44 (0)1908 652479