Taught course

Art History

Open University · Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

You must hold an honours degree to study for our MA in Art History course. Your degree need not be in art history but you must have the basic skills expected of a graduate in that area. The foundation module brings you up to date with the latest ideas and approaches but does not offer remedial undergraduate training for those who have an inappropriate bachelors degree or inadequate experience. Before you start your MA you must be able to: write clear, concise, grammatically correct and accurately spelt prose read large quantities of text quickly, accurately and critically classify evidence precisely and assess its value and reliability argue logically, consistently and sceptically marshal various sorts of evidence to support a logical argument. For students who started in 2014 or later, you must commence your studies towards the MA in Art History with the part 1 module which explores foundational concepts and recent developments in art history. The part 2 module builds on these foundations to expand your understanding of visual and material objects (incorporating architecture, landscape and reproduced images) and their contexts, and concludes with the writing of a dissertation.

Months of entry

October, April, February

Course content

Studying art history at postgraduate level will deepen your understanding of art, architecture and visual culture, build your analytical and critical skills, and develop the skills needed for independent study and research. You will start by exploring the core concepts and recent developments that have shaped art history from Renaissance Italy to the contemporary Caribbean, before building on these foundations to expand your understanding of visual and material objects - incorporating architecture, landscape and reproduced images. You will consider art history and art and design in their intellectual, institutional and professional contexts, and finally plan, research and write an extended piece of work based on your own interests.

You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007), Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.

The Open University is the world's leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you're at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you'll be supported throughout your studies - your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

Qualification and course duration


part time
36 months
distance learning
36 months

Course contact details

0300 303 5303