Research course

History of Art (on-campus or by distance learning)

University of Birmingham · Department of Art History, Film and Visual Studies
PhDMA by research

Entry requirements

For MA by Research: a good BA in a cognate discipline. For a PhD, a prior Masters degree is usually required.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

The Art History, Film and Visual Studies Department offers promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in one of the most dynamic institutions in Britain. We give all possible support to our researchers, developing the resources available at the University and encouraging an active postgraduate environment for the exchange of information and concepts.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff. You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at:

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Department specialisms

19th-and early 20th-century French art, design and visual culture. 18th-and early 19th-century French visual culture: Particular specialism in the revolutionary periods, especially iconoclasm and print culture. Roman architecture; Italian art, 1400–1600; Renaissance and post-Renaissance architecture in Italy and Britain. 15th- and 16th-century French and Northern European art; women in early modern art; books and manuscript illumination. German and central European art and design from the mid-19th century to the present; the historiography of art; contemporary art theory and criticism. 18th-century Swiss art, late 19th- and early 20th-century German and Austrian art and visual culture. Modern and contemporary art and exhibition cultures in Europe (with specific emphasis on migration, hybridity and post-communism).

Information for international students

The University of Birmingham has a long tradition of hospitality to overseas students. Students study in a diverse and multicultural community on and off campus. Students also become part of a rich postgraduate environment through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,121 FT - £2,061 PT
International students
£13,680 FT - £6,840 PT (DL only)

Please visit:

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months
distance learning
36-72 months

MA by research

part time
24 months
full time
12 months
distance learning
12-24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiry Service
0121 414 5005