Taught course

Art History and Theory

University of Essex · School of Philosophy and Art History

Entry requirements

Upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant subject.

Months of entry


Course content

Our flexible MA Art History and Theory is suitable if you are seeking employment in the art world or elsewhere, or are interested in further research and an academic career. With options covering European and Latin American art, architecture from the Renaissance to the present day, museology, contemporary art, and photography, you can pursue your own interests in choosing taught modules that appeal to you.

MA Art History and Theory contains a strong research element, normally culminating in a 20,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

If you do not have the appropriate undergraduate preparation to embark on one of our MA courses, you may apply for our nine-month Graduate Diploma in Art History and Theory, which can constitute a qualifying year for the relevant MA course.

Our Graduate Diploma consists of four modules (two at undergraduate level and two at postgraduate), which are chosen in consultation with your course director. You must complete the appropriate coursework and examinations, and can also write a project on a topic of your choice if that is agreed by your course director. All our students who complete this year successfully will be awarded a Diploma, whether or not they proceed to an MA.

Our School of Philosophy and Art History is widely regarded as one of the best in the UK, internationally renowned for our strengths in philosophy and continental philosophy, and in art theory and in modern and contemporary art. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008), our research placed us among the top ten departments in the UK for both subject areas.

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5 overall and 6.0 in writing

Fees and funding

We offer many funding opportunities to support talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations. For more information, visit our website at: www.essex.ac.uk.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


full time
9 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
Dissertation50 (20000 words)

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 872719