Research course

History of Art

University of Glasgow · College of Arts
PhDMLitt by researchMPhilMRes

Entry requirements

Our regular standard of admission is at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), although candidates will usually also have completed or be undertaking a Masters qualification.

Research proposal

Candidates are required to provide a single page outline of the research subject proposed (approximately 1000 words). This need not be a final thesis proposal but should include:
  • a straightforward, descriptive, and informative title
  • the question that your research will address
  • an account of why this question is important and worth investigating
  • an assessment of how your own research will engage with recent study in the subject
  • a brief account of the methodology and approach you will take
  • a discussion of the primary sources that your research will draw upon, including printed books, manuscripts, archives, libraries, or museums
  • an indicative bibliography of secondary sources that you have already consulted and/or are planning to consult

Your application, including your references and research proposal, will be passed to members of staff whose expertise and research interests most closely match the area of your proposed study.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

We have a vibrant student community in the History of Art with many research projects and external collaborations.

Areas available for research supervision include:

  • European art historical periods, particularly medieval, Renaissance, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries
  • Modernist studies, particularly Dada and Surrealism
  • Chinese art and culture
  • the development and application of art theory, particularly gender and post-1945
  • collecting practices, collections and museums technical art history: interdisciplinary research into artists’ materials, methods, and studio practices in the past and present, artists’ intent, authenticity and authentication
  • material culture studies, particularly decorative art and design history
  • dress textile history
  • textile conservation and textile conservation science.

Our research degrees offer unique opportunities for:

  • object-based learning using outstanding local collections and archives
  • training in research methods and skills
  • participation in many extra-curricular activities in the School of Culture and Creative Arts, detailed on our Student Life pages. Study is complemented by a lively programme of research seminars, to which postgraduates contributes, which includes lectures delivered by leading art and design historians, conservators and other visiting academics.

Start dates are set by both the supervisor and the department. As such some PHD options will have fixed start dates (likely January/October) and others have a rolling intake. For more details please contact the relevant department.

Information for international students

Please see the English Language requirements if your first language is not English. Please also see the international page.

Fees and funding

AHRC Doctoral Training Programme Scotland 2018/19

Funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to support postgraduate studentships and training in the Arts and Humanities in Scotland.

College of Arts PhD scholarship competition 2018/19

We offer a number of scholarships for students undertaking a doctoral programme in the College of Arts Graduate School. These scholarships will include around four hours per week of internship duties.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
60 months

MLitt by research

full time
24 months
part time
36 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details