Taught course

Art History: Technical Art History, Making and Meaning

Institution
University of Glasgow · Department of History of Art
Qualifications
MLitt

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject unless otherwise specified.

Note: A minimum 2.1 in History of Art or a related subject is required. You should also submit a writing sample of 2-3,000 words, a CV and a personal statement.

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

Months of entry

September

Course content

Through object-based, interdisciplinary research, this Masters programme focuses on the act of making and everything that entails. We study studio practices from a variety of disciplines, their materials and techniques, but also intentions and concept. We examine art technological sources to register the artist’s voice, and other testimonies on artistic practice, make reconstructions of historical recipes and modern techniques to understand practices, ageing and its consequences as well as other changes artworks go through. Researching this all-inclusive story of an artefact is known as technical art history. It is an exciting and rapidly growing field involving (technical) art historians, scientists, conservators while also reaching out to other disciplines such as economic and social history, history of science, anthropology and aesthetics.

Why this programme

  • You will work with objects and benefit from staff contacts including those at: the City Collections, Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, Glasgow Museums, National Museums and National Galleries of Scotland, National Trust Scotland and Historic Scotland.
  • You will take a study trip to Amsterdam or Munich, visiting major museums and their conservation studios and research labs as well as research institutions working in the field of technical art history.
  • You have the opportunity to take part in a project-based work placement engaging in interdisciplinary research, where you can explore a possible future career while meeting professional practitioners and developing your skills and experience.
  • You will benefit from guest speakers from the technical art history field, broadening your horizon and offering you network occasions and research contacts.
  • You will participate in two reconstruction workshops of historical painting techniques, as well as workshops on the reconstructions of pigment recipes and scientific examination techniques.

Programme structure

Drawing upon the expertise of an interdisciplinary team, the programme will include taught and research components as well as practical workshops and work placements.

This MLitt develops your skills in object-based research, as well as examining the authenticity, attribution and dating of art works – and their change and survival. You do not need any background in science or conservation. We will provide you with the right tools to understand what science can deliver, what conservators can do, and what role you can play in this truly interdisciplinary field.

You will take five core courses and one optional course. This is followed by a period of self-study towards a dissertation 15,000 words in length (including footnotes but excluding bibliography) and will be on a topic chosen in consultation with the tutors and the programme convenor.

Core courses

  • Research methods in practice
  • Art in the making: historical techniques
  • Art in the making: modern and Avant-Garde techniques
  • The authentic art work
  • Testimonies on painters' practice: documentary and visual sources

Optional courses

You may choose from the following options

  • Work placement
  • Independent study

Career prospects

Career opportunities include curatorial positions in museums and galleries, working with collections within cultural heritage organisations, or in the commercial environment of auction houses performing object-based research including technical investigation. The programme will also prepare you for a further postgraduate education in conservation or academic research.

Information for international students

Please refer to our website for more information.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 7.0
  • 2 subtests not lower than 7.0 and no other sub-test lower than 6.5
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 95; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 23
    • Listening: 23
    • Speaking: 22
    • Writing: 24
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 185 overall; no sub-test less than 176
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 185 overall; no sub-test less than 176
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 68; no sub-test less than 62

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Fees and funding

UK students
£7250
International students
£16000

Qualification and course duration

MLitt

part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Name
Dr Christina Young:
Email
christina.young@glasgow.ac.uk