MA History of Art

Key facts

(2017 Guardian University Guide)

"The interdisciplinary nature of the graduate programme in the School is unparalleled"

In their words

Lisa Binder, Associate Curator, Museum for African Art, New York

Key facts

(Reseasech Excellence Framework 2014)

Deepen your understanding of art history from an exceptionally wide range of artistic cultures, periods and forms. Topics range across the arts of Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and from antiquity to the present day.


The MA in History of Art offers study in an exceptionally wide range of artistic cultures, periods and forms including the arts of Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and from antiquity to the present day. Teaching takes place in small groups, with regular opportunities for individual supervision.

Students study a range of compulsory modules and in addition receive guidance on the methodological and historiographic aspects of advanced study in the History of Art. Students also write a dissertation of 12,000 words, which allows them to focus on a topic of their choice and can draw on the expertise of our staff members for guidance in the research and writing of their dissertations. The MA can be taken in one year, or part-time, over two years.

The degree develops critical skills in research, analytical thinking and communication, and prepares students for either a higher research degree or a career in the visual arts sector. As a member of the Sainsbury Institute for Art, Art History and World Art Studies at UEA offers students an extraordinary range of academic resources and researchers.

Course structure

Teaching takes place in small groups, with regular opportunities for individual supervision. During the late spring and summer, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, in consultation with a supervisor. 

The Inspiring Environment of Art History and World Art Studies

We encourage innovative lines of inquiry both within the discipline of art history and also by moving across and beyond disciplinary boundaries. 79% of research in Art History and World Art Studies was rated 4* (world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent) according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), a major Government analysis released today. Additionally, the impact of the research was rated the 2nd highest in the UK for Art History in the Times Higher Education REF2014 rankings.Depth and breadth of expertise expose students to different strands of critical thinking about the place of art in the world.

Exposure to Cutting-Edge Research

The Sainsbury Institute for Art’s commitment to the study of the arts across the world has contributed to its reputation for high-quality research by individual staff members and by teams. Collaborative projects include exhibitions at the Norwich Castle Museum, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, the British Museum, and other major national and international museums and art galleries. Students are encouraged to participate in these projects and the Institute’s research culture more generally. Students and academic staff come together for weekly seminars, in which invited speakers discuss their latest research. Weekly postgraduate seminars provide a supportive and friendly forum for the presentation of student research, and an opportunity to try out ideas and conference presentations. With computers and other IT facilities in dedicated postgraduate areas, students are provided with an ideal and welcoming environment in which to develop their expertise, specialist skills and research projects.

Research Skills, Analytical and Critical Capacities

The MA in the History of Art exposes students to critical theories and methods developed in different disciplines for the visual, historical and contextual analysis of art. The degree actively encourages students to evaluate critical approaches through class discussion, presentations and written research assignments. Students are equipped with the art-historical skills expected of curators, professional art writers, auction house experts, and entrants to PhD programmes in the History of Art and other humanities disciplines.

Fieldwork Opportunities

Depending on your choice of modules, there will be occasions to see works of art and architecture in locales that range from Sutton Hoo in Suffolk and the country house in Norfolk, to Rome and Bologna in Italy. Whenever possible, students are also provided with opportunities to handle archaeological objects and historical manuscripts, to conduct on-site research in West Africa, and to visit the wealth of artworks and historic buildings in East Anglia (including its many country houses, its uniquely rich medieval heritage and the significant collection of Old Master, British and modern art held by the Norwich Castle Museum).

  • to analyse built structures, both ruined and standing
  • to examine manuscripts so as to understand their makeup and production
  • to relate artefacts of all kind to existing documentation
  • to place art and architecture in its historical and cultural context
  • to outline the development of art and architecture in East Anglia (and beyond) in the period 1100-1550
  • to understand the nature of the major institutions involved in art patronage.

This course is also available on a part time basis.

Course Modules 2017/8

Details of modules will be added soon. If you have any queries please email


Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Art History Preferred
  • Degree Classification UK BA (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact


Interviews are required for students applying to the MA in History of Art. If you are living overseas, these may be undertaken by telephone/Skype at a mutually convenient time. Please note that applicants who have not yet met the English Language requirement will still be expected to conduct an interview in English.


This course's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact the university directly for further information.


All applications for postgraduate study are processed through the Admissions Office and then forwarded to the relevant School of Study for consideration. If you are currently completing your first degree or have not yet taken a required English language test, any offer of a place will be conditional upon you achieving this before you arrive.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2017/18 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,300 (full time)
  • International Students: £14,800 (full time)

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

Scholarships and Awards:

There are a variety of scholarships, studentships and other awards available to those applying for places on our taught postgraduate degrees.

Click on the link below to see what is currently available.

Funding for Masters Degrees and Diplomas

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515