MA History of Art
Students work in unrivalled proximity to major, internationally-renowned works of art, by artists such as Francis Bacon, Edgar Degas, Jacob Epstein, Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso. Our students are able to study a wider range of artistic cultures, periods and forms than in any other art history department in the UK.Watch It
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(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
(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.
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.
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.
Students must study the following modules for 180 credits:
ART AND PATRONAGE IN EAST ANGLIA, 1090-1540
The medieval art and architecture of Norfolk and Suffolk is unparalleled in its variety, density, and documentation. This module is intended as an introduction to the material and to the skills necessary for studying it at graduate level. Accordingly, the module includes visits to monuments and the handling of objects as well as classroom sessions on historiography and interpretation. It is intended to be accessible to those who have not studied art and architecture before as well as those with a background in art history.
HISTORY OF ART DISSERTATION
A dissertation on a topic relevant to the practice and theory of your degree programme. Students choose their own topics, subject to the approval of the Course Director. The dissertation is to be researched and written independently by each student, though with the support of an appointed supervisor.
ON LOCATION: ART, SPACE AND PLACE IN THE 1960S
In the 1960s two trends of art practice emerged which reconsidered the status of the work of art. The first is now termed 'institutional critique' and was concerned with the investigation of the gallery space and the values it perpetuated. The second trend was a movement beyond the gallery to explore the 'site-specific'. This unit examines these trends, which are fundamental to our understanding of contemporary art.
SIGNS OF ABSTRACTION: AMERICAN ART AFTER 1945
This module explores the history of American art after 1945 in relationship to the idea of abstraction. Abstraction can be understood both as a formal mode of making art and as a way of thinking. In the former sense it implies the production of art that is non-representational; in the latter it describes the way in which thought abstracts from particular things to construct general categories, signs and concepts. This module examines the rich history of American art after 1945 through this lens, offering a critical exploration of some of its key moments: Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual art, feminist and post-colonial practices, Installation art, and beyond. Each seminar combines close attention to specific artworks and to key art historical and art critical texts.
UNWRAPPING ANCIENT EGYPT
Ancient Egypt is irrevocably connected with the trajectory of 'western' culture - from Renaissance Italy to revolutionary France and beyond. The accounts of Classical Greek and Roman authors influenced ideas about Egyptian art long before Egyptian texts themselves were understood, and collecting Egyptian antiquities, including mummies, was essential to the development of 'cabinets of curiosities' and public museum collections. Ancient Egypt was a source of fascination, whether in Freemasonry, theosophy, and other esoteric contexts, or in the formation of academic disciplines like archaeology and anthropology in the late 19th century. Egyptian mummies, artefacts, and architectural forms offered a range of flexible signs through which discourses of race, sex, and power operated, particularly in the colonial milieu. Focusing on the history of collecting and displaying Egyptian antiquities, including the practice of unwrapping mummies, this module interrogates the construction of different 'ancient Egypts' in European and North American contexts. Topics that may be covered include museum displays from the 19th century to the present day; 19th-century world fairs and international exhibitions; mummy unwrappings and other stagings of the Egyptian body and related artefacts; Roman, Renaissance, and 19th-century 'Egyptomania'; ancient Egypt, race, and Afrocentrism; and archaeological and artistic representations of Egypt, such as the Description de l'Egypte produced by the Napoleonic expedition.
DisclaimerWhilst 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.
- 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 email@example.com
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.
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.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
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.
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