Special-Subject M.A. Programs in Art History and Archaeology

This is an experimental part of the Resources site. Many students are interested in attending an art history institute outside the US, whether for the foreign experience or to take advantage of a particular program. This site will list here references to M.A. programs in art history with specialized subjects, such as Irish, medieval, nineteenth century--offered at universities outside the U.S. Note that many also have PhD programs in these subjects. The U.K. listings are taken in large part from Apollo Magazine's March and August special issues on art history and higher education; of the others, some are known to me, and some I've happened across. The listings are as brief as possible; please contact the school by mail or via the Web site for more information. I am not able to spend a great deal of time on these, so I will depend upon readers to keep me informed of the status of the listings below.

As far as I can tell, these are all accredited (in their own countries at least) programs, but of course I cannot vouch for course quality, applicability to US PhD degree programs, and so forth.

Index to Locations

Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland
Australia and New Zealand

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M.A. Programs in Canada

Soon to be a major site!

Carleton University

The M.A. in Canadian Studies. Please see the Web site for more information.

Concordia University

Art History M.A Program in Canadian Studies. "The M.A. programme in Art History comprises several aspects of the study of Canadian art and architecture: archival research, critical analysis, contemporary issues in theory and method, historiography, and museum studies. An important recent addition to the programme is the study of Amerindian and Inuit art and architecture. The Department emphasises the cross-fertilisation of theory and practice and, in keeping with this approach, many of the M.A. seminars critically address the discipline of art history by means of recent developments in such fields as feminism and gender studies, postcolonial theory, communication theory, and socio-political analysis." The Web site has an online information request form. Contact: Department of Art History, EV-3.809, Concordia University 1455, de Maisonneuve Blvd. West Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3G 1M8. Art History Graduate Program Director, Catherine MacKenzie:

E-mail cmm@alcor.concordia.ca

University of Quebec at Montreal

M.A. in the Study of Art. Also offers the M.A. in Museology. The program and the Web site are both in French. The art history M.A. offers both a specialized study in the history of art and a multidisciplinary overview of the realm of the arts. From the titles of the courses, appears to be focused on theory. They also offer the PhD in Semiology. For more information, contact the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Departement d'histoire de l'art, Case Postale 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal (Quebec) H3C 3 P8, or:

Colette Paquin paquin.colette@uqam.ca
[Sorry no accent marks!]

University of Toronto

Offers two graduate programs of interest to art historians: The Ancient Studies Collaborative Program is offered jointly by the Departments of Classical Studies, History of Art, and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. Contact: Program Director, Ancient Studies Program, c/o The School of Graduate Studies, 63/65 St. George St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3. For Art Department information, contact:

Joanne Wainman at finejxw@artsci.utoronto.ca

Note also The Centre for Medieval Studies, which offers the M.A. in Medieval Studies. For more information, contact: The Centre, 39 Queen's Park Crescent East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2C3. E-mail:
The Administrative Assistant medieval@chass.utoronto.ca

University of Western Ontario

M.A. program from the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism. They have a very large Website for your exploration, but here are some quotes from the first page: "The Centre's MA program is a unique cross-disciplinary forum for research in theory and its philosophical and cultural underpinnings and ramifications[.]... Research at the Centre focuses on the work of such movements as poststructuralism, semiotics, hermeneutics, phenomenology, the Frankfurt School, psychoanalysis, Marxism and feminism, as well as on areas such as continental philosophy that are part of the history of contemporary theory[.]...The Centre draws it participants from 17 Departments, Faculties and Colleges at the University. Its core faculty is from the departments of Philosophy, Visual Arts, English, Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, French, Anthropology, Political Science and Sociology." For more information, contact the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada N6A 5B8. Tel.: (519) 679-2111.

Please note that there is also an MA program in Visual Arts/Art History. Check the Web site for details.

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M.A. Programs in Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland

Most art history graduate programs in Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland offer M.A. programs similar to those in the U.S.; that is, a student is required to take a fairly wide-ranging selection of courses, culminating in a major paper (aka thesis) and an exam. Several also offer what are called "special subjects", usually a one-year program (although it can be longer) in one area of study, which may be, but is not always, multidisciplinary. These are the programs listed below. Subject areas are indicated either by links to their own sites or by bold type. Contact the departments for information about other M.A. in art history (or related areas) subjects. Whenever possible there is a link to the Department's Web site.

I have to say this, in the no doubt vain hope that the Web administrators will do something: so many of the Web sites below are poorly designed and indexed that it takes a major investigatory effort to find the programs. And they are getting paid.

Aberdeen University, Scotland

Their M.A. in art history programs specializes in Art in Scotland, and MLitt in Art and Business. For more information, check the Web site for details.

University of Brighton

M.A. in History of Design and Material Culture. For more information, please see the Web site.

University of Bristol : MA in Classical subjects

"the Department has postgraduates studying for the MA in Classics and Ancient History, and for research degrees. A new taught MA programme coming into effect from 2007-8, is structured around the themes of Identities, Myth, Histories, and Tradition. Enquiries are also invited from those wishing to pursue individual research in any of the many areas we explore.." For more information, contact the Department of Classics and Ancient History, 11 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 ITB UK


University of Bristol : Interdisciplinary M.A. in Medieval Studies

The Centre for Medieval Studies at Bristol supports an interdisciplinary M.A. in Medieval Studies as well as higher research degrees, and it draws its members from the departments of Archeology, English, French, German, Historical Studies, History of Art, Italian, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Spanish, and Theology. For more information, contact: Dr. Carol Meale or Dr. Myra Stokes, Dept. of English, 3/5 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TB; or Mr. I. P. Wei, Dept. of Historical Studies, 13 Woodland Road, Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH. Also check the Website for more names and e-mail.

University of Bristol : MA in Garden History

"The development of gardens and designed landscapes from the medieval to modern periods. core courses on: The Formal Garden, Classical Arcadia and Gardenesque; Landscape Art, Aesthetics and Ideologies; Archaeology of Gardens; Resource Management of Gardens." for more information, see the Web site.

Courtauld Institute of Art

On their Web site, look under "Degree Programmes" for "Postgraduate Studies." They offer the M.A. in several areas of specialization. "The courses are taught within a period context: Classical/Byzantine/Medieval, Renaissance, Early Modern or Modern, and further information on the options... is available on separate pages of [the] website." For more information, see the Web site (done in an irritatingly faded palette).


Taught M.A.: Cities: Art, Architecture, and Aspiration."The role of art in expressing civic power and identity is a recurrent theme in the history of art. It provides a stimulating platform for the study of architecture, sculpture and painting. This taught M.A. deals with the importance of civic identity, the politics of urban display, and the development of metropolitan styles within the history of Western art. A wide range of topics will be addressed, among them domestic architecture, public sculpture, pageantry and civic portraiture. The course offers a broad range of lectures, seminars and field trips and provides a basis for further postgraduate study. This is a one-year MA programme." For more information, see the Web site.


See the Web site for more information.


See the Web site for more information.


"Our staff command a wide range of specialisms including Chinese art, the Americas, Islamic art, and the significant periods of European art from antiquity to the present day." For more information, please see the Web site.


"This MSc programme is designed for students seeking a distinctive perspective on the arts of the Middle Ages. Visual culture, throughout the medieval period, is addressed from a global viewpoint."


Offers several specialized programs. For more information, please see the Web site.


They offer a wide range of MA programs in art history and related subjects. For more information, please see the Web site.


M.A. in Country House Studies. They also have M.A. programs in Art History, Gallery and Museum Studies, and many more, including an M.A. in Sculpture Studies...! For more information, see the Web site.


Museum Studies Program The program is quite famous in museum circles; you can attend full-time, part-time, or online via their distance learning option. Check the Web site for more information.

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, Birkbeck College: M.A. in several art history subjects

Please see the Web site.

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, Royal Holloway College

Victorian Art and Architecture. "Taught at our Centre for Victorian Studies, this lively course offers you the opportunity to study nineteenth-century literature and art history in the midst of the outstanding Victorian architecture of our Egham campus." See the Web site for more information.


M.A. IN CULTURAL MEMORY. Offered through the the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies. "This interdisciplinary programme explores the many different ways in which culture is based on the construction, manipulation and transmission of memories, and the role played by memory in collective and individual identity formation...The degree centres on the cultures of 19th- and 20th- century France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain, and other parts of the world where a Romance or Germanic language is spoken, but other cultures are also regularly covered. All courses are taught in translation by an unparalleled team of specialists from language and other departments, across the University of London and other UK universities." Please see the Web site for more information.

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, School of Oriental and African Studies: SOAS

They offer the M.A. in History of Art and/or Archaeology, which "provides a uniquely broad range of courses in the history of art, architecture and material culture of Africa and Asia, from their origins to modern times. The regions covered include China, Japan, Korea, the Islamic world, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Africa (including the African Diaspora). Our aim is to enable students to investigate the cultures of this immensely diverse area, while giving them the opportunity to specialise in fields of their choice."

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, University College: Archaeology

They have several programs at the Institute of Archaeology which might be of interest, including: Public Archaeology, Cultural Heritage Studies, Egyptian Archaeology, and Comparative Art and Archaeology. These all appear to be open to non-UK or Commonwealth applicants. Check the Web site for specific information on each degree.

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, University College: Art History

They offer the M.A. in Western Art History, with subjects from the Late Middle Ages to Contemporary Art. A highly-praised program.

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, University College: MA in Contemporary Italian Culture and History

This is offered by the Department of Italian, University College, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT. They also offer the M.A. in: Film Studies; Italian Studies; and Medieval and Renaissance Studies (see below).


A one-year program (excuse me, programme) and a two-year version. Please see the Web site.


They offer the "One-year M.A. course in combined historical studies: The Renaissance." "This 12-month full-time course is intended as an introduction to the principal elements of the classical tradition and to interdisciplinary research in the cultural and intellectual history of the Renaissance." Coursework emphasizes art history, language studies, and history. Assessment by essays and a dissertation.


They offer M.A. modules in Renaissance to the Present Day; Modern Art, Criticism and Display; and Art, Photography and Film. For more information, please see the Web site.


They have M.A. programs in Archaeology, Medieval Archaeology, and Research in Archaeology. For more information, see the web site. Note related programs in Classics: M.A. Degrees in Ancient Art; the Classical Tradition; the City of Rome.

RICHMOND, The American International University in London

Offers the M.A. in art history, now called The Intercultural M.A., There is the "opportunity to study either at our London or Florence campus." For more information, see the Web site.


MA in Critical Writing in Art and Design. "This full-time, two-year MA explores different aspects of writing about and for contemporary art and design..." See the Web site for details.


"Teaching and research interests of the School extend from the Mediaeval to the Modern periods, with particular areas of concentration being the art of Renaissance Italy, British architecture, furniture history, photography, and nineteenth and twentieth-century art in Britain, France and Russia."


"At the MA level, three specialisms are offered:

  1. Design and Material Culture, 1650 to the Present
  2. Renaissance Decorative Arts and Culture, 1400-1650
  3. Asian Design History, 1400 to the Present
All three specialisms [sic] involve the close study of objects in the V&A collection. Students benefit from studying in the context of the RCA, one of the world's leading art and design schools. The MA course is fulltime for two years; bursaries are available to support study for UK and EU-based students. An Open Day will be held on Friday, 28 November, 2008. For more information please contact the course administrator, at: (hod@rca.ac.uk)." For more information, please see the Web site.

University of Warwick: VENICE

"The Venice stream of the MA degree offers an unparalleled introduction at postgraduate level to the art and culture of Venice. We take you to Venice for ten weeks in the Autumn term, where you will follow an intensive programme of study at Warwick's dedicated teaching base in the city."

They also have stay-at-home art history M.A. programs; they seem to specialize in architecture, British painting, and gender studies. For further information on all of these programs, see the Web site.


"he department currently runs three MA programmes: a taught MA in History of Art, an MA in History of Art by Dissertation and an MA in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management, catering for students new to the subject, as well as those with highly developed expertise and particular research interests.." For more information, please see the Web site.

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M.A. Programs in Europe


"The MediaArtHistories masters program conveys the most important developments of contemporary art through a network of renowned international theorists, artists and curators...The course is held predominantly in English, the master's thesis can be composed either in English or in German." Please see the Web site for more information.

FRANCE UNIVERSITE DE PAU, FRANCE : ""Rhetoriques des Arts" M. A.

M.A. program in Pau, in the south of France. You can pursue the program completely in French, or, in part, in English. "the most important point is that a great part of the two-year program is devoted to the writing of several essays and two short theses. These could definitely be written in English. "Notice posted on CAAH list-serv on 19 January 2005 by Bertrand Rouge, who also states, "It is a truly interdisciplinary program involving art historians, philosophers, aestheticians, musicologists, literary and film critics and art theorists aimed at students of various backgrounds who wish to develop an interdisciplinary approach of the arts."


"...a unique and innovative combined graduate program (MA/PhD) in History, History and Theory of Art, and Literature with a special emphasis on intercultural encounters, cross-cultural transfers, cultural comparison, and transcultural universals. Stipends are available." See the Web site for more information.


"The MAS is a one-year degree in English language that provides exemplary and interdisciplinary teaching of cultural knowledge about the United States of America in subjects such as American literature, economics, geography, history, history of art, law, musicology, political science, philosophy, sociology, and theology/religious studies." Check the Web site for more information.

HUNGARY Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Offers the M.A. in Medieval Studies "This program is unique in the sense that it grants advanced degrees not in a specific discipline but in medieval studies at large; this means that all students are expected to be trained in more than one speciality." "Accredited by the Board of Regents of the State of New York." From their online site. For more information, see the Web site. [Also: The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on CEU: October 16, 1998: A67-A69.]



"The Master of Arts in Museum Studies taught in Florence, Italy offers students an advanced, in-depth exploration of how museums operate within their social and cultural contexts. Museums are studied from an international comparative perspective, with a special emphasis on examining the ways in which these institutions engage with the public." Please see the Web site for more information.


As far as I know, this is the only M.A. in art history program in Italy run by a U.S. institution. Italian Art History from Late Medieval to Late Renaissance. Begins with one term in Syracuse, NY, followed by two terms in Italy. Also offers scholarships, full and partial. Contact: DIPA, 119 Euclid Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244. Tel.: (315) 443-3471; (800) 235-3472. Note that the more they change their Web site, the worse it gets: disorganized, crowded, seldom updated promptly. But, hey, maybe it's a test, you know, like the missing ashtray at the job interview? [still true 1 February 2012]


Please see the Web site.


I'm looking...

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M.A. Programs in Australia

The Australian National University--Canberra

Among other graduate degrees, they offer the MLitt in Art History and Curatorship. For the others, see the Art History and Film Studies Department main page.

Monash University--Clayton

They offer the M.A. in Visual Culture There may be other programs lurking in the shadows of this rather unorganized Web site. Dive in!

Online Programs in Art History-like Subjects

Every now and then I get e-mails asking about online or distance-learning graduate programs in Art History. I haven't come across one exactly in art history, but the following come sort of close.

Yes, that appears to be it. You might perhaps be interested in learning about the B.A. programs offered through the University of London's External Degree Programme. No art history, but they do have majors in close friends languages, classical studies, and history. No graduate program, though.

Looking for an undergraduate online program in art history in the U.S.? Check out Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. Again, I know nothing about this program other than what is on their Web site.

John Collier. At dinner with Cesare Borgia. 1914 (circa).
From King Albert's Book, 1914.

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