Art History

Whether your chosen career path involves curating, exhibiting, criticism, collecting, art journalism or any other route, by undertaking this course you will develop essential skills, expertise and experience. By studying the history of art through personal research and excellent tutorage you will engage in vigorous intellectual inquiry in the subject and delve deeply into your chosen specialism.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:1 Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area or equivalent. Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements IELTS 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.

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Course Overview

Why study MA Art History at Aberystwyth University? 

  • The School of Art at Aberystwyth provides supervision and specialist knowledge in a broad range of subjects and is rapidly become one of the UK’s most popular places to study and creatively explore Art. Writing in the Guardian, journalist Miles Brignall concluded that the twice-yearly MA Art History Exhibitions at Aberystwyth are among the top four ‘pick of the shows’ UK-wide. Aberystwyth was the only institution he selected outside London.
  • There are over 20,000 original artworks in Aberystwyth School of Art’s collection
  • Aberystwyth School of Art holds registered museum status from the Museums and Galleries Commission of Great Britain
  • Opportunity to submit articles for publication to develop your engagement with critical and public opinion
  • Opportunity to curate your own exhibition from the School’s art collections
  • Aberystwyth University is a top 50 university for research power and intensity – REF 2014
  • 100% of Aberystwyth School of Art’s research was either world leading or internationally excellent in terms of research impact – REF 2014
  • 75% of the School of Art’s publications were of an internationally recognised standard or higher – REF 2014
  • Opportunity to study within one of the UK’s long-established Schools of Art and to work closely with staff in a stimulating research environment
  • Aberystwyth School of Art administers the Catherine Lewis Trust Fund, which continues to acquire important works of art for the University

About this course


One year full-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters, but this course is administered in two parts: Part One runs from October to May; Part Two runs from June to September.

Contact Time:

Approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


The taught part of the course (Part 1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practical exercises and exhibitions. Successful completion of your exhibition (Part 2) leads to the award of an MA.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Funding opportunites may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.

Modules September start - 2024

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Artworld: Contemporary Practice in Context (for Students of Art History) AHM0940 40
Dissertation AHM0460 60
Research Project AHM0260 60
Vocational Practice ARM0120 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh



The range of posts to which our graduates progress widens all the time. Our alumni have gone on to work:

  • For designing companies
  • In museums and galleries
  • As art teachers
  • On education programmes in galleries
  • In gallery assistant posts
  • producing family-based learning activities in galleries and museums

Our graduates have also taken up exciting internships and traineeships with a variety of national and international organisations, progressed to further academic study (PHDs).


Throughout this course you will develop a wide array of skills that will not only market you as a professional artist, but also as a mature individual with attractive skills and qualities for potential employers. This course will encourage you to:

  • Develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of work
  • Play an active, learning based role in the operation of the School's galleries
  • Hold up your work against scrutiny from tutors, peers, critics, and the public
  • Improve your capacity for conducting a critical review of yours and others' work through discussion, Forum seminars, presentation and writing
  • Improve your capacity for critical reading, discussion, presentation and writing, as well as developing an awareness of art practice in relation to art history and theory
  • Contribute to the School's academic knowledge of art and art history through your own research
  • Increase your critical faculties
  • Engage critically with contemporary art and art history 
  • Undertake art historical research involving applied skills such as gallery education, cataloguing and database work, archive and oral history projects, or the curation of exhibitions
  • Develop study and research skills. 

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

The course can be studied either one year full-time or two years part-time. The taught part of the course is delivered through lectures, seminars, and practical exercises. During semester three (June-September), you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

What will I learn?

In the first two semesters (September to May), you will study a number of modules, together worth a total of 120 credits. This includes a 60 credit research project, taught over the two semesters, research training modules to prepare you in research methodologies, and a module on Art & Visual Culture, where you examine art and art criticism within the broader context of contemporary visual culture. In the final semester (June to September), you will undertake a 60 credit MA dissertation.

How will I be assessed?

In the first two semesters, students are assessed via a mix of exhibitions, portfolios, essays, presentations, web-design production, and teaching experience projects. Successful completion of the dissertation leads to the award of an MA.