Art and Art History

Key Facts

Course Code W192
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    1 Year

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This balanced programme of art practice, professional preparedness, and academic study will suit students who wish to explore working as professional artists or as art academics.  The School of Art at Aberystwyth provides supervision and specialist knowledge in a broad range of subjects and is committed to excellence in both studio practice and academic study.

Aberystwyth School of Art is rapidly becoming 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.  

Key Facts

Interested candidates will be invited for interview and will need to provide a portfolio of work and a proposal on why they wish to study the MA course. Successful interview candidates will then be invited to submit their application for the 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.

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.1 (UK) (or above). European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page

Course Fees:

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


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


For more information on applications or entrance requirements, please contactPostgraduate Admissions Tutor, School of Art, Aberystwyth University, Buarth Mawr, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1NG. Telephone: +44 (0)1970 622460. Email:


Why Study MA Art and Art History at Aberystwyth University?

  • Preparation for the creative and practical realities of life as a professional artist aided by vigorous intellectual inquiry into Art
  • Aberystwyth School of Art has spacious painting studios, print workshops, darkrooms, art galleries, a reference room for its art collections, its own private press, and part of the Old College is designated for postgraduate studios
  • 24/7 studio access
  • There are over 20,000 original artworks in Aberystwyth School of Art’s collection
  • Opportunity to submit articles for publication and to develop your engagement with critical and public opinion
  • A scheme that provides vocational training and experience in higher education teaching at undergraduate level 
  • 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 up-and-coming Schools of Art and to work closely with staff in a stimulating research environment 


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.

* 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), and recent MA graduates were selected for the FBA Futures show held yearly at the Mall Galleries in London.


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
  • Increase your critical faculties
  • Increase your technical possibilities, developing individual abilities in a certain area of art practice to the highest standards possible
  • Develop your skills, knowledge, and hands on experience of artistic processes
  • Develop a conceptual, practical and historical framework for your Art
  • Play an active, learning based role in the operation of the School’s galleries
  • Stage public exhibitions and perform as a professional, exhibiting artist
  • 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, presentation and writing
  • Develop research and study skills
  • Manage the practicalities of exhibition preparation, installation, and curation 

Learning & Teaching

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 core modules, together worth a total of 120 credits. Modules include Art and Visual Culture, Vocational Practice, Portfolio Development, and Exhibition 1. In the final semester, you will undertake a 60 credit MA dissertation, through which you will pursue ideas developed previously in a visual field within an art historical or theoretical context.

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.