The University of Buckingham’s one-year MA by research in the History of Art: Renaissance to Modernism gives an overview of the development of Western art and its leading artists and movements and offers students the chance to study in depth an approved topic of their choosing. A supervisor will oversee each stage of the research – whether that be into such subjects, for example, as Renaissance portraits, aspects of the Baroque, Impressionist techniques or post-war British art – offering not just art historical guidance but also information about research techniques and dissertation structure. The aim is to produce a 25,000-word dissertation that sheds new light on the topic.
This programme is London-based and directed by the distinguished art historian, Michael Prodger. The course of research is complemented by a series of guest seminars presented by an internationally distinguished group of art historians, artists and gallerists.
Seminar dates 2022-23
Seminars take place on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm, unless otherwise stated. The dates for 2022/23 are:
5 October – Professor Martin Kemp on Leonardo an Michelangelo
19 October – Letizia Treves on Caravaggio and Caravaggism
2 November – Helen Hillyard on the Dutch Golden Age
16 November – Dr Xavier Bray on the Spanish Golden Age
14 December – Professor Robin Simon on the Long British Eighteenth Century
4 January – Michael Prodger on Neoclassicism and Romanticism
18 January – Dr Richard Cork on Picasso
1 February – Dr Kathleen Soriano on Post-war and Contemporary Art
15 February – Martin Gayford on Talking to Artists
Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BE
James Broomfield: ‘The University of Buckingham’s MA in the History of Art is an academically rigorous and highly rewarding post-graduate programme. I came to it as a practising artist looking for a new set of challenges. Attending first as an Associate student the lectures were inspirational. My interest in the modern was informed by a set of brilliant contextualizing lectures spanning the history of great art from the Renaissance onwards.
‘The convenience and splendour of the central London location and the opportunity to debate issues over dinner with distinguished tutors set this course apart from anything I had previously experienced. So much so that I came back as an MA student the next year – and thoroughly enjoyed the course again, making good friends from a fascinatingly varied and able cohort. Importantly, I was brilliantly well supported throughout my research and the dissertation writing process by the ablest and motivational of personal tutors. Studying History of Art at Buckingham was, without a doubt, the best educational experience of my life, and I commend the course to you: it is beyond excellent.’
Suzanne Phillips: ‘For me this course for me was inspiring, enabling flexible and in-depth study of my chosen research topic together with excellent support and critical analysis from expert supervisors. There was also regular stimulating engagement, informal debate and the exchange of ideas with fellow research students throughout the course, either meeting in central London or virtually. The guest lecturers, leading specialists in their field, were superb and overall they brought the breadth and range of art history from renaissance to modernism brilliantly to life, with thought-provoking insights and cogently argued contextualisation. The course was welcoming and inclusive for all its students and I found that the range of art-history topics addressed was ideal for the intellectually curious and for those who wish to become more visually literate.’
Gabriella Lecis: ‘The University of Buckingham MA in History of Art, gave me the opportunity to attend a series of lectures by world-class art historians. The original format of the course which includes a post-lecture dinner, creates an informal, less intimidating atmosphere encouraging truly inspiring interaction with the lecturers. The support and encouragement from the Course Director and the supervisory team nurtured my research and academic skills during the writing of the dissertation, making my MA a life-enriching and enormously stimulating experience.’
For those who wish to attend the evening research seminar programme, but are unable to devote the time to research, there is the option of becoming an Associate Student. This status will enable the student to attend the ten research seminars and dinners and to take a full part in the seminar and dinner discussions but does not require the submission of written work. Associate Students are not registered for and do not receive, the MA degree.
The minimum entry level required for this course is as follows:
a first or upper second-class honours degree from a recognised university or,
a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience.
In cases where candidates are applying on the basis of work experience, they may be asked to complete a short written assignment and/or attend an interview as part of the applications process.
The University is committed to life-long learning for those with the ability to benefit from postgraduate study. Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students. Due to their flexibility, our London-based MAs by research attract a wide variety of applicants from a range of backgrounds, including people in full-time employment and those unencumbered by the need for paid employment. Our current students range in age from 21 to 75.
Candidates apply online, sending in their supporting documents by post where appropriate, and will be assessed on this basis by the Programme Director.
Our Admissions Office will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Call +44 (0)1280 820227 or get in touch via our contact form.
Student Contract for prospective students
When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the student contract between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal obligation is formed between you and the University on the basis of the terms in your offer letter and the ‘student contract’ which is there set out. Your offer letter and the student contract contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting an offer. Read the Student Contract.
The University offers high-quality, traditional Oxbridge-style tutorial teaching, supplemented by graduate seminars which are addressed by some of the leading scholars in the field. The University of Buckingham is regularly ranked among the very top British universities for the quality of its teaching.
The seminar programme offers a broadly chronological survey of Western art from the late fifteenth century to the late twentieth, enabling students to place their own individual research within the broader context of developments in art history since the Renaissance. For those taking the course as Associate Students, this seminar programme may be enjoyed as a self-contained survey.
For those engaged in the Master’s and the PhD programme, however, the seminar series complements their individual research project; for at the heart of this MA is the close working relationship between student and supervisor. While the final thesis topic is chosen by the student and must be an independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final text (which should be no more than 25,000 words). Supervisors and students will meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor is always the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support.
The University’s Course Directors, students’ supervisors, and the Research Officer and Tutor for Graduate Students are available to discuss students’ post-graduation plans and how they may utilise most effectively the skills acquired during their studies.
Full-time (6 Months)
Full-time (1 Year)
Part-time (2 Years)
Full-time (6 Months)
Full-time (1 Year)
Please note that The University of Buckingham has four terms per year. The tuition fees quoted are for the degree (e.g. if you start a degree at Buckingham in January 2018, you will pay the same termly fee for the duration of your degree – you will not be affected by the price increase in September 2018). Students will pay the same termly fee for the duration of their studies, unless studies are interrupted and resumed later. The tuition fee quoted is therefore the total cost of the degree.
Postgraduate loan scheme
A new system of postgraduate loans for Masters degrees in the UK was introduced in August 2016 with support from the UK Government. The loan will provide up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. The loans can be used for tuition fees, living expenses or both. Find out more >>
Details of scholarships can be found on our main Bursaries and Scholarships page. You should make an application to study at the University and receive an offer letter confirming our acceptance of your application before applying for a scholarship.
Please note that applicants with a First-Class degree at undergraduate level are automatically entitled to a scholarship which is worth the equivalent of 33% of their total fees.