MA in the History of Art: Renaissance to Modernism

Entry requirements: First or second class honours degree or relevant experience 
Full or Part-time: Full-time, Part-time
School: School of Humanities Back to course finder

The University of Buckingham has introduced a one-year MA by research in the History of Art: Renaissance to Modernism.

This groundbreaking programme is London-based and directed by the art historian Michael Prodger. The course will be supplemented by a series of ten guest seminars presented by an internationally distinguished group of art historians, artists and gallerists.

The guest speaker seminars will be held at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BE.

Each seminar (approximately 70 minutes, beginning at 18:30) is followed by a post-seminar dinner, for those who wish to attend, where there will be an opportunity to continue the seminar discussion in an informal environment. The cost of the post-seminar dinners is included in the tuition fees.

The dates and speakers for the 2016-17 seminars are:

  • Tuesday 4 October 2016: Research Seminar (no dinner)
  • Tuesday 11 October 2016: Martin Gayford on the Renaissance
  • Wednesday 26 October 2016: Professor Martin Kemp (Professor of the History of Art, University of Oxford) on Leonardo and Michelangelo
  • Tuesday 8 November 2016: Helen Langdon (author of Caravaggio: A Life) on the Baroque
  • Thursday 24 November 2016: Dr Xavier Bray (Director, Wallace Collection) on the Spanish Golden Age
  • Tuesday 13 December 2016: Andrew Graham-Dixon (art historian and broadcaster) on Caravaggio
  • Thursday 12 January 2017: Professor Robin Simon (art historian and critic) on the British long 18th century
  • Wednesday 25 January 2017: Michael Prodger on Neoclassicism and Romanticism
  • Wednesday 8 February 2017: MaryAnne Stevens (Curator and former Director of Academic Affairs at the Royal Academy) on French 19th-century painting
  • Tuesday 21 February 2017: Professor Richard Cork (art historian, editor and broadcaster) on First World War Art and Avant Garde Movements
  • Thursday 9 March 2017: Kathleen Soriano (curator and broadcaster) on late 20th-century art and its movements

The dates for the 2017-18 seminars and dinners are:

  • Tuesday 3 October 2017 (seminar only; no dinner)
  • Thursday 12 October 2017
  • Thursday 26 October 2017
  • Thursday 9 November 2017
  • Tuesday 28 November 2017
  • Thursday 14 December 2017
  • Wednesday 10 January 2018
  • Thursday 25 January 2018
  • Thursday 8 February 2018
  • Thursday 22 February 2018
  • Thursday 8 March 2018

Associate students

For those who wishing to attend the evening research seminar programme, but 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.

For further details contact:
Humanities Research Admissions on +44 (0)1280 827514


Entry requirements

The minimum entry level required for this course is as follows:

  • a first or second-class honours degree from a recognised university or,
  • a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience

Mature students

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 retirees. Our current students range in age from 21 to 75.

We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.

The University is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor.

English levels

If English is not your first language, please check our postgraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.

Selection process

Candidates apply online, sending in their supporting documents, and will be assessed on this basis by the Programme Director.

The Programme Director and the Admissions Assistant would be happy to answer any questions you may have:

Michael Prodger

Senior Research Fellow in the History of Modern Art

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Maria Floyd

Admissions and Marketing Officer, London Programmes

Read more →

Terms and conditions for prospective students

When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the terms and conditions 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 contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the terms and conditions outlined in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the terms and conditions contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting any offer. Read the admissions terms and conditions > >

Quality teaching

We offer high quality, traditional Oxbridge-style teaching, which leads to our degrees being recognised around the world. The standards of degrees and awards are safeguarded by distinguished external examiners – senior academic staff from other universities in the UK – who approve and moderate assessed work.

High calibre staff

Most of our academic staff teach for three terms out of four, with the remaining term used for research. Because of this, we have no difficulty in attracting high calibre, highly respected lecturers, many of whom also have a background in business or industry and can offer networking opportunities for students.

Venus-Cupid-Folly-and-TimeTeaching methods

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 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 not less 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 be the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support.

See the Humanities Curriculum Handbook for further course details.

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.

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.

Please click here for Associate Student fees (or here for international Associate Student fees).

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.

You may also find it useful to visit our External Funding page.

Due to the mode of study on this course you will not normally need a room in University accommodation during your degree.

However, if you require short-term accommodation in Buckingham we would be happy to provide a list of local bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation. Alternatively, please contact our Accommodation Office for advice.