History of Art and Architecture
Birkbeck, University of London
Key Course Facts
The Graduate Diploma in History of Art and Architecture is an intensive conversion course designed for students with a first degree in another subject who wish to pursue a master's degree in the history of art or architecture.
On this course, you will gain the chance to work closely with internationally recognised experts who are defining the field conducting groundbreaking research in periods from medieval to contemporary and focusing on painting, sculpture, print culture, architecture, photography, digital art and museology. Our History of Art and Architecture Graduate Diploma is also enriched by museum and site visits, visiting speakers and screenings.
Over the course of the diploma you will develop skills of visual analysis, critical thinking, academic writing and research experience that will prepare you to embark on further postgraduate study, for example our MA History of Art, MA History of Architecture, MA History of Photography, MA History of Art with Curating or MA Museum Cultures.
Please contact us if you are unsure about what level of study would best suit you.
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), Art and Design at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
You can attend a wide range of events, including the Postgraduate Research Seminar, which brings art historians from all over the UK and beyond to speak at Birkbeck, the biennial Murray Lecture, the Murray Seminar on Medieval and Renaissance Art, the exhibitions and displays at the Peltz Gallery (the School of Arts' purpose-built exhibition space) and other seminars and events across the school and at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Find out more about our staff and student activities on the Birkbeck History of Art blog or join us at one of our information evenings, held throughout the year.
You will have access to an incredible range of resources, including the Birkbeck Library and our in-house resources centre, the British Library, specialist libraries at the University of London, Courtauld Institute of Art, Royal Institute of British Architects and V&A, as well as the visual resources of the British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, V&A, Barbican Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Hayward Gallery and Royal Academy, and many commercial galleries and salesrooms.
We encourage you to become involved in the lively research culture of the department through the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre and the Vasari Research Centre, which has pioneered the field of digital art history.
You will have the option to join our study trips, offered each spring. Cities visited in the last few years include Florence, Paris, Venice, Vienna, Rome, Berlin and Moscow.
The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.
Entry Requirements / Admissions
Requirements for international students / English requirements
IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)
- Mphil / PhD
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still study History of Art and Architecture, Grad Dip, if you do not meet the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements.
A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification. If you do not already hold a first degree, but believe that you are a suitable candidate for the Graduate Diploma through other experience and educational achievements, please contact the admissions tutor. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.
Tuition Fees History of Art and Architecture Grad Dip
|England UK||£3010||year 1|
|Northern Ireland||£3010||year 1|
Additional fee information
As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits.
An optional field trip is available as part of this course, for which the department does not charge a fee for attendance. Students are, however, responsible for paying all other costs, including travel, accommodation, food and drink and other subsistence costs, gallery fees, etc. The Murray Bequest offers a limited number of bursaries every year to students who would not otherwise be able to take the field trip. Details on how to apply are usually circulated to students in December or January.
Average student cost of living in London
|Water, gas electricity, internet (at home)||£50|
|Takeaways / food deliveries||£30|
|Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food)||£24|
|Holidays and weekend trips||£78|
|Transport within city||£17|
|Self-care / sports||£20|
|Stationary / books||£13|
|Mobile phone / internet||£13|
|Cable TV / streaming||£7|
|Average student cost of living||£1092|
London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.
Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.
About Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) was established in 1823, and takes a different stance towards admissions than many other universities. Applicants are encouraged by BKK to apply even if they don’t possess the traditional qualifications normally required, as applications here are also considered based on an assessment of your knowledge on the subject, and any work experience you might have. Being located in the very centre of London, students will have all the advantages of the city’s public transport connections, as well as the chance to live in such a diverse and vibrant city with all that it offers.
Student composition of Birkbeck, University of London
Students by level of study Academic year 2020/21 - Full-time equivalent student enrollments published by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on 10 February 2022