Birkbeck, University of London
History of Art with Curating MA
Birkbeck, University of London

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

The MA History of Art with Curating is ideal if you wish to combine learning the practical skills required in the museum workplace with study of the rich and dynamic discipline of the history of art. It will give you a solid grasp of the key issues and skills involved in curating practice and an insight into the different working practices of various museums and galleries.

During an intensive week studying current issues and practices in curating you will meet curators and collections managers in London's thriving museum, galleries and archives sector, and engage in hands-on activities including documentation, cataloguing and issuing loan requests.

You will also have the opportunity to apply for a 10-week supervised work placement in a museum, gallery or archive. Previous work placements have been offered at the Tate, British Museum, Whitechapel Gallery and Horniman Museum. Past students have documented collections that were previously uncatalogued, helped design and run schools programmes, conducted visitor research and assisted curators in producing exhibitions.

As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we also offer an exciting study trip abroad every spring.

Highlights

  • 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. Funds are also available to support research expenses for your coursework on this MA.

  • The Department of History of Art has an international reputation for its innovative approaches to the history of art, visual culture and museum studies, and attracts a rich programme of visiting scholars and practitioners. It is home to the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre, the Centre for Museum Cultures and the Vasari Research Centre. You will also have access to the Centre for Film and Visual Media which is based in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies. We have state-of-the art cinema and exhibition spaces, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell. Birkbeck Library has an extensive collection of books and journals in museum studies and history of art. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, the British Library and the National Art Library at the V&A.

  • Close to our location in Bloomsbury in central London, you can explore some of the world's best architecture, galleries and museums, collections and art spaces, such as the British Library, British Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Foundling Museum, Wellcome Gallery, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and V&A.

  • The department hosts a range of events including information evenings for prospective students; the annual Murray Lecture; and exhibitions and displays at the Peltz Gallery, the School of Arts' purpose-built exhibition space. You are also welcome to attend other seminars and events across the School of Arts and at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Find out more about our staff and student activities on the Birkbeck History of Art blog.

  • Study trips in the last few years include visits to 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.

Coursework only, consisting of essays of up to 5000 words, a work placement project and a 15,000-word dissertation.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Mphil / PhD

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-
Do you not fulfill the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements?
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still be able to join History of Art with Curating, MA.

A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above). For students with a degree in a subject outside the arts and humanities, the one-year part-time Graduate Certificate in History of Art and Architecture can be used as a conversion course. Students who successfully complete the graduate certificate with merit will normally be guaranteed a place on this course. 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.

Costs

Tuition Fees History of Art with Curating MA

England UK £4515 year 1
Northern Ireland £4515 year 1
Scotland £4515 year 1
Wales £4515 year 1
International £8190 year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.

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

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
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
Insurance £51
Other £95
  
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.

University Rankings

Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.

See all university rankings of Birkbeck, University of London

What students say about studying History of Art in the UK?

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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.

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  • Top reasons why students choose Birkbeck, University of London

Where is this programme taught

Main Site - Malet Street
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