Are you fascinated by visual culture and history relating to a specific artisit, period of movement?
Do you want to pursue a career in the gallery and commerical arts sector?
The MA in Art History and Curating is one of the few postgraduate programmes in the country that offers you the opportunity to work in a team with academic and museum professionals to curate an art exhibition in a public gallery either at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts or the World Heritage Site, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum.
This unique programme enables you to develop the knowledge and skills to conduct original research into art objects, to understand at first hand the history, theory and contemporary practice of their curation and to disseminate your findings through a public art exhibition and a 15,000-word dissertation.
We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
by holding an English language qualification to the right level
by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students
The ‘Curatorial Practices’ module is team taught by both academics and gallery professionals with leading expertise in the field. You will have weekly seminars and lectures that discuss museum and gallery practice. You will learn a range of skills related to the organisation of an exhibition including marketing, interpretation and curation. The exhibition is open to the public over the summer months June- August and your team will be involved in hosting related exhibition events.
Postgraduate Research Training and Methods
This module will prepare you for the researching and writing of your dissertation, and your dissertation proposal. (Please note: You do not need to write a formal research proposal as part of the MA application process.) It is seminar-based and covers topics such as: referencing systems; writing a research proposal; literature reviews; approaching archives; oral histories.
Criticism and Methods in the History of Art and Visual Culture
This module looks at the historiography, methods and theoretical underpinning of contemporary practices of artistic and visual analysis. Based on close reading of key scholarly texts, you will engage with traditional art historical methods as well as more recent approaches to the study of art and visual culture. You will be asked to consider the relevance of these methods to a range of examples, including the potential topics for your final Masters thesis.
You will also choose two optional modules from a range including:
Art History in the Field: Placements
Art, Heritage and Digital Cultures
Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
Theorising and Historicising Exhibitions
Artists´ Film and Video from the 1920s to the Present
Please note that module options vary from year to year.
Birmingham´s History of Art graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills, including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on detailed research.
Our History of Art postgraduates also have the advantage of gaining hands-on experience at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts: the university´s on-campus art gallery which is home to the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies.
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