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History of Art and Visual Culture MSt

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSt - Master of Studies

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    9 months

Course summary

About the course

This nine-month programme offers a unique combination of methodological depth and access to excellent primary sources for students who wish to develop and extend their understanding of how visual styles at different times and in different places can be understood in relation to the aesthetic, intellectual and social facets of various cultures.

This course draws on the established strengths of the discipline of art history in formal, iconographic and contextual analysis in the Faculty of History's History of Art Department and links them to a rigorous approach to questions of theory and method.

The course will expose you to the ways in which the subjects of visual history are being redefined on a broad base to include a much wider range of artefacts and visual media, including images and objects produced in contexts ranging from the scientific to the popular.


You will write dissertation of up to 15,000 words completed independently, under the guidance of an expert supervisor, on a topic of your choice and approved by the supervisor and the chair of examiners for the programme. The dissertation is submitted in Trinity term.

In addition to the dissertation, assessment will take the form of exams and assessed essays. For the compulsory methodology paper you will write three short essays in an examination at the start of Trinity term.

The option paper is assessed through one short methodological or historiographic essay of 2,500 words and one research project of 7,500 words. Students receive one-on-one supervision when preparing their essays.

Graduate destinations

About a quarter of master’s students proceed directly to doctoral work at Oxford or at other institutions, with additional students applying to doctoral programmes within a year or two of completing the degree. Other career destinations include museums and galleries, the heritage sector, media/publishing (including online), fine arts and teaching, as well as fields such as banking, law and the civil service.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 26,405overall cost

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    1st out of 86

    3rd out of 28 1

  • Entry standards

    / Max 239
    224 100%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    70 70%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

  • Entry standards

    / Max 220
    189 100%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    80 80%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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