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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Aberdeen

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    FEB-21, MAR-21, APR-21, MAY-21, JUN-21, JUL-21

  • Duration

    36 Months

Course summary

The History of Painting, Sculpture, architecture and the Decorative arts in Europe and North America from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The History of Art Department offers expert supervision to research students in a wide range of topics based on the interests of individual members of staff and drawing upon the rich resources of the area. The University Library has been built up over five centuries. In addition to its excellent modern collection of art history books covering all periods, it is particularly strong in 18th and 19th century material, including art theory and criticism, archaeology and travel literature.

The Historic Collections include important medieval manuscripts and estate papers. The unique George Washington Wilson archive contains over 45,000 original glass plate negatives made by this pioneer Victorian photographer. Visual resources are equally rich. The north-east of Scotland has a distinguished architectural heritage from the middle ages onwards, while Aberdeen Art Gallery has a fine collection of French and British (including Scottish) art. In addition to its important William Dyce archive, it has one of the best collections of Victorian painting outside London, with examples of work by Rossetti and Dyce. . The Macdonald Collection (94 artists' portraits) and the Peacock Print Archive are of special interest. The National Galleries of Scotland, the Burrell Collection, Glasgow Art Gallery and the Hunterian Museum are within easy reach by train, bus or car.

Our Research

Scottish/British Art and Architecture - We research distinguished art heritage from the middle ages onwards, drawing from Scottish, British, French and other European art, the William Dyce collection, the MacDonald Collection and the Peacock Print Archive.

Italian Baroque Painting - We research Italian art from the Baroque period, drawing on paintings from the Perth Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery, National Gallery of Scotland and the McManus Gallery, Dundee.

Pictish Art and British Romanesque Manuscripts - We research Pictish art and history mainly found in Aberdeenshire and Angus

Print Culture in Early Modern Europe - We research prints from Britain and Northern Europe to understand the use of printed images in the context of political movements, religion, graphic satire, popular print culture, text and images and ‘social life’ of the print.

Our Research Centres linked to History of Art - Centre for Early Modern Studies, George Washington Wilson Centre for Visual Culture

Other Centres in the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture

Centre for Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Studies, Centre for Linguistic Research, Centre for the Novel
Elphinstone Institute, Performing the Past, Sound Emporium Research Group, Sir Herbert Grierson Centre for Textual Criticism and Comparative Literary History, Walter Scott Research Centre, and WORD Centre for Creative Writing

Past graduates have gone into academic careers, heritage work (National Trust of Scotland, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Historic Monuments Commission), arts administration, museums and galleries, art trade (Auction Houses, Dealers), publishing and media.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 16,500per year

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 Aberdeen

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Aberdeen, Directorate of External Relations, King's College, Aberdeen, Aberdeen, City Of, AB24 3FX, Scotland

One of the top 30 universities in the UK (Complete University Guide).
Student population includes over 130 nationalities, with strong international global networks.
An International Centre provides support to students from application to graduation.

Subject rankings

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