History of Art & Architecture

Trinity College Dublin

History of Art & Architecture

Course Overview
The M.Phil. in History of Art and Architecture offers a distinctive programme founded on primary study of the outstanding collections on campus and nearby. The focus on both Irish and global art and architecture held in collections in Ireland provides students with a broad range of possible avenues for research. Students are asked to think critically about the interpretation of works of art and architecture using a range of methodological approaches in a selection of taught courses alongside a research seminar and dissertation module.

Students taking this M.Phil. will gain an understanding of best practice in art history through a series of modules designed to encourage sophisticated documentation and analysis of both works of art and architecture in Ireland and of the diverse range of approaches and methods current in the discipline. The taught modules will inform and enrich the research component of the course and thus develop students’ ability to produce original and articulate contributions to scholarship.

There is a strong emphasis on direct engagement with works of art in public and private collections throughout the degree, including with the unique collections held by Trinity on campus and the world class collections and institutions with which we have close connections, such as the National Gallery, the Chester Beatty, and the Irish Architectural Archive. Visits to sites, buildings, archives, artist studios, collections and institutions are important features of many of the modules and are actively encouraged as part of the dissertation research.

Is This Course for Me?
This course is aimed at students with a primary degree in the history of art or related discipline. We consider applicants from all backgrounds and particularly welcome those with a proven interest in the art and architecture found in the Irish and global collections of Ireland. This subject is ideal for students interested in the history of art, architecture, design and visual culture and who wish to understand the influence of these disciplines on the development of societies.

Course Structure
Taken as a full-time course, the programme lasts for 12 months starting in September. Teaching is spread over 24 weeks, from September to the following April. Students then complete a dissertation, to be submitted in August. The course consists of a combination of compulsory and optional components that together make up 90 ECTS expected for full-time study over one academic year at Masters Level

EU/UK/EEA students can also take the course on a part-time basis over two years. In the first year, students take Research Methods in Art History and two Options modules. In the second year, students take an additional two optional modules and complete the dissertation.

Course Content
All students take the core module Research Methods in Art History, which introduces students to the principal sources and methodologies applicable for advanced study in the history of art and provides an overview of the conceptual underpinnings of the discipline.

Students choose four elective modules that offer detailed engagement with periods and media. Students can choose to follow an Irish art strand throughout their course or pick more widely from the diverse selection of modules available. Elective modules offered in recent years include: Medieval Monastic Ireland; The Artist and the Printed Image: Concepts, Technologies and Dissemination; Portraits and Portraiture in Dublin Collections; Interpreting Ireland’s Built Heritage; Arts of the Book (Islamic); Ireland and France, 1800–2000; Gender, Art and Identity; Visualising Climate Change; Constructing Drawings.

Students undertake a substantial research dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words on a selected subject under the supervision of a member of staff.

Subjects taught

Compulsory Elements:
All students take the module HA7050 Research Methods in Art History and complete a Dissertation

Taught Module Options
Students take four taught modules from the selection available. Available options vary from year to year, but will include some of the following:
• HA7030 Medieval Monastic Ireland
• HA7033: Ireland and France, c.1800-c.2000
• HA7036 Portraits and Portraiture in Dublin Collections
• WS7054 Gender, Art and Identity
• HA7039 Artist and Printed image; concepts, technologies and dissemination (c.1900 – present)
• HA7038 Arts of the Book

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have at least an upper second class (2:1) Honours Bachelor degree or equivalent (for example, GPA of 3.3) in a relevant area. An undergraduate degree in art history is preferable but not essential.

Since places on the course are limited, applicants may be interviewed or asked to submit a writing sample for assessment. In your application, we are interested to hear about why you want to study for this degree in Ireland, so read the course details carefully and reflect this in your submission.

Application dates

Closing Date: 23rd July 2024


DPTHH-IAHI-3F09: 1 year full-time (EU and non-EU students)
DPTHH-IAHI-3P09: 2 years part-time (EU/UK/EEA students only)

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: September 2024

Post Course Info

Career pathways
The MPhil provides a strong foundation in art-historical skills, methodologies and approaches and helps prepare graduates for a wide variety of careers including in the gallery, museum and heritage sectors, libraries and archives, public policy and administration, teaching, media, public relations, publishing, and art practice. For those already working in these sectors, the course will enrich knowledge and skills, stimulate lateral thinking, and act as a spur to innovation. It also provides invaluable training in research for those planning to pursue a doctorate and/or career in research.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider