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Art History

The MA in Art History draws upon the exciting research and outstanding teaching expertise of the department. Studying art history at postgraduate level will deepen your understanding of art, architecture and visual culture, build your analytical and critical skills, and develop the skills needed for independent study and research. You will start by exploring the core concepts and recent developments that have shaped art history from Renaissance Italy to the contemporary Caribbean, before building on these foundations to expand your understanding of visual and material objects – incorporating architecture, art and design. You will complete the degree by researching and writing a dissertation on an agreed topic of your own devising.

Key features of the course
• Engages critically with key theories and approaches developed to interpret and explain works of art and architecture
• Examines critical debates both within the academic discipline of art history and in the 'real world' contexts of heritage, curating and museums
• Prepares and inspires you to confidently develop and articulate your own standpoint within the discipline
• Concludes with a substantial piece of independent research and a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Entry requirements

You should have an undergraduate honours degree, ideally, but not necessarily, in Art History. Part 1 of the MA (A843) assumes that a suitable candidate for this masters degree already has the knowledge and skills usually acquired by pursuing the subject at undergraduate level. You should be aware that a good degree (at least a 2.1 or equivalent) will greatly increase your chances of successfully completing the MA.

The part 1 module brings you up to date with the latest ideas and approaches, but it does not offer remedial undergraduate training if your qualifications and/or experience are inappropriate – if you're in any doubt, please contact us before you enrol.

To study successfully for this MA, you need to be able to:
• write clear, concise, accurate prose
• read large quantities of text quickly, accurately and critically
• classify evidence precisely and assess its value and reliability
• argue logically, consistently and sceptically
• marshal various sorts of evidence to support a logical argument.

Duration

2 - 10 years.

Modules on this MA are studied during a fixed period each year. The minimum overall time in which it is possible to complete the qualification is two years, studying the modules consecutively. If you do not study the modules consecutively, you must have completed them by a maximum of 10 years to qualify for the degree.

Number of credits

180 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
An MA in Art History will provide you with a wide range of skills, including visual and textual analysis and critical thinking and writing, which can be successfully transferred to a variety of careers in the professional and educational sectors. The MA in Art History will teach you to think critically about historical and contemporary cultural debates around works of art and will provide you with an awareness of art history's professional contexts. The MA is an excellent starting point for a career in the heritage and cultural sectors, from educator to curator to art critic. If you're interested in an academic career, the MA is an essential step towards embarking on a PhD.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442
Email: ireland@open.ac.uk

Subjects taught

Modules
To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules Credits next Start:
MA Art History part 1 (A843)
MA Art History part 2 (A844)

Or 180 credits from the discontinued modules A840, A841 and A847 if you started before 2014.

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Comment

On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded the Master of Arts in Art History entitling you to use the letters MA (Art Hist) (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

If you leave the programme before you qualify for a degree you can be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Humanities after successfully completing MA Art History part 1 (A843).

Credit transfer
If you've successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

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