The MA in Art History, Collections and Curating offers advanced postgraduate academic training in the history of art, with a special focus on collections and curatorial practice.
• Delivered by academics and practitioners from across the university and the larger Dublin community.
• Offers the opportunity to hone skills in the interpretation, critique, and analysis of works of art and architecture.
• Combines academic scholarship with an introduction to the theory and practice of curation in museums and galleries.
Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes
Part Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No
-A specialised understanding of art historical styles, subjects and schools - both in terms of a general familiarity with visual culture, and with regard to a connoisseurial ability to recognise the forms, techniques, functionality and authorship of works of art throughout history.
-An understanding of the theory and practice of curating, including the social, political and cultural functions of museums and galleries.
-Students should be conversant with the extensive range of methodological and interdisciplinary approaches embraced by art history, including current research trends, and how these inform and can be applied to the candidate's own research thesis and assignments.
-Students should have developed the skills relevant to a well-written, analytically rigorous and original research-based thesis on an art historical subject. While this should be a discrete, self-contained project, we encourage theses that offer scope for further development beyond the MA.
-The ability to give concise, visually aware and engaging oral presentations on specific works of art/ art historical sites, and to articulate a personal and individually critical response to the subject in question.
-Students should be familiar with, and have made use of, a wide range of research resources and art collections and sites in Dublin, and in other locations relevant to the course's field trips and the student's own individual research.
-A clear understanding of the value and integrity of original, independent thinking, and the type of research questions which can expand and shape an understanding of art historical topics and themes.
-A range of transferable skills - including the ability to think analytically and imaginatively - which would facilitate not only advancement in the field of art history and its cognate disciplines, but also within a wide range of professional contexts.
Vision & Values Statement
This course will primarily appeal to applicants with an undergraduate experience of art history, or a cognate discipline, and who wish to be introduced to the challenges and rewards of the subject at a more ambitious, research-intensive level. Our aim is to equip students with the knowledge and skill to develop their own individual enthusiasms as art historians and to extend, question, and reflect upon the critical approaches which shape the subject. The MA comprises a supervised research thesis on a subject of the student's choice, and a series of small-group taught courses which offers advanced postgraduate academic training in the history of art, with a special focus on collections and curatorial practice. Via a stimulating mixture of thematically-linked lectures, seminars and site visits, including an international study trip to a major European city, the course is designed to make the best use of the rich art collections and research resources in Dublin and elsewhere, and to encourage an adventurous, first-hand engagement with works of art - whether in painting, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, photography or other visual media.
The School of Art History and Cultural Policy is committed to creating a supportive, collegial atmosphere, where MA students can be directly inspired by the excellence and diversity of its research activity (which strongly engages with, but also extends well beyond Irish art). While the course therefore provides a first-rate platform for students to go on to research at MLitt/PhD level, many of our MA graduates have pursued their art historical development in a more immediately vocational context as curators, guides, writers, educators and administrators. The School is also very keen to promote interdisciplinary approaches and instill in our MA students the kind of transferable, critically-aware skills which are sought after in a variety of scholarly and professional contexts, and which naturally arise within a discipline that is so uniquely and intellectually engaged in the act of looking.