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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

History of Art and Architecture is no longer accepting new applications.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to undertake the MPhil History of Art and Architecture at Cambridge. My motivations for choosing this course came mainly from the academic freedom that it allowed to pursue my own interests. The development of my ideas and skills were then supported by invaluable individual supervisions with specialists.

Because of the small, close-knit MPhil cohort, the weekly seminars were a comfortable and supportive environment to voice ideas. These seminars covered a breadth of topics from modern, digital art histories to the visual representation of sound in medieval art, while simultaneously allowing us to reflect on how to these ideas applied to our own research. The additional skills sessions covered a range of useful topics relevant to completing the MPhil degree, as well as valuable career advice from professionals working in relevant sectors.

The historic city of Cambridge was also a beautiful place to live, with access to renowned institutions such as Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Cambridge’s vibrant and lively academic community ensured that there were many opportunities for the multi-disciplinary exchange of ideas at events such as lectures, seminars, book launches and drinks receptions. I also enjoyed the wealth of extra-curricular opportunities that were on offer from my college as well as the wider university. While I hope to continue a career related to art history, I believe that the skills gained from this research-orientated degree are applicable in a wide variety of professional settings and beyond.   

Issy Maxwell (August 2023)

The MPhil in History of Art is an enriching and academically challenging course which has developed my research skills while pushing me to explore new methodologies, theoretical approaches, and subject areas. The course was structured around three research projects, which gave me great agency to pick topics that I was especially interested in. Over the course of the year, I found that my research went in new and unexpected directions and culminated in a thesis which built on the skills and knowledge I’d gained in the shorter projects.

While much of my time was spent working independently on my research in Cambridge’s many libraries, I didn’t feel academically isolated. Department talks and seminars introduced me to topics and ideas that I wouldn’t have come across if I had only focussed on my own work and included group discussion with leading scholars about topics ranging from the digital reconstruction of medieval churches to postcolonial theory. These events also gave me the opportunity to socialise with my cohort and have conversations with students from a range of disciplines, which made me feel part of a wider scholarly community. Meanwhile, my research was guided by a specialist supervisor who helped me choose my topics, pointed me to relevant readings, introduced me to relevant scholars and helped edit my writing. These supervisions were invaluable and formed the basis for my learning, as I was able to discuss my work with someone who had the experience and knowledge to help me see problems from a new angle.

Cambridge has a wealth of resources at students’ disposal, including college, department, and specialist libraries. This meant that I rarely had to leave Cambridge to find useful material. On occasions when I needed a book that was unavailable at the university, libraries ordered them for me within days or helped me to find alternative sources. Most importantly, studying at Cambridge gave me access to far more than a single department: my college was also able to support me with a travel grant when I needed to visit a talk relevant to my research, while a university research group provided funding and support for a symposium, I organised in Easter term. By the end of the MPhil, I felt ready to pursue further academic study but also acquired a set of transferable skills that have proven invaluable outside of academia.

Nikita Yazikov - Selwyn (August 2023)

Key Information


9 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Department of History of Art

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 16, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.


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