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Postgraduate Admissions

Since the Department of History of Art's foundation in 1970, we have established ourselves as one of the world’s leading centres for advanced research in the field. We aim to deliver a rigorous, stimulating education in the History of Art and Architecture, with a strong emphasis on the study of works of art and architecture at first-hand. We are proud of our team of staff and students, whose impressive performance is critical to sustaining and enhancing the national and international reputation created by our distinguished alumni.

Cambridge itself is, from an art-historical point of view, a stunning city in which to live and work. We make full use of Cambridge’s unique holdings of art and architecture, including the Fitzwilliam Museum (on our doorstep), Kettle’s Yard and the University Library, as well as the buildings and collections of the Colleges. The Hamilton Kerr Institute at Whittlesford, a department of the Fitzwilliam Museum, is dedicated to the conservation of easel paintings and also contributes to our teaching and research.

A doctoral degree at the Department of History of Art offers the opportunity for independent research under the supervision of an expert departmental member of staff.  The Department of History of Art has the expertise and welcomes candidates in many areas including medieval, Renaissance and early modern, eighteenth and nineteenth century, modern and contemporary art, and historiography and methodology.

As well as the research and skills training programme offered by the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art, candidates have the opportunity to attend suitable courses in associated skills, such as modern languages, palaeography, the use of bibliographic and other databases, and computer skills.

The examination constitutes the oral examination of a thesis not exceeding 80,000 words for the PhD on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, candidates will have acquired excellent skills, experience and knowledge to undertake post-doctoral work (research and/or teaching) or another related profession outside the academy.


Continuing

To continue to read for the PhD following the MPhil in History of Art & Architecture, students must achieve an overall total score of at least 70%.  Continuation is also subject to the approval of the proposed research proposal, and the availability and willingness of an appropriate supervisor.


Open Days

The Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. The event is suitable for those considering applying for postgraduate study at the University. It provides opportunities to meet with academics, explore the Colleges, and find out more about the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of History of Art

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
May 20, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

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