The masters degree by research (MRes) will appeal to those who possess a sound understanding of the subject and have developed a clear idea of a research topic.
The MRes offers an invaluable opportunity to work on material that might well form part of a future PhD thesis. In this sense, an MRes, as a substantial piece of original academic work, might well prove to be a decisive advantage when seeking future funding for doctoral study.
Find out more about what it's like to study and research with us on the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies website.
Our research specialisms cover four main strands.
Nineteenth-century art and cultural exchange
- Art and national identity
- Intercultural contact, exchange, appropriation, influence
- Movement, migration, fusion, interpretation, innovation
Find out more about the Nineteenth-century art and cultural exchange research area.
Collecting, reception and revival
- Methods and politics of display
- Imperialism and collecting
- Cross-cultural exchange
- Power relations and collecting
- Exhibition histories and histories of curating
- Centres and peripheries
Find out more about the Collecting, reception and revival research area.
Photography, film and spectatorship
- What kinds of representation are involved in making films and photographs?
- How did these new images change the status of art?
- How far were they part of larger political movements?
- How separate or convergent are different media?
Find out more about the Photography, film and spectatorship research area.
Politics and identity
- Art and gender, class, and race
- Visualising local, regional and national identity
- Visual propaganda and the display of power
- Memory and memorial culture
- Art and protest
Find out more about the Politics and identity research area.
The MRes is composed of 180 credits.
The dissertation is worth 150 credits. You will agree a research topic with your supervisors. Your 35,000 word dissertation is submitted at the end of the year which is marked by both an internal and an external examiner with the possibility of a viva to confirm the award.
You will also spend the first semester studying the core module 'Critical Approaches to Art History and Visual Culture'. This will help you to develop your approach to your research topic.
Critical Approaches to Art History and Visual Culture
This module explores a range of theoretical and methodological issues relating to the study of art history and visual culture.
It will prepare you for both the practical demands of research and the philosophical questions relevant to a historical analysis of images.
You will examine a number of theoretical approaches and apply these to visual material across a broad chronological range.
This is a compulsory core module worth 20 credits.
This is a core module worth 30 credits
You will attend research training sessions and attend the weekly graduate work-in-progress seminars to which you contribute a paper in semester two.
You will also take the faculty-wide 'Mastering the Arts' module to help you develop key analytical and research skills.
This is not counted towards your required credits.
Mastering the Arts: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research
You will achieve:
- greater confidence in dealing with original research
- a recognition of the huge range of approaches that can be used to address research questions.
We build on the research skills you have already developed during both your undergraduate degree and discipline-specific MA modules. The emphasis is on:
- ensuring you are possessed of a range of practical ways to approach research
- making you think about the nature of your discipline-specific approaches within a context of growing interdisciplinarity.
You will have the chance to consider topics as varied as:
- academic publishing
- digital transformations
- use of illustrations in dissertations.
You will also have the opportunity to hear academics from across the Faculty talk about the problems they have confronted and how they overcame them.
This module is worth 20 credits.
Mastering the Arts introductory video
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This prospectus may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
All research students have access to:
- dedicated study space
- excellent IT network
- photocopying and printing allowance
- inter-library loan service
- funding for conference and research trips.
At the heart of art history and visual culture research in the University the CRVC organises research, seminars, conferences and collaborations for with staff, students and external partners.
We have close links with the on-campus Djanogly Gallery. Research students have co-operated with gallery on developing exhibitions, workshops and outreach activities.
As well as housing an extensive art history slide collection the DTH also provides access to hardware and software for cutting edge digital humanities research.
Nottingham galleries and spaces
We have past and on-going collaborations with the city's institutions of contemporary art and culture, such as:
The Graduate School supports all postgraduates and early career researchers at the University, with dedicated study spaces, training courses and placement opportunities.
The department's lively research culture includes regular research seminars, which offer the chance to hear visiting scholars from elsewhere in the UK and from overseas as well as opportunities for staff and postgraduates to present research in progress in a friendly and constructive environment. These occasions also allow you to broaden your knowledge of the subject and gain a better sense of how research develops as part of an interactive process.
You may also attend the research training module that is a compulsory element of our MA degrees. This module will give you a strong foundation in the skills and techniques necessary for effective research in the subject.
The University provides a range of support and information to enhance your student experience.
You will have access to:
- academic and disability support
- childcare services
- counselling service
- financial support
- visa and immigration advice
- welfare support
English language courses
Our Centre for English Language Education offers presessional English courses to help develop your English and study skills.
The centre is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, so you can be sure that the teaching and facilities are high-quality. You can also access free English language support alongside your academic course.
University of Nottingham Students’ Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or speak to the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.
There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:
- international students
- black and minority ethnic students
- students with disabilities
- LGBT+ students
SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.
Researcher training and development
The Graduate School training and development programme empowers postgraduate students and early career research staff to develop the skills required in their research and future careers.
We provide regular and experienced supervision from two academics. They will provide constructive feedback and help direct your research to successful completion.
We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They will be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area.
Details of research supervisors can be found on the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies website.
Careers and professional development
Average starting salary and career progression
For postgraduates from the School of Cultures, Languages and Areas Studies, six months after graduation:
- 94.7% were in employment or further study
- the average salary was £20,000
Source: known destinations and salary data for full-time, home, postgraduates extracted from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17.
Careers support and advice
Whether you are considering a career within or outside academia, we’re here to support you every step of the way.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate.
Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.
Fees and funding
There is a range of funding to support your studies. This can be from national, University or school/department sources. Our step-by-step guide to funding sets out the different options available.
School and department funding
The School of Cultures, Media and Area Studies has information on funding available for its PhD students.
National and University funding
Our Student Services has information on university-wide and national and international funding.
The Careers Service also has links to a range of funding databases for postgraduate study.
Students with additional needs
Students with a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty (for example dyslexia) may apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance.
Tuition fees and funding may be affected by the UK’s exit from the European Union. For more information see our Brexit information for future students.
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.