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Research overview

  • Are you passionate about digging deeper into visual culture?
  • Do you want the time, support and skills to carry out research?

The MRes is ideal if:

  • you cannot commit to a PhD but still have a topic you want to research further
  • your topic doesn't require three-years of PhD study
  • you want to develop your research and academic skills before starting a PhD

Our specialisations

We specialise in four main areas.

Nineteenth-century art and cultural exchange

Including:

  • national identity
  • intercultural contact
  • migration
  • innovation

Find out more about our current research in this area

Collecting, reception and revival

Including issues of:

  • display
  • imperialism
  • power
  • travel
  • memory

Find out more about our research in this area

Photography, film and spectatorship

Including:

  • representation
  • status
  • politics
  • relationship to other media

Find out more about our research in this area

Politics and identity

Including:

  • gender, class, and race
  • identity
  • propaganda, power and protest
  • memory

Find out more about our research in this area

The MRes is a substantial piece of original work and can be an advantage when applying for PhD funding.

Course content

As well as researching and writing your dissertation you will take a range of core and optional modules.

You will research and write a 35,000 word dissertation.

You'll agree the subject with your supervisor who will provide full support and regular reviews.

The dissertation is worth 120 of the 180 credits you take for the MRes.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules.

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.

History of Art and Visual Culture MA

This is a compulsory core module worth 20 credits.

Art History MRes and Visual Culture MRes

This is a compulsory module worth 20 credits.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules.

You'll take 40 credits worth of modules from the department and the University's research training programmes or from Level 4 specialist topic modules within the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies.

Example specialist topic modules include:

The viewing subject and the act of viewing are central topics of investigation in art history and visual studies.

This module looks at the major themes in the study of the viewer, viewing positions, ways of seeing and spectatorship. The module will include historically grounded studies of a range of media, times and places. We will examine gender, class, race and other positionalities in connection with spectatorship.

Throughout the module we will investigate the historiographic traditions of art history, cultural history and visual culture. Thus we will explore the ways in which viewing and spectatorship have been variously conceptualised.

This is an optional module worth 20 credits.

This module investigates the complex and often contested interactions between identity and visual culture across multiple periods, places and perspectives.

It explores the many ways in which works of art and visual culture reflect, shape or challenge identity.

Sessions will consider topics such as:

  • collective versus individual identity
  • narratives of self and other
  • the politics of local, national and global identities
  • race, class, gender and sexuality

This is an optional module worth 20 credits.

This module explores the diverse ways in which art and visual culture engage with landscape and environment.

It will consider how various modes of representation and performance shape our understanding of place and space, in a variety of periods and geographical contexts, ranging across urban and rural, frontier and heartland, scenic routes and hinterlands, national parks and non-places.

Themes to be investigated might include:

  • the role of art and images in the creation of national, regional and private mythologies around place
  • nostalgic or expansionist conceptions of landscape
  • how competing interests over space, access and property are revealed or obscured.

This is an optional module worth 20 credits.

 

The module will explore the ways in which conflict has both informed and been shaped by visual culture across a range of periods from the early modern period to the twentieth century.

Among the themes we will explore are:

  • the relationship of visual imagery to narratives of uprising, revolution, and war
  • the art and visual culture of propaganda and activism
  • the politics of trauma, memory, and memorial
  • rebellion, identity politics, and visual culture
  • conflict within the sphere of art and its institutions

This is an optional module worth 20 credits.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

QualificationMRes
Undergraduate degree

2:1 (or international equivalent) in art history or a related subject.

QualificationMRes
Undergraduate degree

2:1 (or international equivalent) in art history or a related subject.

International and EU equivalents

We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.

For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.

IELTS7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
English language requirements

As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.

This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.

English language support

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

For presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.

Applying

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.

If you're not sure how your research might fit into our existing programme contact out postgraduate admissions tutor Mark Rawlinson who'll be happy to discuss.

Research staff and their areas of expertise

Most students apply to start the course in September but December and February starts are also possible.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

How to apply

Fees

QualificationMRes
Home / UK£4,496 per year
International£19,000 per year

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. The figures shown above match the limit for 2020 entry. We expect fees for 2021 entry to be confirmed in February 2021.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

Optional field trips may require you to pay for your own travel and entrance fees.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding your postgraduate degree.

Research funding

Support

Research seminars

These regular seminars allow you to broaden your knowledge of the subject and gain a better sense of how research develops as part of an interactive process. In particular you can:

  • hear visiting scholars from elsewhere in the UK and from overseas
  • present research in progress in a friendly and constructive environment
  • keep up-to-date with fellow art history students and staff

Digital Transformations Hub

  • Collection of more than 80,000 35mm art history slides
  • A range of hardware and software for cutting edge digital humanities research.

Visit the Digital Transformations Hub website.

crop up gallery

Get involved in our student-led curatorial group and gain valuable practical experience in leadership, design, curatorship, marketing and promotion, networking and project management.

Language learning

You can make full use of the Language Centre facilities for both research-specific learning and personal interest.

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy supports all postgraduate researchers at the University.

You can develop your research skills through:

  • paid work placements
  • training courses
  • public engagement opportunities

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services, including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Where you will learn

Centre for Research into Visual Culture

The Centre is involved with all aspects of contemporary art and visual culture. Its activities reflect the research interests of staff and students in the department.

Students attend regular seminars and symposia hosted by CRVC.

Visit the Centre's website

Careers

Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

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.

Typically, our students are in great demand for their extensive knowledge and skills. Recent destinations include:

Galleries, museums, collections

Commercial

Other

 

The average annual salary for postgraduates from the School of Humanities was £25,563*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Related courses

Research Excellence Framework

We are ranked 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.

  • 7th among UK history of art departments for world-leading research
  • 87% of research is of international quality in terms of originality, significance and rigour
  • More than 97% of research at Nottingham is recognised internationally
  • More than 80% of our research is ranked in the highest categories as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 16 of our 29 subject areas feature in the UK top 10 by research power

This content was last updated on 09 November 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.