Triangle Triangle

Research overview

  • Are you passionate about digging deeper into art history?
  • 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

Nineteenth-century art and cultural exchange

  • National identity
  • Intercultural contact
  • Migration
  • Innovation

Find out more about our current research in this area

Collecting, reception and revival

  • Display
  • Imperialism
  • Power
  • Travel
  • Memory

Find out more about our current research in this area

Photography, film and spectatorship

  • Representation
  • Status
  • Politics
  • Relationship to other media

Find out more about our current research in this area

Politics and identity

  • Gender, class, and race
  • Identity
  • Propaganda, power and protest
  • Memory

Find out more about our current research in this area

The MRes is a substantial piece of original work and can be ideal for people with highly focussed interests but limited time. It can also be an advantage when applying for PhD funding as it demonstrates research skills and ability.

This is a companion to the Visual Culture MRes. The requirements and supervision arrangements are the same but the title of your final degree is different.

Course content

As well as researching and writing your dissertation you will take a taught module that develops your research and interdisciplinary skills. The balance of work is:

  • Research dissertation - 160 credits
  • Taught module - 20 credits

Research Dissertation

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.

You'll select one from the following list of modules.

We will help you to apply your arts MA across society to enhance your career and contribute to wider society.

We'll demonstrate how the arts can be used to:

  • transform society, politics and culture
  • enhance the careers of arts and humanities MA students.

You'll be able to explore, explain and then detail how your disciplinary skills can impact upon wider issues to emphasise the applicability of the arts and humanities. From the role of the scholar activist to understanding ‘knowledge transfer’ and ‘public engagement’, you'll develop professional skills in preparation for a career within academia or across a range of sectors.

You will:

  • harness the ways in which the arts and humanities enable us to think differently and to innovate
  • work on issues of research, networking, grant-writing and cultural exchange
  • learn how to engage, communicate and create.

This module is worth 20 credits.


This module has been developed to introduce you to a range of research techniques and methodologies. It will also help you develop a variety of valuable transferable skills for your future career.

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 

An introduction to some of the key research skills required to become a more effective researcher and successfully complete your MRes.

You'll also develop a range of transferable professional skills - from writing and presentation to public engagement and project management.

You will also engage with key methdological concepts and debates within the arts and humaniities.

This module runs in the Autumn semester and is 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 2022 entry.


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


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.

Meeting our English language requirements

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

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.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

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.


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 our postgraduate admissions tutor Dr Mark Rawlinson who'll be happy to discuss.

Research staff and their areas of expertise

Most students 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


UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in February 2022.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students 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 information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

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


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

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


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
  • Support 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 is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Graduate centres

Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.

Each space has areas for:

  • studying
  • socialising
  • computer work
  • seminars
  • kitchen facilities

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
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

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. Our latest seminar series "Re-writing history? Monuments, iconoclasm, and social justice movements in 2020" provided a snapshot of the long history of monuments, protest and oppression and explored the historical significance of this moment.

Visit the Centre's website


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.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Typically, our students are in great demand for their extensive knowledge and skills.

Recent destinations include:

Galleries, museums, collections




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.

Isobel Elstob History of Art
By exploring contexts of art production, display, and interpretation you'll interrogate how art history is written, and expand these discussions into broader visual cultures like photojournalism and museology. It's this opportunity to explore a range of materials and methods that makes the MRes so special. I love seeing our students develop both intellectual and research skills in imaginative ways, knowing it gives them a great foundation for their future careers.
Dr Isobel Elstob, Assistant Professor in Art History

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 31 August 2021. 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.