Art History MRes

Qualification name
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Fact file

MRes Art History
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in art history or a related subject
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
Cultural, Media and Visual Studies
MRes Art History
Other requirements



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.  

This degree is composed of a research dissertation of 25,000 words (worth 120 credits) and a selection of taught modules (worth 60 credits) that can be drawn 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. You attend research training sessions and attend the weekly graduate work-in-progress seminars to which you contribute a paper in semester two, and you also work with a main supervisor and co-supervisor on a pre-agreed research topic. Your 25,000 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. 

As an MRes student, you will spend the first semester studying the core module 'Critical Approaches to Art History and Visual Culture'; this covers a range of methodological themes and introduces various approaches to research. This material will help you to develop your approach to your 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. 

Staff research covers a wide range of topics from Renaissance to contemporary. Themes we engage with include: 

  • the Renaissance city 

  • the politics of display 

  • French art and Revolution 

  • Western collecting of Asian art 

  • Italian landscapes in art and film 

  • 20th-century North American photography and visual culture 

  • Surrealism and its legacies.  

More details are available through the staff pages on the 

department's web pages.

Key facts

  • The department has a dedicated research institute, the Centre for Research in Visual Culture
  • 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*
  • In the latest postgraduate taught experience survey, 100% of respondents said, “the course is intellectually stimulating” and “the course has enhanced my academic ability” 

* Research Excellence Framework 2014



The department is located in the Trent Building, on University Park campus. Students also have access to  the Digital Humanities Centre, which offers key resources in reproduction and image research. The department also has strong connections to the University's Djanogly Gallery, where staff have curated a number of exhibitions, demonstrating our commitment to dissemination, and also working with works of art (e.g. And now it’s dark: American Night Photography, 2014; Trentside, Rubens and Italian Art; Ruination: photographs of Rome) 

Previous exhibitions have included: Edward Burra (2012), L.S.Lowry (2011), The British Art Show (2006), Graham Sutherland (2006),  John Piper (2003),  The Golden Age of Watercolour (2002), Rubens  and Italian Art (2002),  Trentside (2001),  Typical Men: Photography of the Male Body by Men 1980 to 2000 (2001),  The Artist's Model from Etty to Spencer (1999), as well as exhibitions by  Hermione Wiltshire (2000) and  Hughie O'Donoghue (2001).  

Staff are well-connected to the city's institutions of contemporary art and culture, Nottingham Contemporary, and New Art Exchange. 

IT facilities 

Postgraduate study spaces equipped with PCs and printers. The computers are connected to the University's data network which, in turn, is connected to JANET (the UK's Joint Academic NETwork) and thus to the world wide Internet.   


Research support

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 postgraduate students to broaden their knowledge of the subject and gain a better sense of how research develops as part of an interactive process.  

Research students at the University of Nottingham have access to an extensive range of modules provided by the Graduate School, including 'The Tradition of Critique' and general modules such as 'Getting Going on Your Thesis', and beginners language courses. AHRC Doctoral Award-holders will complete a portfolio of research training provision, to be devised in consultation with their supervisor and the Head of Postgraduate Studies.  

Research students 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  

Postgraduate students in the department may also register for the Academic German course run by the School of Humanities. This course is designed to provide research students who have little or no experience in this language with the skills to use German in their research. 

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Students' Union is a particularly important source of support.


Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may 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.


Fees and funding

UK/EU students

Competitive scholarships available include:

  • MA Scholarships
  • PhD Scholarships
  • Department MA Studentships
  • School Overseas Research Scholarship

This is by no means a complete list. For up-to-date information and application forms on these and other funding opportunities, please visit the funding section of the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies website.

The University’s International Office has a wide range of scholarship opportunities for students an EU fee status, including a fee reduction for alumni, and EU and Accession State Scholarships. 

The University Graduate School operates funding schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international 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 your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Average starting salary and career progression

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers.*

In 2016, 96% of postgraduates from the School of Humanities who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £22,370 with the highest being £30,000.**

The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.  
**Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.

Individual guidance appointments, career management training programme, access to resources and invitations to events including skills workshops and recruitment fairs are just some of the ways in which they can help you develop your full potential, whether you choose to continue within an academic setting or are looking at options outside of academia.


Get in touch

t: +44 (0)115 951 5559

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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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Claire Croal
Department of History of Art
The University of Nottingham
University Park

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The University of Nottingham
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