UCD School of Art History & Cultural Policy has a dynamic postgraduate communuity and offers both taught postgraduate and research degrees in Art History and in Cultural Policy. Our taught Masters in Art History, Cities: Art, Architecture, Aspiration, explores the connection between art and urban identity across a variety of cities and eras, and with reference to painting, sculpture, architecture and other media. Case studies frequently include Renaissance Venice, 17th-century Antwerp and Amsterdam, 20th-century New York, as well as Dublin, Rome and Istanbul. The School is also the centre for the only Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management within Ireland, which provides professional training for managers and leaders in the arts and heritage fields. At MLitt and PhD level we offer supervision in a range of diverse subject areas.
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- We pioneered the study of art history in Ireland, and our department is the oldest and largest of its kind in the country, renowned for its diversity and excellence in research, internationalist ethos, and welcoming, supportive collegiality.
- All members of staff are actively involved in research and publishing of the highest international standards and are frequently invited to lecture at museums and universities at home and abroad and to contribute to the catalogues of major exhibitions. While we have expertise in an impressive variety of fields, there is a concentrated specialisation in Irish art, 20th-century art and architecture, and European painting of the Early Modern period.
- We have a distinguished record of attracting substantial research funding. Two members of staff are the steering forces behind the Art and Architecture of Ireland (AAI), a dictionary project supported by the Royal Irish Academy. Funded by the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism together with private sponsors, it received the largest grant ever for an art-historical project in this country.
- Our graduate and post-doctoral students have enjoyed success in attracting financial aid for their research. Many have been the recipients of fellowships from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and other organisations. Among recent graduates have been two George Mitchell scholars.
- A strong research culture has been fostered in the School. Regular seminars are held where students, staff and visiting academics can present work in progress. The School organises regular national and international conferences.
- The new structured UCD PhD allows for a more attractive and broadly based educational experience. Among its innovative features is the appointment of doctoral panels, consisting of two or more academics drawn from different disciples, who assist the main supervisor in providing advice and support to the student. Taught modules, online modules and workshops help the student acquire transferable skills relevant to the successful completion of his or her research project and to wider career development.
- Graduates from our MA and PhD programmes occupy leading positions across the Irish cultural sector and also abroad. Among typical careers pursued are museum and gallery curators, academic positions in universities and art colleges, and arts administrators.
The MA in Art History in UCD, Cities: Art, Architecture, Aspiration, is a Level 9, 90 credit programme. It is designed to appeal to applicants with an undergraduate experience of art history who also wish to be introduced to the challenges and rewards of the subject at a more hands-on, research-intensive level. However, applicants with a less formal background in the subject can also apply. The course comprises a supervised research thesis on a subject of the student’s choice, and a series of small-group taught courses which analyse the role of art in expressing civic power and identity (case studies include such cities as Dublin, Amsterdam, Rome, Venice, Istanbul and New York). Via a stimulating mixture of thematically-linked lectures, seminars and site visits, including a trip abroad, the Cities MA wishes to make the best use of the rich art collections and research resources in Dublin and elsewhere, and to encourage an adventurous, first-hand engagement with works of art - whether painting, sculpture, architecture, or other media.
The MA is an excellent platform for further research at MLitt/ PhD level, although many of our graduates have gone on to pursue their art historical development in a more immediately vocational context as curators, guides, and administrators.
The full-time programme lasts for approximately one calendar year from September until August. Teaching ends in April and the dissertations are submitted in early August each year. A field trip abroad occurs each year and forms an essential component of the programme.
There is also an option to do the MA part-time over the course of two years.
Contact: Course director
Contact: School administrator
Dr Philip Cottrell, Director, MA Art History
Tel: + 353 1 716 8603
Mrs Elizabeth Varley, School Administrator
Tel: + 353 1 716 8162 / Fax: + 353 1 716 8453
The MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management is a one-year full-time course running from September to August. It enables participants to understand the theory and practice of cultural policy and arts management and encourages research expertise. It is relevant to those developing professional careers in arts and cultural management, including the heritage and cultural industries. Our mission is to produce ‘reflective practitioners’ – people who can manage people and resources effectively on a day-to-day basis while having a sophisticated grasp of the philosophical values and cultural issues that condition the environment in which the contemporary cultural manager works.
The learning experience of participating in our MA programme is one in which you will be challenged by lecturers and fellow-students to think deeply about culture and society, the role and value of the arts and heritage, and to reflect upon how you can develop your own management skills to be an effective leader or team player in a cultural organisation. In recent years, the taught MA course has attracted an increasing number of high calibre international students, which has helped to enrich the learning experience for all participants.
For those interested in continuing professional development, there is also an option to take the MA on a phased basis over three years.
The Graduate Diploma in Cultural Policy and Arts Management is a full-time (one year) and part-time (over two years) 60 credit programme. It complements the School's existing full-time 1-year taught Masters Degree programme, and offers a flexible pathway for candidates to achieve a Graduate Diploma qualification.
There is also an option to convert the Graduate Diploma qualification into a taught Masters Degree award. Find out more & apply >>>
The postgraduate programme at UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy incorporates research degrees at MLitt and PhD level in Art History, and in Cultural Policy and Arts Management.
More specifically, research postgraduate studies are offered in cultural policy, and across the broad spectrum of the visual arts: in painting, sculpture, architecture, the applied arts, and new media. Please check our staff and research pages for work complementary to your proposed research area.