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University of Canterbury
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Master of Arts in Art History and Theory

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Master's Degree

Duration

1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023

Campus

University of Canterbury

Summary

The Master of Arts (MA) degree consists of taught coursework, which may include internship opportunities, and independent research in a wide variety of Arts subjects. It provides the opportunity to critically examine current practices in the field, while also demonstrating understanding of the principles of research.

Those interested in a research-focused programme of study in their subject may consider the Master of Arts (Thesis). The Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis) is composed of a substantial body of original research in a wide variety of Arts subjects. It provides the opportunity to contribute to new knowledge in the field and build on academic skills.

The Master of Arts degree consists of a total 180 points, made up from a 30-point compulsory course in introductory research methods, at least 60 points in a single subject, a maximum of 30 points from an internship or other relevant subject, and a 60-point dissertation.

The Master of Arts (Thesis) degree consists of a 120-point thesis in a chosen subject. Students can begin their studies on the first day of any month.

We are constantly surrounded by objects and images: these things have meanings, and affect our experiences. Art History and Theory helps you to find messages encoded within the visual world, and to think about the effects they have in and on society. In our courses, we study a range of artworks and objects – including paintings, moving images, crafts, and everyday things – and these provide insights into a variety of places, histories, and cultures.

The ‘visual literacy’ Art History and Theory courses promote is an extremely useful skill – highly applicable to many other subjects of study, and to a range of different career paths. Studying Art History and Theory also offers students the chance to develop expertise in how to look at things in detail, and to get the most out of what can be seen.

Why study Art History and Theory at UC?

At UC we take a particularly broad view of Art History and Theory as a subject; this is reflected in the variety of objects we look at and the ways we discuss them. We also consider the mechanics of the art world, as practices such as collecting, display, patronage, art education, art criticism, and community engagement all affect how we understand art and objects.

Our courses reflect the lecturers' specialism’s, which include contemporary art, East Asian art, and European art and material culture. All our lecturers cultivate research interests that extend beyond Art History and Theory and connect to other disciplines, ideas and fields such as literature, cultural studies, aesthetics. This interdisciplinary aspect is woven into a number of Art History and Theory courses at UC.

Further study

Doctor of Philosophy

Career opportunities

Graduates from Art History and Theory often go on to work in museums, galleries, auction houses, educational institutions, libraries and heritage conservation.

However, many seek careers beyond the art and heritage world, and professional possibilities are diverse (for example, in industries such as publishing, journalism, information services, marketing, tourism, and more).

Careers across a range of sectors offer ample opportunities for our graduates to draw on skill sets developed by studying Art History and Theory, such as aesthetic awareness, attention to visual cues and sources, developed analytical and research skills, and strong verbal and written communication.

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Entry criteria

Coursework: Students must have qualified for an Aotearoa New Zealand bachelor's degree (or other qualifications of an equivalent standard). You must also satisfy the prerequisites for a major subject. Prerequisites vary between departments, but normally good grades in 300-level courses in the subject is required. If you do not meet the prerequisites in your chosen subject, you may be able to complete a qualifying course, or substitute relevant professional practice or other work experience that satisfies your ability to pursue postgraduate-level studies in that subject.

Thesis: Students must have qualified for a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree (or other qualifications of an equivalent standard) within one of the Arts subjects offered in the MA(Thesis). With approval from the Dean of Arts, you may be able to complete the MA(Thesis) in a different subject from your BA(Hons) qualification.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

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