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Art History and Visual Studies
Richard Hamilton, Release, 1967

Richard Hamilton, Release, 1967

MA and PhD Degrees


Multidisciplinary expertise

Manchester’s art historians come from a great variety of disciplinary backgrounds, which is reflected in the rich mix of subjects that we teach and supervise at postgraduate level. Here, you’ll find researchers concentrating not only on painting, sculpture and architecture, but also on urbanism and garden design; the relationship between the arts, languages, and literatures; material culture and the decorative arts; collecting and display; issues around the sacred and the supernatural; performance, installations and other contemporary art practices; questions of gender and identity; body and video art and critical theory.


Access to cutting-edge research

Our teaching is led by our research. We have an extremely active research culture in which our sizable cohort of postgraduate students (currently 20 in the MA and 30 in the PhD programme) play a key role. You are encouraged to attend the research seminars in AHVS, where members of staff and guest lecturers present papers. We also have a lively student-run Postgraduate Forum.

Welcoming community

Staff and postgraduates benefit greatly from the coherent, close-knit and friendly atmosphere of our art historical community, as well as from the interdisciplinary research culture within the larger School, Faculty, and University. We share intellectual interests and connections with English and American Studies, History, Drama, Music, Classics and Ancient History, Archaeology, and Religions and Theology. We have particularly close connections with the Centre for Museology and the Whitworth Art Gallery. We encourage our postgraduate studnets to help us maintain this vibrant atmosphere of research and learning, and help to make it prosper in new ways.


Split-Site PhD degree with Sotheby's Institute, London

Art History and Visual Studies offers a split-site PhD, where students are jointly supervised by academic staff in Manchester and at Sotheby's Institute in London.


Postgraduate Study