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The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
MAFull-time, Part-time12 - 24 monthsSeptemberGBP 11500 per totalGBP 24500 per total

About Social History of Art, MA - at Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, University of Leeds

Building on over 70 years of academic programmes in the study of art history, and with an international reputation for innovative, critically engaged and globally conscious approaches to the discipline, our MA Social History of Art will equip you with a deep subject knowledge in the history of artistic practices in the broadest sense, grounded in fundamental questions about why this study matters in the world we face today.

The emphasis of the course is on social and political approaches to art history, whether looking at the most recent and contemporary, or in the study of the deeper roots of the cultures we inhabit. From Medieval and Renaissance art to live practices now, from the study of our most local environments to the arts of Africa, Asia and beyond, we approach art as central to the production and reproduction of our shared and different social worlds.

The course has well-established strengths in areas including:

  • feminist and gender studies
  • the relations between art and capitalism
  • the legacies and critiques of colonialism
  • Jewish studies
  • climate and environment.

We offer an exceptional range of choice in specialist study, founded upon in-depth understanding of the discipline of art history, and leading to a major independent research project.

Across the areas we teach, we attend critically to the institutions and spaces in which art is encountered, drawing on ongoing professional collaborations and long-standing expertise among many of our staff who have worked in major museums, galleries and related arts and cultural organisations, whether locally, nationally, or internationally.

The Social History of Art course has a quite distinct position in relation to comparable programmes. You'll be studying in a research-intensive Russell Group university, where art historians study alongside fine artists and others studying galleries, museums and heritage.

Learn more about Social History of Art, MA - at Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, University of Leeds

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Entry requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any components

Student reviews of Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, University of Leeds

Find out what students say about Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, University of Leeds

Caroline Mwape Phiri-Lubwika - MA Applied and Professional Ethics (Online Learning)

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

I chose to study my course because you can apply it across different careers. I believe that each and every person needs to step up in terms of being professional in their work and in their careers; it is something very close to my heart.

I am a journalist by profession, and ethics is at the core of the media industry. I train upcoming journalists in Botswana and I also do children’s reporting, so issues of ethics are very pertinent; not only to me personally but to the profession that I stand for.

How would you describe your experience of studying at Leeds?

Studying online gave me the rare opportunity to study and take care of my family at the same time. It was good that I could concentrate on raising my family while also continuing with my professional work, I must say I gained all round!

I have studied online before - I did distance learning with the University of South Africa, where I did my BA in Communications Science - but this was at another level. What kept me going were the group discussions, which gave me an opportunity to interact with students from across the world, and the tutors coming in to give their opinion.

I decided to come to Leeds in person for my graduation and I was so excited because my dreams have turned into reality. It was so friendly and lovely that I felt like I’d been there before, even though it was my first visit to the campus.

Aakriti Jain - MA Global Fashion Management

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds? 

After working in fashion as a designer, I realised that I am more suited for the managerial side of this industry. I had all the knowledge and experience I needed to become a designer but I needed to learn more about how that organisation works. With that in mind I started looking for universities who were offering a fashion management course which will help me to gain and enhance the required skills. UK was always my first choice for pursuing my masters because of the successful and booming fashion industry here along with the cultural diversity. University of Leeds offers that exact course which I had been looking for. The combination of subjects that this course provides is extremely unique. It has the perfect blend of business and fashion studies. Other than the course that the University of Leeds offers, the city also has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere for students.

What aspects of the course do you enjoy the most?   

Here is the best part of this course, it is so well integrated and connected to all the subjects and you need to apply the knowledge gained from one subject into the other. You can literally see the various parts that you study coming together as one. It pushes you to think differently yet practically.

Ting Zeng - MA Linguistics and English Language Teaching

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

During the process of learning English and French I found many similarities and differences between these languages and my native language, Chinese. This made me curious about the amazing world of linguistics. In addition to this, my own experience of learning English has shown me that learning a language is not just about memorising vocabulary and grammar rules; it involves a systematic process. One field of linguistics, language acquisition, deals with this process, which increased my interest in studying English language learning from the perspective of linguistics, instead of from the perspective of education. Leeds is one of the few universities in the UK to have a course that combines these two areas.

What aspects of the course do you enjoy the most?  

My favourite part of my course is the way it gives you critical reading skills. The major difference between postgraduate and undergraduate study is that postgraduate courses require you to think deeply and broadly, so that you can design your own research project to investigate a new or old problem which hasn’t been solved. 

Developing these skills not only helped me to gain a lot of ideas about my essay and dissertation, but also enables me to read clearly, carefully and critically in my everyday life. When I am reading newspapers and magazines, for example, criticality helps me to avoid being misled by the words and opinions of others.

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