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Irish Art History, MPhil

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Dublin

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About Irish Art History, MPhil - at Trinity College Dublin

The M.Phil. in Irish Art History aims to enable well-qualified graduates of art history and related disciplines to undertake an intensive course of study specializing in aspects of Irish art. The focus is on Irish art and architecture explored within its international context, and students are familiarized with methodologies of analysis that can be applied to works of art from any culture. A core dimension of the programme involves interrogating the concept of 'Irishness'.

Structure of the Programme

The M.Phil. in Irish Art History comprises a taught component and a dissertation. It is one calendar year in duration. There are three teaching terms: Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity. The remainder of the year will be devoted to completing the dissertation (20,000 words) which must be submitted by 1st October in the year after commencement of the course.

Taught Component

This comprises five parts (click titles for more information):

1. Irish Art and its Contexts
One 1-hour lecture per week, Michaelmas and Hilary Terms

2. Themes and Issues in Irish Art
One 2-hour seminar per week, Michaelmas and Hilary Terms

3. Post-Graduate Research and Methodology Seminar Course
One two-hour seminar per week, Michaelmas and Hilary Terms

4. Special Subject
One two-hour seminar per week, Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity Terms
M.Phil. students will select one of the Special Subject courses on offer. These are designed to deal with art historical issues at a more specialized level, and where appropriate and possible, students are given the opportunity of studying primary sources for themselves. Students are required to undertake substantial preparatory reading for each seminar, and are required to make presentations on a regular basis.

Students select one course from the following options:

  • Golden Age of Irish Art, 650 - 950 AD

  • Irish Modern and Contemporary Art

  • Realism in Britain and France 1840-1900

5. Field trips

There is a series of field trips to visit relevant locations such as: sites and houses of special interest/relevance, exhibitions, collections, facilities (for example: sculpture foundry, print studios, artists' studios), and so on. These are scheduled according to availability at the time. For details of field trips in 2003-4 click here.


Students will be assessed on the completion of:

(i) Coursework: obligatory course assignments including essays, critiques, and research exercises. Details will be provided to registered students at the beginning of the course.
(ii) Dissertation of 20,000 words (maximum) on a subject relevant to the programme.

To be awarded the M.Phil., students must have achieved an overall satisfactory result in each part of the assessment, i.e. in the coursework component and in the dissertation. No compensation is permitted between the coursework and the dissertation parts of the assessment. The preparation of the dissertation is carried out under the supervision of a member of staff in the History of Art Department/Irish Art Research Centre, and will be assessed by the supervisor, and by an external examiner.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for admission, candidates must hold a good honours degree, normally a 2.1 or above, or equivalent. An undergraduate degree in art history is preferable but not essential. However, applicants with degrees in subjects other than art history will be encouraged to attend introductory/undergraduate course lectures in addition to those specified for the M.Phil. A basic knowledge of word processing is advisable and candidates should demonstrate motivation and a strong interest in Irish art.

Entry requirements for this course

Contact Trinity College Dublin to find course entry requirements.

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