Through object-based, interdisciplinary research, this Masters programme focuses on the act of making and everything that entails. We study studio practices from a variety of disciplines, their materials and techniques, but also intentions and concept. We examine art technological sources to register the artist’s voice, and other testimonies on artistic practice, make reconstructions of historical recipes and modern techniques to understand practices, ageing and its consequences as well as other changes artworks go through. Researching this all-inclusive story of an artefact is known as technical art history. It is an exciting and rapidly growing field involving (technical) art historians, scientists, conservators while also reaching out to other disciplines such as economic and social history, history of science, anthropology and aesthetics.
Why this programme
- You will work with objects and benefit from staff contacts including those at: the City Collections, Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, Glasgow Museums, National Museums and National Galleries of Scotland, National Trust Scotland and Historic Scotland.
- You will take a study trip to Amsterdam or Munich, visiting major museums and their conservation studios and research labs as well as research institutions working in the field of technical art history.
- You have the opportunity to take part in a project-based work placement engaging in interdisciplinary research, where you can explore a possible future career while meeting professional practitioners and developing your skills and experience.
- You will benefit from guest speakers from the technical art history field, broadening your horizon and offering you network occasions and research contacts.
- You will participate in two reconstruction workshops of historical painting techniques, as well as workshops on the reconstructions of pigment recipes and scientific examination techniques.
Drawing upon the expertise of an interdisciplinary team, the programme will include taught and research components as well as practical workshops and work placements.
This MLitt develops your skills in object-based research, as well as examining the authenticity, attribution and dating of art works – and their change and survival. You do not need any background in science or conservation. We will provide you with the right tools to understand what science can deliver, what conservators can do, and what role you can play in this truly interdisciplinary field.
You will take five core courses and one optional course. This is followed by a period of self-study towards a dissertation 15,000 words in length (including footnotes but excluding bibliography) and will be on a topic chosen in consultation with the tutors and the programme convenor.
- Research methods in practice
- Art in the making: historical techniques
- Art in the making: modern and Avant-Garde techniques
- The authentic art work
- Testimonies on painters' practice: documentary and visual sources
You may choose from the following options
- Work placement
- Independent study
Find out more about core and optional courses.
Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Legal statements: Disclaimer.
Career opportunities include curatorial positions in museums and galleries, working with collections within cultural heritage organisations, or in the commercial environment of auction houses performing object-based research including technical investigation. The programme will also prepare you for a further postgraduate education in conservation or academic research.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2018-19
|Home and EU|
|Full time fee||£8000|
|Full time fee||£16650|
Fees are subject to change and for guidance only
- Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £315
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £250
- Registration/exam only fee: £150
- General Council fee: £50
College of Arts Graduate School
The College of arts graduate school offers a range of scholarships and funding opportunities each year.more information
University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award
In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation or Pre-masters course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a one off tuition fee discount of £3,000more information
University International Leadership Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has 10 International Leadership Scholarships available to international (non-EU) students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in September 2018. The scholarships is awarded as a tuition fees discount of £10,000.more information
The University offers a 10% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.more information
The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database
Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject unless otherwise specified.
Note: A minimum 2.1 in History of Art or a related subject is required. You should also submit a writing sample of 2-3,000 words, a CV and a personal statement.
International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 7.0
- 2 subtests not lower than 7.0 and no other sub-test lower than 6.5
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 95; no sub-test less than:
- Reading: 23
- Listening: 23
- Speaking: 22
- Writing: 24
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 185 overall; no sub-test less than 176
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 185 overall; no sub-test less than 176
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 68; no sub-test less than 62
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
- School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study
- BALEAP guide to accredited courses
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: email@example.com
How to apply
To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.
Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.
As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
- Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
- Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.
You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, check Frequently Asked Questions
Guidance notes for using the online application
These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form.
If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
- Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
- Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
- Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
- Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
- English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
- Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.
Standard application deadlines
- International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2018
- UK and EU applications: 25 August 2018
Classes start September 2018 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.Apply now