• Tuition Fee

    £7,000 (EU)
    £12,000 (INTERNATIONAL)

  • Duration

    1 Year (Full-time)
    2 Years (Part time)

    January and September start dates

  • Accreditation

    Richmond University QAA

    Middle States Commission of Higher Education (US)

  • Location

    Kensington Campus

Programme Overview

The MA in Art History and Visual Culture programme prepares students for advanced research in the visual arts and an exciting creative career in the art world. This programme focuses on intercultural issues in art history and visual culture, and professional practice in the visual arts, which prepares graduate students for further education and careers in the arts and creative cultural industries.

The programme is taught at our Kensington campus in Central London where our students benefit from studying in close proximity to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Design Museum, Saatchi Gallery, and many more art galleries and institutions located right in the heart of London. The close proximity and ease of access to London’s world class art galleries, museums, libraries and art institutions is vital to the foundation of this course.

This US accredited Master’s programme is a full-time one year programme which brings together theoretical knowledge and practical skills that will equip students with the necessary skills to perform to the best of their abilities in their future employment. An optional internship provides students with hands-on experience in order to enhance their employability. Students can also opt to do this programme part-time over two years which gives them more flexibility to work and study.

London is arguably the hub of the art world. World class art and creative institutions, internationally positioned auction houses, dealers and critics, combine to make-up the unique London art scene. Richmond’s small classes are taught by Professors and engage with London as the intercultural art capital of the world, offering an unparalleled opportunity to students.

Top 5 reasons to study this programme:

  • Attain a US accredited degree that increases your employment opportunities in US and internationally
  • The ability to study in Central London which provides students with a unique intercultural location and engagement with contemporary art in London – a hub and a global scene that attracts the best creative talents in the arts and design industries from all over the world
  • Gain practical skills that will prepare you for future employment and allow you to excel in the workplace
  • Benefit from small classes (average 10–15 students), more contact time and full academic support from faculty engaged in leading research in the art industry
  • Gain a competitive advantage with an accredited optional internship and practical modules
  • After you graduate

    Career Paths
    Pearl Lam Galleries, Beijing Museum Educator, Musée de Louvre, Saatchi Gallery, Halcyon Gallery, October Gallery, White Cube, Windsor Castle, Aon Private Risk Management, Victoria & Albert Museum, University of Wisconsin-Madison, JPMorgan Chase, Seattle Art Museum, Guggenheim Museum – New York, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Sotheby’s – New York, Christies – New York, MANA Contemporary – New York

    Further Education
    PhD, Art History, University of York, University of the Arts, Florida State University, Harvard University, University of Illinois, American Art History, University of Iowa, University of Texas, University of Washington

  • 2018 Internship Placements

    Pearl Lam Galleries, Saatchi Gallery, Wallace Collection, National Trust, Artnet, Black Dog Publishing, Musei Civici Fiorentini, South London Gallery

  • Career support

    We offer career support and advice through our Careers & Internships Office that will assist and guide you in your study choices to make sure you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Through internships you will gain business acumen, beneficial work experiences and transferable skills which will give you a competitive advantage in a fast-paced working environment. Work while you study across 5 continents through our partners Connect123 and CRCC Asia with destinations in Spain, Argentina, South Africa, China, Japan, Vietnam and Australia.

What our students say

“Richmond’s graduate campus in Kensington places students well within reach of some of the most important art institutions in the world. Encouraged to take advantage of the invaluable resources at our disposal, we are constantly exposed to the archives, artefacts and people driving the discipline forward.

Since my arrival, I’ve collaborated with Dr Wallis on a blog for ‘Aesthetica: The Art & Culture Magazine’, and taken on a position with the Research Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum where I assisted curators in preparation for the major Fall 2011 exhibition on Postmodernism.”

Tiffany JowGraduate Student, Class of 2011

“I feel very fortunate to have been part of the Richmond community. The relationships I developed with my professors, who were always willing to go the extra mile, were invaluable to me as a student. The small, interactive classes meant that we were able to ask questions and engage in vigorous debate. The individually tailored research projects advanced my understanding of the global art scene and helped me to explore and expand my own interests.

After my MA, I worked as Exhibitions Assistant in photography at the National Portrait Gallery and then moved to the architecture department at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I am currently working as Artist and Client Registrar at White Cube, London.”

Margaree CottenArtist and Client Registrar, White Cube, London

“The MA program was instrumental to my education as an art historian. The concentrated course of study at Richmond made it possible for professors to really challenge students to approach art in new ways.

The program emphasis on intercultural art is particularly relevant to its location in London, which allows first-hand interaction with art and international perspectives. At the same time, the classroom focus on methodologies helped students with a wide variety of interests develop the tools necessary to conduct sophisticated research and an individual style. Kensington is centrally located to major museums and cutting-edge galleries, as well as incredible research libraries, all of which enriched classroom studies and provided opportunities to interact with curators and other professionals. The emphasis on practical applications of studies, multi-cultural approaches, and modern/contemporary art really puts students at the forefront of current developments in the field of art history.”

Lindsay E. ShannonAlumni MA in Art History and Visual Culture, PhD in American Art History, University of Iowa

“The graduate experience at Richmond proved vital for my success as an art historian and museum professional. The MA in Art History and Visual Culture programme places students on the pulse of the art world, ensuring that they have access to premier institutions, world-renowned museum collections, and highly anticipated exhibitions. Graduate students are encouraged to participate in critical analysis and discussion with professors and peers, resulting in a positive and respectful learning environment.

While at Richmond, I obtained an internship with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Conservation, which solidified my interest in collections management. I had a central role in documenting historic collections at five properties across the southeastern United Kingdom, including Ham House and Gardens, Rainham Manor, Red House, Two Willow Road, and Fenton House and Gardens. Through my internship and the Richmond community, I now have professional connections around the world.

Since graduating, I have become the Registrar for Collections at the Arkansas Arts Center. I have also been invited to speak at the annual American Alliance of Museums conference about my role in the museum.”

Katie HallM.A. Art History and Visual Culture, 2012

Modules Breakdown

Fall Semester (12 Credits)

Art and Its Histories

World Arts

Research Methods

Spring Semester (12 Credits)

Contemporary Arts

Visual Cultures

Plus one of the following:

Professional Digital Media Skills


Art Education

International Art Market

Summer Semester (12 credits)

Internship with dissertation


Extended Thesis Research

* subject to availability

Research-led teaching from the IVAC (The Centre for International Visual Arts and Cultures)
IVAC logo

All MA Art History and Visual Culture and MA Visual Arts Management and Curating students, and members of the Art Appreciation Society are automatically entitled to membership of the IVAC free of charge. Richmond students enrolled on other Masters programmes and undergraduates with an interest in the visual arts are welcome to all IVAC events free of charge.

Programme Fact Sheet

Useful Links

For further information, please contact the Programme Leader:

Dr Robert J. Wallis

Dr Robert J. Wallis

Professor of Visual Culture, Associate Dean of MA Programmes

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  • Entry requirements

    A first degree in any discipline with a minimum classification of 2.2 (Lower Second Class Honours) or its international equivalent.

  • English requirements (non native English speakers)

    IELTS 6.5 with 5.5 in each Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing
    TOEFL (IBT) 87 overall with: Listening 21, Reading 22, Writing 21, Speaking 23
    Pearson Academic Test of English (PTE) 62
    Cambridge English: Proficiency – Level C2 or Level C1

  • How to apply

    You apply directly using our online application form. In order to submit your application, you will need the following information:

    • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
    • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
    • A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
    • An electronic copy of your ongoing studies or completed transcript or degree award certificate

    When to apply

    We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you are still completing your undergraduate programme. In this case you will be offered a place that is conditional on successfully completing a specified qualification and English language test if applicable. If you would like your application to be considered for a Richmond scholarship, we strongly recommend to apply asap.

    Application Process

    Admission is by interview unless you live outside the UK when we may interview you via Skype or by telephone. We may also determine your suitability on the basis of your application and qualifications.

Postgraduate Prospectus

Where to find us

Kensington Campus

1 St. Alban’s Grove
W8 5PN

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7368 8500