The Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas (MA)
The one-year course provides students with detailed knowledge of the visual arts, contemporary and historical, of the three geographical areas (Africa, Oceania and the Americas). It also highlights the methodological and theoretical issues involved in their analysis and display, both in their original contexts and in the contexts of museums and exhibitions.
Consideration of this material occurs at the interface of anthropology, art history, archaeology and museology. The MA course is therefore essentially cross-disciplinary to frame regional developments and important shared themes (e.g., traditions in art and architecture, making, ritual, social/power relations, colonialism, contemporary arts). Throughout the programme, there is a strong emphasis on comparison and examination of current theory, while highlighting the complexity of each area.
The flexible range of topics for essays and the dissertation, and a research tutorial option, allows the course to be tailored to a student's interests. Thus someone wishing to focus, for example, on the anthropology of art, archaeology, or Mesoamerica can weight the course in that direction by selecting essay subjects in that area. Working closely with academic staff, the dissertation (max. 15,000 words) also allows students to study intensively a topic of their choice, possibly as a precursor to doctoral research. Places on the course are restricted to a maximum of eight, allowing an unusually high degree of regular individual supervision and small-group tuition.
The School has a long-standing international reputation for excellence; ranked 1st in the UK for world-leading research in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, we are one of the most important and highly-rated History of Art departments in the UK. Our graduates go on to high profile posts in such prestigious institutions as the British Museum, V&A, Tate and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as well as leading History of Art departments, publishers and the commercial art world.