The MLitt in History of Photography offers a range of innovative modules that cover from the origins of photography to contemporary practices and debates, including modernist art photography, documentary approaches, photographic collections, and technological advances up to the digital era.
The MLitt in History of Photography offers a unique opportunity to study the history of photography as a specialised field of research.
This innovative degree is inspired by the important role played by St Andrews in the early history of the most influential visual medium of the modern era.
Students are introduced to the theoretical and methodological challenges and debates that photography’s multiple functions and contexts have provoked since its invention.
Classes make full use of the outstanding photographic collections of the University Library and associated archives, such as that held by the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Small class sizes prioritise discussion with peers and interaction with the tutor.
The MLitt degree requires two semesters of full-time (or four semesters part-time) coursework, normally equivalent to four modules. Each module has a minimum contact time of 16 hours. The modules are taught as small group discussion seminars, with an average size of four to eight students in each group. Additionally, there may be class trips, relevant to the taught modules.
The assessment for the taught modules is based on coursework including:
visual analysis and object analysis essays,
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.
Issues in Photographic Criticism: provides an introduction to key writings and debates in the history of photographic criticism from the 1830s to the present day.
History of Photography students choose three postgraduate-level course modules, with the option of one of those modules being selected from the undergraduate-level Honours programme. Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students.
The Documentary Impulse
Imperial Lens: Readings in Nineteenth-Century Asian Photography
The ‘New Vision’ in Twentieth-Century European Photography
The University of St Andrews Photographic Collection
Students also have the option to select the undergraduate Honours module, Histories of Photography, 1835-1905, and also select one module from among the optional modules offered by the Art History MLitt programme.
Art and Technology
The Book as Object and Idea
The Classical Tradition
The Image of the Artist
Representation and the Body
Themes in Art History
Writing on the Visual
The final three months of your course will be focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation. Across the two semesters, students participate in a series of skills workshops designed in part to help prepare for the dissertation element. Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
Recent postgraduates in Art History are employed in universities and archives, museums and galleries, auction houses, radio stations, publishing houses and magazines.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. A degree in art history is strongly recommended but is not an essential requirement.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
personal statement (500 words).
a sample of academic written work (2000 words).
two original signed academic references.
academic transcripts and degree certificates.
English language requirements certificate.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.