Art History and Visual Culture

  • MPhil/PhD Art History and Visual Culture
Degree typesTypes of research degrees explained
DurationDegree duration details
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Study modesFull time and part time
Distance-based research available Study mode details
Start date September, January or April

Research overview

Why study for a Humanities PhD

Hear from staff and postgraduate research students as they explain what makes Exeter a unique place to study at a postgraduate level. View full size.

Research areas

Art History & Visual Culture is an exciting interdisciplinary initiative focusing on the importance of images and artefacts in our lives. The MPhil/PhD programme draws on our established, internationally recognised research activity in Art History and Visual Culture.

Research centres

Research projects

Current and recent projects our academic staff have been working on are:

For more information about research projects, visit our Projects page.


Our staff:

  • publish on the history of art,
  • curate exhibitions,
  • work with a variety of arts institutions
  • lead major externally funded research projects on:
    • curatorial engagements with performance archives
    • the history of French art institutions
    • the history of Spanish cinema
    • Victorian medievalism
    • histories of sacred spaces
    • and the culture of the suburbs.

Visit our staff pages for details on individual staff research interests and publications.

Postgraduate research in Art History and Visual Culture

You will have the opportunity to study a topic which incorporates a number of established subject areas, including art history and cultural studies.

Supported by colleagues from across the Humanities disciplines with research interests in Visual Culture, we offer PhD supervision on a range of topics:

  • from the old masters to contemporary practitioners
  • from the traditional arts to new media and technologies
  • and from elite production to popular culture. 

You will also be able to conduct cross-disciplinary research in collaboration with other relevant fields of study.

This programme will particularly appeal to you if you have a background or interest in

  • the history of art
  • cinema
  • cultural history
  • philosophy
  • sociology
  • visual culture.

Beyond the University we have good relations with UK museums and galleries, as well as academic and research institutions internationally, attracting research students from all over the world and many cultural backgrounds.

Entry requirements

Students applying to enter directly into the MPhil/PhD programme would normally be expected to have a Masters degree with Merit or equivalent in a related subject, or other relevant qualifications such as a doctorate in another subject.

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

Applying for MPhil/PhD study

You may wish to read our general advice for PhD applicants, which give tips on how to put together a successful research degree application.

Applicants for research programmes are also advised to visit the College's webpages to check for specific advice. Here you will be able to find out about staff research interests and make preliminary enquiries about supervision. We advise that you do this before applying.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.


Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2022/23

For those studying for more than one year, our fees are expected to increase modestly in line with Consumer Price Inflation measured in December each year. More information can be found on our Student Finance webpages.

Tuition fees per year 2021/22

Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 5 per cent per year of study.

Current available funding

Contact us

College of Humanities
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers)
+44 (0) 1392 723044 (EU/International callers)
Web: Enquire online

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