UCC Postgraduate courses

Arts - History of Art

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-Time; 2 Years Part-Time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
QualificationsHDip in Arts
NFQ LevelLevel 8
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

Our Higher Diploma History of Art course is for those who already have a degree, preferably in the Arts or the Sciences, and who wish to study art history intensively over one (full-time) or two (part-time) academic years.

This HDip is ideal for individuals who:

  • have an active interest in the history of art but do not already possess a degree in the discipline;
  • are currently employed in some branch of the arts and wish to obtain an academic qualification in the area;
  • require a conversion course to apply for graduate study in art history such as the taught MA Art History or the MRes/MPhil/PhD research degrees at UCC. (Note that completion of the HDip does not guarantee a place on a graduate course.)

This is a full-time course, taken over one academic year, during which you will take courses in the history of art to the equivalent of 60 credits.

Part-time option

For the two-year part-time option, you will take courses to the equivalent of 30 credits in each year. The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

The HDip programme is made up of modules from the second- and third-year courses in the BA degree. You will choose 60 credits in consultation with the course coordinator, taking into account timetable constraints and the suitability of course combinations.


  • HA2003 Modernism in Europe - Semester 1 (5 credits)
  • HA2005 Art & Patronage in Renaissance Italy - Semester 2 (5 credits) 
  • HA2009 Creator & Subject: Themes in Portraiture - Semester 2 (5 credits) 
  • HA2011 From Modernism to Postmodernism - Semester 1 (5 credits)
  • HA2012 The History of Art History & Method - Semester 2 (5 credits)
  • HA2013 Representations - Semester 2 (5 credits)
  • HA2014 People & Places - Semester 1 (5 credits)
  • HA2017 Legible/Visible: Art & Interpretation - Semester 1 (5 credits)
  • HA2022 Extended Essay 1 - Semester 1 (5 credits)
  • HA2023 Extended Essay 2 - Semester 2 (5 credits) 
  • HA3005 Roma Caput Mundi - Semester 1 (5 credits)
  • HA3006 The Art of the Academy in the 19th Century - Semester 2 (5 credits)
  • HA3013 Supervised Research Project - Full Year (10 credits)
  • HA3015 Approaches to the History of Art - Semester 2 (5 credits)
  • HA3020 Themes in Italian Baroque Art - Semester 2 (5 credits)
  • HA3023 Themes in Modern Art - Semester 1 (5 credits)
  • HA3027 Special Studies Seminar - Semester 2 (5 credits)
  • HA3028 Global Artistic Interventions - Semester 1 (5 credits)
  • HA3029 Art & Gender Identities - Semester 1 (5 credits)

See our History of Art page for information on this HDip Arts - History of Art programme.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

  • Full-time: Depending on the modules selected, class contact time in lectures and seminars will be approximately 12 hours per week. If possible optional weekend study tours to Florence, London, Paris, Amsterdam and Rome are also planned.
  • Part-time: Depending on modules selected, class contact time in lectures and seminars will be approximately 6 hours per week. If possible optional weekend study tours to Florence, London, Paris, Amsterdam and Rome are also planned.

Lectures and tutorials are mandatory, while field trips within and outside Ireland are optional.


Assessment is based partly on written assignments, consisting of critical research essays ranging from 2,000 to 2,500 words in addition to class tests and some degree exams. 

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections across the discipline. Our History of Art academic & administrative staff include:

Why Choose This Course

UCC is an ideal place to study the history of art because it is supported by the award-winning facilities of the Glucksman Gallery on campus, by institutions such as the Crawford Art Gallery and the National Sculpture Factory in Cork City, and by the energetic artistic community that sustains them.

Skills and Careers Information

The Higher Diploma in the History of Art guarantees you a high level of visual literacy and critical awareness which, combined with fluent verbal and written skills, are highly desirable when pursuing a career in the following fields

  • journalism, media, and film
  • museum and gallery work
  • teaching and research
  • design and fashion
  • advertising and public relations
  • the heritage industry and cultural tourism
  • information technology and the Internet
  • arts administration
  • art market, auction houses, and antiques consultancy work


It is intended for those who already have a 3- or 4-year primary degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences, and who wish to study the subject History of Art intensively over one academic year.  The Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme and applicants would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please detail your computing/technical/IT skills.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact