About This Course
Art History - Modern & Contemporary Art History, Theory & Criticism
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
€6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 part-time)
See Fees and Costs for full details.
Honours primary degree with a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in History of Art or a cognate discipline. See Requirements for full details.
Not on offer 2022/2023
Our MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory and Criticism is a unique art history programme that offers a stimulating, rigorous and wide-ranging exploration of twentieth- and twenty-first-century art and theory.
This MA Art History course is rooted in both solid historical training and cutting-edge critical methods and is designed to combine skills in creative and precise visual analysis, a close reading of critical texts, and the cultivation of independent and original thinking and research.
On completion of the course, you will be equipped with skills that are vital to both further academic study and to the pursuit of a wide variety of careers in the arts. Our students typically come to us from backgrounds in the history of art, fine art, film, English literature, philosophy, and other related disciplines. The course can be studied full-time over one year, or part-time (by day) over two years (this part-time option is available to EU students only).
Modules (total 90 credits)
Part I (45 credits)
- HA6006 Theory for Art History (10 credits)
- HA6021 Early Modernisms and the Experience of Modernity (10 credits)
- HA6007 Modern Art and Modernity (10 credits)
- HA6009 Contemporary Art (10 credits)
- HA6010 Literature Review (5 credits)
Part II (45 credits)
- HA6011 History of Art Dissertation
See the Postgraduate College Calendar (MA Modern & Contemporary Art History) for further course content.
- Postgraduate Certificate in Modern & Contemporary Art History, Theory & Criticism
Students passing modules to the value of at least 30 credits and achieving an aggregate of 40 percent across modules to the value of 45 credits in Part I may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in History of Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory and Criticism.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
A full-time course, the MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory and Criticism involves four hours of seminar per week, plus approximately 30 hours of weekly independent study and reading.
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.
Assessment is based entirely on written assignments, consisting of critical research essays ranging from 2,500 to 5,000 words, in addition to a dissertation of 20,000 words.
Visit our History of Art academic and administrative staff here. Our staff members include:
- Dr Flavio Boggi, Head of Discipline and Senior Lecturer
- Dr Mary Kelly (née Healy), Lecturer
- Dr Simon Knowles, Lecturer
Why Choose This Course
This is a unique programme in Ireland and our students receive focused, personal attention from an international team of research-active lecturers. Small seminar classes provide the context for lively discussion, critical debate, and peer learning. Course work is complemented by a visiting lecture series, class trips to museums and galleries both in Ireland and abroad (when possible), and student symposia.
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.
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 of art.
Skills and Careers Information
Our MA provides vital training for careers in schools and universities, museums, galleries and associated fields, as well as developing the necessary transferable skills for professional work in such areas as journalism, media, design, advertising, the heritage industry, and arts administration. Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers in arts both in Ireland and abroad, in auction houses and the art market, in teaching and gallery work, while others have elected to pursue PhDs with us at University College Cork as well as University College London and the University of Oxford.
A candidate must hold either:
- an honours primary degree in History of Art at Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent, or
- Art school students should have a Second Class Honours Grade I minimum in their History of Art classes or equivalent, and
- a one-page statement of purpose (500 words) acceptable to History of Art staff, detailing the student's interest in the programme, and their particular research interests and methodologies to date, and their future professional goals.
All candidates must satisfy a selection committee. In exceptional circumstances, under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, candidates who hold a primary degree other than Second Class Honours, and who demonstrate a high level of significant and relevant experience, may also be eligible for entry to the programme. Final acceptance is subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements available here.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please 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.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
Fees and Costs
The EU fee for this course is €6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 part-time).
The Non-EU fee for this course is €16,400.
If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.
EU student fee payment
Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.
International student fee payment
International Students can pay in two equal instalments once they have paid the appropriate deposit. The initial payment is due on registration and the balance usually by the end of January.
How can I pay?
You can pay by Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.
If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at email@example.com.
How Do I Apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Professional Master of Education (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.
Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
- Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.
Questions on how to apply?
Please 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 submit a copy of a short analytical/critical/report/creative writing sample or essay (1,000 words approx.)
- Please enter the names & email addresses of 2 referees. References are required from ALL APPLICANTS who are not a University College Cork graduate in the last two years. Applicants will be required to supply two letters of reference, one of which should be a previous supervisor of studies.