skip to content

Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


The deadline for booking a place on this course has passed. Please use the 'Ask a Question' button to register your interest in future or similar courses.

This two-year, part-time Master’s programme is designed for those who wish to study at postgraduate level and are keen to develop high-level skills in history of art and visual culture.

Course delivery: We plan to deliver our postgraduate and MSt qualifications in-person in the academic year 2022-23. Please note that this will be reviewed in line with the latest public health guidance available at the time. If required, to ensure the health and safety of students, we may look to utilise alternative teaching formats and will contact students if we expect changes to the course delivery.

Watch our Virtual Open Day from 15 December 2021 or sign up for our Virtual Open Day on 8 February at 12pm GMT to find out more.


Teaching & Assessment

Teaching and learning

The MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture is structured around three residential modules that students must attend. 

A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) offers learning support to students while they are on the programme, including learning resources, to build a virtual community of practice. Students are expected to have sufficient IT skills to engage with the VLE and all assignments are uploaded to the VLE for assessment.

Year 1

In order to proceed to Year 2, students must complete the three assessed essay assignments satisfactorily, each between 4,000-5,000 words. The Year 1 essays constitute 50% of the overall award mark, and the dissertation constitutes 50% of the overall award mark. Students must attain an average of 60% overall across the three essay assignments.

Students achieving a minimum of the pass mark for Year 1 but not completing the Year 2 requirements may be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in History of Art and Visual Culture.

Year 2

The requirement for the award of the MSt degree is satisfactory completion of a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation, constituting 50% of the overall mark and which is read by two examiners, who report independently. The dissertation must reach the pass mark of 60%. The overall pass mark for the award of the MSt degree is 60%.

Subject to the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art’s common examinations handbook, a dissertation awarded a mark between 55% - 59% is a borderline fail subject to a viva. Marks below 55% for the dissertation are absolute fails, with no re-submission possible. The examiners are required to assure themselves that the dissertation is clearly written, that it takes account of previously published work on the subject, and that it represents a contribution to scholarship.

Year 1

Module 1: Thematic approaches to understanding art (15 credits) 11-14 October 2022


Module 2: Research, Sources and Methods (15 credits) 11-14 October 2022


Module 3: Thematic approaches to understanding art (15 credits) 7-10 February 2023


Module 4: Research, Sources and Methods (15 credits) 7-10 February 2023


Module 5: Thematic approaches to understanding art (15 credits) 2-5 May 2023


Module 6: Research, Sources and Methods (15 credits) 2-5 May 2023

Year 2

Dissertation research (90 credits) (Dayschools 7 October 2023, 20 January 2024 and 13 April 2024)

To complete Year 1 successfully students must pass at least two of the three assessed essays and reach an average pass mark of 60% across the three. Students who achieve this can progress to Year 2, where they research and write a dissertation on a topic of their choice, subject to the approval of the Degree Committee of the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art. Dissertation work is individually supervised and is assessed following the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art’s common examinations handbook (except where a case is made for alignment with common MSt protocols). The dissertation must reach the pass mark of 60%. 

Teaching Methods 

The learning outcomes of the programme are achieved through:

  • Personal study of appropriate material guided by reading lists and other resources;
  • Residential study blocks/modules including lectures, seminars, classes at which students express their own ideas and present accounts of their work;
  • Full and appropriate use of the Institute’s virtual learning environment (VLE);
  • One-to-one supervisions (usually five in total) with a designated expert supervisor to include detailed feedback on students’ work and progress.

Assessment Methods

In Year 1 the taught elements of the course are examined through three compulsory essay assignments, one per term of between 4,000-5,000 words each, totalling a maximum of between 12,000 and 15,000 words. All essays will be independently marked by two assessors. Each written assignment in Year 1 will be submitted at the end of term (Michaelmas, Lent, Easter).

In Year 2 of the course examination will be by a supervised dissertation (of between 12,000 and 15,000 words). A viva voce examination may be required by the examiners and, subject to the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art’s common examinations handbook, will be required in the case of a borderline fail. Dissertations are due at the end of Year 2.

Students will receive a range of formative assessments during the course.

Course dates

11 Oct 2022 to 02 Sep 2024

Course duration

2 Years

Apply by

19 Apr 2022

Course fee

Home: £12,000
Overseas: £25,000

Academic director


Institute of Continuing Education
University of Cambridge
CB23 8AQ
United Kingdom

Qualifications / Credits

180 credits at Master of Studies

Course code