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Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Art History

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Visual Cultures

Course overview

This Diploma has been designed as a conversion programme for graduates of other disciplines who wish to carry out research at higher levels in the fields of modern and contemporary art history and visual cultures.

The programme sets out to be both introductory and experiential. Rather than provide conventional chronological surveys, the programme explores and addresses chosen themes within an interdisciplinary context.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Henriette Gunkel

Modules & structure

Overview

The programme comprises a number of taught modules and tutorial sessions. You are assigned a personal tutor who monitors your overall progress and advises you on the suitability of the various modules available. 

Central to the programme is the core course, a lecture and seminar series that introduces you to a range of critical perspectives that have shaped the history and theory of the discipline. As such, the course encourages you to develop a fuller awareness of art’s cultural and political significance in the past, and asks you to relate your historical understanding to current debates among artists, critics and historians.

This is accompanied by a laboratory module, which gives you the opportunity to process the taught materials further through strategies such as museum and gallery visits, film screenings, and experimental projects.

You also choose one option module and one special subject. These in-depth modules allow you to explore themes in art history or theory that are of particular interest to you.

Option modules may include any second year module on the BA History of Art. Special Subjects may include any third year module on the . 

Assessment

Visual Cultures assessment are 100% coursework. Normally this consists of essays, sometimes accompanied by creative projects, group projects, multi-media projects, presentations, symposia, reviews, and studio work.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above.

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements

Department

In the Department of Visual Cultures we explore and produce
new forms of art history and theory

Visual Cultures

Study in a department that combines an innovative approach with passionate academics, and makes full use of London's many opportunities to study art history and curating.

Our approach

Our degree programmes deliberately move away from chronological histories: the innovative art of our time arises out of the conflict of ideas. So you’ll explore the subject in the context of pertinent social, cultural and political issues and phenomena.

That means not only investigating artefacts you might see in museums and galleries, but also those making up our everyday visual and technological environment: including urban landscapes, film and video, and popular culture.

Our academics

Our academics are passionate about the subject and are at the sharp end of theoretical developments in everything from architecture to spatial theory. Some are practising artists and curators, which makes our degrees relevant and exciting.

Our location

Our teaching takes advantage of the many galleries, art spaces, museums, cultural facilities and specialist libraries in London.

Find out more about the Department of Visual Cultures.

Skills & careers

Skills

You'll acquire a wide range of skills in research, critical thinking, visual analysis, writing and other modes of presentation.

Careers

Many of our students go on to carry out further postgraduate studies. These then lead into careers in museums and galleries, publishing, education, the media, journalism, and marketing.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Fees & funding

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

           Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate personal statement.

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

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