Course information

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

The Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Art History is for graduates of other disciplines with an interest in contemporary art and ideas, and who wish to carry out research at higher levels in the fields of visual cultures.

By studying this programme, you will build upon your existing knowledge and develop a greater independent and critical engagement in the fields of art and visual cultures.

Why study Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Art History at Goldsmiths

  • You'll investigate contemporary art, art theory and visual culture from around the world through an approach that is interdisciplinary, thematic, practice- and ideas-led rather than chronological.
  • You will develop an independent approach to learning as well as a greater ability to think critically and creatively in order to prepare you for further study at a graduate level.
  • You'll explore visual culture in all forms to broaden your outlook. You’ll not only examine the kinds of artefacts you might see in museums and art galleries, but also those that make up our everyday environment: architecture, city and landscapes, adverts, TV and film, websites, the body, and street style.
  • Our London location means you can take advantage of the many galleries, art spaces, museums, cultural facilities and specialist libraries the city has to offer.
  • We encourage you to get involved in student-led activities and personal development projects.
  • Many of our recent graduates have gone on to further study in the Department including MA Contemporary Art Theory, MA Research Architecture and MRes Curatorial Knowledge as well as other programmes across the College.
  • Our recent graduates have also gone on to work as curators and in other creative fields.

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Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Alice Andrews.

What you'll study

Compulsory modules

You will study one core module Histories of Art and its Lab worth 45 credits, followed by two further compulsory modules in the autumn term:

Module title Credits
Histories of Art (Lecture and Lab) 45 credits
Curating and the Public Sphere 30 credits
Inhabitations 15 credits

Optional modules

You'll also choose 45 credits worth of optional modules from a list provided by the Department of Visual Cultures.

Assessment

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

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

Download the programme specification.

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

What our students say

Sonia Cabrera

The Department of Visual Cultures is a very welcoming department and very helpful.

Sonia's time at Goldsmiths

The breadth of approaches towards art history together with the excellence of the teaching were the favourite part of my studies. I enjoyed the library and the opportunity to study with an excellent group of fellow students. The department of Visual Cultures is a very welcoming department and very helpful.

The department is a hub of creativity and it shows in the modules offered for study. It has certainly had an impact in my practice and way of seeing.

Advice for future students

Take advantage of all the opportunities offered by the university. My favourite: the open at all hours library.

Life in South East London

Love the Student Union Bar and the café sited in front of New Cross Gate, The Boulangerie.

Entry requirements

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

We particularly encourage applications for the Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Art History from those who have a degree in an unrelated field, but can show that they have the relevant experience, ability and interest to work at a postgraduate level.

 

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £7240
  • Home - part-time: £TBC
  • International - full-time: £18570

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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 academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

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.

Find out more about applying.

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

Similar programmes

Curating

The MFA Curating at Goldsmiths is designed for students who wish to take up the challenge of artistic, social and critical curating with a contemporary approach to the subject. It also helps students to develop their professional practice.

MRes Visual Cultures

The MRes Visual Cultures is ideal if you have already completed an advanced course of study in art history and theory but would like to further develop your thought and research projects before studying at MPhil/PhD level.

MA Contemporary Art Theory

The MA Contemporary Art Theory is for those with a special interest in contemporary art, and a commitment to theoretical work in the subject.

MA Research Architecture

The MA Research Architecture is for graduates from a range of disciplines who want to examine how architecture can engage with questions of contemporary culture, politics, media, ecology and justice and question whether spatial practice can become a form of research.

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