Course information

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of this programme are delivered. Find out more

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.

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: like architecture, city and landscapes, adverts, TV and film, websites, the body, and street style.
  • You’ll study at one of the top creative universities in the UK (Which? University 2017) based in vibrant South-East London, where you’ll discover everything from art spaces and studios to foodie pop-ups and markets.
  • Our London locationmeans 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 onto 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 onto work as curators and in other creative fields.

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Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Bridget Crone.

What you'll study

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 perspectives that have shaped the history and theory of the discipline. You will be encouraged to think creatively, rigorously and expansively exploring critical ideas and practices in the fields of visual cultures, which we think of in terms of ways of doing, thinking and producing in contemporary art, film, music, literature, politics and theory.

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, or two special subjects. These in-depth modules allow you to explore themes 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 BA History of Art.

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.

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

What our students say

In Young Park

"The Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Art History at Goldsmiths completely changed my thinking process."

"The Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Art History at Goldsmiths completely changed my thinking process that built the ground for critical thinking. As the course is composed of specific themes of various interests such as philosophy, aesthetics, social sciences or digital aesthetics, politics, with a fundamental theory of art, I could find my interest. Before the programme, I had work experience at a commercial gallery and a non-profit art institution. However, I wanted to deepen and widen my thinking to understand the artworks in diverse perspectives and now I am fully satisfied with it.

For these reasons, this programme is the best choice for those who want to build a solid base for their theory. After completing the Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Art History, I went on the study for a Masters in Contemporary Art Theory also in the Department of Visual Cultures. After completing Masters, I plan to be a curator of art institutions in Korea. My final aim is to make a paradigm shift
in exhibitions and to change the educational system in Korea."

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 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing 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

The fees for 2021 will be made available soon, but for reference these were the fees for 2020.

  • Home - full-time: £5760
  • Home - part-time: £2880
  • EU - full-time: £5760
  • EU - part-time: £2880
  • International - full-time: £15500

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 if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. 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.

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 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
  • 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.

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

MFA Curating

The programme is designed for students who wish to take up the challenge of contemporary curating as an artistic, social and critical undertaking, and who wish to develop their professional practice in this area.

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 an aptitude for 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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