PhD in History of Art
The PhD in History of Art is a three year research degree offering the opportunity for independent research under the supervision of an expert departmental member of staff. The Department of History of Art has expertise and welcomes candidates in many areas of history of art and architectural research, but is unable to offer places to candidates for whom no supervisor is available. Applicants are admitted who meet the course requirements and whose research interests match those of an available member of the academic staff. The Department does not offer a taught PhD programme, unlike, for example, many North American Universities.
As well as the research and skills training programme offered by the Department, candidates have the opportunity to attend appropriate courses in associated skills, such as modern languages, palaeography, the use of bibliographic and other databases, and computer skills.
Course Structure & Examination
The PhD in History of Art is a three year programme which commences in October each year. It is also available on a five year part-time basis. Students submit their dissertations of not more than 80,000 words (60,000 words for the MSc degree) at the end of their third full-time year (or part-time equivalent) and will be invited to attend an oral examination up to three months after submitting. The dissertation and the general field of knowledge within which it falls is orally examined by two examiners. At least one of the examiners will be external to the University.
The programme involves minimal formal teaching. Students will usually have their supervisors confirmed before they have begun their course in October and will typically meet for 45 minutes on a fortnightly basis during term time. A bespoke programme is evolved by the student in conjunction with their supervisor and will include attendance at the Department’s programme of research seminars and other relevant graduate courses. Attending lectures is optional but students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of lectures offered in the Department, their college and other departments and faculties relevant to their research topics.
As well as the research and skills training programme offered by the Department, students have the opportunity to develop their research skills by attending numerous courses, such as those related to the use of bibliographic resources and other databases, and specific computer skills. Informal opportunities to develop research skills also exist through mentoring undergraduate students and other opportunities presented by fellow students and members of staff.
Students will be provided with feedback via supervisions and their supervisor's termly reports which are available to them via their self-service pages on CamSIS.
Annual Review of Work
Students undertake an annual review of their work throughout their programme which is realised in different ways; for example, the production of a report or undertaking a presentation. The purpose of the reviews is to ensure that students are on track to submit a successful dissertation by the submission deadline. The first review also serves as a registration exercise, for which students have to submit a report of 10,000 words which is orally assessed by two assessors. The purpose of this exercise is to determine whether the student is suited to the demands of PhD research and to address any concerns if there are any.
Students submit a dissertation, of not more than 80,000 words (60,000 words for the MSc degree). The dissertation and the general field of knowledge within which it falls is orally examined by two examiners. At least one of the examiners will be external to the University.