University of Cambridge logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 27.6k
  • Foreign: $ 45.3k
  • Deadline:
  • 31 May 2017
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 449pts.
  • Duration:
  • 4 years

    Photos of university

    Since the Department of History of Art's beginning in 1970, we have established ourselves as one of the World’s leading Schools of History of Art.  We aim to deliver a rigorous, stimulating education in the History of Art and Architecture, with a strong emphasis on the study of works of art at first-hand.  We are proud of our team of staff and students whose impressive performance is critical to sustaining and enhancing the national and international reputation created by our distinguished alumni.

    Cambridge itself is, of course, from an art history point of view, a stunning city in which to live and work.  We make full use of Cambridge’s unique holdings of art and architecture, including the Fitzwilliam Museum (on our doorstep), Kettle’s Yard and the University Library as well as those of the Colleges. The Hamilton Kerr Institute at Whittlesford, a department of the Fitzwilliam Museum, is dedicated to the conservation of easel paintings and uniquely contributes to our teaching and research.

    A doctoral degree at the Department of History of Art offers the opportunity for independent research under the supervision of an expert departmental member of staff.  The Department of History of Art and Architecture has expertise and welcomes candidates in most areas including medieval, Renaissance and early modern, and modern art and architecture, as well as topics involving critical theory and gender.  As well as the research and skills training programme offered by the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art, candidates have the opportunity to attend suitable courses in associated skills, such as modern languages, palaeography, the use of bibliographic and other databases, and computer skills.

    The examination constitutes the oral examination of a thesis not exceeding 80,000 words for the PhD on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of the programme, candidates will have acquired excellent skills, experience and knowledge to undertake post doctoral work (research and/or teaching) or another related profession outside the academy.


    To continue to read for the PhD following the MPhil in History of Art & Architecture students must achieve an overall average score of at least 70%.  Continuation is also subject to the approval of the proposed research proposal, and the availability of an appropriate supervisor.

    One to one supervision

    Candidates usually can expect to have five one hour supervisions per term in their first year with their Principal or other supervisors.  They can usually expect three one hour supervisions per term for the next two or three years.

    Candidates will also be appointed an advisor who they can arrange to meet on an informal basis if need be.

    Seminars & classes

    There is a wealth of sources at Cambridge from which you can develop and consolidate the skills you need to produce a successful thesis and the methods and technology by which you realise this effectively.

    The Faculty provides a general training programme for Masters’ courses which PhD candidates may attend, weekly (research) seminars and talks, peer monitoring within reading and discussion groups and practical skills training (photography, building survey).


    Attending lectures is optional but students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of lectures offered in the Department and other Faculties relevant to their research.


    Students will be provided with feedback via review exercises, supervisions and the supervisor's termly reports.



    The thesis is not to exceed 80,000 words.  The word limit includes: footnotes, table of contents and list of illustrations, but excludes acknowledgements and the bibliography.  Appendices (of no determined word length) may be permitted subject to the approval of the candidate's Supervisor (in consultation with the Degree Committee);  for example, where a catalogue of works is germane to the work.  Permission to include such appendices must be requested well in advance of the submission of the final thesis.

    The examination is conducted by two examiners and is usually held at the Faculty.


    Candidates for the PhD are reviewed formally on an annual basis.  In the third term, candidates submit a First Year Paper.  Candidates’ reports are assessed by two assessors and the candidate is invited to attend an oral assessment. 

    During their sixth term, candidates are required to give a written report of their work to their Supervisor and any other appropriate assessor approved by the Supervisor.   The Graduate Director may also review the work.  The candidate’s progress is assessed and documented in a short report.  

    During their ninth term, candidates are required to give a twenty-minute paper on the scope and core findings of their doctoral research in the Third-Year PhD Symposium, to members of faculty and other graduate students.

    Candidates submit a log of their research activity which is assessed at each of the annual reviews described above. 

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    • Magistr (Master's Degree) at Pass level. Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of good or 4/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 4/5 Bologna Bachelor's from other institutions with an overall grade of 5/5, Excellent
    • Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of Excellent or 5/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 5/5
    • IELTS (Academic) 7.5
    • TOEFL Internet Score 110
    • £50 application fee
    • First Academic Reference
    • Second Academic Reference
    • Transcript
    • Research Proposal. A research proposal of 1000 - 1500 words should consist of a topic and a hypothesis, a literature review, a statement on method, and key references.
    • Sample of Work. A sample of work could be a journal publication or a chapter from your undergraduate dissertation. Please note: applicants who are currently undertaking a graduate course at Cambridge from departments other than History of Art will need to provide a sample of work.
    • Personal Reference
    • Global Education
    • Gates Cambridge Scholarships
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