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Art History

An image to illustrate studying art history with The Open University

Staff in the Art History discipline at The Open University specialise in high-quality research and teaching relating to several areas of art and architectural history including: Byzantine and Renaissance art; art and art theory from the 17th through to the 20th century; recent and contemporary art practice; architecture and material culture; and global and cross cultural art. Our fully illustrated teaching books have attracted international recognition and many are best sellers. We run a popular MA in Art History and supervise PhD students.

Research groups include:

  • Art Histories in Focus (includes Early Modern Art, Eighteenth-Century Art and Modern Art Theory and Practice)
  • Cross-Cultural and Artistic networks
  • History of Architecture and Design.

Key facts

  • The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 results showed 86 per cent of our research is world leading or internationally excellent.
  • The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked our research 6th in the UK for its proportion of 4* and 3* research.
  • We offer opportunities to participate in our collaborative study days held at leading museums and galleries such as Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Milton Keynes Gallery, and the Walker Art Gallery.
  • We offer unique access to an archive of gallery-based events, lectures and seminars through The Open Arts Archive.
  • Our staff have been successful in obtaining substantial funding for high-profile research projects from The Leverhulme Trust, the Arts and humanities Research Council and other funding bodies. 

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

+44 (0)1908 652479

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.