Early modern art

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
February and October January to April
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

The Art History discipline at The Open University has a strong specialisation in Early Modern art and culture that extends from Byzantine art to Northern Europe and the Italian Renaissance.

Our research considers both canonical and non-canonical imagery and objects, using a range of contextual approaches. Archival research and the close examination of objects, as well as innovative methodologies, inform our investigation of focused problems in Early Modern art history. We are also interested in the reception of art in later centuries, and welcome applications without language specialisms for UK-based collections research.

Entry requirements

A UK Masters’ degree or equivalent level in a relevant subject (art, architecture or design history), or exceptionally a First Class undergraduate degree with a substantial dissertation. If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.

Potential research projects

We welcome applications to study topics that complement our current research.

Current/recent research projects

  • Material on the move: fourteenth-century Italian paintings in nineteenth-century Britain’
  • The decorations of "The Hall of the Liberal Arts" at the Trinci Palace, Foligno: a new way of presenting the Seven Liberal Arts?
  • Ecclesiastical Art of the Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries from a Contextual/Liturgical Perspective.

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,596 per year Full time: £11,666 per year
Part time: £2,298 per year Part time: £5,833 per year

Some of our research students are funded via the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Early picture of Christ

How to apply

Get in touch

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

Email: FASS-ArtHistory-Enquiries
Phone: +44 (0)1908 652479

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.