Eighteenth-century 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 Department of Art History at The Open University welcomes proposals situated in 18th-century art, architecture and design; we take a broad view of the start and finish of this period, as themes emerge from the 1600s and take off into the 1800s. We are particularly interested in aspects of the English country house and its landscape; the visual and material culture of interiors; and French visual culture. The eighteenth century’s impact on subsequent Revival movements in the history of style is also of interest; how is visual and material culture reworked for new times.

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

  • The Burford Masons and the changing world of building practice in England, c.1630-1730
  • Irish Travelling Artists: Ireland, Southern Asia and the British Empire 1760-1850
  • The Image of the Beggar in Britain c. 1760 to 1815

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.


Image of Radcliffe Camera in Oxford

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.