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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

History of Art

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History of Art at Cambridge 

The History of Art Tripos is a three year undergraduate course that encourages the visual analysis of art and architecture at close-hand and offers opportunities to explore issues of history, theory, criticism and display. The course covers a broad sweep of art history in Part I, with a chance to choose more specialised subjects in Part II.

The Department is intimate in size and you will receive a high level of individual attention and support from experts in the field, both in the department and in the University art museums and galleries.

Full details about the structure and content of the course can be found at the Departmental website

History of Art in Murray Edwards College 

The History of Art community at Murray Edwards College is small and close-knit; we welcome one or two undergraduate students in History of Art each year and have a dedicated  History of Art Fellow, as well as many interested Fellows in closely related subjects. 

Murray Edwards College is a unique environment in which to study History of Art, with its striking 1960s architecture and its world-class collection of art by women artists, the New Hall Art Collection (information here), which features works by artists including Judy Chicago, Maggi Hambling and Paula Rego. There are many opportunities for students to get involved with the art collection, including direct access to the works of art when considering dissertation topics and the opportunity to work on projects alongside the curator. 

Our students achieve good results and speak highly of their experiences:

“Studying art history at Murray Edwards has given me the unique opportunity to work closely with the art collection's curator,” says Semine Long-Callesen who is about to start her third and final year studying History of Art at Murray Edwards.

Our Director of Studies and Fellow in History of Art, Dr Lydia Hamlett, is active in research.  Her interests include: British visual culture, mural painting, women as artists and patrons and Venetian Renaissance art and architecture.

Applying to study here 

We look for students who are enthusiastic about their subject, motivated to learn and have achieved highly in their examinations to date. At interview we look for evidence of some of the following qualities: being passionate about art and visual culture, being interested in close examination and analysis of art objects, and being curious to question why things look the way they do. In preparing your application, or for interview, it is a good idea to think about where your particular interests lie and what you have done to feed them, for example by reading up on and around the subject, pursuing skills that will aid your study of art history and practising your observation expertise, in the built environment as well as in museum and galleries.

We usually set standard/typical offers in A levels or their equivalent i.e. usually A*AA. Full details of the entry requirements and selection processes for History of Art across all colleges can be found on the central University webpages.

Moving into a career 

Our students follow a wide range of careers when they leave. Many do further study, testament to their love of the subject and the place, whilst others pursue related careers in museums, heritage or the art market. History of Art also teaches you the transferable skills to enter any number of professions, and we have seen alumnae pursue careers in journalism and law after studying with us. Our Gateway Programme supports students throughout their time at College to develop skills for the workplace and explore their career options.

Find out more

Many students find it helpful to contact us by email or to visit us to find out more. You are welcome to do so.

Fellows in this subject