Visual Cultures and Art History

General Information

The programme Visual Culture and Art History provides advanced historical and theoretical analysis of art and other related forms of visual representation and communication, but situates that analysis within the wider field of cultural production, under the term of “visual culture”. In the past 30 years or so, the meaning and identity of “art” has been a central topic of investigation and, consequently, traditional practices of art history.

The programme takes such scrutiny as its starting point. Hence, while the study of works of art will form the backbone of the programme, traditional stylistic, iconographic, semiological and aesthetic modes of analysis (and their assumptions) will be viewed in the light of other modes of inquiry.

The primary focus is on Mediterranean, Caucasian, Euro-American art and visual cultures, but students will also be encouraged to engage with wider theories of globalization and their pertinence for understanding economies of visual representation. This will include both specifically post-colonial perspectives to wider methods addressing issues in cross-cultural analysis.

This programme is divided into two main study directions: a more traditional teaching of lectures and seminars and interactive teaching including laboratories of humanities and professionalizing activities. The student writes a Master’s thesis based on the relevant coursework. All teaching, coursework, and exams in this study programme are carried out in the English language.

A successful graduate can:
  • write and speak in English with competence at the C2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • have a deep knowledge of literary and cultural theories and the literatures and cultures of English-speaking countries
  • have a deep knowledge of diachronic and synchronic linguistic theories, including the history of the English language.
  • work independently and conduct critical analyses

Forms of study

Full-time study means that your study duties are spread over the working days (Mon-Fri) according to your timetable. Full-time students participate in lectures, conferences, and educational and research activities of the workplace.

Graduate Employment

Graduates with this degree are capable of complex understanding of visual studies. They have a deep knowledge of premodern and modern visual and material culture, art history, and the role of images for societies across the globalized world. A graduate can analyze and interpret chosen issues related to visual studies in individual or group outputs, which can be professional (scholarly research; professional lecture) or popularizing (essay; blog post; popularizing publications; public lecture). Proposing a broader spectrum than traditional art history, graduates can be trained for research, cultural mediation, media, publishing, curatorship, and policymaking, as well as any profession that demands the ability to think and express themselves independently and critically.

Admission Requirements

Eligibility Criteria

This degree program is open to:

  1. Students of the Department of Art History at MU who have had excellent results in the defense of their Bachelor’s thesis (evaluation A–B) are admitted to the follow-up master’s program without admission interview.
  2. If a student from another programme or another university applies, he/she should present a written motivational letter, explaining the reasons for his/her interest to study in the Department of Art History. Furthermore, he/she must have successfully defended a B.A. in art history or in other related disciplines, with an excellent evaluation of his/her thesis (A–B), and with a focus on the Mediterranean, Caucasian, Euro-American art and visual cultures. He/she will then undergo an oral examination by a committee of the Department of Art History professors.
Terms of Admission
Entrance exam

The evaluation of the applications will be done in two steps:

  1. Evaluation of the submitted documents (Motivation letter, B.A. thesis in format PDF, a written evaluation of the thesis by the supervisor, copy of the B.A. or equivalent degree).
  2. Interview.

During the interview, the candidate will present her/himself as well as her/his intellectual path. The general assessment of the commission is based on the overall evaluation of the following criteria:

  • the candidate will explain the reasons for her/his decision to join the Department of Art History at MU, she/he should show her/his familiarity with the research and intellectual objectives of the Department and its units;
  • the interview will be held in English, but at least passive knowledge of the other main languages of scholarly research in the visual arts, i.e., German, Italian, French, and possibly Spanish and Russian are additional positive points;
  • the evaluation of the student’s written bachelor’s thesis at her/his home institution also has informative value for admission;
  • part of the admissions procedure is the determination of the specialization the student chooses and a project assessment of the future MA thesis. For this last point, the admission procedure features a brief defense of the intended further and a presentation of the potential thesis project.
Application Deadlines

1 January - 30 April for the enrollment in the Fall semester
1 July - 31 October for the enrollment in the Spring semester

Documents set out above in the Terms of Admission are required to be provided in digital form and attached to the online application by April 30th or October 31st

Contact

admission@phil.muni.cz

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees: € 1,250/academic year (degree program taught in English).

    Students who require a visa and who are denied one will be refunded 90 % of the school-fee only if they send us confirmation that their visa was denied. The money will be returned by bank transfer only.

Courses of Czech for Foreigners

All students of this program are entitled to study two semesters of Czech for foreigners free of charge. It is not obligatory but it might be handy.

Contact

If you have any questions regarding the application and admission procedures or the tuition fees, please contact us at admission@phil.muni.cz.

However, if you would like to know more about what is it like to study at Masaryk University, how is the life of a student at the Faculty of Arts or if you have some questions that require personal experience, we have a solution for you as well! You can contact our student ambassador Stefan Veleski at ambassador@phil.muni.cz.

Stefan speaks Macedonian, English, Czech, and Russian. His favorite motto is:

“I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done and how you could be doing it better.” 

― Elon Musk

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