Masters programs

Visual Cultures and Art History


2 years

Study mode


1.250 Eur/year

Application deadline
30 September 2023

Apply online

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

The program takes such scrutiny as its starting point. Hence, while the study of works of art will form the backbone of the program, 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 broader 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 program 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 program are carried out in the English language.

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.


Recommended study plan and other information can be found in the faculty study catalogue:

Study plan

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
  1. Meet the eligibility criteria set out in the paragraph above.
  2. Submission of an electronic application in the Masaryk University Information System.
  3. Submission of a Statement of Purpose (750 words maximum) in English, explaining why the applicant wishes to study in this degree program accredited in English and why the applicant wishes to study in this Department.
  4. Submission of a copy of the applicant's Bachelor's thesis or its equivalent (Honour's Thesis, Senior Thesis, etc.) OR 10-20 pages of applicant´s original scholarly academic paper.
  5. Submisson of the evaluation of the Bachelor's thesis.
  6. Submission of a transcript of university/college studies, which must include:
    • Dates you attended the institution
    • Titles of courses and examinations you completed and the marks received
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

Students who will need a visa to travel to CZ should apply as early as possible to increase their chance to arrive on time.


Recognition of Foreign Education

To be enrolled in a degree study program you have to present an acknowledgment certificate of your former education abroad. This proves that your previous studies are equal to a comparable Czech education and your diploma is valid in the Czech Republic.

Recognition of foreign education is a must along with the entrance exam. It is an administrative part of the admission procedure. No one can be enrolled in the studies without recognition of their previous foreign education.


Veronika Hermanová

“I always wanted to study a master program, which would prepare me for a further career but still allow me to develop my own interests. That is why I decided to study Visual Cultures and Art History - an updated version of Art History master, focusing not on the famous past of the field, but instead on its future. The program is designed to provide you with the necessary theoretical knowledge, while encouraging you to gain practical experience. You will have a chance to publish a scholarly text, present a public lecture or do a long-term internship in a scholarly institution, while still having enough space to focus on your own research. A perfect combination of university education and self-development, applicable in a wide range of professions.”

Veronika Hermanová
Student of Visual Cultures and Art History

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Andrea Kakulidu

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