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M.Phil in Irish Art History

Late Applications Contact Dr. Yvonne Scott for information
In 2015 this programme will be replaced with the new M.Phil: Art + Ireland

For those interested in specialising in Irish art, the MPhil in Irish Art History provides an exciting programme exploring a range of key aspects of the history and analysis of Irish visual expression from pre-Christian to Contemporary art and architecture. The course is designed both for graduates of art history and for those from other, cognate, disciplines. While focused on art and artists in or from Ireland, the imagery, objects and structures are all explored within international and interdisciplinary contexts, as the course is intended to provide graduates with a range of transferable analytical and practical skills that can be applied within other cultural environments.

A core dimension of the programme will involve exploring the concept of 'Irishness'. A particular advantage of this course is the accessibility of a substantial range of relevant art objects and structures in, and in the vicinity of, Trinity College as well as extensive library and archival resources.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for admission, candidates must hold a good honors degree, normally a 2.1 or above, or equivalent. An undergraduate degree in art history is preferable but not essential. However, applicants with degrees in subjects other than art history will be encouraged to audit introductory/undergraduate course lectures in addition to those specified for the MPhil. A basic knowledge of word processing is advisable and candidates should demonstrate motivation and a strong interest in Irish art.


Students will be assessed on the completion of:

  1. Coursework: obligatory course assignments including essays, critiques, and research exercises. Details will be provided to registered students at the beginning of the course.
  2. Dissertation of 20,000 words (maximum) on a subject relevant to the programme.

To be awarded the MPhil., students must have achieved an overall satisfactory result in each part of the assessment, i.e. in the coursework component and in the dissertation. No compensation is permitted between the coursework and the dissertation parts of the assessment. The preparation of the dissertation is carried out under the supervision of a member of staff in the History of Art Department/Irish Art Research Centre, and will be assessed by the supervisor, and by an external examiner.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will:

  • have a general understanding of the chronological development and changes in Irish art from pre-Christian to contemporary times, and a more detailed understanding of a selected period of Irish art.
  • be able to identify and critique a range of key art objects, structures and artists whose work forms the canon of Irish art history.
  • be familiar with a range of relevant theories and methodologies for research and analysis of art objects, individually and collectively according to selected criteria.
  • have a sound practical knowledge of research resources and facilities of relevance to art history.
  • have a knowledge of key aspects of curatorial practice, and a familiarity with a range of significant exhibitions, displays, and museums of relevance to Irish art.
  • have experience in researching and presenting short papers on given topics within the classroom.

To download the course brochure please click here (PDF, 2 mb)

Last updated 28 January 2015