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  3. Arts and Humanities

Arts and Humanities

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Exploring and analysing human culture and history gives us a deeper insight into the world we live in and how we got here. If you thrive on an intellectual challenge and have a passion for the arts, OU postgraduate study has much to offer you. The rewards include an advanced academic achievement, enhanced career opportunities and personal fulfilment.

In addition to the personal satisfaction of studying at a higher level, arts and humanities MAs are useful in a wide range of careers. Achieving an MA provides employers with evidence of high intellectual attainment, independent work at a high level, and the ability to complete complex projects. Many of our postgraduates follow a pathway into academic and research careers, completing MPhil and/or PhD degrees. Some publish books and articles resulting from their dissertation research and studies. Others use their newly acquired skills to further their careers in the arts, teaching, media, public service or business employment.

Where to start in Arts and Humanities

If you’re planning to join our MA programme you will need an honours degree, ideally but not necessarily in a subject related to the area that you are interested in studying. Your first year on the programme will update you on the latest ideas and approaches in your chosen area, but does not offer any remedial undergraduate training to bring your study skills up to postgraduate level.

Our MA programme consists of taught masters, on which you study either two or three parts to a total of 180 credits. You start by taking either a 60 credit or 120 credit foundation module. This introduces you to studying your chosen subject at postgraduate level, and to essential concepts and research methods. Your final module will include an independently researched, dissertation.

Our masters degrees in art history, classical studies, and music are not currently open to new students. New qualifications in these subjects will be available to study from October 2014.

Taught Masters

  • Art History
    The MA develops your research and analytical skills while exploring the latest contemporary themes and issues in art history.
  • Classical Studies
    The MA brings you up to date with the latest developments in classical studies as you develop research and analytical skills.
  • English
    With a love of literature, the MA offers you an intellectual challenge and enables you to develop your independent literary research and analytical skills.
  • History
    The MA in History provides theoretical and practical training in major themes in local and regional history, research methods, project planning and writing.
  • Music
    The MA develops your research and analytical skills while exploring the latest contemporary thinking and debates about the digital humanities and music
  • Philosophy
    While exploring the latest debates and issues in social and political philosophy, you will put forward and evaluate arguments, and develop your research and analytical skills.



Courses in Arts and Humanities

See the list of all our individual courses in Arts and Humanities.

Research degrees

For information about postgraduate research degrees, visit the Research Degrees Prospectus.

Studying outside of UK and Europe?

If you live outside of the UK, Republic of Ireland and Europe, please visit our website for international students.


Spotlight on Arts and Humanities

Get into good company

With 1800 students currently on our flexible programme – covering the arts from ancient to contemporary culture – our MA programmes stretch your abilities and refine your research and analytical skills, providing you with excellent credentials for the world of employment and for further HE qualifications.


Your questions

Try our frequently asked questions.

Come and meet us at an event near you.

Or contact an adviser by Email or call +44(0) 845 300 60 90 +44(0) 845 366 60 35

Employers' questions

Contact Corporate Enquiries
Visit our website for employers or Email us

Get a prospectus

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