Art in the Global Middle Ages - MSc


The Art in the Global Middle Ages programme is one of the first of its kind in the world, taking advantage of the University of Edinburgh’s long tradition of studying the history of art within a global context. While our main areas of expertise are the visual cultures of China, India and the Islamic world, the British Isles and Ireland (c. 500-1066), Northern Europe in the High Middle Ages (especially French and Netherlandish) and Rome (c. 300-1400), our emphasis upon exchange incorporates much broader geographic contexts. 

This Masters programme is designed for students seeking a distinctive and unique perspective on the arts of the Middle Ages. Visual culture, throughout the medieval period, is addressed from a global viewpoint.

At Edinburgh College of Art we have a unique team of specialists in medieval art - from China to Ireland. The programme takes full advantage of the holdings of the National Museum of Scotland and National Galleries of Scotland as well as the manuscript collections of the University of Edinburgh and National Library of Scotland.  You will benefit from first-hand experience in handling objects, artefacts and texts as well as discussions with curators from museums both in Scotland and abroad. The programme includes the possibility of taking an internship in a museum, public institution or similar organisation.

What you will study

This programme is taught through a combination of small-group seminars and tutorials, one-to-one supervision and private study. You will give presentations, write essays and finish with a 15,000 word dissertation representing your own research.

From a choice of courses we will help you develop an overview of the diverse and multiple cultures of the medieval period as well as a more specific knowledge of the points of intersection between these cultures. You will leave the programme with expertise in a cultural area and how it exists in a rich global network and an understanding of the theories and methodologies relevant to the study of medieval visual culture and inter-cultural studies.

Our graduates have gone on to careers in teaching and galleries, heritage organisations, as well as to PhD research. Should you be considering advanced study in art history, this programme provides the perfect preparation, as you will have gained both a strong foundation in the discipline and identified a particular area of interest. This study may, in turn, lead to an academic career, or a rewarding position in the cultural heritage field.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • Edinburgh is a World Heritage site and significant historical resource in its own right.
  • You will not only study medieval art but also experience working in a museum, gallery or library through our unique internships programme.
  • Art historians at Edinburgh University include an unusually strong group of medieval experts - from Rome and Burgundy, to China, India and the Islamic world who are all internationally recognised in their field.
  • You will study alongside a thriving and lively community of postgraduate students.
  • Interdisciplinary and multi-cultural programme.

Student work


Dr Yuthika Sharma, Programme Director | View staff profile >

Dr Claudia Bolgia | View staff profile >

Dr Alain George | View staff profile >

Dr Luca Palozzi | View staff profile >

Dr Heather Pulliam | View staff profile >

Dr Tom Tolley | View staff profile >

Dr Chia-ling Yang | View staff profile >


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