Unparalleled interdisciplinary graduate programme Unparalleled interdisciplinary graduate programme

Art History and World Art Studies is one of the leading centres in the world for the study of art and material culture and is the only institution in the UK concerned with the study of art worldwide.

79% of research in Art History and World Art Studies was rated 4* (world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent) according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), a major Government analysis of university research quality. Additionally, the impact of our research was rated the 2nd highest in the UK for Art History in the Times Higher Education REF2014 rankings.

Research degrees

There are 3 research degrees. The Masters by Research and the MPhil are taken over 2 years full-time (4 years part-time) and the PhD over 3 years full-time (6 years part-time). We offer a lively and supportive environment.

Research and supervision

A multidisciplinary community of art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and museum professionals span research subjects from prehistory to the present. Our distinctive concerns include the study of art, material and visual culture, as well as cultural heritage. We welcome research applications in any of the areas represented by the faculty interests. Approaches may be established or innovative, with a focus on artefacts and/or theory.

Research culture

We are located in the Sainsbury Centre. Designed by Norman Foster, the Sainsbury Centre is ‘perhaps the greatest resource of its type on any British campus' (Times Good University Guide, 2005). Under one roof, it provides a range of resources for our students, including the Robert Sainsbury Library, an extensive photographic collection, the renowned Sainsbury collection of art, dedicated student computing facilities, and relaxing light-filled communal areas which bring students and staff together in an informal environment. 

We have active links with Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, and benefit from the thriving arts and culture scene in Norwich, which hosts the largest contemporary art festival outside London (Contemporary Art Norwich) and the annual Norwich and Norfolk Festival. Norwich has a number of museums, galleries and arts centres, including the Castle Museum and Art Gallery located in the city's Norman castle. The Norwich University College of the Arts is a leading educational centre for fine arts, design and media, with whom we have many links. And Norwich is home not only to the 12th-century cathedral but also to 36 medieval parish churches – more than any other city in northern Europe.

Current Research Students

PhD Programme 2017


The School of Art, Media and American Studies (AMA) at the University of East Anglia is inviting applications to our PhD programme.


This year (entrance in Oct 2017) the School intends to offer two fully-funded PhD studentships (Home/EU rates) in the following area of research:


American Visual Cultures


We see this as a broad and inclusive intellectual area that stresses the cross-disciplinary strengths of the School. Projects here could include aspects of American media, studies in America and the Americas, or issues around the trans-Atlantic. However, these are just indicative examples, and we would urge applicants to define and develop their relationship to American Visual Cultures in their proposals.


The University of East Anglia is part of the AHRC consortium CHASE (Consortium for the Arts and Humanities in South East England) which offers around 75 fully funded (tuition and maintenance grant) studentships per year to Home/EU PhD students across the consortium.


Additionally, there are fully funded Scholarships (equivalent to AHRC rates for both tuition and maintenance) offered by the Faculty (including 2 international), as well as the two School studentships outlined above.


The School holds a wealth of expertise in Art History and World Art Studies; Film, Television, and Media; and American Studies. You may wish to consult our list of staff and their research interests for guidance on possible supervisory expertise: https://www.uea.ac.uk/ama


Particular research strengths are in the following areas:


Art History

American Studies

Film, Television and Media

World Art

Race, Gender, and Civil Liberties

Feminist Media Studies

Techniques of Making

Space, Place, and Environment

Media and Cultural Consumption

Material Histories

Popular and Avant-Garde Cultures

British Film and Television

Museums, Exhibition and Heritage

Transatlantic and Transpacific Studies

Genre Studies



It is important that prospective applicants contact the School as a matter of urgency to start the application process, preferably no later than the end of November to ensure that you work with potential supervisors on developing your proposal prior to application.


The deadline for applications (including all supporting information such as references) is Wednesday 11th January 2017.


Enquiries and how to apply

If you are interested in applying for a PhD in Art, Media or American Studies at UEA, please contact the School’s Director of Postgraduate Research, Dr Sarah Garland (sarah.garland@uea.ac.uk), or contact a prospective supervisor directly but copying Dr Garland into the email.
More information and details of how to apply can be found at:


Alternatively, please contact the Humanities Graduate School at: humgrad.school@uea.ac.uk