Art, Philosophy and Cultural Institutions MA

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: September 2023
  • Entry requirements: You need a 2:1 Honours degree, in a relevant field, such as Art, Design, Music, Museum Studies, Philosophy or Humanities subjects. When applying, you'll also need to submit a personal statement detailing why you wish to study this programme.
Art, Aesthetics and Cultural Institutions Ma study page banner image


Please note that this programme was previously called MA Arts, Aesthetics and Cultural Institutions.

This exciting interdisciplinary master's programme combines philosophical aesthetics, art theory and hands-on experience in galleries and museums, thereby bringing together both theoretical and practical interests. It is specifically designed to equip students with the competence to pursue either a doctorate programme in the Arts and Humanities, or a professional career in the cultural sector.

Programme lead, Dr Vid Simoniti tells us more in his vlog below:


Watch our video

In addition to traditionally taught modules, students also benefit from research-led teaching a two-week practical placement with one of our cultural partners in the city. The programme also offers the opportunity to apply for a three-month studentship with Tate Liverpool, exclusively offered to our students.

The programme is structured around four compulsory core modules: Main Topics in the theory of art, in which members of staff lead weekly seminars on their own current research; Cultural Institutions, which takes places at a range of collaborating cultural institutions around the city, including the University’s Victoria Gallery and Museum; Research, Employability, and Professional Skills and placement, supported by the careers and employability service and our cultural partners, and a supervised dissertation or case study over the summer. Students also take three elective modules chosen from a list of relevant modules available in the Department and across the University.

Case study: Hannah Marsh

A portrait of Hannah Marsh

Why did you choose this MA programme?

I chose this MA programme to continue studies initiated during my undergraduate degree in Fine Art and History of Art, but to look at it through a more philosophical lens. I wanted to be able to discuss and consider art through different theoretical perspectives to strengthen my skill set and understanding. I was also very drawn to the practical placement element, and the opportunity to critically discuss cultural institutions- this was not something I had ever done.

Hannah Marsh

Why Philosophy?

Be part of a city with a reputation for cultural achievement

With its impressive wealth of museum and galleries and its vibrant cultural scene, Liverpool is an ideal place to pursue a degree in aesthetic theory with opportunities to work hands-on in cultural institutions.

Experience the full breadth of our academics’ expertise

Our core teaching staff have expertise in political aesthetics, philosophy of museums and philosophy of film; we also partner with external instructors from the fields of curating and cultural management. The Department of Philosophy is internationally renowned for work in Philosophy of Art, Political Philosophy, Environmental Philosophy and other fields, as well as for our creative collaborations with cultural institutions.

We have a tradition of active engagement with the wider life of our city

The Department is home to a range of successful Knowledge Exchange and public engagement projects with cultural partners across Europe, placing it at the forefront of art-related research and its impact on the community.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), we were ranked 4th in the sector for research impact classified as outstanding (4*).