Courtauld Admissions Essay

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Depending on the course you are applying to, you will need to submit a sample of your best academic written work:

Courtauld Graduate Diploma in History of Art

  • 2000-3000 word limit.
  • If you have been out of education for some time and do not have an academic writing sample to submit, you may write a new essay. It is suggested that you visit a gallery or museum and write a detailed analysis/comparison of two pieces of work.

MA History of Art

  • 3000-5000 word limit.
  • Preferably a chapter from your BA dissertation and, where possible, on an art historical/historical subject. If you have not yet completed your BA dissertation, you may submit an essay of suitable length.

MA Curating the Art Museum

  • 3000-5000 word limit.
  • Preferably a chapter from your BA dissertation and, where possible, on an art historical/historical subject. If you have not yet completed your BA dissertation, you may submit an essay of suitable length.

MA Buddhist Art

No written work sample required.

Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings

No written work sample required.

MA in Conservation of Wall Painting

No written work sample required.

Research

  • 3000-5000 word limit.
  • Preferably a chapter from your MA dissertation and, where possible, on an art historical/historical subject. If you have not yet completed your MA dissertation, you may submit an essay of suitable length.

 

If you do not have a suitable piece of this length, you may submit two shorter pieces combined into one document for online submission. Do not submit more than the word limit.

If you are submitting a piece of written work in another language, you may provide an official translation or translate the piece yourself. Please combine the English translation into the document along with the original text if possible. If this is not possible, submit the English translation of your written work with your application and then email the original written work to pgadmissions@courtauld.ac.uk

John T. Spike, assistant director and chief curator at the College of William & Marys' Muscarelle Museum of Art, has been chosen as a judge for the 2012 Sir Denis Mahon Essay Prize. The Mahon Essay Prize was established in 2010 at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, England, to honor Sir Denis, who was one of the most distinguished art historians and collectors of the 20th century.  

“I am delighted to participate in the judging of this prize,” Spike said, “which aims to encourage art historians to strive for the high standards of Sir Denis’s publications, in which superb scholarship is presented in a lucid, lively style of writing that reflects his extraordinary mind.” 

The Sir Denis Mahon Essay Prize judging panel is chaired by Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing director of the Courtauld Institute of Art. This year's judging panel comprises an international panel of distinguished experts and curators on art, including  Dr. Stephen Deuchar, director of The Art Fund; Dr. Dawson Carr, curator of Italian and Spanish Painting at the National Gallery of London; Dr. Gabriele Finaldi, director of conservation and research at the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid; Nicholas Turner, formerly deputy keeper in the department of prints and drawings, British Museum, London (1974-94), and then Curator of Drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (1994-98); and Professor Sir Christopher White, formerly director of studies at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (1973-85), and then Director of the Ashmolean Museum (1985-97).

The Prize comprises an award of £1,000 for an unpublished essay by a Courtauld alumnus on a topic that reflects Sir Denis’s wide ranging interests in art history, especially Italian painting of the 17th century. The prize-winning author will present their essay as a lecture at the Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre at the Courtauld Institute of Art and attend a reception in honour of Sir Denis November 8, 2012. 

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