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Master's Degrees

Skills and objectives


The MA in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture aims to train and equip specialists and researchers with skills in the historical and critical analysis of the most recent artistic developments, applying them to cultural production and management.   

The different forms of knowledge interwoven with contemporary art and visual culture flow beyond the traditional discipline-based structure of art history and the territory of local debate, demanding close-knit contact with general and multi-disciplinary debate in the international sphere.    

As a result, only the joint action between two pre-eminent departments, the UAM’s (Autonomous University of Madrid) Art History and Theory Department and Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts Department, affiliated with its Department of Philosophy, and UCM’s (Complutense University of Madrid) Department of Art History, can offer the academic structure and lecturers required to create benchmark studies in Spain and internationally.       

Furthermore, the partnership with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía means certain unparalleled infrastructures and direct learning opportunities are incorporated and enhance the programme’s aspiration to become a reference point.

This MA will serve as a module of learning aligned towards professional development in the contemporary art sphere and is the most fitting academic platform for students who decide to develop their research in contemporary art history on a PhD level.      

The joint participation of lecturers from UCM and UAM, dovetailing with specialists from the Museo Reina Sofía, enables efforts and energies to be concentrated and combined, giving rise to one of the highest-calibre academic courses in Spain and deploying the means to train a new generation of specialists in contemporary art on a par with other countries in our milieu.      

Moreover, the link with the Museo Reina Sofía endows the MA with social dissemination and a with the type of professional profile that a fresh definition of postgraduate studies demands, generating a major nexus of relations between the University and top-grade public institutions. 


General, transversal and specific skills students acquire during their studies

  • Students will gain a specialist approach to knowledge acquired during the BA degree, primarily in Art History, aligned towards the sphere of twentieth-century and contemporary artistic practices, as well as towards the sphere of visual culture — film, photography, the media – in such a way that they will gain a systematic, global and critical understanding of this specific field of knowledge.
  • Students will be given theoretical, methodological and practical tools that enable them to design and conduct academic research into contemporary artistic and visual practices, such as critical, curatorial, exhibition and educational projects related to these areas.
  • Students will be equipped with the capacity to come up with original, creative solutions and to make judgements and engage in relationships in complex and diverse environments that are characteristic of the contemporary art world: universities, art galleries, public authorities, private foundations, museums, the media…
  • Students will be endowed with the capacity to clearly transmit their knowledge and proposals on different levels of complexity and reception, from academic literature and specialist criticism in contemporary art to press and education-based dissemination for the general public.


Career opportunities

The MA in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture has been conceived to meet the demands of a diverse and complex professional market and also constitutes an instrument for specialisation and professional development. The MA provides training in the following job types: cultural managers, professionals working in art-related publishing, professionals from the art market, museum educators, museum curators, exhibition curators, art critics, researchers of contemporary art history, cultural and visual studies, among others.