PhD in Art History

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We offer the PhD in Art History programme in English, leading to the degree conferred by our British partner, The University of Buckingham. The programme requires an original contribution to the body of knowledge in a particular academic or professional discipline.

Duration of study period

3 years

Starting date

September, February

(The admission process can take 4-6 months after the online application.)

Tuition fee per year€ 6,200
One-off registration fee for non-EU citizens€ 900
Degree awarded byThe University of Buckingham
Admission criteriaFirst or second class, upper division degree
Language of tuitionEnglish

*Students have to consult with their supervisors on the campus 12 times per year. At the end of the programme the viva voce examination is also held on the Budapest campus.

Course outline

Phase 1: MPhil

Postgraduate students wishing to register for our PhD programme must first register for the MPhil and seek conversion at a later stage. IBS operates a system of preliminary registration for all research degrees so as to allow students to prepare a formal proposal during their first two semesters of study. All research students must also subject their work to an annual progress review.  

All students enrolled for the MPhil in Art History programme will be supported by supervisors who will help them develop a programme of research and writing. IBS welcomes research proposals that match or are similar to IBS staff’s current research topics and/or fall within the potential supervisors’ areas of expertise. 

Phase 2: DPhil

The DPhil in History of Art is an advanced research degree, which those MPhil students may join who made satisfactory progress at the MPhil level by (a) successfully passing a comprehensive review and (b) submitting a feasible research proposal. DPhil students will be encouraged to explore and engage with the current discourse within the discipline of art history and supplement their understanding of art and its cultural context. The academic focus at IBS is on research within a chronological span from ca. 1500 to the present in relation to the art of the western tradition and its global encounters.

DPhil students undertake supervised but independent research, at the end of which they submit a thesis of not more than 100,000 words embodying the results of that research. This thesis must demonstrate familiarity with, and an understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities. It should display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the judgements of others.  A DPhil thesis must embody an original contribution to the knowledge of business and management either by the discovery of new knowledge, or by the exercise of a new and independent critical approach.

Recommended PhD topics for art history:

We encourage and welcome proposals that are working in interdisciplinary fields and connect art, business, art institutions, institutional critique, public relations, marketing, branding in the contemporary world of global economy, and a globalized art world. Traditional art historical approaches should be critically addressed, and extended towards approaches worked out in visual culture. (Representation, realism, myths, media, global flow of information, gender, cultural politics, cultural heritage, heritage and tourism, etc.)

Below is a list of PhD topics that our academic staff have suggested as research opportunities for PhD in Art History students to undertake. IBS encourages PhD candidates to develop a proposal around one of these topics.

  • New visual trends in advertising /marketing (moving images, photos, changing media, ads in social media)
  • Art investment. From patronage to art investment and state subsidy / Connoisseurship and art, research for investment in art
  • Art administration (theory and local case studies, examples, changing role of curators, curators as fund raisers, cultural institutions)
  • Technology and art / Design thinking and the role of artistic thinking



If you wish to apply, please fill in our online electronic application form and upload your Master’s degree with official English translation, your passport copy and English language certificate (if you have one). Please email us your planned research topic to soon after the online application.

The deadlines for receipt of a complete application form (including receipt of references) are as follows:

• September Entry Applications – 30th April
• February Entry Applications – 15th October

Please remember that applications submitted on the deadline are unlikely to be considered complete in time.

Entry requirements

  • first or second class, upper division Master's degree. Please email your detailed research plan and one academic referee’s report soon after your online application to

  • sufficient English skills and academic knowledge that the IBS Research Officer checks with an Orientation Interview via Skype. The interview is followed by the IBS English language test (you can be exempt from the test with a sufficient score of IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge or Pearson),

  • If student is accepted by the Research Programmes Council, student will proceed with payment transfer of the first year’s fee and start the visa application if required.

First all students are registered as MPhil students and at the end of the first year when their research proposal is assessed the decision is made on the conversion to the DPhil.

Guide to Writing Your Research Proposal

Academic referee's report

Teaching methods

Candidates spend a considerable part of their studies undertaking supervised research, at the end of which they submit a thesis embodying the results of that research. This thesis must demonstrate familiarity with, and an understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities. It should display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the judgements of others. The subject should be dealt with in a competent and scholarly manner.

Apply now!

Hedvig Turai

  • Tutor and supervisor of doctoral students
  • Arts & General Education