IBS Budapest

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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. PhD in Art History students will be encouraged to explore and engage with the current discourse within the discipline of art history in the western tradition and globally, and supplement their understanding of art and its cultural context from ca. 1500 to the present.

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
Validation fee € 1,200
Degree awarded by The University of Buckingham
Campus Budapest*
Admission criteria First or second class, upper division degree
Language of tuition English

*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

PhD in Art History 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.

The PhD in Art History is an advanced research degree during which students undertake supervised but independent research that leads to a thesis of not more than 100,000 words embodying the results of that research. The thesis must demonstrate extended familiarity with and a comprehensive understanding of the subject and the academic literature in the area; show an ability to construct and execute a plan for primary research, including the collection and critical analysis of data; and embody an original contribution to knowledge in the field of art history.

Postgraduate students on our PhD programme will first be enrolled on a Probationary PhD Status. All students enrolled onto the programme will be supported by supervisors who will help them develop a research and writing plan and guide them through the preparation of a formal final research proposal during their first two semesters of study. All research students must also subject their work to an annual progress review. Upon demonstrating satisfactory progress at the Annual Review exam at the end of their first year, which includes successfully defending a feasible research proposal, students are upgraded to Full PhD Status. If students should not be successful at their first Annual Review, they may either be asked to resubmit an amended proposal, have their registration changed to an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) degree or, in extreme cases, have their registration terminated.

Recommended PhD topics for art history

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. Please consult the guide to writing a research proposal below before submitting an application.

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

Guide to Writing Your Research Proposal   

Academic referee's report


While there is no compulsory teaching in the research degrees at IBS, the Research Programmes Council will, based on the evaluation of their admission file, strongly recommend candidates to attend one or several of the following workshops.

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.

Entry requirements and application process

You can read about the entry requirements and the application process here


Guide to your research proposal