About the course

If you have an interest in cultural, intellectual and visual history and are looking for an intellectual challenge, this course provides you with an excellent opportunity to develop your interests while gaining a Post Graduate Certificate qualification. Focusing on the survival and transmission of culture across time and space, with an emphasis on the afterlife of antiquity, the course is ideal for students who want to study at a postgraduate level but who do not want to commit to a full MA.

This seven-month programme aims to:

  • Give students a deep and systematic understanding of the current methodological and theoretical approaches to understanding the cultural, intellectual, and visual history of Western Europe
  • Display mastery over the key elements of the history of philosophy, science, literature, the arts and visual culture, rooted in the Renaissance and the early modern period but embracing material from the middle ages to the advent of modernity
  • Develop advanced research and analytical skills that are highly valued transferable skills as well as good preparation for further academic study. 
  • Provide a stepping stone for those who wish to progress to further postgraduate study. Students will gain 60 credits towards a Masters’ Degree.

I would unreservedly recommend the Institute as a place of study. It offered me a unique understanding of the interactions between image and word, art history, religion, literature and philosophy, across space and time.

Dr Laura Popoviciu, former MA and PhD Student

Why study with us?

As a student at the Warburg Institute, you will have access to the best resources for the study of Renaissance art and culture in London. Unparalleled staff contact hours are combined with access to the Warburg Library, with its unique cataloguing system specifically designed to aid research, and the Institute’s Photographic Collection.

Through the Institute’s research projects, fellowship programmes and events, and its informal collegiate atmosphere, students have extensive opportunities for networking with an international community of scholars, which significantly enriches the learning experience and can provide ideal connections for the future careers.

Studying in Bloomsbury at the centre of an academic and cultural hub, students also benefit from visits and training sessions at neighbouring institutions including the British Museum, the Government Art Collection, the Wellcome Trust and the British Library, and further afield the V&A, the Dulwich Picture Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Courtauld Gallery.  


"The Warburg has inspired my curiosity to no end"

Lauren Steele, 2020 MA student

Teaching and Learning

All students take one core module and two option modules. The modules selected are taken from those on offer on the MA programme. The course is examined as follows:

  1. Reviving the Past – 4,000 word essay
  2. Two option modules  – 4,000 word essay for each module

Option Modules

  • Cosmological Images: Representing the Universe  
  • Religion and Society in Italy
  • Renaissance Political Thought from Erasmus to Campanella 
  • The World of the Book in the European Renaissance
  • Classical Disorders: Architecture, Painting and the Afterlives of the Renaissance 
  • Renaissance Sculpture in the Expanded Field 
  • Islamic Authorities

Option modules are subject to change. Additional modules may be offered, depending on both student numbers (a minimum of three students required per option) and teaching staff availability.​

Course Summary

Degree structure

One core module and two option modules chosen from a range of topics.

Mode of study

Full-time: Seven-month programme

Part-time: Two years

Contact hours

Full-time is 2 taught hours a week in the first term and then 4 taught hours a week in the second term, along with independent study this would come to 7 hours per week in the first term and 14 hours per week in the second term.

Part-time is 2 taught hours a week in the first year, along with independent study this would come to 7 hours per week. In the second year, in the first term you will take a break and then there will be 2 taught hours a week in the second term, along with independent study this would come to 7 hours per week.


UK citizens

Full-time: £2560

Part-time: £1535

International citizens

Full-time: £5,445

The fees listed may be subject to an annual increase.​ For further information on when and how to pay tuition fees please read the SAS tuition fee policy.

Alumni Discount 

If you graduated from SAS you will be eligible for an alumni discount. If you progress directly without a break, you will receive a 15% discount, otherwise you will receive a 10% discount. More details are available in the SAS Tuition Fee Policy. 

Entry requirements

The normal minimum entry requirement is an upper second-class honours degree from a British university, or an equivalent qualification from a non-UK institution, in any discipline in the humanities which is related to the course.

Applications open on 1 November 2021.

Find out how to apply

Register your interest