The Warburg Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for studying the interaction of ideas, images and society. It is dedicated to the survival and transmission of culture across time and space, with a special emphasis on the afterlife of antiquity. Its open-stack Library, Photographic Collection and Archive serve as an engine for interdisciplinary research, postgraduate teaching and a prestigious events and publication programme.

Our programmes

  • The MA in Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture aims to train a new generation of art historians and museum curators by combining the art historical and scholarly traditions of the Warburg Institute with the practical experience of the National Gallery.
  • The MA in Cultural and in Intellectual and Visual History introduces students to the interaction of ideas, images and social history. It gives students skills to study the survival and transmission of culture across time and space, with an emphasis on the afterlife of antiquity.
  • We encourage MPhil and PhD applications in the many areas of research the Institute supports. The resources of the Institute are especially geared to students interested in interdisciplinary study, including the Archive, Photographic Collection, and open-stack Library with its unique cataloguing system specifically designed by Aby Warburg to aid research.
  • Our Postgraduate Certificates give students the opportunity to pursue a personal or professional interest in their chosen subject whilst gaining a postgraduate qualification. It is ideal for students who want to study at a postgraduate level but who do not want to commit to a full MA. We offer certificates in Art History and Renaissance Culture, and Cultural, Intellectual and Visual History.

There is no other place like this. Even if you are not studying something that is strictly related to the Institute, the support and resources available are something that you can’t find anywhere else.

Sarah Covellio, MA and PhD Student, 2015-present

Investing in your future

Many Warburg MA alumni have gone on to pursue PhD study at the Institute or other Universities across the globe including the Universities of Cambridge, Copenhagen, Notre Dame (US), Padua, UCL, Birkbeck, La Sapienza (Rome), Warwick, York and Yeshiva (New York).

MA and PhD graduates have also gone into positions at cultural institutions such as Sothebys, the Government Art Collection Arts Council England, the National Gallery, the V&A, and the Southbank Centre. Discover what some Warburg alumna have gone on to do on our blog. 

Five reasons why you should study at the Warburg Institute

Warburg Library

The Warburg Institute Library holds a collection of international importance in the humanities. Its 360,000 volumes, available on open shelves, make it the largest collection in the world focused on Renaissance studies and the history of the classical tradition. It includes a large number of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century continental books and periodicals (especially German and Italian) unavailable elsewhere in the UK, as well as several thousand pre-1800 items.

Variety of lectures and conferences

In addition to the course programmes, there is a varied and exciting range of public lectures and conferences available to students at the Warburg Institute, as well as a range of research courses and training. Students have the opportunity to consult and exchange ideas with the community of academics who use the Warburg as their base and provide access to networks that will support them in their future profession.

The Photographic Collection

The Warburg Institute's Photographic Collection contains physical photographs of sculptures, paintings, drawings, prints, tapestries and other forms of imagery. The Collection was begun by Aby Warburg in the late 1880s, and includes tens of thousands of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century photographs and slides, together with hundreds of thousands of images added since the Institute came to London in 1933. Most of the works depicted are European, and range in date from classical antiquity to circa 1800, and expanding sections on various forms of non-European art.

The Warburg Institute Archive

The Archive of the Institute preserves the working materials and papers of the Institute’s founder Aby M. Warburg (1866-1929) and of other distinguished scholars closely associated with the Institute from its days in Hamburg to the present. The Archive also preserves papers relating to the history of the Institute as well as its academic and administrative records.


Located in Bloomsbury, we are at the centre of an academic and cultural hub and students can benefit from many other research institutions, including the British Library, the British Museum and the other research institutes of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Take a look at our Top Tips for New Students blog to get a feel for what there is to experience in the area. 

Read more about student life at SASaccessibility information and information for international students.