MSc Collecting & Provenance in an International Context

A 1-year full Master’s programme combining art historical research with criminology, sociology, and law


This Masters programme offers an interdisciplinary approach to studying the history of collecting and collections from an international perspective. In particular, it focuses on the trajectory of artefacts through time and space and their historical legacy. Subjects covered include methodological approaches and legal issues relating to provenance and restitution, illegal trafficking of cultural objects, connoisseurship, taste, the patterns of collecting and viewing both private and public and the politics of display. The programme will move the collective debate beyond the usual focus on the Western tradition.

This programme is unique to Scotland and the UK as it combines aspects of art history and law and places them in a broad international context.

The programme structure comprises of four core courses and a dissertation (these are compulsory). In addition you can choose two optional courses, either from the ones provided within the programme or from available courses across the College of Arts.

Core courses

  • Cultures of Collecting – Collecting Cultures
  • Objects in Motion 1: Provenance
  • Objects in Motion 2: Antiquities Trafficking (online)

Optional courses

  • Objects in Motion 3: Restitution
  • Methodologies 1: Object Biography
  • Archaeological Theory and Interpretation
  • Approaching the Ancient World through Material Culture
  • Introduction to Museology
  • Art Crime (online)
  • Repatriation, Recovery, Return (online)
  • Independent Study
  • Work Placement

Is it right for me?

This Masters programme is intended to provide you with a strong foundation from which to embark upon a career in the visual arts, the art market, museums and galleries, heritage and historic properties.

This programme is ideal for students with backgrounds in arts who wish to focus their future research or careers on provenance related issues and for students with law backgrounds who are considering focused work in art law. This programme is also a good foundation for students seeking to embark on PhD-level research in topics related to art crime, provenance research, repatriation, illicit antiquities, and other cultural property topics.

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject, or suitable practical experience.

Dates and Workload

The programme starts the second week of September with orientation week and lectures start the third week of September.

Students take classes (modules) during the autumn and spring terms. These modules typically each consist of two hours of lecture and several readings each week, and are assessed via presentations and practicals and with a ~4,500 word essay. Students typically take three modules per term. With the successful completion of these courses, the students then work full-time on a 15,000 word master’s dissertation for submission in August. Full-time, this is a one year programme.

Teaching Team

Contributors to the modules offered on this programme include:

Most lectures take place at historic Kelvinhall.


For more information about this programme, please contact:

Dr Christa Roodt or Dr Donna Yates


1. Can I take the master’s level Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime modules on this programme?

Yes! Although those modules are based in Sociology, they are considered part of the MSc programme. While these are offered online, even to in-person students, you are offered in-person tuition time with the instructor.

2. Am I able to write a dissertation related to Antiquities or Art Crime?

Of course. These are core topics in the MSc programme and we gladly supervise dissertation on topic related to illicit antiquities research or crimes concerning art. Please note, Donna Yates does not currently supervise Art History master’s dissertation projects, but is available for discussion about Art History projects and other support.

3. I’m an international student, can I take this programme part time?

Unfortunately no. Unless you have an alternative visa to say in the UK, only Home and EU students have this option as the UK does not grant student visas for part time study. However, under the normal UK Tier 4 student visa, students are able to engage in paid work for up to 20 hours per week.

4. I see there are internships available on this programme. How do I get one of those?

Every year several internships are offered via our partners in museums, legal offices, etc. These are competitive and students must prepare full applications for them. They are not a guarantee. To get one, expect to take the application as seriously as you would a normal job application.

5. Are there scholarships available for this programme?

All students who apply to this programme will be automatically considered for the University of Glasgow’s merit-based scholarships, for example the University of Glasgow’s Chancellor’s Award, and past students on this programme have been awarded such studentships.

We very much encourage prospective students to  conduct their own research into funding opportunities. One place to start is the University of Glasgow’s scholarship database: Note that this database is not exhaustive, and you should explore your local funding options as well.

The convenors of this programme are happy to support scholarship applications but cannot advise you on financial matters. Please contact the University of Glasgow’s Postgraduate admissions office for queries related to scholarships, fees, and funding.

6. What are the English Language requirements
Rather high. See here for specifics. No there are no exceptions. You’re expected to engage in very high level reading, discussion, and writing on this course, like on any other postgraduate programme, and your language needs to be up to scratch to succeed.

7. I don’t quite fit the entry requirement regarding degree subject/marks, can I still apply?

Your whole application package will be taken into account when you apply for this programme. Students with first degrees outside of art history, law, criminology, and related topics or with marks slightly below the entry requirements may be admitted based on the merit of their experience. If you have any questions about the equivalency of your qualifications, please contact the University of Glasgow’s Postgraduate admissions office.

8. I’m having trouble deciding between the MSc and the Online PGCert, which should I choose?

If you would like a full master’s degree and you are able to come to Glasgow for a year, you should choose this programme over the PGCert as you are able to take the PGCert modules as part of your programme.

If you are unable to come to Glasgow, need to work full-time, or want to purely focus on Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime for personal, professional, or academic reasons, the PGCert is probably the right programme for you.

Note that Home/EU students who complete the PGCert are able to come to Glasgow to complete a full master’s degree as a part time student. Three more modules (all taught in person at Glasgow) and a written dissertation are required to convert to a full MSc. Sadly this pathway will not work for international students as the UK will not grant part time student visas.