|UCAS code||Typical offer||Length|
|VV13||AAB (See full entry requirements)||3 years full-time|
This joint degree brings together two Humanities disciplines to create a wide-ranging and intellectually challenging course which develops students’ understanding of the forces which have shaped past societies and cultures, and of the artworks and artistic movements which those societies have produced.
By using student-centred teaching methods on a diverse portfolio of modules, the course develops skills of research, of analysis and of presentation which equip students for a wide variety of career paths.
A degree course combining History and History of Art brings together two naturally connected subjects. History gives students a broadly based knowledge of past societies and of historical processes, and equips them with the analytical skills necessary for assembling and interpreting historical evidence. It thus contributes crucial elements to our understanding of the conditions from which works of art and artistic movements emerge. History of Art, for its part, supplies critical tools for analysing and interpreting works of art and artistic movements or traditions. In doing so, it offers an intriguing and vital approach to understanding and analysing the cultures and mindsets of past societies.
The course offers many opportunities, formal and informal, of bringing these two disciplines into fruitful interaction, and of exploring the relationships between them at both a practical and a conceptual level. Students are encouraged to seize these opportunities, both in their coursework within each discipline and in their work for the Bridge Dissertation which forms part of the final assessment for the course.
Students taking this course develop a wide range of skills that are highly valued by employers: they learn to argue, to evaluate and respond to the arguments of others, to assess visual and written evidence, to adapt flexibly to different kinds of intellectual challenge, and to present their findings clearly and effectively both orally and in writing. Their experience of collective participation in seminars and other forms of learning makes them effective teamworkers and project participants.
The Departments of History and of History of Art are both lively and growing Departments with excellent records in teaching and research. The two Departments have substantial expertise in all historical periods from the early medieval to the present day. History Department staff explore the histories of most areas of the globe – Britain, Europe , the Americas, Asia, Africa – and include specialists in political, social, economic, intellectual and cultural history. Staff in History of Art have strengths in British, European, American and Middle Eastern Art, and work on painting, sculpture, architecture, photography and other fields. Both Departments have a strong tradition of research-led teaching, which means that curriculum and course content are cutting edge, and that students benefit directly from the variety of interests just indicated. Both Departments also have strong interdisciplinary interests.
Most teaching takes place in small groups, with a strong emphasis on student participation and tutor-student interaction. Lectures are also used, sometimes in conjunction with discussion groups, to communicate foundational or core knowledge and ideas. Students submit procedural written work, on which they receive qualitative feedback, usually in writing. Module tutors are also available during weekly ‘student hours’ for one-to-one dialogue with students about their assignments. Every student has a supervisor in either the History or the History of Art Department, to provide pastoral support and monitor academic progress from module to module and year to year.
Students on this degree course normally take fifty percent of their modules in each Department. (This includes a research Dissertation which is split between the two Departments). There is scope to vary the programme slightly, for example by taking an elective module in a third Department. Although part of the degree consists of core modules taken by all students, students have a considerable choice of modules, especially at second and third year level.
The University also offers opportunities for students to study at a European of American university during Year 2 of their course.
Modules in this year develop core research and analytical skills, and promote a broad approach to the two subjects.
Making Histories. This module introduces you to the core skills required for advanced historical study.
Either From Rome to the Renaissance: The Transformation of Traditional Societies, c. 400-1650 or Citizens, Comrades and Consumers: The Making of the Modern World, 1650-2010. These lecture-based modules provide an overview of the long chronology of historical time. They give a broad foundation for the history side of your degree.
Thinking through History I: This lecture module introduces you to themes and issues relating to the study of history across a broad sweep of time and space.
Encounters with the Material Object: This course explores different ways of looking at and responding to physical objects, and thus develops the core skills you will need for describing, analysing and interpreting art and architecture in future courses.
Either Reinventing Antiquity : This course, which examines the changing meanings, revivals and reinterpretations of classical antiquity across a long historical period, focuses attention on art history’s specifically historical dimension.
Or Theory: This course enhances an awareness of art history’s complexity through close reading and analysis of some influential critical and theoretical texts.
Field Work module: This module is designed to give students experience of an important aspect of art historical study: the examination, interpretation and presentation of works of art and architecture in their current setting.
You can also ‘audit’ the year 2 Histories and Contexts modules; that is, attend lectures and access reading but with no assessment.
In this year, you will examine both subjects at a more advanced level, focusing on particular areas of specialism and expertise.
Histories and Contexts. This lecture-based module examines either a particular period or region or a way in which historians have approached studying the past. Recent options have included: The Tudor Regime, 1485-1603, The United States, 1775-1877, and the Modern City.
Explorations. This seminar module concentrates on a particular topic or theme over a relatively short period of time, and is a step towards the history special subject that you take in your final year. Recent options have included: Chivalry, The European Witch Craze, and Africa and the World since the 1950s.
Using primary material: This module introduces you to the main types of sources used by historians, e.g. newspaper, official correspondence, material culture. It develops the skills and insights needed to use primary material in the special subject in year three.
Either: two History of Art Intermediate seminar modules: provide an introduction to art, architecture or theory in relation to a particular period, area, theme or concept. Recent examples include: Introduction to Medieval Art; The English Urban Renaissance? Continuity and Change in Eighteenth-Century Architecture; Drawing with Light: Nineteenth-Century Photography
Or: one Intermediate seminar module and Museology and Curatorship: The latter module provides an opening to issues of curating, display and public engagement and considers how art historical skills can be used in your future career.
Dissertation training module: This History of Art module complements the Using Primary materials module that you take in History and ensures that you are fully prepared for the bridge dissertation in your third year.
By the time you enter your final year, you will be able to engage with history and history of art at the highest level and to interlink the two disciplines through complex and sophisticated modes of analysis.
History Special Subject: This seminar module allows students to show their expertise as historians through an in-depth study of an important historical process or problem, involving intensive work with primary sources. Recent options have included: Popular Heresy in the High Middle Ages, Thomas More, The French Revolution, and The Permissive Society in 1960s Britain.
History of Art Special Subject: Staff have designed this module following their own specialisations giving you the chance to study with real experts in the field who will introduce you the very newest and most exciting research. Examples include: Art and Patronage in 15th Century Florence; Image and Identity in California 1950-1985.
Bridge Dissertation: This module gives students the chance to work as active and independent scholars, rather than responding to the requirements of a taught module. Students develop a research project on a topic of their own choosing, combining skills and approaches in their two degree subjects, to produce a 10,000 word research dissertation. The work will be supervised by a member of staff with relevant expertise.
At every stage of the degree, we are committed to delivering the highest quality research-led teaching, which prioritises engagement and intellectual challenge. Teaching includes lecturers, seminars, discussion groups, specialist workshops, and field trips. In seminars and weekly discussion groups that accompany lectures, tutors work closely with groups of 10-16 students: we believe that students learn better – and learn to think better – when engaging with others to debate or think through a problem. All History modules have a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) component, which includes a reading-list linked to the Library catalogue.
Teaching hours vary week by week, and according to stage of degree and choice of courses. In addition to their core commitments, students are encouraged to take advantage of further opportunities, for example to study languages or to audit additional modules. Students use non-contact time to develop as independent critical learners. Most of your time at York will be spent reading for your weekly seminars and discussion groups, researching and writing procedural essays, and preparing for formal assessments. The Library holds a wide range of resources to support this study, giving access to many on-line journals and books as well as an impressive range of digitized primary sources. A VLE tutorial and a workshop will prepare you to use this material, and you can also have one-to-one appointments with subject librarians in your two degree subjects.
Time at York will also be taken up with one-on-one meetings with dissertation advisors, essay feedback sessions, briefings for modules, optional plenary lectures by visiting speakers, webinars, and ‘student hours’ (all staff hold 2 hours weekly for students to drop in and discuss questions).
We continually strive to enhance our students’ experience and do this by critically engaging with student feedback and working closely with student representatives. In the last year, for instance, we have made it possible for Year 2 students to audit Histories and Context modules and offer the same to Year 1 students this academic year.
History and History of Art modules use a wide range of assessment methods in addition to formal written examinations. These include research essays in some Special Subjects, collaborative projects, essays written specifically for assessment, image tests and 'open' examinations in which you collect the examination paper and have between one day and two weeks to return your answers. Essays for assessment vary in length between 1,500 and 5,000 words. Students also do an independently researched 10,000 word Bridge Dissertation as part of their Finals assessment.
We recognize that in Year 1 our students are only beginning to acquire the skills and understanding that they will continue to develop over the course of their degree. The assessment of first-year work, therefore, does not contribute towards the final degree, although an overall pass is required to progress into Year 2. From Year 2 onwards formal assessments contribute towards your degree.
For many modules, you are expected to write a procedural or practice essay. You will receive extensive written feedback on this essay, which will help you in your formal assessment. You can use student hours to discuss this feedback or an essay plan with your tutor. And you can also book appointments with the Royal Literary Fund Fellow, based in the English department, who can help you express your ideas in clear and effective writing.
Both History and History of Art make adjustments to assessment arrangements for students who are dyslexic or have other special needs, including extra time in closed and open examinations.
If students study at a university abroad during Year 2, the modules taken by at that university will count towards their final degree classification.
History and History of Art is a degree that equips you for the long term. It cultivates independence and discipline, an ability to define problems, shape a response and manage the steps to achieve it. Students on this degree can critically read evidence and analyse complex arguments from different angles.They are strong communicators, knowing how to use language and to show clarity of analysis on the page and in visual and oral presentations. Students gain an informed sense of the forces that underlie change, of other mindsets and cultures, and different languages. Seminars cultivate advanced skills in working with others: responding to different opinions, shepherding conversation and advancing their own ideas. These are skills valued by employers. Responsiveness to new situations and to unexpected opportunities is also a trait that fosters successful, adaptable careers.
Roughly 60% of percent of graduates from the Departments of History and of History of Art are in employment six months after completion of their studies, with another roughly 30% going on to further study. Of those not in employment or further study, a significant number are enrolled on internships that will enable them to develop career opportunities, especially in the heritage and media sectors. Graduates from these two Departments go on to build careers in education; heritage and conservation; museums and information services; law, social work and justice; marketing and communications; publishing, broadcasting and journalism; politics, diplomacy and government; finance, accountancy, banking and fundraising; media; business, commerce and public relations; art administration; teaching and academia. To get a sense of how this degree prepares you for a graduate job, read the University Careers Service’s profiles of graduates from these two Departments.
York offers an innovative careers and enterprise programme tailored exclusively for History/History of Art students. During your degree, you will have access to workshops and individual mentoring in careers, IT and other skills, as well as internships and work experience programmes. Structured opportunities for extracurricular learning such as the York Award and Languages for All are particularly popular with history/history of art students. The departments host careers events with alumni and provides opportunities for students to engage with the demands of politics, business, education, culture and heritage.
We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications and educational backgrounds. Applications are received via UCAS.
Entry is competitive and all prospective students are assessed individually on the basis of academic merit and potential, as well as suitability for the teaching and courses offered at York. We are looking for candidates who demonstrate intellectual curiosity, open-mindedness and analytical ability, the potential to analyse the past in a critical manner and the ability to discuss a point of view and make a coherent argument.
For most, we make our assessment based on the evidence presented on your UCAS form. We look closely at your personal statement and your reference, as well as received and predicted achievements. Interviews may be offered to some mature candidates and those with special circumstances or unusual qualifications.
We encourage applications from students with a wide range of backgrounds. The University has an Access scheme to support students who have or are facing unusual challenges. This enables candidates to provide additional information that will be taken into account during the application process and can offer support to students in the weeks before and after arrival.
The Department does not require applicants to hold any qualification in a foreign language nor to learn a language as part of their degree. Undergraduates will not be required to read a foreign language for any module. Nevertheless language proficiency can be an advantage in third year modules or the student’s own dissertation and so we do encourage all undergraduates to study a language through the University’s Languages for All programme.
Those returning to education, or holding unusual qualifications, are encouraged to email the Admissions Tutor for consultation and advice.
We also consider applications for deferred entry and requests, after taking up an offer, to take a gap year.
Number of applications in 2011 for all degrees involving History: 1477
Number of places in 2011 for all degrees involving History: 257
We will endeavour to respond to all applications as soon as possible. In order to give due consideration to all candidates we may not be able to communicate a decision immediately, but we will keep in touch with you about the progress of your application.
Students who receive offers are encouraged to visit us on our post-offer Visit Days. These take place in February and March and are designed to provide an opportunity for you to discover for yourselves what living and working at York will be like. During your visit you will be able to meet students and staff, learn about the degree (including our range of modules as well as study abroad and language opportunities), attend a sample lecture, and take a tour of the campus that will include the University Library and sample student accommodation.
For a fuller list of qualifications and their typical offers, please see our pages on the UCAS website.
Some typical offers are:
A/As levels: AAB at A level, including an A in either History (any syllabus) or Classical Civilisation. An A level in General Studies is typically excluded from any conditional offers.
35 points, with a Grade 6 in History at Higher Level.
AAAAB at Higher level and AB Advanced Highers including an A in History
AAAABB including an A1 in History.
80% overall including 85% in History.
Other qualifications are accepted by the University, please contact Undergraduate Admissions
We welcome applications from mature students. As with continuing students, we look for intellectual curiosity, analytical ability as well the capacity to formulate coherent arguments. We take into account any formal qualifications that you may have, but lack of them is not necessarily a barrier to admission. The individual circumstances of all applicants are carefully considered.
We ask that mature students first contact the History Admissions Tutor, outlining your background and experience, any qualifications and reasons for wanting to study history at York. The Tutor will recommend whether you should apply at this stage or first seek some formal preparation (e.g. an A-level at a Further Education College or undertaking an Access to HE qualification) before applying later on.
Applications are made through UCAS. If appropriate, arrange for a recent academic reference which describes your work and potential as fully as possible. Otherwise have an employer, friend or other acquaintance write on your behalf, telling us about your organisational and analytical skills, your motivation and interests.
Contact our friendly admissions tutor if you've got any questions:
Undergraduate Admissions Tutor
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