>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>English / History of Art (BA)

Overview The story of humanity's creative history

UCAS code


Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)


3 years full-time

By combining English and History of Art you'll get to explore how textual and visual material interact with one another. You'll learn how to master art-historical and literary criticism, and discover the connections between different artistic media. In doing so you'll gain you an exciting and fresh perspective on the history of human expression.

Course content What you’ll study


You'll cover a broad range of literary and art-historical topics that range from the classical period to the 21st century. Our international outlook takes account of the European and global contexts of art and literature.

Year 1

You'll equally split your time between English and History of Art this year. We'll introduce you to several modules focusing on different sources and critical approaches.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Year 2

This year you can choose to focus more of your time on one subject or the other, or to split your time equally between the two. You'll choose and combine several courses from:

Year 3

This year you can choose to focus more of your time on one subject or the other, or to split your time equally between the two.

You'll choose and combine several courses, including further English special modules and period modules, and a highly specialised History of Art Special Subject

You'll also write a dissertation bridging the two subjects. This demonstrates your skills in independent study and innovative research.

You may also take a foreign literature module this year.

Study abroad

If you're also interested in studying abroad, there are a number of options both in the English-speaking world and in Europe.

Both departments are part of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities and ranked in the top 25 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.  

The Department of English and Related Literature is second overall in the UK for research performance and the Department for History of Art is third overall in the UK for research performance. (REF 2014)

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

We emphasize small-group teaching, which means you'll mainly be taught in seminars of 12-15 people. You'll also take part in workshops, attend lectures, and consult staff on a one-to-one basis. You can expect around eight hours of contact time a week – and sometimes more.

  • Our cutting-edge research informs all our teaching activities
  • Our staff are friendly and accessible -- they all have two open office hours a week
  • We organize many guest lectures and readings from well-known figures from the worlds of art and literature.


You will be assessed mainly through essay writing. Essays will range from short exercises to more detailed discussions on a topic of your choice. In addition,

  • Some modules will include group presentations, online exercises and closed exams,
  • You'll write a dissertation of about 7,000-8,000 words in your final year.

Careers Where you’ll go from here

Studying English and History of Art together will not only widen your range of skills, but will broaden your career prospects. Many students will go on to careers related to art and media, the skills this degree will give you open up a wide range of opportunities.

Career opportunities

  • Media and creative
  • Advertising
  • Arts administration
  • Museum curation
  • Public relations
  • Teaching

Transferable skills

  • Communications skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Rhetoric and debate
  • Reading and writing
  • Independent study and research
  • Teamwork skills
My undergraduate degree in History of Art was extremely visual. I was able to immerse myself in the writings and ideas of so many incredibly clever people and came to see visual culture as fascinating, valid and a gateway to understanding.
Leila Johnston
Digital copywriter

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS.

Normally, we'll only interview mature candidates and those with special circumstances and/or qualifications. Interviews will usually be a half-hour conversation about your literary interests. We’ll also ask you to bring along some of your recent essays.

A-levels and GCSEs

  • AAB, including A in English.
  • We'll ask for a grade in English Literature or English Language and Literature.
  • We won't accept General Studies or Critical Thinking.

Other UK qualifications

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

  • AAAAB at Higher level.
  • AA at Advanced Higher level, including A in English.


D3, D3, M2 including D3 in English.

Access to HE

  • 30 credits from units awarded Distinction.
  • 9 credits from units awarded Merit or Higher.

International options

International Baccalaureate
35 points, with 6 in Higher level English.

Irish Leaving Certificate
AAAABB, including A1 in English.

European Baccalaureate
80 overall, with 85 in English.

English language

Our English language requirements for international applicants can be found on our Entry Requirements page.

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions