4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
AAB (full entry requirements)
September 2020 (term dates)
£9,250 per year (2020/21)
£17,890 per year (2020/21)
This innovative degree builds on our reputation as one of the UK's leading art history departments.
You'll study the history of art, which will be invaluable as you develop skills in curating galleries and art museums. You’ll go on a number of field trips to encounter objects in their various institutional settings.
You can also study a language in your first year, with options specially tailored for art historians so that you can maximise the benefit of your year studying abroad.
As part of the degree, you'll study a range of art history and curatorial modules. Some of these will take place in a seminar room and others in museums and galleries. You will work both with staff from our department, many of whom are curators with an international reputation, and with museum and gallery professionals, from a range of our partner institutions, including:
For more on the Department's diverse partnerships with organisations including Tate, the V&A, the National Gallery, York Museums Trust, the National Railway Museum, the Bowes Museum, the Hepworth Wakefield, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, see York Art History Collaborations.
You'll be taught by dedicated staff, including curators, artists and academics.
We are first in the UK for History of Art research impact according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the 2014 REF.
You'll study a wide range of modules that cover the fundamentals of art history and develop a range of approaches to curating an art museum or gallery. You'll also get to plan an exhibition as part of a group project and take a placement with an art institution.
Many of the modules you can choose from will have associated field trips to allow you to visit the art and architecture. These field trips will range from local, to national and occasionally international. We cover the cost of any major air/sea/rail travel and accommodation, although you'll be expected to pay for any local transportation, food and entrance costs.
There are other opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:
In your first year you'll study a range of modules that will develop your skills in art history and cover a range of approaches to curating art museums. You can also choose to study a language module, several of which are specifically designed for art historians.
With our modules you'll visit works of art and architecture in York and beyond to study them first hand, and you'll explore the material nature of works and learn to describe, analyse and interpret the visual and material qualities of a wide range of media. You'll learn to challenge commonly held assumptions, and develop your skills for literary, critical and rhetorical analysis. You'll be introduced to the history and current practice of art curation. You'll work with case studies and texts and learn about relevant methodologies and conceptual problems, and will critically assess the collection and display of visual objects.
You'll study these 20-credit modules:
You'll also have a choice from one of the following 20-credit modules:
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module 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:
In your second year you'll be able to choose from modules across a wide historical, geographical, and theoretical range. The emphasis will be on learning to think about exhibitions and displays.
You'll undertake a curatorial internship which is a placement with an arts institution which allows you to practise the skills you've acquired and to develop your own curatorial interests.
You'll also take part in a group project to plan an exhibition. This module is taught in collaboration with one of our established museum partners, and you'll have a chance to familiarise yourself with their collections and their spaces. You'll focus on a particular display project or exhibition and explore the full process of developing an exhibition, including object selection and arrangement, the production of interpretive texts, catalogue conception, audience analysis, marketing, fundraising and more. You'll experience at first hand how curatorial theory intersects with the practical demands of planning an exhibition.
You'll take two core modules that develop your curatorial and exhibition skills and knowledge:
You'll also choose four seminar modules that allow you to study certain time-periods or types of art in more detail. There will be restrictions on which modules you can choose, to ensure you study a sufficient amount of curatorial material. Modules change to reflect the latest research and developments but will include a range of interesting subjects from the medieval to the contemporary.
Current module examples, 20 credits each:
In your third year you'll study with one of our partner universities in Europe, the USA or China. You'll study modules on offer at your host institution and you'll pay a reduced fee to York for that year of study. Your assessment will be via two modules, worth 60 credits each, in which you'll write a 2000-word essay discussing your experience abroad.
Our current international partners
In your final year you'll choose two modules that allow you to study a time period or type of art in significant detail. There will be restrictions on which modules you can choose, to ensure you study a sufficient amount of curatorial material. Modules change to reflect the latest research and developments.
You'll also work on your 7,000-8,000-word dissertation. This will give you a chance to explore an interesting topic in significant detail, and must have a significant curatorial aspect.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
Our range of collaborations with museums and galleries will be invaluable to your education
We are ranked 5th in the UK by Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2020).
Many of the modules you can chose from will have associated field trips to allow you to visit the art and architecture. Field trips can be local, national or international. We'll cover the cost of any major air/sea/rail travel and accommodation, but you'll be expected to pay for local transportation, food and entrance costs.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.
For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”
The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018
Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.
You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
You'll be taught by art historians that are writing some of the texts you'll read, as well as curating some of the exhibitions you'll see.
In your first year you'll attend lectures and workshops. As the degree progresses you'll find you spend more time in seminars where you, as small group of other students and a tutor will discuss a topic for which you've done preliminary research and preparation. As your studies progress you may be asked to give presentations or lead the discussions in seminars. From your second year all modules include seminars with no more than 15 students in a group.
Some of our curators and their recent exhibitions include:
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||2 hours per week|
|Seminars||4-5 hours per week|
|Tutorials||1-2 hours per term|
|Workshops||0-2 hours per week|
|Field trips||15 trips. Most are around 2 hours long, though some day trips are also included.|
These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.
Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practise completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.
The student-run Norman Rea Gallery gallery hosts exciting exhibitions throughout the year and promotes the work of both student and professional artists.
The University art collection contains a wide variety of works, from ancient to contemporary, across a diverse array of materials, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, prints, book art, photography, and textiles. The collection includes key work by internationally significant artists including Barbara Hepworth and Jacob Epstein, Paul Nash and Sydney Nolan, R B Kitaj and Elizabeth Blackadder. The collection is available for innovative curatorial displays and exhibitions on and beyond campus.
There are also many libraries and galleries nearby.
You will be based in the Department of History of Art on Campus West.
Your contact hours will be divided between Vanbrugh College on Campus West, and King's Manor in the city centre.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
We use a number of different assessment formats:
We'll also ask you to write procedural essays and we'll give you feedback. You'll also be assessed on your performance in seminars.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
You'll develop skills that are attractive to a wide range of employers, but particularly suitable for careers in cultural roles such as gallery/museum curator, the art market, conservation and journalism.
During you'll degree you'll find many exciting opportunities for gaining relevant and useful curatorial and museological skills. In previous years students have worked with organisations such as York Museums Trust, the National Trust and Rievaulx Abbey, on events, exhibitions, heritage and outreach.
Recent graduates from the department have gone on to roles that include:
They've worked for a range of organisations including:
As well as gaining skills applicable to art history and curatorships you'll also develop skills that can be used across academic disciplines and throughout your career:
You do not need an A level in History of Art.
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher|
|BTEC National Extended Diploma||DDD|
|Cambridge Pre-U||D3, D3, M2|
|International Baccalaureate||35 points|
|UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design||Distinction. We will also consider other qualifications from the University of the Arts London in Art and Design at Level 3 or higher.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|Widening participation||If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities. More about widening participation.|
|Contextual offers||If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.|
|EPQ||If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
|Core Maths||If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, with a minimum of 55 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, with a minimum of 169 in each component|
|TOEFL||87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all components|
|Duolingo||Minimum overall score of 110|
For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
We normally make offers based on your UCAS application. However, if you have been away from study for some time you may be invited to interview.
If you receive an offer we'll invite you to one of our visit days which gives you a chance to experience our teaching style and to meet staff and students here. You'll also be able to explore the facilities of both our department and the wider University.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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