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BA (Hons) History of Art with a Language (with a year abroad)

Discover the history of art and architecture. Delve into the study of languages and cultures.

Year of entry: 2023/24

UCAS code

VR39

Institution code

Y50

Length

4 years full-time

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£21,950 per year

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Find out more about life at York, online and on campus.

Discover York

in the UK for History of Art and Linguistics research impact and environment

according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

for 'Overall Satisfaction' in French studies

out of the Russell Group universities included in the National Student Survey 2022

in the UK for career after 15 months

Joint 5th for Linguistics, Guardian University Guide 2021

Study cultural heritage, from the history of art and architecture to languages and cultures. Spend a year abroad and discover new ways of viewing the world.

At York, you'll gain an exciting and fresh perspective on the history of human expression through studying art and languages, graduating with skills highly prized by employers across a wide range of industries. You'll explore an extraordinary variety of art and architecture, covering a wide range of time periods and cultures - from medieval Jerusalem to contemporary digital culture. By studying a language alongside History of Art, you'll have a deeper understanding of art collections around the globe, particularly those in native languages and relating to specific cultures.

We have a unique approach to studying languages at York. From the start, you'll be taught and assessed in your language of study by expert staff, many of whom are native-speakers, so you'll develop your fluency and communication skills rapidly. Our transcultural and decolonised approach to language learning allows for deeper reflection on the values, attitudes, and practices of different cultures.

Spending a year abroad will give you confidence in your speaking, and allow you to have valuable first-hand experiences of transcultural encounters.

Language pathways

As part of this degree, you can choose to study one of four languages.

Collaborations with museums and galleries

We have partnerships with the Tate, the National Gallery, the V&A, York Museums Trust, as well as partners in country houses, maritime museums, and churches. You'll benefit from our strong industry links throughout your degree.

Get a head start in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at York

At York, you'll benefit from being able to take TEFL modules in-house, as part of your degree. You can count the work you complete in your TEFL modules towards a CertTESOL qualification. This teacher training programme (also offered in-house) can qualify you to teach English to non-native speakers, including on your year abroad.

History of Art field trips were the perfect occasion to bond with the places and people around me. I have enjoyed them so much.
Alizée, BA Curating and Art History

University of the Year shortlisted

We're proud to announce that we've been shortlisted for two prestigious University of the Year awards.

  • Times Higher Education Awards 2021
  • The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Find out more about our nominations

Course content

You'll be taught by expert art historians, many of whom are curators with international reputations. During your degree, you'll study engaging modules across three chronological periods: Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern. You'll also be able to learn a language, enhancing your experience and understanding of art history and benefiting your career.

Studying one of four languages will combine an in-depth study of cultural and social phenomena, including their transnational and diasporic manifestations, with the development of high-level communication skills. 

Your year abroad will provide the opportunity to both use the language being studied, and to either study History of Art, or work in a related field.

Study a language from scratch

You can choose to study one of four languages ab initio, meaning you don't need to have any knowledge of the language before you arrive. You'll study with other ab initio students during your first year, and will focus on improving your language skills, before joining the post-A level students during your second year.

Year 1

You'll take two core modules in History of Art, and one core module in Languages.

  • If you have studied either French, German, Italian, or Spanish to A level, you'll take two post-A level modules for the language you have studied.
  • If you are taking either French, German, Italian or Spanish ab initio (from scratch), you'll take two ab initio modules for the language you are studying.

Core modules

History of Art modules:

Language core modules (Post A-level):

  • French/German/Spanish/Italian Language and Cultures: Upper Intermediate
  • Understanding French/German/Spanish/Italian-speaking Cultures and Societies (post A-level)

Language core modules (Ab initio):

  • Intensive French/German/Italian/Spanish Language and Cultures: Beginner
  • Understanding French/German/Italian/Spanish-speaking Cultures and Societies (ab initio)

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study three option modules, including at least one language module. Examples may include:

History of Art modules:

Languages modules:

The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course. For further information please get in touch.

Year 3

We assist you in setting up overseas university study, teaching or work placements, and offer guidance on all aspects of the year. You can even get a CertTESOL qualification to teach English to non-native speakers before you go. See our current year abroad pages for more information.

You'll complete two assignments while on your year abroad. These are assessed on a pass/fail basis and do not contribute to your final degree grade.

Year 4

Core modules

You'll study one core language module in your final year, which is designed to consolidate your critical skills through in-depth research and analysis. By this stage in your degree, you'll be able to demonstrate oral and written fluency, as well as accurate language use in different social and cultural contexts. 

  • French/German/Italian/Spanish Language and Cultures: Proficient

Option modules

You will also study three option modules, including at least two options in History of Art and one option in Languages. Examples may include:

History of Art modules:

Language modules:

The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course. For further information please get in touch.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Learning by design

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.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Graduates will be able to deploy a broad knowledge of varied types of art and architecture from diverse periods and places, together with understanding of their historical and cultural contexts, with in-depth critical understanding of more than one subfield.
  • Graduates will be able to apply high-level descriptive and observational skills, develop critical visual analysis drawing upon an appropriate range of methodological approaches, and identify relevant sources for further research when encountering new visual material either first-hand or in reproduction.
  • Communicate complex ideas effectively, both orally and in writing, well supported by visual material where required, at varied lengths and registers appropriate to the context and intended audience.
  • Confront and interrogate widely-held assumptions, understand how interpretations of culture and its contexts have changed over time both incrementally and in more radical paradigm shifts, and continue to engage critically with future changes in ways of thinking.
  • Carry out an original and independent investigative project from beginning to end: identify and assemble relevant primary material, develop relevant methodologies for interpretation, consult significant source materials and experts, manage time in an appropriate framework, and complete the project to a deadline in the required format.
  • Work both independently and as an effective team member in pursuit of an objective, exercising initiative and leadership when appropriate.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing in your language of study to provide evidenced, structured and well-supported information, arguments and advice to mono- as well as multilingual audiences. (Multilingual communicator)
  • Engage with confidence in multilingual and transcultural encounters based on your acquired awareness of and sensitivity to the relativity of social, cultural and linguistic norms. (Transcultural agent)

 

Learn directly in your language of study

At York, we are unique in teaching all of our core language modules in their language of study. Our students develop fluency and confidence quickly, benefiting wholly from this approach.

Study abroad

Observe different transcultural practices and values first-hand, and gain valuable experience speaking in your language of study.

Without a doubt, my favourite thing about studying at York is the incredible memories of my year abroad. The year abroad improved my confidence and speaking skills so much. I wish I could go back every day!
Caitlin, BA French and Spanish (with a year abroad)

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £21,950

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

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.

Additional costs

Many of the modules you can choose from will have associated field trips to allow you to visit art and architecture. Field trips can be local, national or international. We will cover the cost of any major air/sea/rail travel and accommodation, but you will be expected to pay for local transportation, food and entrance costs.

Set Languages texts are available from the Library or online, but you may wish to buy your own copy for some modules. These typically cost between £10 and £30. For ab-initio languages you may need to buy books with a total cost of £50 to £60. Second hand books are often available more cheaply.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2023/24 throughout the year.

Departmental funding

Find out more about funding specific to Languages and Linguistics.

Living costs

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.

The course benefits from art-based societies like the Norman Rea Gallery (the student-run gallery on campus), Art History Society (for art-based trips and socials) and Art Society! This is a great way to develop your interests outside the course and meet people with similar passions.
Senah, BA History of Art

Teaching and assessment

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.

Teaching format

History of Art

We believe in the importance of studying art and architecture in the original, so many modules include visits to collections, either locally, across the UK or globally. The majority of these trips are funded. Recent destinations include: Rome, Paris, Milan, Florence and Basel. We also visit key cities in the UK; recent destinations have included Cambridge, Canterbury, Edinburgh, Manchester and London.

Languages

We offer you extra study support in several ways. Our Peer Assisted Learning programme gives you the opportunity to work with other students.

Our focus at York is on effective communication in your language of study. That is why:

  • many of our staff are native-speakers of the languages we teach
  • we are unique in teaching our core modules in their language of study
  • we emphasise issues of cultures and society, allowing you to develop a high level of transcultural awareness to underpin your language skills

Contact hours

In first and second year of the degree, you will typically spend 1-2 hours per week in the lecturers, 10-11 hours per week in seminars, and 2 hours in workshops.

Contact hours in the final year vary depending on individual module choices.

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.

Facilities

We have our own Languages e-Lab for teaching. Here, you'll have access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software and online language-learning materials.

Teaching location

You will be based in the History of Art and Language and Linguistic Science buildings on Campus West.

About our campus

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.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, projects, written, oral and listening exams. Assessments include formative work which will help you practice or develop skills, but will not count towards your final degree mark. 

Instructors provide you with feedback in a variety of forms, for example: written feedback, in-class discussion of common problems, model answers, one-on-one discussion of research projects, or online responses to questions posted on the module discussion board.

Your year abroad is assessed. All students must complete two assessments in their language of study. If you are studying at a university, you must attend courses and sit the exams. If you are on a work or teaching placement, you must satisfactorily complete the duties set out in the placement agreement. However, your marks on the year abroad assessments do not contribute towards your overall degree mark.

Disability information for languages

We can make reasonable adjustments to assessment procedures for students with disabilities. However, if you have dyslexia please note that it is not possible to make adjustments in the marking of work written in a closed language exam. This is because accurate spelling is one of the assessment objectives for language exams. Closed exams make up only a proportion of the assessment types used for languages. There are other assessment types such as coursework and oral presentations which are also used. As a student with dyslexia you could apply for extra time in closed exams, if this would be of assistance. See the University's disability support pages for further details.

Careers and skills

  • Our interdisciplinary course equips you with effective communication, critical thinking and project management skills, which translate readily into any work context. You'll be valued in the workplace for your ability to lead in project work and undertake independent research.
  • The combination of the analytic, transcultural, and communicative competencies you'll learn during your degree ensures that you are a highly sought-after graduate. You'll become proficient in all aspects of managing small-scale linguistic analysis projects, from identifying the research questions, to communicating the findings. This skill set will open the door to many different careers.
  • Our graduates have an excellent record of pursuing fulfilling paths after graduation. Learn more about graduate career destinations.

Career opportunities

  • Archivist
  • Art Consultant
  • Art practitioner
  • Conservation Officer
  • Curator
  • Gallery Director
  • Marketing and communications
  • Publishing
  • Broadcasting and journalism
  • Local government and public service
  • Business, finance and accountancy
  • Teaching
  • Translation and interpreting
  • IT and software development

Transferable skills

  • Effective communication skills
  • Intercultural awareness
  • Critical thinking
  • Project management
  • Independent learning
  • Data analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

ABB

You do not need an A level in History of Art or a language

Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDM
Cambridge Pre-U D3, M2, M2
European Baccalaureate 75%
International Baccalaureate 34 points
T levels We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.
UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design Distinction. We will also consider other qualifications from the University of the Arts London in different specialisms, at Level 3 or higher.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

Our language programmes are designed to develop fluency. For this reason we do not normally offer places to native or near-native speakers who wish to study their own language.

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS. 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 one A level grade (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.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Duolingo 110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT B2 Communicator High Pass with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our 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 English language test 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.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of History of Art, Department of Language and Linguistic Science

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