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Our BA History of Art will give you three distinctive and complementary years of studying the history of art and architecture.
You'll start with a year-long introduction to the history of art and then build on this, in years two and three, with rounded training in the discipline and practice of art history. The interdisciplinary nature of art history allows you to develop your existing skills and interests and is reflected in our close relationship with other departments and centres in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Faculty of Social Sciences.
We'll introduce you to an extraordinary variety of art and architecture from many areas, including Europe, the Americas, but also covering the Middle East, North Africa, and South and South East Asia. You can also study an exciting range of time periods, from the late antique to the contemporary.
History of Art is a traditional humanities subject with a strong vocational element, allowing you to develop valuable transferable skills. We have close relationships with a range of local, regional, national, and international arts organisations. We also work on art beyond the museum and gallery system, including with partners in country houses, maritime museums, and churches. These partnerships contribute to the teaching and research in our department and you'll benefit from our collaborative links with these institutions.
Our range of collaborations with museums and galleries will be invaluable to your education
Learn more about our lecturers favourite topics with a few short videos
History of Art teaches you to question everything. It's about how you see the world. I often have to produce articles quickly, which require quite a bit of previous research and reading. My degree was probably the best training ground for that level of production.Miranda, Reporter (BA History of Art, 2013)
Our course is designed and taught by expert art historians, many of whom are curators with international reputations. In the first year of the course you'll receive a revealing and rigorous introduction to the history of art and architecture. As you progress in the second and third years you'll be able to specialise more, choosing your own blend of modules taught by experts in the field and introducing you to the newest and most exciting research and ideas. You'll also be able to learn a language which can enhance your experience of art history, and benefit your career.
History of Art is a subject with a strong vocational element that will allow you to develop many transferable skills. We have close relationships with a wide variety of local, national, and international arts and heritage institutions, as well as other third-sector organisations. We also work on art beyond the museum and gallery system, including with partners in country houses, churches and cathedrals, as well as human rights and law enforcement institutions.
Here are just some of our partners:
For more on the Department's diverse partnerships, see York Art History Collaborations.
There are other opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:
We also offer BA History of Art (with a year abroad).
There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.
Your first year introduces you to the fundamental concepts and skills you'll need as an art historian.
You will also choose one of these modules to support your studies:
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 explore your own interests from a wide variety of time periods, media, and institutional contexts. For instance, you’ll learn how artworks operate within cultural and heritage organisations, as well as in other types of spaces such as hospitals, churches, or law enforcement units. Through lectures and Problem Based Learning (PBL) activities, students will gain insights into the skills required to tackle real-life challenges in these spaces. You’ll also develop your ability to work independently, design imaginative research strategies to prepare for your dissertation, and gain crucial insight into conducting academic work.
You'll choose modules from a wide range, with the opportunity to cover a number of different time periods and types of art.
You will study four option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:
Note: We often update the modules we run to reflect the active research in our department. These modules are some of the ones running for our current students.
In your third year, you'll focus on option modules and your dissertation.
Your dissertation will draw on the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout your degree. It will consist of 7,000-8,000 words and represents a year-long, independent research project on a topic that most interests you. You will also choose special subject modules that might either support your dissertation or broaden your horizons in a different direction.
You will study four option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:
Our 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.
|UK (home)||International and EU|
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.
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.
Some of the modules you can choose from may include associated field trips to allow you to visit art and architecture. 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.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 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.
Studying here allows you to make your engagement with History of Art as personal as you’d like, with incredible opportunities to travel and develop outside your course.Senah, History of Art
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.
We believe that you learn best in an interactive and stimulating environment where you can discuss ideas with experts and fellow students, and develop your capacity for critical thought. We'll teach you in small groups, through a combination of lectures, seminars, field trips, individual tutorials and workshops.
You'll be taught by the best: our art historians are curators with serious international reputations. Our internationally-renowned academics will challenge you to think critically about periods, places, images and ideas - and the scholarship they’ve inspired.
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 on the Continent. 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.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||1-2 hours per week|
|Seminars||6 hours per week|
|Tutorials||1-2 hours per term|
|Workshops||1-2 hours per week|
These figures are representative of a typical 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, practice 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 semesters. 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 which is on Campus West.
Your contact hours will be divided between Vanbrugh College on Campus West, and King's Manor in the city centre.
York is the perfect place to inspire your studies, with a rich and turbulent history stretching back to the Romans. Today the city boasts beautiful historic architecture, as well as museums, galleries, and archives.
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 - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.
We use varied assessments to develop and evaluate your different strengths. Our assessments include:
You'll receive regular feedback on your assessment. You'll get verbal and written advice on your work in one-to-one tutorials. You'll also be able to discuss your work with your personal supervisor, who will help support you throughout your degree.
The skills you'll develop on this course go far beyond art history. You might be surprised by the range of careers our students have gone in to. Our alumni are art educators, journalists, curators, auctioneers and valuers. We also have students who work in law, public administration, social work and education.
Many graduates take the first step of their careers on prestigious internships - recently at MoMA and the Guggenheim in Venice. Others go on to postgraduate study here and at other top universities.
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|
|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.|
|Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers||Scottish Highers - AABBB Advanced Highers - not required for entry We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.|
|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.|
|International foundation programme||Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.|
|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 three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. 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.|
|MOOCs||If you successfully complete our online course Modern Sculpture: An Introduction to History of Art do let us know, as you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about MOOCs.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS (Academic)||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||120, minimum 105 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C / Grade 4|
|LanguageCert SELT||B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component|
|LanguageCert International ESOL||B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component|
|PTE Academic/PTE Academic Online||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.
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.
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