History of Art with Cultural Studies BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2023

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Two female students studying in the School's common room.

This course allows you to combine a questioning and critical approach to the historical study of art with a cultural focus on theories and practices of language, image, identity, gender, race, sexuality and class.

Given that the meaning and understanding of ‘art’ or ‘culture’ change over time, you'll learn about the history of the various artistic practices (such as film, painting, literature, photography, the media, and music) as well as understanding different contexts of its display. You'll also explore how societies have represented themselves and the world around them.

You’ll gain a critical perspective on the world we live in now and deepen your understanding of how historical events, societal transformation and psychological processes impinge on cultural forms. Here theorists of modernity, of the city, of technology and of the mind will be drawn on to produce a better understanding of how people try to make sense of their changing worlds.

Specialist resources

The University has a variety of resources to support your learning and research.

In addition to the wide range of museums and galleries in the city and beyond, the University campus features:

The University Library offers online books, journals and databases, has a wealth of archive material in its Special Collections, including manuscript, archive and early printed material, and provides a range of spaces for individual study or group work. You’ll also benefit from access to Box of Broadcasts, an archive of over 2 million TV and radio broadcasts.

Course details

Year 1

You'll gain the skills and theoretical and historical knowledge for analysing art and culture. Compulsory and optional modules will introduce key themes and interpretative methods for analysing and interpreting cultural practices. You’ll examine different cultures and materials and consider the intentions and identities of artists.

A choice of optional modules will allow you to broaden your studies by studying topics like cultural or media history, creative practice and consumer culture or museum studies.

Year 2

In year two, you’ll build on this knowledge when compulsory modules will deepen your understanding of the complex relationship between art, ideas and society. In addition, you’ll shape your studies to suit your interests when you choose from a wider range of optional modules, choosing from a group of cultural studies subject that extend your initial studies of gender, the moving image, the postcolonial perspective, and cultural theory. You’ll also select modules that focus on specific issues in art history.

Year 3

By your final year, you’ll be able to apply your research and critical skills to an independently researched dissertation on a topic of your choice. To complement and support your research, you’ll select additional modules from the diverse options on offer, many of which combine studies of the visual arts with other cultural forms. If you choose, you can take one fewer optional module and go into greater depth on an extended dissertation.

View example dissertation titles.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read History of Art with Cultural Studies BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Introduction to Cultural Analysis 1 20
Introduction to Cultural Analysis II 20
A Story of Art? 1 20
A Story of Art? 2 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Elements of Visual Culture I 20
The English Country House: Making and Meaning 20
Introduction to Museum and Art Gallery Studies 20

Year 1 discovery modules

You may study discovery modules.

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Art History and Art Historiography 20
Keywords 20

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
The New York School 20
The Wanderers. Critical Realism in Nineteenth Century Russia 20
Cinema and Culture 20
Seeing in Asia 20
Showing Asia 20
Racist Pasts/Radical Futures 20
The Grand Tour: travels, excavations, collections 20
The Museum 20
Art, Power and Portraiture 20
The Avant Gardes 20
Developing Your Professional Identity: Preparing for a Career in Within The Arts, Heritage and Creative Industries 20
Students Into Schools (Arts Humanities and Culture) 20

Year 2 discovery modules

You may study discovery modules.

Year 3 compulsory modules

You must choose one of the following dissertation modules.

Module Name Credits
Dissertation 40
Dissertation 60

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Deconstruction Reading Politics 20
Making Sense of Sound 20
Periclean Athens 20
Critical approaches to photography 20
British Architecture in the Long Eighteenth Century 20
Antique Dealers: The Market for 'Decorative Art' from Curiosities to Retro 20
Africa and the Atlantic World: History, Historiography and the Visual Arts 20
Movies, Migrants and Diasporas 20

Year 3 discovery modules

You may study discovery modules.

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from the expertise of your tutors. These will include lectures, seminars, screenings, tutorials, workshops and field trips. You’ll also be able to attend talks by visiting artists and speakers, as well as workshops, conferences, exhibitions both on and off campus.

You’ll be supported by your supervisor during your dissertation and be able to attend skills workshops.

Independent study is also crucial to the degree, allowing you to develop important critical and research skills and to form your own ideas.

We encourage you to carry out small research projects on your own or in groups. The final year dissertation enables you to undertake substantial independent research in a topic of particular interest to you

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods, allowing you to build different skills. Usually these will include essays, exams and module presentations, as well as small-scale research projects and your dissertation.

The University Library offers free classes and resources on topics such as exam technique, public speaking, research and structuring essays throughout your degree.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is undertaking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), the School may make an alternative offer of BBB including A in the EPQ.

NB: An EPQ is optional and not a requirement of application.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.



Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

34-35 points overall including 16 at Higher Level with 4 in English.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers OR AABBBB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 75%

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

If you would like to study arts, humanities, and cultures at university, but don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree, you might be eligible to apply for the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 will be available on individual course pages from September 2023.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Next steps

Due to the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, our usual admissions procedures are currently under review and subject to changes which will make them Covid secure. Information on the revised selection procedures will be issued shortly. If you have any concerns or question in the meantime, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office by email finadm@leeds.ac.uk.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

Contact us

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies Undergraduate Admissions

Email: finadm@leeds.ac.uk

Career opportunities

Graduates from this course have pursued careers in the arts and related industries. Others have gone onto postgraduate study and some have completed PhDs and are teaching and researching in higher education institutions around the world.

Graduates from our School have gone on to work at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice, the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The Saatchi Gallery, The Henry Moore Institute, National Trust, Bonham’s, Leeds City Museums, The Hepworth Gallery, The Geffrye Museum London, The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Rydale Folk Museum.

Some examples of roles they have gone on to have include Head of House and Collections at Harewood House, Events Manager at the National Portrait Gallery, PR Officer at Christie’s (London and New York), Lecturer at the University of Leeds and Chief Curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The School is committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions - you'll be able to work closely with staff in the School to source opportunities throughout your degree to gain experience, develop your skills and build networks.

The optional study abroad or work placement year offer opportunities to gain transferable skills, develop your experience and build your networks.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures offers a number of paid internships every year too.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Some recent examples include placements at Harewood House, the Cultural Institute (University of Leeds), Urban Outfitters, Tigerprint, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Pyramid of Arts and Hang-Up Gallery.

Student profile: Alexandra Oliver

Before coming to Leeds I didn’t know what it was like to be surrounded by people who have such eclectic interests and passions. It has been so insightful, and has really opened my eyes.
Find out more about Alexandra Oliver's time at Leeds