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History of Art BA (Full time / Part time) 2018 start

  • Overview

    This course allows you to explore the ways in which art has been produced and received by different communities across time and in different places.

    We do not take for granted that ‘art’ has been understood in the same way around the world through time. You’ll learn about the history of art and to think critically about its development and effects, examining the social history of art in a challenging and thought-provoking way. You’ll consider some of the theories and approaches, from aesthetics to anthropology, that can help us to interpret works of art.

    You’ll choose from a wide range of optional modules to focus on topics that suit your own interests. These include studies of ancient Greek art, African sculpture, Japanese photography and Hollywood blockbusters, as well as contemporary art practice. You’ll benefit from the interdisciplinary research of our School, with modules available in art gallery and heritage studies and the chance to study alongside cultural theorists and practising artists.

    Specialist resources

    The University has a variety of resources to support your learning and research. We have a wide range of museum collections and galleries on campus such as the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and the Brotherton Library Treasures Gallery. ULITA – An Archive of International Textiles – is housed on campus to collect, preserve and document textiles and related areas from around the world. Project Space, a new multi-purpose space designed for the development of curatorial practice and visiting exhibitions, sits at the core of the School’s new building.

    The University also houses a wealth of modern and contemporary art that make up the Art on Campus displays of sculpture, in addition to the Yorkshire Fashion Archive and the Marks & Spencer Company Archive and exhibition displays. These resources all offer exciting opportunities for our students to engage with art and culture. Project Space, a new multi-purpose space designed for the development of curatorial practice and visiting exhibitions, sits at the core of the School’s new building.

  • Course content

    Year 1 will equip you with the fundamental skills and knowledge for art historical analysis. Core modules will teach you to ‘read’ rather than ‘look at’ an image in different contexts and you’ll be introduced to key themes and interpretative methods in the subject.

    You’ll examine different cultures and materials and consider the intentions and identities of artists. A choice of optional modules will allow you to study topics like cultural or media history, or country house or museum studies, or to develop your own artistic work in our studios.

    You’ll build on this knowledge in Year 2, when further core modules will deepen your understanding of the complex relationship between art and society. Through exploring a variety of approaches, these modules encourage you to think critically and analytically about works of art.

    In addition, you’ll shape your studies to suit your interests when you choose from a wider range of optional modules, which cover art historical topics from African art to the New York School as well as museum studies, critical theory and the contemporary art market.

    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. If you choose, you can take one fewer optional module and go into greater depth on an extended dissertation.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Elements of Visual Culture I 20 credits
    • Elements of Visual Culture II 20 credits
    • A Story of Art I 20 credits
    • A Story of Art 2 20 credits
    • Studying in a Digital Age (Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies) 5 credits

    Optional modules

    • Introduction to Cultural Analysis 1 20 credits
    • Introduction to Cultural Analysis II 20 credits
    • Cultural History 20 credits
    • Cinema and Media History 20 credits
    • The English Country House: Making and Meaning 20 credits
    • Introduction to Museum and Art Gallery Studies 20 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • Art History and Art Historiography 20 credits
    • Keywords 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • The New York School 20 credits
    • Cinema and Culture 20 credits
    • Seeing in Asia 20 credits
    • Ecologies of Medieval Art 20 credits
    • The Art Market: Moments, Methodologies, Meanings 20 credits
    • Danish Golden Age Painting 20 credits
    • Borromini and the Roman Baroque: Skill, Knowledge, and Material?s Potential 20 credits
    • Careers Preparation for Arts and Culture 20 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • Dissertation 40/60 credits

    Optional modules

    • Cultural Diversity in Museum and Material Culture - Case Study 20 credits
    • Sins, Sinisters and Sciapods: The Margins of Medieval Art 20 credits
    • Anthropology, Art and Representation 20 credits
    • The Ripped and the Raw: Aspects of European Art 1945-1960 20 credits
    • Africa and the Atlantic World: History, Historiography and the Visual Arts 20 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read History of Art BA Full Time in the course catalogue

    For more information on typical modules, read History of Art BA Part Time in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the 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 and other events.

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


    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.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: AAB not including General Studies or Critical Thinking.

    • Access to HE Diploma

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

    • BTEC

      Extended Diploma: DDD-DDM.

    • Cambridge Pre-U

      D3, D3, M1 – D3, M1, M1 in three principle subjects.

    • International Baccalaureate

      34-35 overall (with at least 4 in English Language).

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)


    • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

      AABBB (AB at advanced level) OR AAABB (A at Advanced level). For applicants just undertaking the higher level, grades of AAAABB will be required.

    • Other Qualifications

      European Baccalaureate: 77-80% overall and at least 60% in English.

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

    Where an applicant is undertaking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), the School may make an alternative offer that is one A level grade below that of our standard offer – on the condition that the applicant achieves a grade A in their EPQ (e.g. AAB at A level / alternative offer ABB plus grade A in EPQ).

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

    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.


    We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies Undergraduate Admissions Team.

    International Foundation Year Programme

    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.

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    It is also possible to study this programme part time. The programme content is the same but you will study at a lesser intensity. Find out more about how to apply, support available and the part-time student experience at the Lifelong Learning Centre.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU 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.

    Admissions policy

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


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    International: £17,500 (per year)

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    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.

    Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

    Additional cost information

    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

    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.

  • Career opportunities

    A high percentage of graduates from this course go on to postgraduate study. However, others have pursued careers in curating, arts education in organisations such as galleries, colleges and universities, journalism, arts administration, image researching, PR and auctioneering.

    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.

    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. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities 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.