Fine Art with History of Art BA

Year of entry

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
BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Student in an art gallery

This course combines fine art with art historical study, enabling you to become an academically engaged artist who understands how your practice relates to the art of both the present and the past.

You’ll split your time equally between studio practice and art history and theory, exploring what has been understood as ‘art’ in different cultures and societies over time.

Working across a range of media, you’ll develop your own body of work under the guidance of artist-lecturers and visiting practitioners, and study alongside artists and cultural theorists in a stimulating research environment.

Optional modules will give you the chance to focus on topics that interest you, from African art to contemporary cinema and the contemporary art market. You’ll gain professional skills as you develop and exhibit your own artistic work in every year, preparing you for a career in the arts and cultural sectors, for example as an artist, curator, writer or educator.

Specialist facilities

The School has excellent facilities and resources. You'll work in well lit studios with 24-hour access and will benefit from versatile exhibition spaces and social areas.

Resources include:

  • dedicated Mac and PC computer suites for audio production, video editing, animation and image manipulation;
  • printmaking workshops for etching, relief and screen printing;
  • a photography darkroom for film developing and printing;
  • a woodworking and casting area;
  • digital and 3D printing.

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

You’ll have the chance to work across all fine art media and you’ll be encouraged to find your own direction as an artist. Half of the degree is devoted to studio work, giving you the time and space to develop your ideas.

You’ll take field trips to exhibitions, galleries and fine art fairs and combine lectures with group seminar sessions to discuss contemporary art practice, which you can use to inform your own creative work.

To support these studies you’ll take core modules that introduce you to contested ideas about the artist, art and the history of art as well as the relationship between art and society. You’ll gain research and analytical skills that provide a foundation for your degree.

During term time, we invite arts practitioners from around the world to talk to our Fine Art students. The Visiting Artists Talks provide an excellent opportunity to engage with national and international contemporary artists, art writers and curators.

Year 1

You will gain the fundamental skills and knowledge for the study of art and culture and explore your own direction as an artist by developing a creative portfolio across a range of media. Compulsory and optional modules will introduce key themes and interpretive methods, examine different cultures and materials, and consider the intentions and identities of artists.

Year 2

You will continue to develop your individually created studio practice, which will be explored and developed throughout the year.

You will build upon and critically apply the knowledge and skills learned in year 1 and further pursue your own individual interests. Compulsory modules will examine contested ideas about art and the artist and how the theory and history of art relate to practice.

Year 3

You’ll consolidate your individual practices, which will culminate in planning and organising a curated exhibition and public degree show. You have full authorship of this project where you can apply your artistic and professional skills as you interact with your fellow students, outside agencies, sponsors and the media.

This will be supported by applying your research and critical skills to an independent piece of research on a topic of your choice, which can either complement your studio practice or focus on a topic arising from your theoretical study. You will complement and support these projects with a choice of optional modules.

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 Fine Art with History of Art BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
A Story of Art? 1 20
A Story of Art? 2 20
Introduction to Studio Work 30
Studio Work 2 30

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

Module Name Credits
Elements of Visual Culture I 20
Elements of Visual Culture II 20
Cultural History 20
The English Country House: Making and Meaning 20
Introduction to Museum and Art Gallery Studies 20
Approaches to Living Histories and Heritage 20

Year 1 discovery modules

You may study discovery modules.

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Studio Work 60
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
Seeing in Asia 20
Showing Asia 20
State of the Art: Contemporary Perspectives in Art, Science and Technology 20
Racist Pasts/Radical Futures 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

Module Name Credits
Dissertation 40
Studio Work 60

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

Module Name Credits
Periclean Athens 20
From Trauma to Cultural Memory: The Unfinished Business of Representation and the Holocaust 20
Critical approaches to photography 20
Antique Dealers: The Market for 'Decorative Art' from Curiosities to Retro 20
Art of the Silk Roads 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

Studio tutors are practising artists, writers and curators who are contributing to national and international exhibitions and publications. Their research informs and contextualises your learning and teaching.

This course combines studio, exhibition and curatorial work, screenings and visits with traditional teaching and learning methods such as lectures, seminars, studio crits, tutorials and workshops. You’ll also have the chance to enhance your learning by attending talks by national and internationally renowned visiting artists and creative practitioners, as well as attending exhibitions and conferences both on and off campus.

Independent study is a vital element of this degree, allowing you to develop your creativity and build important skills in areas such as research, analysis and interpretation.

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.


We usually use a combination of assessment methods that allows you to develop diverse skills. These include your studio work, exhibition crits, module presentations, essays and exams, depending on the modules you choose.

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

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB - ABB

Other course specific tests:

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.

All applicants will also be required to submit a satisfactory portfolio of work.

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 to D3, 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 to H2, H2, H2, H2, 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 to AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR A in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR AAAABB 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

Art Foundation Diploma: Merit/Distinction with an A level at grade A.

European Baccalaureate: 75-80%

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: BBB 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 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.

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

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


Career opportunities

This degree will allow you to develop into a thoughtful artist with strong critical, interpretative and communication skills, as well as strong visual and critical awareness and an understanding of the ways in which your practice responds to and questions the art of the past.

This will prepare you for a career in the arts and culture sectors, where you could join our graduates working in diverse careers as artists, curators, academics, writers and teachers. Others have used their skills to work in the creative industries, publishing, PR, film, television and education.

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 of our graduates have gone onto postgraduate study and some have completed PhDs and are teaching in higher education institutions around the world.

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, 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