History of Art
Our exciting and wide-ranging courses are taught by a team of specialists, who are all leading researchers in their field.
|Course Title||UCAS Code||Duration||Typical Offer|
|BA History of Art||V308||Three years full time (or four years with a year abroad)
|BA History of Art and English
||VQ33||Three years full-time (or four years with a year abroad)
||ABB (including English)
|BA Modern Languages with History of Art||R8V3||Four years full-time
History of Art at Leicester
We live in a world dominated by images – still and moving – which interact in complex and subtle ways. Images are fundamental to the way people understand the world and other people, and they have always played this role. Images encapsulate and therefore give us access to some of the most profound and contentious issues in civilisation, such as religious beliefs, scientific concepts, social commentaries, ethnic and gender prejudices, ideals of beauty, fashion and taste, and many other things besides.
This course traces the enduring power of images through centuries of human history, and it will equip you with the skills necessary not only to analyse and evaluate them on their own terms, but also to read through them into the historical cultures, ideas and people that lie beyond.
The Department of History of Art and Film welcomes all applicants who display enthusiasm and commitment. Previous study of History of Art is not required: the core modules will equip you with all the specialist skills and terminology needed to enter fully into the discipline. Whether you come as a history student fascinated by past cultures, a fine arts student stimulated by creativity and diversity, or a literature student delighting in the subtleties of meaning, imagery and communication, you will find these courses a rigorous and satisfying means of engaging with art history.
Why Study History of Art at Leicester?
Example Jobs: Case Worker; Digital Librarian; Make-up Artist; Practice Nurse; Professional Lecturer; Runner.
Example Employers: MAC Cosmetics; Ministry of Justice; North Nottinghamshire College; Refine Group; Soho Runners.
Example Postgraduate Courses: MA Contemporary Design; MA Museum Studies; MA Urban Conservation.
Example jobs and employers information comes from the University’s ‘Where Did They Go?’ survey, and shows destinations of 2010/11 graduates 6 months after graduation.
At Leicester we offer an exciting and wide-ranging interdisciplinary approach taught by a team of dedicated specialists. You will explore the history and theory of art from classical antiquity through to the present day. You will participate in the critical examination and debate of key themes such as: the role of art in society, the effect of art upon human emotions, the relationship between the written word and the visual image, the nature of creativity and the notion of artistic ‘genius’.
You will learn how to grapple with the classic texts of philosophical aesthetics and more recent critical theory. In summary, you will come to understand art as a window that looks out onto many of the most interesting aspects of our culture, both past and present. And throughout, of course, we place special emphasis on the first-hand study of art and architecture – as something simply to be enjoyed.
You can choose from a wide range of supplementary subjects from fields such as Film Studies, American Studies, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, History, Archaeology, Ancient History, Computer Science, Politics, or English Local History. The degree is taught through a series of lectures, seminars, personal tutorials, interactive student presentations, IT training, field trips and site visits to galleries, exhibitions and museums, both in the UK and abroad.
The teaching experience is intended to begin quite ‘traditionally’ with lots of lectures, and as you gain in confidence and knowledge you will be expected to make more and more contributions to class discussion and debate, effectively taking some charge of the trajectory of your own learning. Ultimately, you will attain the confidence to present your ideas formally and informally to large groups, and also to craft a substantial dissertation specifically around your own interests.
Contact hours average around nine to twelve hours per week, not counting unscheduled tutorials and personal tutor meetings, as well as a substantial amount of ‘homework’. All of the work submitted by our students is second-marked and/or moderated, which – given the subjective nature of our discipline – is the only way to guarantee the most fair and accurate assessment of its quality.
As a small department we pride ourselves on our close-knit and friendly atmosphere, which not only helps students and staff get to get to know each other well but also creates that special kind of informal, relaxed environment, which always brings out the best in students; not least in our vibrant student-led ‘Art and Aesthetics Society’, which arranges an active programme of lectures by invited artists, practical art-classes, gallery visits, as well as a variety of other social events.
One of the most attractive and popular aspects of our course is our month-long subsidised study trip to Rome, Siena, Venice, Pisa, Padua and Florence, which is open to all second year students. This is an exciting and valuable part of the History of Art degree, providing you with extended first-hand study of Italian art and architecture in the company of one of our Renaissance experts. As we are the country’s only dedicated Department of History of Art and Film you will be able to take several exciting options in this field as well, and explore the rich and rewarding relationship between the different media.
You can also extend your degree with a year of study at a European university making it a four-year BA History of Art (European Union). We have links with Bonn, Pisa, Rome, Aarhus and Amsterdam as part of the Erasmus Student exchange scheme, and can initiate links with other centres as well should the student have a particular preference.
Participating students have benefited enormously from this Scheme, which has given them the opportunity to become familiar with and communicate effectively in a foreign culture, as well as developing countless other social and life-skills. There is no doubt that the courage and enterprise that is evidenced by students taking this route is appreciated by future employers.
A degree in the History of Art will provide excellent training for visual, verbal and written communication careers in a world saturated by images. You will cultivate your ability to address complex problems critically, historically and objectively. You will develop your skills as a researcher, which includes how best to seek information in libraries, archives, databases and even through interviews. You will be coached in how to present your findings and ideas, not only in essays and dissertations written to a high academic standard, but also through well-illustrated presentations utilising the latest audio-visual technologies. You will gain experience in how to engage in debate and how to conduct group work with other people. You will also learn skills in time-management and how to meet deadlines. And fundamental to it all you will gain an impeccable education in ‘visual literacy’.
We offer students the opportunity to study both the still and the moving image, which opens up a wide range of career opportunities in museums and galleries, auction houses, country house management, heritage management, arts administration, scholarship, journalism, advertising, public relations, marketing, book editing and publishing. Many of our graduates proceed to MA programmes, not least our own on the ‘Country House’, and further study at PhD level. Lectures and talks by leading art world professionals are arranged periodically to introduce students to a variety of careers, and our Careers Tutor – who has worked at the highest levels in every arts-related field one might care to mention – is ideally placed to advise. We frequently use our connections in museums, galleries, auction houses, as well as in academic and popular journals, to provide students with the opportunity to take-up voluntary ‘internships’ in these areas – usually over the summer vacation – and gain valuable and desirable experience in anticipation of their future careers.
Opportunities to Visit and Further Information
Choosing where and what to study at university is an important decision for you. We believe it is crucial to give you the opportunity to talk to our Admissions Team, so you can find out whether our programmes are the right choice for you.
For further information on BA History of Art, BA History of Art (European Union) and BA History of Art and English please contact:
Admissions Tutor: Dr Simon Richards (History of Art)
For course enquiries or details about one of our open days:
0116 252 2838/2866
Fax: 0116 252 5128