Undergraduate study in History of Art

The History of Art is an exciting and stimulating field of study with a diverse curriculum, a varied set of approaches and a wide application to modern life and the world of work.

The History of Art course at the University of Birmingham offers you an unrivalled opportunity to study this subject in close association with the outstanding art collections housed in the University’s Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which include works by such major artists as Dürer, Giovanni Bellini, Veronese, Vigée LeBrun, Van Dyck, Poussin, Gainsborough, Monet, Degas, Gwen John, Picasso, Gauguin, Rodin, Käthe Kollwitz and Magritte. The Institute also houses a concert hall, lecture theatre and a major reference library.

History of Art at Birmingham comprises the study of the history and meaning of artworks and other visual and material artefacts, of their use as forms of cultural expression in various societies, and of the ways they have been interpreted and understood. Specifically, the undergraduate course aims:

  • To help develop a critical understanding and knowledge of the contexts in which art has been produced and viewed
  • To enable students develop skills of visual analysis
  • To provide students with a critical understanding and knowledge of the techniques employed to produce artworks.
  • To provide students with a sophisticated grasp of the concepts and methods used in the art historical interpretation of artworks.
  • To provide students with skills, knowledge and experience that will support their future career aspirations

he degree offers a broad overview of the history of European and North American art and architecture, from the fifteenth century to the present, with opportunities to study chosen themes and topics in greater detail. Built in to the course are visits to museums and galleries in Britain as well as a study trip to examine the art and architecture of a major artistic centre abroad, such as Paris, Berlin or Rome.

Our staff are also active scholars with a national and international reputation, publishing books and articles on their specialist fields, as well as organising and contributing to conferences and exhibitions in Britain and abroad at venues such as the Royal Academy, the Huntington Library in California, the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin and the Cleveland Museum of Art. At the most recent 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, all our research was assessed as being of international significance, with 70% being world-leading or internationally excellent.

Our History of Art undergraduate degree courses

History of Art BA

Studying History of Art is not just about appreciating the ‘great works’, although a passion for art in all its forms is certainly a huge part of it. It is also about understanding past and present cultures, [more...]

Undergraduate open day talk

Study Trip to Rome