Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies

The Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies was established in 1990 and it has grown steadily in staff and student numbers since then. Teaching takes place in the Barber Institute. This houses an excellent and representative collection of post-medieval European art. The Department is recognised internationally for both its high level of student satisfaction and the quality of its research output.

REF 2021 recognises the Department’s world-leading research

The high standard of research in the Department of Art History, Curating, and Visual Studies at the University of Birmingham has been highlighted by the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the official assessment of the research in UK universities.

The recent REF assessment of 2021 judged 62% of the department’s overall submission to be of world-leading standard in terms of its originality, significance and rigour, and 33% to be “internationally excellent”, and it deemed 100% of our research impact as well as our research environment to be world leading or internationally excellent. These results meant that the Department was ranked 9th in the UK out of all history of art departments entered for the REF, and the high standard of our research fundamentally shapes the teaching across our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.


28 February 2023

The power of recovery through art

Recovery Art is a longstanding monthly programme, supporting those who are on their own personal journey of recovery with their mental and/or physical health.

More news from the Department

Forthcoming Events

We are proud to offer throughout the academic year a series of events and research seminars closely tied to the department academic work.

Our research blog

The Golovine

The Golovine is the official Blog for the Department and takes its name from one of the most popular artworks in the collection of The Barber Institute of Fine Arts: Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun’s c.1797 Portrait of Countess Golovine.

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