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BA History and History of Art

Start date
September
Duration
3 Years
UCAS code
VV13
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2021/22:
£9,250 (UK)
£19,740 (International)
More detail.

Studying History of Art alongside History is a highly complementary pairing, as you investigate past and present cultures - and the process of human creativity itself.

Whatever your interests - whether cultural, social, military, political, economic or religious history - there is someone at Birmingham teaching your kind of history. Moreover, historians in other departments expand the range of modules on offer, notably in the fields of Byzantine and African history. You will have access to original works, special collections and extensive resources, such as our acclaimed on-campus gallery - the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Here you will find works by Botticelli, Van Gogh, Monet, Vigée LeBrun, Magritte and Rodin.

Study trips play an important part in your degree and include visits to galleries and museums in the UK and abroad. You will participate in a week-long, University-funded trip to a major European centre of artistic and historic importance, where you have the opportunity to examine works of art and architecture in situ. Previous study trips have been to Rome, Prague, Berlin and Paris and are led by staff with specific research interests in the city.

COVID-19

Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

I did a module on Early Renaissance Italy in second year and one of my final year classes was on the depiction and interpretation of animals in Art History. I love how passionate the tutors are about their research areas.

Eeruj

Why Study this Course?

  • Outstanding reputation - History of Art is ranked 2nd in the Guardian University Guide 2020.
  • Fantastic travel opportunities - Gallery study trips are organised in the West Midlands and London, whilst students enjoy a week-long, University-funded trip to a major European city in their second year.
  • Excellent employability - Over 90% of our students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017). As a History of Art graduate, you can join the 40% of the University’s former students who stay in Birmingham after their studies. You may also be eligible to apply for one of our 6 paid internships with the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, or with other cultural organisations, through the Cultural Intern Scheme. There are also plenty more work and internship opportunities in the city and through the College of Arts and Law Careers team, who also host events such as ‘Careers in History of Art’. 
  • Unrivalled learning environment - Students learn in a variety of ways: small classes, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, study trips, writing for The Golovine, links to local institutions, access to extensive Research and Cultural Collections and an array of other extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile, the city of Birmingham has a wide range of cultural venues to visit, volunteer or work with.
  • Based in a city brimming with culture - The city of Birmingham hosts many art venues and cultural festivals. You will find a thriving underground arts scene, edgy contemporary pieces in the Ikon Gallery, and stunning traditional works in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which houses the largest collection of pre-Raphaelite artwork in the world. There is something to suit all artistic interests.

Open day talks

Three full videos on YouTube of recent open day talks relevant to this course:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

Visit our FAQs

Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

 

Joint Honours flexibility

Every degree programme at the University is divided into 120 credits of study for each year of the programme. In the first year of a Joint Honours programme, you will study 60 credits in each subject as you learn the core elements of the disciplines. We recognise that students on Joint Honours programmes might come to favour one subject slightly more than another. To account for this, we have added more flexibility into the second and final years of our programmes. In the second year, you can stick with the 60-60 split between the two subjects or shift to a 80-40 credit weighting, effectively a major/ minor combination. You can either go back to 60-60 in the final year, maintain the same 80-40 split or reverse the major and the minor and go to a 40-80 weighting.

Year 1

History Compulsory Modules:

  • Practising History (A): Skills in History (10)
  • Practising History (B): Approaches in History (10)
  • Discovering the Middle Ages (20) OR The Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 (20)
  • Living in the Middle Ages (20) OR The Making of the Contemporary World: Modern History c.1800 to the Present (20) OR War and Society (20) OR United States History 1865-2000 (20)

Detailed descriptions of Year 1 History compulsory modules

History of Art Compulsory Modules

  • Historical Concepts in the History of Art (20)
  • Debates and Methods in the History of Art (20)
  • Writing Art's Histories 1 (10)
  • Writing Art's Histories 2 (10)

Detailed descriptions of Year 1 History of Art compulsory modules

Year 2

History Compulsory Modules

  • 80 credits - Group Research; History Option A and B; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods OR Professional Skills
  • 60 credits - Group Research; History Option; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods OR Professional Skills 
  • 40 credits - Group Research; History Option

Detailed descriptions of Year 2 compulsory modules

You will also make up your remaining History credits with optional modules

History of Art Compulsory Modules

  • 80 credits - Art History in the Field (10); Research Techniques in History of Art (10)
  • 60 credits - Art History in the Field (10); Research Techniques in History of Art (10)
  • 40 credits - No compulsory modules, you will spend your History of Art credits in optional modules

Detailed descriptions of Year 2 compulsory modules

You will also make up your remaining History of Art credits with optional modules

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final Year

History Compulsory Modules

  • 80 credits - either Special Subject A and B OR History Dissertation; History Advanced Option A and B
  • 60 credits - either Special Subject A and B OR History Dissertation; History Advanced Option
  • 40 credits - either Special Subject A and B OR History Dissertation

Detailed description of History Final Year modules

You will also make up your remaining History credits with optional modules

History of Art Compulsory Module

  • 80 credits - Dissertation (40 or 20 - if not taking in History)
  • 60 credits - Dissertation (40 or 20 - if not taking in History)
  • 40 credits - No compulsory modules, you will spend your History of Art credits in optional modules

Detailed descriptions of History of Art Final Year compulsory modules

You will also make up your remaining History of Art credits with optional modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2021, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £19,740

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
ABB
Required subjects and grades:
A Level History, Medieval History or Ancient History at grade A.

IB Diploma:
6,5,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level, including an A in the required A-level subject/s mentioned above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

In the 1480s, this was very much a new type of painting: a painting of the Olympian gods dealing with mythological subjects. From that, we can begin to think about how the painting could connect with mythological texts.

Dr David Hemsoll

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

Personal tutors – You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Study trips play an important part in the teaching on the programme. These include visits to galleries and museums in Birmingham and the West Midlands, as well as overseas group trips that are funded by the University. Recent destinations have included Rome, Berlin and Paris, and provide you with the opportunity to examine works of art and architecture in situ.

One-to-one tutorials become increasingly important as you progress through your course. This is particularly the case in your final year, when a major part of your programme will be a dissertation on a topic of your choice. Tutorials enable you to discuss your research with your project supervisor in depth.

Contact hours

On the History side of your degree, you can expect 4 contact hours per week in your first year, about 3.5 to 4 in your second year and about 3.5 to 4.5 in your final year depending on the focus of your dissertation.

On the History of Art side of your degree, you can expect about 4 hours of contact time per week made up of both lectures and seminars, although there are many additional activities that are also available to students.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

As a History and History of Art student you will have an excellent opportunity to develop skills that are attractive to employers.

These skills include:

  • Strong communication skills;
  • A deep understanding of the past;
  • The ability to research, analyse and interpret complex information;
  • Leadership and teamwork;
  • Handling complex information;
  • The ability to form concise and articulate arguments;
  • Managing your time and prioritising your workload

These are key skills that will enable you to pursue either further study in History and History of Art disciplines or move into employment in a wide range of other careers. 

Example industries:

  • Accountancy
  • Charity work
  • Housing
  • Human Resources
  • International Development
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Publishing
  • Politics
  • Retail Management
  • Teaching
  • Library and Archive work
  • Postgraduate study 

Example employers:

  • Kettle’s Yard
  • The Bodleian Library
  • Cath Kidston
  • Historic Royal Palaces
  • The National Portrait Gallery
  • Christie’s
  • National Museum of Wales
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum

Example roles:

  • Archivist
  • Curator
  • Gallery Coordinator
  • Events Officer
  • Exhibitions Assistant
  • Learning and Access Officer
  • Programme Coordinator
  • Researcher

 

Developing your career

There is a range of opportunities through our Careers Network and beyond. For example, our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six-month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market.

Current partners include Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, and the Library of Birmingham. There are also internships available at the University’s own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

There are regular events each year covering careers in teaching, events management, working with charities and more, to help you meet potential employers and learn more about a range of sectors.

There are also summer internship opportunities and work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts.

Our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project run by one of our researchers in drama and theatre. You gain work experience over the summer after your first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.

Our employer-endorsed Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

There are also a huge number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, our students’ union, which cover a wide variety of interests across drama and the arts.

With more than 300 societies and groups at The Guild, there is something for everyone.If your interest does not yet have a group, then The Guild will support you to set it up and find likeminded individuals to join you.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities