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History of Art (BA) (Full-Time, 2019 Entry)



Full-time 2019 entry, BBB

By studying art in the context of history we gain new insight into the perceptions and intentions of the maker, as well as the times in which it was produced.

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We place a strong emphasis on organising field trips to a variety of museums and galleries throughout the UK, giving you the opportunity to appreciate and understand from experiencing artistic work directly. This is why you’ll spend a term in your second year at our own teaching centre near the Grand Canal in Venice.

Our carefully designed degree allows you to select the modules that suit your own interests. You’ll study a rich and varied range of art history from the present day to the Middle Ages, supported by a range of site visits. You’ll also be taught in small class sizes to ensure close supervision by dedicated, research-active academic staff.

You can choose your own route throughout the degree, supported by core modules that establish the essential framework of the course. There is an increasing amount of choice from the 1st year onwards, and you choose the subject of your dissertation, under expert guidance. Your first year includes introductory core modules, which provide an overview of Western Art and the ways in which it is studied today. You can also choose optional modules on topics such as landscape painting, portraiture, sacred art, sculpture, print media, or architecture and cities.

You will spend the first term of your second year in Venice, before returning to Warwick to focus on specialised subjects including an optional practical art module. In your third year you will study research-based special subject modules, a core module on the issues in art history and complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Class sizes are typically 10-14 people. You will have on average 10 hours of contact time (including lectures, seminars, field trips and tutorials) and around 27 hours of independent study per week. We provide written feedback on essays with the option of tutorials to discuss them further, and one-to-one tutorials during the preparation of your dissertation.

Modules are taught either through weekly lectures combined with seminars, or through small-group seminars alone. The fundamental importance of the direct experience of works of art is emphasised at every stage of your degree. Seminars in galleries and museums, or site visits to key monuments and buildings, are integrated into modules. You can also study a studio-based Practical Art module in your second year.

We use a variety of assessment methods throughout your degree programme, including assessed essays, reports, work books, examinations, a research-based dissertation and (for the Practical Art and the exhibition-based modules) a portfolio of work responding to a specific practical task. Your second and final year contribute 50% each towards your final mark.

In your second year, you will spend the autumn term in Venice, where you’ll study the city's art and culture at first hand with our team of Renaissance and Contemporary specialists. You will be based at the Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, which provides a focus for our teaching and research activities in the city. As part of all of our courses you have the opportunity to study abroad for a year with one of our partner institutions, or with the University of Monash in Australia. The Study Abroad Team based in the Office for Global Engagement offers support for these activities, and the Department's dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.

Student blogs

kristie beddoesThe sheer amount of history, culture and art that Venice possesses is unparalleled by anywhere else and it is so nice to just go for a walk and get completely lost and end up stumbling upon some beautiful churches, views, galleries and shops.... It was one of the best experiences of my life... and it allowed me to grow in ways that I didn’t think were possible."

Check out Kristie's blog

A level: BBB

  • You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

    Contextual data and differential offers: Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).

  • Access Courses: Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units. Candidates must meet essential subject requirements.
  • Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP) All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
  • We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
  • Further Information

  • Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry welcomed.

    Interviews We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.

    Open Days All students who have been offered a place are invited to visit. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.

Year 1
Introduction to Art History: Classicism and the Arts of Christianity

You will have the opportunity to carry out a historical survey of Western art, concentrating on Late Antique, Medieval and Renaissance art. You will learn skills and techniques that will allow you to describe accurately what you see, in terms of how an object is made, as well as its form and iconography. These core skills will form your foundation for later modules.

Introduction to Art History: The Natural World and the Arts of Modernity

You will study a thematic approach to the history of Western art, stimulating comparisons across time and space and exploring a wide spectrum of images and ideas, including those related to architecture and the applied arts. You will acquire introductory analytical and communication skills required for a good understanding of the field, including areas which will be useful for the study of later modules.

History of Art and Interpretation

In this module, you will enhance your awareness of the relationship between art and its historical and physical contexts, and of approaches to the work of art which can help you understand them. You will consider works of art in context at Waddesdon Manor and at other collections. You will learn the techniques and practices of interpretation which will be useful for later modules.

Year 2
Exhibiting the Contemporary (taught in Venice)

You will consider the importance of exhibitions for the interpretation of contemporary art and architecture. Based in Venice, you will study current exhibitions both within and outside the frame of the Biennale, in conjunction with texts on contemporary exhibition-making, curating, and museum and exhibition history.

Venice: Rise and Myth (taught in Venice)

You will examine the art and architecture of Venice in the light of its unique physical, political and cultural location. You will study key examples of architecture, painting and sculpture in the light of their commissioning, manufacture, consumption and subsequent critical fortune.

Final year
Practices of Art History

You will examine a range of theoretical approaches from the discipline’s beginning in the early 19th century to contemporary debates. By exploring questions of theory and method, you will develop the skills of critical reading and the evaluation of evidence. You will be encouraged to reflect on your own theoretical allegiances, and to consider how these will shape your dissertation.


Selection of optional modules that current students are studying
Year 1

Architecture Prints; Sculpture; Photography; Painting Techniques; Contemporary Art

Year 2

Art and Culture since the 60s; Art and Visual Perception; From Fortress to Country House; A Fine Tomorrow; Practical Art; Art of the Baroque; The Renaissance: North and South; Spanish Painting of the Golden Age; Danish Art

Year 3

Deconstructing Medieval and Early Modern Buildings; The Lure of the Object; Mannerism; East Meets West; Visual Art and Poetry

As a student of art history, you have a wide variety of career options open to you. Graduates with a degree in the History of Art are well equipped to enter a range of careers which require an ability to think analytically, to present ideas with clarity, and to communicate with others easily and convincingly.

Many of our graduates have gone on to careers connected in some way with the arts, such as arts administrators, publishers, picture researchers, archaeologists and curators. Most, however, enter the job market open to graduates in the Humanities more generally, and are able to compete successfully for posts in business, administration and the professions.

For many key jobs in museums, galleries, auction houses and fine art publishing houses, a degree in art history is a prerequisite. Moreover, the study of art history equips you with skills, knowledge and perspectives that can be used in many jobs outside the art world.


Atcha & Associates, BAFTA, Bonhams, Ceva Logistics, Christie's, Compton Verney, Courtauld Institute of Art, Fortnum & Mason, InStyle, James Grant Group, Laurence Sterne Trust, Natural History Museum, Portland Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival.

Job Titles

Account Executive, Appointments Coordinator, Art Gallery Assistant, Arts Communications Intern, Charity Administrator, Development Assistant, Duty Manager and Gallery Assistant, Exhibitions and Engagement Officer, Freelance Graphic Designer, Media Sales Executive, Studio Assistant, Visual Merchandiser, Volunteer Coordinator.

Entry Requirements

A level BBB


Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)

3 years full time

Start Date

24 September 2019

Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry and Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, Venice

Tuition fees
Find out more about fees and funding

Other course costs
All visits (excluding the term abroad) are free for students, and course reading material is on-line or available in the library .

This information is applicable for 2019 entry.