Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years full-time
27 September 2021
Department of Study
History of Art Department
Location of Study
University of Warwick
Art history is the study of creative activities in the visual arts and built environment. It involves perspectives from archaeology, faith and gender studies, cultural anthropology and visual perception. It will develop your skills in visual and critical analysis, evaluation of a range of sources, presentation and written communication, and will prepare you to thrive in the modern workplace in the art world and beyond.
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. We place a strong emphasis on organising field trips to a variety of museums and galleries, giving you the opportunity to appreciate and understand by experiencing artistic work directly. This is why you’ll spend a term in your second year 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 first 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 contemporary art, portraiture, sacred art, sculpture, print media, or architecture and photography.
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.
How will I learn?
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.
How will I be assessed?
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 a study centre close to the Grand Canal, 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.
General entry requirements
We welcome applications from students taking BTEC qualifications, either alone or in combination with A levels. Our typical BTEC offers are as follows:
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate plus 2 A levels: D plus AB
- BTEC Level 3 National Diploma plus 1 A level: DD plus A
- BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: D*DD
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
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).
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).
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
- Painting Techniques
- Contemporary Art
- 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
- Globalisation and Contemporary Art
- Deconstructing Medieval and Early Modern Buildings
- The Lure of the Object
- East Meets West
- Leonardo: Art and Science
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work in a wide range of sectors, including careers in:
- Art galleries
- Educational establishments
- Heritage and conservation organisations
They have pursued careers such as:
- Exhibition project co-ordinators
- Newspaper and periodical editors
- Business and financial project management professionals
- Conference and exhibition managers and organisers
- Human resources and industrial relations officers
- Management consultants and business analysts
- Office managers
- Public relations professionals
- Authors, writers and translators
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant to support you. They offer impartial advice and guidance, together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Careers History of Art Alumni workshop
- Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- History of Art – Securing Internships
- Career planning and making applications
"I chose Warwick because the Open Day made me feel right at home from the start. I'm really interested in architecture and the course has allowed me to choose modules to explore the subject in depth.
Warwick has a really friendly environment and I've met people from all over the world here."
BA History of Art
This information is applicable for 2021 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.