History of Art BA, 3-4 years

Start date:


If you are enthused by painting, sculpture, and architecture, this course lets you learn more about the context and theory behind them.

Typical offer
UCAS code
History of Art and Film

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2620

History of Art and Film website

Course description

Course description

The History of Art BA is designed to develop your appreciation for art by revealing the details of its history and placing it in its historical context. You will explore art as a reflection of its historical context – a window into the past. You will learn about the changing modes and fashions of art that have developed since classical antiquity and the various artists, sculptors and architects that have pioneered change in their fields. You will also develop your ability to discuss and critique art in a professional manner that takes into account the essential texts surrounding the history of art. You will gain an excellent ‘object-based’ understanding of how to interpret and decode visual imagery, iconography and styles. And, finally, you will be introduced to the many career applications of a history of art degree.

You will critically examine and debate key themes and study areas such as:

  • The role of art in society
  • The effect of art upon human emotion, psychology and behaviour
  • The relationship between the written word and the visual image
  • The desire for artists to innovate and be new, versus the pull of tradition and precedent
  • The nature of creativity and the notion of artistic 'genius'

Experience is as much a part of this course as academic discussion. You will have the opportunity to take part in a subsidised, three-week study tour of Italy. The trip will include Rome, Siena and Florence - all of which are home to the finest examples of Renaissance art, sculpture, and architecture. This trip will be with a specialist lecturer who is on hand to guide you through your studies.

Download a prospectus (PDF, 6MB)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A/AS-levels: BBB. Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General Studies is accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBC + EPQ at grade B
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant diploma with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 24 of which must be at distinction
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 28 points.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM

Other national and international qualifications considered. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year – Society and Culture run by the Global Study Centre. The GSC provides academic support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships, and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

Starting in 2020

Tuition fees for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed.
As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2019/20 were:

  • £9,250 in your first year. Tuition fees are subject to government regulations and may change in future years
  • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

International Students

Starting in 2020

  • £17,450 per year
  • Year Abroad: £4,362.50, which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

We run a programme of careers talks by leading experts in the arts and film industries, who provide unique insight into both traditional and nontraditional employment pathways.

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering, and more. From Welcome Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course structure

Year 1

Year 1

Core modules

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

Core modules

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year Abroad (optional)

Year Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation, or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our Global Opportunities team

Please note that a year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

History of Art and Film at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the Erasmus+ scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. Languages courses, at both beginners and advanced level, are available through the University’s Languages at Leicester scheme.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus+ scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite

We have links with the following universities:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

Core module

Option modules 

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Why Leicester?

The University's award-winning Attenborough Arts Centre has a growing national reputation for courses, performances and exhibitions.

You will gain important insights into the art world from academic staff who have extensive experience of curating exhibitions large and small.

Our research includes: contemporary art, photography and sculpture; Modernist architecture; British, American, European and World cinemas; media and comics.

History of Art at Leicester

On a three-week field trip to Italy Micha was able to view the Renaissance art he had been studying.

Teaching and learning

Your degree will be taught through a series of lectures, seminars, personal tutorials, interactive student presentations, IT training, field trips, and site visits to galleries, exhibitions, and museums, both in the UK and abroad.

Your course will start quite ‘traditionally’ with lots of lectures, and as you gain confidence and knowledge you will be expected to make substantive contributions to class discussion and debate, effectively taking charge of the trajectory of your own learning. Ultimately, you will be able to present your ideas formally and informally to large groups, and also to craft a dissertation around your own interests. Classes are small and informal, creating an excellent teaching and learning experience.

Contact hours average around nine to twelve hours per week, not counting unscheduled tutorials and personal tutor meetings, as well as a substantial amount of preparation. Your assessments will be evaluated by two separate markers and/or moderated, which – given the subjective nature of our discipline – is the only way to guarantee the most accurate assessment of its quality.

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss your progress. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether academic, financial, housing, career, or social.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Your contact hours will depend on the option modules you select. You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course History of Art Qualification BA Duration 3 years full-time UCAS Code V308 Availability Apply Now
Course History of Art with Year Abroad Qualification BA Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code V308 Availability Apply Now