Major in History of Art

BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you are enthused by painting, sculpture and architecture, would like to learn more about the history and theory behind them, and combines this with the study of another subject.

Course Description

  • As part of the University of Leicester’s commitment to being a leading academic institution, we regularly review and update our degrees and modules to ensure that they reflect the most up-to-date research, knowledge, ideas and teaching practices, as well as taking into account student feedback. We also have to take into account the availability of key teaching staff where this will impact on the delivery of the course.  As a result, if there are major changes to the course that you have applied for, we will contact you as soon as possible and will ensure that any disruption to your studies is minimised.

If you choose History of Art as your Major, you will study the history of art, sculpture, and architecture across a range of historical and geographical areas, focusing in particular on the medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, modern European, and contemporary periods.

On one extreme you will engage with the most abstract theories and philosophies of art, while on the other you will explore practical vocational modules looking into exhibition curatorship, historical preservation, and the workings of the international heritage industry with a view – perhaps – to your future career.

You will have the exciting opportunity to visit Rome, Pisa, Florence, and Siena in the second year, and in the third year you will select from a range of Special Subject modules that reflect the latest ongoing research by members of academic staff. You will also develop an extended piece of your own original research with a dissertation on the subject of your choice.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2018
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

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

History of Art at Leicester was ranked 4th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2017, and number one for Graduate Prospects.

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

Our research includes: contemporary art, photography and sculpture; Modernist architecture; British and American cinema and television; media, videogames and comics.

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

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

In your first year you will be introduced to the history of art, including painting, sculpture, and architecture, from classical antiquity through to the present day. You will also learn how to visually analyse and decode the style and iconography of paintings, and experience the many vocational applications of art-related degrees, such as exhibition curatorship.


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

In your second year you will study Renaissance art, sculpture, and architecture as preparation for your intense study trip to Italy over the Easter vacation, which will provide one of the real highlights of your time at university. You will also study two modules on the theme of ‘negotiations with the past’, exploring the complex interplay of traditional values with more ‘progressive’ social forces and artistic ideals. As well as looking at classic nineteenth- and twentieth-century movements such as Impressionism and Surrealism, these modules will also involve you in studying the history of heritage preservationist movements in the arts and in museology.

Core module

Option modules

Choose 3 option modules from:

Please note: if, for some reason, your are unable to go on the core Italy Trip module, you will take both the Long Essay and Revivalism and Heritage modules instead.

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 International Office

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 European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training.

  • 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

In your final year you will write a 10,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice, supported through lectures, presentations, and one-to-one tutorials with your supervisor. You will also take a theory module on philosophical aesthetics and art psychology as well as a biographical module offering a sustained, in-depth look into the life, work, and legacy of a single Renaissance artist where the myth frequently obscures the reality, such as Leonardo or Michelangelo. Finally, you will take a Special Subject module – one reflecting the current research interests of members of academic staff – where you will participate in the study of a single research-intensive topic across two semesters.

Core module

Option modules

Choose 2 option modules from:

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.

Major/Minor Degrees

On a Major/Minor degree, you study a core area in depth (in this case History of Art), while also exploring an additional area (your minor subject).


Please note that you cannot study a Major in History of Art with a Minor in History of Art.

Now choose your Minor

Teaching and Assessment

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 in confidence and knowledge you will be expected to make more and more contributions to class discussion and debate, effectively taking some charge of the trajectory of your own learning. Ultimately, you will attain the confidence to present your ideas formally and informally to large groups and also to craft a substantial dissertation specifically around your own interests. Classes are small, informal, and intimate, creating an excellent teaching and learning experience.

There will be a range of assessment methods including coursework essays, exams, presentations, and final-year dissertation.

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.

Overall workload

Typical workload hours for History of Art and Film courses in 2016/17:

Year 1: 17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 204 hours
  • Independent learning: 996 hours

Year 2: 17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 204 hours
  • Independent learning: 996 hours

Optional year abroad: If you’re spending a year abroad, your contact hours will vary depending on the institution you’re studying at.

Final year: 11% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 132 hours
  • Independent learning: 1068 hours

While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.

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.

Research Stories

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 run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language 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

  • Starting in 2018

    • £9,250 in your first year. After 2018/19, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation and is subject to government regulations.
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.

      Find out more about scholarships and funding.


    • Starting in 2018

      • £15,980 per year
      • Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,995 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.
        Find out more about scholarships and funding.

      Career Opportunities

      We have excellent links with the arts industries. Our Careers Director has worked in the curating of exhibitions, the editing of art journals, and in the auction house sector and is ideally placed to advise on careers in these areas.

      We run a programme of visiting careers talks by leading experts in the arts and film industries who can provide insights into employment pathways.

      The modules 'Film Production' and 'Film Journalism' have an applied focus, helping you develop the skills and knowledge required for careers in these areas.

      Internship opportunities are available in various fields, from museum and auction house work to journal editing and film studio work.


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

      Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
      Major in History of Art BA 3 years full-time V301 Apply Now
      Major in History of Art with Year Abroad BA 4 years full-time V301 Apply Now
      Major in History of Art
      3 years full-time
      UCAS Code
      Major in History of Art with Year Abroad
      4 years full-time
      UCAS Code

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