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Frequently asked questions

What is the history of art?

Art history is the study of art across the globe, from the ancient world to the present day. It helps us examine our histories and can actively shape how we understand what we see around us now. It gives us the skills and tools to interpret and connect to our visual world and enhances our ability to analyse, question and critically engage with issues confronting society and individuals.

What sorts of careers does a degree in the History of Art lead to?

Like any subject in the humanities, studying the history of art is intended to help you to develop your critical faculties, and to pursue a degree in a subject which interests you. The discipline of History of Art is well respected in professional circles, and the majority of students don’t pursue a career in the field afterwards. The good news is that, should you decide to continue to pursue your interests, there is an exciting number of options available: from careers in galleries, museums, the heritage sector and any number of other arts institutions to work in editing, publishing and journalism. Indeed, the close attention to visuality also prepares you to pursue a path in such fields as advertising and marketing. And of course, teaching and further study remain an option.

Who typically studies the history of art?

There is no such thing as a typical student of the history of art. As with any discipline, this subject attracts students from all backgrounds.

How many students do you have on the course per year?

In History of Art, we typically accept between 10 and 20 students in each year group which, combined with students on our specialist film degrees, makes for a ‘core’ cohort of approximately 30 to 40 new students per year.

What sorts of assessment methods do you use?

The large majority of our assessments are essays, although we try to test different skills in the various essays given. We also retain a few exams, and also test you on your presentation skills, both individually and in groups, and provide opportunities for you to work collaboratively on group projects.

Can I study abroad?

Many of our courses feature the opportunity to study abroad.

There are many benefits of spending time studying abroad during your course - International experiences can enhance your academic and personal skills and your employability.

Most students go for one academic year, between the second and third years of their course. However, some Schools offer one-semester options. You can also consider going on an overseas summer school, whether as a taster for a full year, or simply as a shorter alternative. And don’t worry if you don’t currently speak any other languages - we have many partner universities in other English-speaking countries, and most of our partner universities teach at least some of their classes in English.

We have exchange partner universities on every continent (except Antarctica!). Where you can go depends on your course and this list can vary from year to year.