What is art history?
Art history is the study of the history and meaning of artworks and other objects that make up wider visual culture. It is a diverse field of study that considers the material production and dissemination of visual media across history and geography, and one that questions how and why objects were made, for what purpose, by whom, and how they have been understood across history. It also considers the role and influence in culture of institutions like museums and galleries, and the art market, as well as forms of art criticism and art practice, in terms of national and international contexts. To understand this complex field of relations and networks, art historical study draws on multiple historical, theoretical and critical approaches to help understand the production and consumption of art across history.
How will I study?
The department has an energetic and distinguished group of academic staff whose specialist interests range from the Renaissance to the present day. You will be encouraged to engage with a wide range of historical, theoretical and critical approaches and to develop the skills required to analyse and read contemporary and historical texts. Lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials form the basis of the teaching and learning experience in the department. Student-centred learning is also strongly encouraged and your dissertation provides you with the opportunity to fully explore areas of particular personal interest.
Assessment methods vary and include formal exams (which are often in the form of slide tests), assessed classroom presentations, coursework and essays, which vary in length from 2,000 words to a dissertation of approximately 10,000 words. In the first year, you need to pass your exams in order to progress to the second year, but the marks obtained do not count towards the final degree classification. The second year marks are given a 40 per cent weighting in the final degree assessment, with final-year examinations and assessments providing the remaining 60 per cent.
We offer opportunities to study abroad in Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden and the United States. Further information can be found on our study abroad web pages.
Career prospects and employability
Our graduates have a wide choice of career opportunities open to them. In addition to management jobs in marketing, advertising and the media, art history graduates find careers in law, public relations and journalism and are also qualified for more specialised and distinctly art-related work in museums, galleries, arts administration, conservation, heritage management, planning, teaching and research.
The average starting salary for 2010/11 full-time graduates of the Department of Art History was £17,250.*
*Average starting salary from known destinations of first-degree leavers who studied full-time, 2010/11.
Application and interview
Applicants are usually assessed on the basis of their UCAS form without interview. We may invite applicants with non-standard entry qualifications, including mature students, for interview.
UCAS visit days for students offered a place are normally held from late January to March. You are welcome to visit at other times – please contact us or for dates of our open days visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/opendays