Undergradute student studying in the George Green library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

History and History of Art BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

Art has an important place in history, in power and protest, status and symbolism. A history of art degree will provide a complementary addition to your existing passion for history.

You will already have your favourite historical subjects, perhaps the Tudors, civil rights, or the Second World War. You can extend your knowledge of these topics, but also discover new ones, exploring from 500 CE to the present, examining a range of countries around the world. You will also build on your existing research, writing and debating skills.

In history of art, we will explore the meaning of art and its place in society, from the Renaissance to the present day. You will study a range of visual arts, including:

  • painting
  • sculpture
  • architecture
  • graphic arts
  • photography

You will learn the key issues and methods relating to the interpretation of artworks. Our 'Art and Architecture in Nottingham' module takes advantage of our rich local culture

.You can tailor your degree using the wide choice of optional modules. This includes modules from other subjects such as American and Canadian Studies, and Culture Film and Media. You can choose to specialise, or maintain a range of interests as you progress through the course.

It is not necessary to have studied art or history of art to apply for this course.

Indicative modules

Optional

Year 1

Art, Methods, and Media

Optional

Year 1

History of Art: Modern to Contemporary

Optional

Year 1

History of Art: Renaissance to Revolution

Optional

Year 1

Learning History

Optional

Year 1

Making of Modern Asia

Optional

Year 1

Making the Middle Ages, 500-1500

Optional

Year 1

Themes in Early Modern European History c.1500-1789

Optional

Year 1

Roads to Modernity: An Introduction to Modern History 1750-1945

Optional

Year 1

Roads to Modernity: An Introduction to Modern History 1750-1945 (Part 2)

Optional

Year 1

The Contemporary World since 1945

Optional

Year 1

The Contemporary World Since 1945 (Part 2)

Optional

Year 1

History of Philosophy: Ancient to Modern

Optional

Year 2

Art at the Tudor Courts, 1485-1603

Optional

Year 2

Black Art in a White Context: Display, Critique and The Other

Optional

Year 2

Film and Television in Social and Cultural Context

Optional

Year 2

Los Angeles Art and Architecture 1945-1980

Optional

Year 2

Memory, Media and Visual Culture

Optional

Year 2

The Sixties: Culture and Counterculture

Optional

Year 2

Media Identities: Who We Are and How We Feel

Optional

Year 2

Understanding Cultural Industries

Optional

Year 2

Film and Television in Social and Cultural Context

Optional

Year 2

New Media and Digital Culture

Optional

Year 2

A Tale of Seven Kingdoms: Anglo-Saxon and Viking-Age England from Bede to Alfred the Great

Optional

Year 2

British Foreign Policy and the Origins of the World Wars, 1895-1939

Optional

Year 2

Central European History: From Revolution to War, 1848-1914

Optional

Year 2

Consumers & Citizens: Society & Culture in 18th Century England

Optional

Year 2

De-industrialisation: A Social and Cultural History, c.1970-1990

Optional

Year 2

Environmental History: Nature and the Western World, 1800-2000

Optional

Year 2

European Fascisms, 1900-1945

Optional

Year 2

Heroes and Villains in the Middle Ages

Optional

Year 2

Imagining 'Britain': Decolonising Tolkien et al

Optional

Year 2

International History of the Middle East and North Africa 1918-1995

Optional

Year 2

Kingship in Crisis: Politics, People and Power in Late-medieval England

Optional

Year 2

Liberating Africa: Decolonisation, Development and the Cold War, 1919-1994

Optional

Year 2

Poverty, Disease and Disability: Britain, 1795-1930

Optional

Year 2

Rule and Resistance in Colonial India, c.1757-1857

Optional

Year 2

Sex, Lies and Gossip? Women of Medieval England

Optional

Year 2

Sexuality in Early Medieval Europe

Optional

Year 2

'Slaves of the Devil' and Other Witches: A History of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

Optional

Year 2

Soviet State and Society

Optional

Year 2

The British Empire from Emancipation to the Boer War

Optional

Year 2

The Rise of Modern China

Optional

Year 2

The Second World War and Social Change in Britain, 1939-1951: Went The Day Well?

Optional

Year 2

The Stranger Next Door: Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages

Optional

Year 2

The Venetian Republic, 1450-1575

Optional

Year 2

The Victorians: Life, Thought and Culture

Optional

Year 2

Travel and Adventure in the Medieval World

Optional

Year 2

After Empire: Colonisation and its Legacies

Optional

Year 2

A Protestant Nation? Politics, Religion and Society in England, 1558-1640

Optional

Year 2

Communities, Crime and Punishment in England 1500-1700

Optional

Year 2

The Early Modern Global Spanish Empire (1450-1850)

Optional

Year 2

Rethinking the Tudors: Monarchy, Society and Religion in England, 1485-1603

Optional

Year 2

Gender, Empire, Selfhood: Transgender History in Global Context

Optional

Year 2

Commodities, Consumption and Connections the Global World of Things 1500-1800

Optional

Year 2

In the Heart of Europe: Histories of Modern Poland

Optional

Year 2

Villains or Victims: White Women and the British Empire c.1840-1980

Optional

Year 2

France and its Empire(s) 1815-1914

Optional

Year 2

From Imperial Downfall to Republican Crisis: Themes in Modern German History, 1888-1933

Optional

Year 2

Race, Rights and Propaganda: The Politics of Race and Identity in the Cold War Era 1945-1990

Optional

Year 2

The politics of memory in postwar Western Europe

Optional

Year 2

The US and the World in the American Century: US Foreign Policy 1898-2008

Optional

Year 2

African American History and Culture

Optional

Year 2

Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States

Optional

Year 2

School of Humanities Work Placement

Optional

Year 3

Dissertation in History of Art

Optional

Year 3

Art and Science: 1900 to the present

Optional

Year 3

Contested Bodies: Gender and Power in the Renaissance

Optional

Year 3

Fascism, Spectacle and Display

Optional

Year 3

Photographing America

Optional

Year 3

Performance Art

Optional

Year 3

Working in the Cultural Industries

Optional

Year 3

Film and Television Genres

Optional

Year 3

Auditory Cultures: Sound, Listening and Everyday Life in the Modern World

Optional

Year 3

Self, Sign and Society

Optional

Year 3

Gender, Sexuality and Media

Optional

Year 3

Public Cultures: Protest, Participation and Power

Optional

Year 3

Global Histories of Labour and Capital: Perspectives from India

Optional

Year 3

The British Civil Wars c.1639-1652

Optional

Year 3

Sexuality and Society in Britain Since 1900

Optional

Year 3

Alternatives to War: Articulating Peace since 1815

Optional

Year 3

Windrush and the (Re)Making of a Nation: Myth and Memory

Optional

Year 3

Early Medieval England in the Age of Bede

Optional

Year 3

After the Golden Age: The West in the 1970s & 1980s

Optional

Year 3

British Culture in the Age of Mass Production, 1920-1950

Optional

Year 3

From Revelation to ISIS: Apocalyptic Thought from the 1st to 21st Century

Optional

Year 3

Life During Wartime: Crisis, Decline and Transformation in 1970s America

Optional

Year 3

Overseas Exploration, European Diplomacy, and the Rise of Tudor England

Optional

Year 3

Transnationalising Italy: A History of Modern Italy in a Transnational Perspective

Optional

Year 3

Italy at War, 1935-45

Optional

Year 3

Samurai Revolution: Reinventing Japan, 1853–78

Optional

Year 3

'Slaves of the Devil' and Other Witches: A History of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

Optional

Year 3

The Celtic Fringe: Scotland and Ireland, c.1066-1603

Optional

Year 3

The World of Orthodox Sainthood

Optional

Year 3

European colonialism and the boundary of the human in the long eighteenth century

Optional

Year 3

China under socialism 1949-1989: society, politics and culture

Optional

Year 3

The Mongols and the West

Optional

Year 3

The 1960s and the West, 1958-1974

Optional

Year 3

Russia in Revolution 1905-21

Optional

Year 3

The Reign of Richard II

Optional

Year 3

The African Atlantic and the British Slave Trade c.1600-1897

Optional

Year 3

European Politics and Society 1848-1914

Optional

Year 3

'World wasting itself in blood': Europe and the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)

Optional

Year 3

The Politics of Thatcherism 1975 – 1992

Optional

Year 3

Rebels Against Empire: Anticolonialism and British Imperialism in the mid 20th Century

Optional

Year 3

Voices from North Africa: Resistance, Decolonisation and State-Building in the Twentieth Century

Optional

Year 3

Dark Age Masculinities

Optional

Year 3

The Great Plague and Great Fire of London: Society, Culture and Disaster

Optional

Year 3

From serf to proletarian?: Imperial Russia’s rural population, 1825-1932

Optional

Year 3

Remembering the Past in Late Medieval England

Optional

Year 3

The three faces of Eve: Jewish Christian and Muslim women in Medieval Iberia

Optional

Year 3

The Hundred Years War

Optional

Year 3

The Legacies of Slavery and Emancipation in the British Empire

Optional

Year 3

Pandemic: English Society after the Black Death, 1348-1520

Optional

Year 3

Cultures of Power and the Power of Culture in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

Optional

Year 3

The Agony and the Ecstasy: Drugs for Pleasure and Pain in the History of Medicine

Optional

Year 3

Saving Europe: Atrocity and Humanitarianism across twentieth century Europe

Optional

Year 3

Troubled Empire: The Projection of American Global Power from Pearl Harbor to Covid-19

Optional

Year 3

North American Film Adaptations

Optional

Year 3

Ethnic and New Immigrant Writing

Optional

Year 3

Feminist Thought in the US: 1970-the present

Optional

Year 3

American Magazine Culture: Journalism, Advertising and Fiction from Independence to the Internet Age

Optional

Year 3

Varieties of Classic American Film, Television and Literature since 1950

Optional

Year 3

Brotherhood and Unity: Yugoslavia on Film

Optional

Year 3

Heritage and the Media

Optional

Year 3

Justinian and the end of Antiquity

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About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Tuesday 17 October 2023.

You will be taught via a mixture of large-group lectures and smaller, interactive seminars. You will also be taught through tutorials and supervisions. These are one-to-one meetings or discussions with an academic tutor.

Support

All students are assigned a personal tutor at the start of each academic year. Your personal tutor oversees your academic development and personal welfare.

In the year one, your personal tutor will teach your weekly seminars on our 'Learning History' module. In year three, your personal tutor will teach your weekly special subject seminars. As a result, our students often develop highly supportive and collaborative relationships with their personal tutor.

Peer mentoring

All new undergraduate students are allocated a peer mentor, to help you settle into life at Nottingham. Find out more about the support on offer.

Teaching quality

94% of our class of 2020 graduated with a 1st or 2:1 degree classification. Source: UoN student outcomes data, Annual Monitoring (QDS) Analyses 2020.

Tutor's contributions to high quality teaching and learning are recognised through our annual Lord Dearing Awards. View the full list of recipients.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Field trips

Your assessments will vary according to the topic studied. The majority of assessment is by different types of essay. However, other forms of assessment may include:

  • exams
  • individual or team presentations
  • group projects
  • student-led seminars
  • interpretation of document sources or images
  • poster presentations
  • reviews and reflections on the process of study
  • independently-researched dissertation

Assessment methods

  • Essay
  • Presentation
  • Reflective review
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Written exam
  • Dissertation

You'll have at least the following hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and workshops, tutorials and supervisions. 

  • Year one: minimum of 12 hours
  • Year two: minimum of 9 hours
  • Final year: minimum of 7 hours 

Your tutors will also be available outside these times to discuss issues and develop your understanding. We reduce your contact hours as you work your way through the course. As you progress, we expect you to assume greater responsibility for your studies and work more independently.

Your tutors will all be qualified academics with PhDs. Some of our postgraduate research students also support teaching after suitable training. You will have a personal tutor from the Department of History and a joint-honours adviser from the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies.

Lectures on our largest module, 'Learning History', are typically attended by up to 350 students, whereas the corresponding seminars are typically no bigger than 15. Other popular optional module lectures may be attended by up to 75 students, with 15 to 25 in each seminar group. The special subject groups are limited to a maximum of 20.

As well as scheduled teaching, you'll carry out extensive self-study such as:  reading, researching and note taking analysing primary sources planning and writing essays and other assessed work collaborating with fellow students 

As a guide, 20 credits (a typical module) is approximately 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study).

As a History and History of Art graduate, you will have gained the following key transferable skills:

  • visual literacy
  • critical thinking
  • data analysis
  • constructing logical arguments
  • visual, written and oral communication
  • teamworking
  • presentation

Read our Department of History and Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies student and alumni profiles.

Find out more about the range of skills you will gain, as well as the careers which our graduates go into.

You can learn more about subject-related careers opportunities from our Careers and Employability Services:

History skills and careers

History of Art skills and careers

Average starting salary and career progression

78.8% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual starting salary for these graduates was £23,974.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017 to 2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

University undergraduate student Cole Pearce studying in Nightingale Hall accommodation's library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

Course data

Open Day June 2022