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

History of Art BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

Art represents power. Art reflects society. Art makes us think and feel. Studying the history of art helps us see how we got where we are today. And how the future might look.

You'll explore visual cultures across periods, media and societies. You'll also look at how art is both written and talked about.

All the time you'll be questioning. Why that material? Why that subject? How did people react then? What does it mean now?

You'll be free to explore widely or follow a theme such as politics or feminism.

 

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

History of Art: Renaissance to Revolution

Mandatory

Year 1

History of Art: Modern to Contemporary

Mandatory

Year 1

The Language of Art History

Mandatory

Year 1

Reading and Writing Art History

Mandatory

Year 1

Art, Methods, and Media

Mandatory

Year 1

Art and Architecture in Nottingham

Mandatory

Year 2

International study

Optional

Year 2

Art at the Tudor Courts, 1485-1603

Optional

Year 2

European Avant-Garde Film

Optional

Year 2

Los Angeles Art and Architecture 1945-1980

Optional

Year 2

Memory, Media and Visual Culture

Optional

Year 2

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

Optional

Year 2

Understanding Cultural Industries

Optional

Year 2

Media Identities: Who We Are and How We Feel

Optional

Year 2

Encountering Culture: Media, Art and Screen Experiences

Optional

Year 2

Film and Television in Social and Cultural Context

Optional

Year 2

Digital Communication and Media

Optional

Year 2

Work placement

Optional

Year 2

Employing the Arts

Optional

Year 3

Dissertation in History of Art

Optional

Year 3

Contested Bodies: Gender and Power in the Renaissance

Optional

Year 3

Art and Science: 1900 to the present

Optional

Year 3

Self, Sign and Society

Optional

Year 3

Working in the Cultural Industries

Optional

Year 3

Film and Television Genres

Optional

Year 3

Gender, Sexuality and Media

Optional

Year 3

Public Cultures: Protest, Participation and Power

Optional

Year 3

Fascism, Spectacle and Display

Optional

Year 3

Surrealism, its legacies and sources

Optional

Year 3

Art Criticism in Twentieth-Century America

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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 3 October 2023.

Different ways of exploring art suit different methods of teaching and assessment.

We're interested in using technology to expand the classroom. For example, using Padlet to develop discussions and ideas outside of seminars - you can share and contribute when inspiration strikes, not only at an appointed time.

We make a point of getting out of the lecture theatre and looking at art "in the field". This enables us to think about the commissioning, production and curation of pieces in context.

Teaching quality and support

We work hard at the quality of our teaching:

  • all of the History of Art team having nationally recognised teaching awards
  • 100% of our students said our staff were good at explaining things in the National Student Survey 2022

If you have worries about your work we won't wait for them to become problems. You'll have a personal tutor who will support your academic progress and help find solutions to any issues.

Teaching methods

  • Field trips
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Placements
  • Workshops

  • Commentary
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • In-class test
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Group coursework
  • Presentation
  • Reflective Review
  • Written exam

The minimum scheduled contact time you will have is:

  • Year one - at least 12 hours
  • Year two - at least 10 hours
  • Year three - at least 8 hours

Weekly tutorial support and the accredited Nottingham Advantage Award provide further optional learning activities, on top of these class contact hours. Your lecturers will also be available outside your scheduled contact time to help you study and develop. This can be in-person or online.

As well as your timetabled sessions you’ll carry out extensive independent study. This will include course reading and seminar preparation. As a guide 20 credits (a typical module) is about 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study).

Class sizes vary depending on topic and type. A popular lecture may have up to 100 students attending while a specialised seminar may only contain 15 students.

Your lecturers will be members of our academic staff.

As a history graduate, you will have gained the following key transferable skills:

  • problem-solving and analysis
  • planning and researching written work
  • gaining evidence and communicating findings
  • objective thinking
  • communication, both oral and written
  • presenting ideas and information, including collaboratively

"With a history degree, it allows you to work in many different industries and collaborate with a variety of people. I liked that, as it wasn’t a specific route into a job. I’ve got friends who did history that are working in very different careers to me and it is great to see the different career paths people have all taken from studying the same subject."

- Emma Pluck, History BA graduate, now Principal at Capgemini Invent

Read our student and alumni profiles for more about the range of skills you will gain, as well as the careers our students move into.

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).

Nottingham is a fantastic place to be a History of Art student because there is a really lively local art scene. I've been able to work and volunteer for a few galleries, gaining valuable insight into possible career options.

Chloe Austin, History of Art BA

Course data

Open Day June 2022