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Course overview

Art, in its many forms, surrounds us. But how do we use objects and spaces to express ourselves and negotiate our identities, politics and culture? You will combine art history and archaeology techniques to explore our use of visual and material culture. Choose from modules spanning from classical civilisations to now. 

Field trips to local and national archaeological sites, museums and galleries are an important part of the course. You will also participate in 10 days of archaeological fieldwork. This will be in an approved excavation project or a related placement, in the UK or overseas.

You can also gain valuable work experience in the University of Nottingham Museum or Nottingham Lakeside Arts. Our placement scheme extends to other local heritage organisations, museums and galleries.

As a joint honours student, you will benefit from skills development and assessment methods from both subjects. Mostly, each subject is taught separately, but you may choose a uniting theme for your final year dissertation.

More information

For more information on our teaching, research and what it's like to study with us, see:

Why choose this course?

  • You will have access to six specialist teaching and research laboratories, the University of Nottingham Museum and Nottingham Lakeside Arts to support your studies
  • You will participate in fieldwork and in archaeological research, with additional study visits to archaeological sites, museums and art galleries
  • Work placements are available in both disciplines with our cultural and heritage partners 
  • Be part of our student-run curatorial group Crop Up Gallery
  • No previous experience of archaeology or history of art is required

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer ABB-BBB
IB score 32-30

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you have already achieved your EPQ at Grade A you will automatically be offered one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject.

If you are still studying for your EPQ you will receive the standard course offer, with a condition of one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject if you achieve an A grade in your EPQ.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

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 methods

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

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

  • Essay
  • Examinations
  • Group coursework
  • Poster presentation
  • Presentation
  • Reflective review
  • Portfolio (written/digital)

Contact time and study hours

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 10 hours
  • Final year: minimum of 8 hours

Your tutors will also be available outside these times to discuss issues and develop your understanding.

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 Classics and Archaeology and a Joint Honours adviser from the Department Culture, Media and Visual Studies:

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.

As well as scheduled teaching you’ll carry out extensive self-study such as:

  • reading
  • locating and 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). 

You will also undertake 10 days of field work. This usually takes place during the summer break and can involve up to five days in a museum or similar environment. 

Study abroad

  • Explore the world, experience different cultures and gain valuable life skills by studying abroad
  • Options range from short summer schools, a single semester to a whole year abroad.
  • Language support is available through our Language Centre  
  • Students studying abroad for a semester pay reduced fees (Home/EU students - £6,480, International - 75% of the relevant international fee)
  • Boost your CV for prospective employers

See our study abroad pages for full information

Placements

Become 'workplace-ready' with the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies Work Placement module. It helps you develop skills and experience that allow you to stand out to potential employers.

In addition, you will undertake 10 days of archaeological field work as part of your course. You also have access to a wide range of work experience and volunteering schemes through the:

Impact of the Coronavirus on work placements, field trips and volunteering

We work with a range of organisations to provide work placements, field trips and volunteer opportunities. As you'll appreciate they are all disrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

We expect opportunities to run as usual from the academic year 2021/22 but this cannot be guaranteed. We will do our best to arrange suitable activities as previous students always tell us how much they appreciate these opportunities.

Why study more than one subject?

Watch our animation about studying a joint honours degree with us.

Modules

You will take 120 credits of modules split as follows:

  • Compulsory core modules (100 credits) - you will study the principles and methods of archaeological investigation and art interpretation, and become aware of the key issues in both disciplines
  • Optional modules (0-20 credits) - you will choose from further archaeology modules

You’ll have at least 12 hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and tutorials.

You must pass year one but it does not count towards your final degree classification. 

In the summer break, you will complete at least part of your required archaeological fieldwork placement.

Core modules

Understanding the Past - Introduction to Archaeology

Archaeologists are interested in all aspects of the human past, from ancient landscapes and changing environments, buried settlements and standing monuments and structures, to material objects and evidence for diet, trade, ritual and social life. This module provides a basic introduction to the discipline of archaeology, the process by which the material remains of the past are discovered, analysed and used to provide evidence for human societies from prehistory to the present day. The autumn semester introduces the historical development of the subject, followed by a presentation of current theory and practice in the areas of archaeological prospection and survey, excavation and post-excavation analysis, relative and absolute dating, the study of archaeological artefacts, and frameworks of social interpretation. In the spring semester, you will be taken into the field to gain practical experience of core archaeological methods in field survey and buildings archaeology. By the end of the module, we hope that you will have developed a good understanding of the concepts used in archaeology, the questions asked and methods applied in investigating the evidence.

Understanding the Past II

This module builds on the autumn semester module, Understanding the Past 1, as an introduction to the core aims and methodologies of Archaeology as a discipline in providing a basic introduction to the process by which the material remains of the past are discovered, analysed and used to provide evidence for human societies from prehistory to the present day.Through lectures, classroom activities and practical fieldwork, students will be introduced to the study of landscape and the built environment, looking at how the archaeological record is both created and investigated. Students will be taken into the field to gain practical experience of core archaeological methods in field survey and buildings archaeology. By the end of the module, we aim to ensure that students will have developed a good understanding of the concepts used in archaeology, the questions asked and methods applied in investigating the evidence.

History of Art: Renaissance to Revolution

Explore art and architecture from the Renaissance to the Age of Revolutions (c.1789).

  • Discuss individual artists and works and set them within their historical contexts.
  • Question how changing forms of art relate to their social, political and philosophical contexts.
  • Examine the interplay of individual and collective ideas, practices, and institutions.
  • Think about how contextual study can be married to visual analysis.
Art, Methods, and Media
  • Why are particular media and processes used by artists and architects?
  • How does this impact the value, status, and meaning of objects?

We’ll span time from the Renaissance to today and examine materials as diverse as:

  • paint
  • bronze
  • marble
  • plastic
  • text and speech
  • film, both still and moving
  • the human body

You’ll also explore how changes in technology, processes and labour have affected products and production.

History of Art: Modern to Contemporary

Explore art and architecture from 1800 to the contemporary world.

  • Discuss individual artists and works and set them within their historical contexts.
  • Question how changing forms of art relate to their social, political and philosophical contexts.
  • Examine the interplay of individual and collective ideas, practices, and institutions.
  • Think about how contextual study can be married to visual analysis.

Optional modules

Choose 20 credits from a range which may include:

Rome to Revolution: Historical Archaeology of Britain.

You will gain an overview of the archaeology of the British Isles from the Roman invasion until the industrial revolution. This was a period of dramatic change in Britain, and using key sites and discoveries you will be introduced to the challenges of understanding the archaeology of periods partially documented in textual sources.

The module covers:

  • the Roman invasion and military and civilian life in the Roman province of Britannia;
  • Anglo-Saxon and Viking incursions and settlement;
  • medieval castles, towns and monasteries;
  • the impact of the Reformation and the growth of the Tudor state;
  • the role of industry and urbanisation in the making of modern Britain.

The teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures, seminars and a museum session, on average taking up 2 hours per week across the spring semester. 

Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology
This module explores Greek and Roman art in detail and it aims is to give students a broad overview of visual material from classical antiquity, whilst concentrating on a cross-section of the most famous and talked about objects and monuments of Greek and Roman culture. More specifically, it offers an introduction to sculpture in the public and private sphere, vase-painting, numismatics, architecture and urban structures from 8th century BC Greece to the 4th century AD Rome. The module covers the Greek world in Autumn and the Roman world in Spring. Rather than proceeding chronologically, the material is organised by themes and media, starting with topography, then sculpture, vase painting etc. This is meant to give students a grasp of formal and stylistic developments within each of these media through the centuries, along with the meanings attached to them.
Comparative World Prehistory

Gain an overview of prehistoric archaeology through global case studies.We’ll be covering the latest debate and scholarship, on topics such as:

  • human dispersal
  • technology
  • environmental change
  • food procurement and production
  • monumentality
  • sedentism and urbanisation

You’ll receive a grounding that will feed into our other modules on Prehistoric archaeology in the Department of Archaeology.  

By the end of the module, you’ll have an understanding of the broad chronological development and key themes in Prehistory up to the development of writing. With an appreciation of archaeological approaches in prehistoric periods, and the complexities of integrating varied sources of archaeological evidence including landscapes, monuments, excavated evidence and material culture. 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

You will take 120 credits of modules split as follows:

  • Compulsory core modules (20 credits) - You will study more advanced approaches and interpretation techniques of archaeological research.
  • Archaeology optional modules (40 credits) - choose from a range of topics and periods for more in-depth study 
  • History of art optional modules (60 credits) - choose academic modules which allow you to explore art history in a range of geographical and historical contexts, with an additional work placement option

You’ll have at least 10 hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and tutorials.

You must pass year 2 which counts 33% towards your final degree classification. 

Core modules

Archaeology: Theory and Practice
The excitement of discovery and research is the foundation of everything we do as archaeologists. This module is aimed at helping you to develop more advanced research skills and to discover how we interpret archaeological evidence from multiple different perspectives. Here we explore how changes in the wider social and theoretical landscape have affected archaeological understanding through time. You will be introduced to the concepts and methods that you will put into practice in your third year dissertation or independent project, and learn how to develop a research proposal. The teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures, class workshops and research skills sessions.

Archaeology optional modules

Choose 40 credits from a range which may include:

Themes in Near Eastern Prehistory

You will critically examine themes in Near Eastern Prehistory. The themes take you from the development of agriculture, pastoralism and sedentism to the appearance of the first cities, states and writing. Drawing directly from current research, you will use case studies to examine these themes. You will use archaeological evidence to understand how these developments are reflected in social, religious, economic and political organisations of the prehistoric Near East. You will attend weekly lectures and seminars. After appropriate guidance, you will take part in learning activities includes:

  • setting readings
  • presenting
  • running classroom discussions.

You will receive feedback on these participatory activities. You will write an essay for your formal assessment.

The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England

This module considers the archaeology of England from the end of the Roman occupation until the Norman conquest. You will explore the question of the Romano-British survival and the formation of new Anglo-Saxon societies, evidence of pagan beliefs and the conversion to Christianity; on the development of town and rural settlement patterns, on the role of the church in society and on the Viking incursions and Danish impact on England. 

The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions

This discipline-bridging cross-campus module will involve colleagues from across the School of Humanities. The Silk Road will be presented as a range of archaeological, historical and scientific themes. Broad cultural themes will be balanced with the presentation of specific case studies, such as the definitions of the Silk Roads, Byzantine, Islamic and later medieval Silk Roads, luxury production, trade and exchange from the Roman and later periods, and Ming Dynasty links with the west. Scientific techniques for the analysis of materials and their role in the interpretation of trade and exchange along the Silk Roads will also be considered, between for example China, central Asia, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

Britain in the Later Roman Empire (c. 250-450)

This module examines Britain in the later-Roman Empire, from the crisis that marked the middle years of the third century to the disappearance of Roman power in the early fifth and the rapid economic collapse and social transformation that followed. This is a fascinating period: an era of prosperity, integration, and sophistication, and yet marked also by rebellion, civil war, and the sundering of the links that had bound Britain to the continent so deeply for so long.

The module takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining archaeological and historical evidence – students will be expected to familiarise themselves with a wide range of types of evidence. We will examine the political framework of the later-Roman Empire, the textual and archaeological evidence for Britain’s society and economy, the barbarian peoples who threatened and interacted with it, and the question of how it ended up leaving the Roman Empire. It will encourage students to consider the integration of different types of source material and to think about Britain’s place in the wider world in a broader context.

The World of the Etruscans

When Rome was still a small town and before Athens became a city of international significance the Etruscan civilisation flourished in Italy and rapidly gained control of the Mediterranean. Who were the Etruscans?

The Greeks and the Romans regarded them as wealthy pirates renowned for their luxurious and extravagant lifestyle and for the freedom of their women. Archaeology, however, tells us much more, about their daily life and funerary customs, their religious beliefs, their economy, their language, and their technical abilities and artistic tastes.

In this module, you will examine visual and material culture, as well as epigraphic and literary sources, in order to lift the shroud of mystery that often surrounds the Etruscans. You will also place them in the context of the wider Mediterranean world in the 1st millennium BC, examining their exchanges with the Near Eastern kingdoms, their cultural interactions with Greece and the Greek colonial world, and their role in the early history of Rome.

By exploring Etruscan cities and cemeteries from the 9th to the 3rd centuries BC, with their complex infrastructures and technologies, lavish paintings, sculptures and metalwork, you will discover a most advanced civilisation that shared much with the classical cultures and yet was very different from them.

The Origins and Rise of Aegean Civilisation

In the early 20th century, British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans’s excavations at the site of Knossos on the island of Crete uncovered the remains of the earliest palatial civilisation in Europe. Knossos, the home of the mythical king Minos and the monstrous Minotaur, became the landmark of a new culture termed as ‘Minoan’.

Based on a combination of lectures and workshops, this module introduces students to the origins of the Aegean complex societies from the late 4th millennium BC and to the rise, apogee and fall of the Minoan palatial, state-level societies of the 3rd and early 2nd millennia BC. 

History of Art optional modules

Choose 60 credits from a range which may include:

Understanding Cultural Industries

You'll learn how show business is broken down into 'show' and 'business' in film, television and promotional industries and examine how creative decision-making, technology and legislation influence those industries. You'll also learn about how advertising and market research influence the design and production of media in certain regions and how film and television industries have developed in different contexts and periods.

Media Identities: Who We Are and How We Feel

This module develops critical modes of attention to the mediation of identity. On our screens and in our headphones, we shape and reshape our selves. Media do not reflect identities but play an active role in bringing them into being. This module takes up the question of 'identity politics', enhancing students' knowledge and understanding of key identity categories that have been advanced and problematized by media scholars, such as gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, national, regional and local belonging, age, ability and disability, and more. The module also interrogates the mediated forms these identities take, considering the politics of looking and visual culture, the politics of hearing and auditory culture, and the politics of affect, emotions and embodiment. The module encourages historical as well as contemporary perspectives.

The Sixties: Culture and Counterculture

Described variously as an era of dissent, revolution and experiment, the 1960s offers a unique vantage point from which to explore a range of issues and topics pertinent to media and cultural studies. The art of the period brings into view a volatile world where distinctions between different media were becoming blurred (as in performance art, for instance) and where inherited ideas, hierarchies and values were contested, if not exploded. Notions such as the Establishment, the underground, celebrity, obscenity, mass culture, alongside those of personal identity (gender, race, class, sexuality) were all subject to radical questioning in an era where events, such as those of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, challenged the received order of things. This module critically evaluates the idea of the 1960s, starting with its status as a fabled decade that is said to cast its shadow today. Historiographical and geographical questions structure the module.  When and, crucially, where were ‘the Sixties’? Was it primarily an Anglo-American phenomenon? Was it the 1950s until 1963? Did it end in the early 1970s, as some believe, with the Oz Trials?  These and other questions will help us to demythologise the period and begin investigating it anew.

Film and Television in Social and Cultural Context

During this year-long module you'll think about industries, audiences and surrounding debates from a social and cultural viewpoint. You'll learn about the way that social and cultural meaning is produced by film and television programmes and explore the social practices that surround the consumption of media, such as movie going and television viewing.

European Avant-Garde Film
This module examines avant-garde cinema in early 20th century Europe. It will begin by exploring what is meant by the term ‘avant-garde’, and consider the development of experimental filmmaking in the context of artistic movements such as Futurism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism and Constructivism. You will focus on developments in Germany, France and the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s, and consider key trends from abstract animation to cinema pur. The module will highlight some key concerns of non-mainstream cinema such as narrative, abstraction, reflexivity, spectatorship, movement, time and space. You will also examine the engagement of experimental film with modernity, considering both aesthetic and political strategies of the European avant-gardes.
Black Art in a White Context: Display, Critique and The Other

You will explore the works and practices of Black artists that have been displayed or produced in Europe and America from the nineteenth century to the present day. This includes how methods of display, tactics of critique and attitudes towards the 'Other' have defined and influenced how Black art is viewed and produced in the Western world.

You will begin by considering nineteenth-century attitudes towards African objects, before exploring the influences of ethnography and African material culture on artists working in the early- to mid-twentieth century, such as the Surrealists. You will then consider artworks produced in the Harlem Renaissance by painters like Aaron Douglas and photographers like James Van Der Zee.

You will then think about how artists like Jeff Donaldson and Faith Ringgold sought to recover African history, culture, and forms of memory in the context of the civil rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and how their work responded to the political and social pressures of this period.

Examining the practices of more recent artists like Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon, and Kara Walker, you will then explore how artists have critically re-presented history’s narratives in ‘the present’ before focusing on the curatorial works of Fred Wilson.

Finally, you will consider the rise of contemporary African art within European and American art markets, and the related economic and political shifts that have occurred since the colonial era. 

Digital Communications and Media

Digital communication and media are significantly transforming the ways in which our societies operate. In this module you will critically explore the key issues behind this transformation. In doing so, you will gain a historical overview of the emergence of digital communications and associated media cultures. You will engage with issues and practices said to differentiate digital communication from older forms of media and their associated forms of communication.

You will draw on a range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. Lectures and seminars will equip you with core knowledge of the theoretical and practical foundations of digital communication and media and their relationship to contemporary culture. You will also develop your understanding of the cultural, political, economic, technical and regulatory contexts from which digital communication and media have emerged and in which they continue to operate.

In order to link the various conceptual frameworks to real-life experiences and situations effectively, you will explore the interactive forms and practices that result from the use of digital communication and media through a range of both individual and group activities and exercises.

Art at the Tudor Courts, 1485-1603
This module will provide an introduction to visual art at the Tudor courts, from the accession of Henry VII in 1485 to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. In doing so, it takes account of a wide range of art forms, from portraiture to pageantry, jewellery to the book. Key issues dealt with in lectures and seminars include contemporary theories of visuality and monarchy, the particular context of court culture, and the use of visual material in the service of self -fashioning. It considers the impact of major historical developments including the reformation and the advent of print. As such, the relationship of the arts to politics is a key theme. Through exploring the highly sophisticated uses of visual art at the Tudor courts, the course seeks to re-evaluate the common idea that English art at the time was isolationist and inferior to that of continental Europe.
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

 You will take 120 credits of modules split as follows:

  • Compulsory core modules (20-40 credits) - you will write a dissertation in either History of Art or Archaeology, or you may combine the two
  • Archaeology optional modules (20-60 credits) - choose from a range of modules to develop advanced knowledge and skills 
  • History of art optional modules (20-60 credits) - choose from a range of modules to develop advanced knowledge and skills 

You’ll have at least eight hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and tutorials.

You must pass year 3 which counts 67% towards your final degree classification.

Core modules

Archaeology Dissertation

This module will introduce you to original archaeological research. It provides you with an opportunity to undertake and write up your own substantial piece of work on an approved topic, under the supervision of an academic member of staff.

For this project, you will work in a way similar to an academic archaeologist, which includes:

  • identifying a suitable research topic
  • critically evaluating the issues relating to the subject area
  • sustaining a coherent and cogent argument.

This undertaking will involve the culmination of the range of core practical and interpretative skills acquired during the first two years of the course.

Recent dissertations have included topics such as:

  • Bronze Age metalworking
  • Ancient cockfighting
  • Prehistoric tattooing
  • Romano-British dress accessories 
  • Medieval parish churches

Or, choose from 20 and 40 credit dissertations in History of Art:

Dissertation in History of Art

This module involves the in-depth study of an art historical topic over one or two semesters. You will chose the topic in consultation with a tutor, subject to the approval of the Department. You will be allocated a dissertation supervisor appropriate to the chosen topic. Teaching for this module takes the form of individual tutorials with your dissertation supervisor, as well as group workshops focusing on research, writing, and presentation skills. It provides you with the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of writing on a topic of particular personal interest.

The dissertation can be taken for 20 or 40 credits.

Archaeology optional modules

If you choose the archaeology dissertation, then you may take a further 20 credit from a range which may include: 

From Petra to Palmyra: Art and Culture in the Roman Near East

This module focuses on the variety of local cults and cultures in the Near East (modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Jordan) under Roman rule. We will zoom in on a number of localities in order to look at social, cultural and religious interactions between Greeks, Romans, Jews, Arabs and various other local cultures through literary, epigraphic, visual and archaeological evidence. In the great urban centres such as Palmyra, Tyre, Damascus, we will observe the adoption of the trappings of Graeco-Roman urbanism and public life (from peristyle temples to honorific statues) and their significance within the Second Sophistic.

On the other hand, we will explore alternative “pockets” of non-Hellenisation such as the lava lands of southern Syria with their distinct style of art and architecture in black basalt. ‘Oriental’ gods feature prominently in this module: We will explore their great sanctuaries (Temple of Jupiter at Heliopolis-Baalbek, Temple of Bel at Palmyra, Temple of Zeus at Damascus) in terms of architecture and ritual, and investigate their iconographies (Jupiter Heliopolitanus, Bel, Baalshamin, Atargatis of Hierapolis and myriads of other local gods). In contrast to Judaism and Christianity, there is a colossal lack of literary sources for these gods, and as a consequence, our understanding of their function and character hinges on how their worshippers depicted them in reliefs, statues, figurines and paintings.

Themes in Near Eastern Prehistory

You will critically examine themes in Near Eastern Prehistory. The themes take you from the development of agriculture, pastoralism and sedentism to the appearance of the first cities, states and writing. Drawing directly from current research, you will use case studies to examine these themes. You will use archaeological evidence to understand how these developments are reflected in social, religious, economic and political organisations of the prehistoric Near East. You will attend weekly lectures and seminars. After appropriate guidance, you will take part in learning activities includes:

  • setting readings
  • presenting
  • running classroom discussions.

You will receive feedback on these participatory activities. You will write an essay for your formal assessment.

The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions

This discipline-bridging cross-campus module will involve colleagues from across the School of Humanities. The Silk Road will be presented as a range of archaeological, historical and scientific themes. Broad cultural themes will be balanced with the presentation of specific case studies, such as the definitions of the Silk Roads, Byzantine, Islamic and later medieval Silk Roads, luxury production, trade and exchange from the Roman and later periods, and Ming Dynasty links with the west. Scientific techniques for the analysis of materials and their role in the interpretation of trade and exchange along the Silk Roads will also be considered, between for example China, central Asia, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

Britain in the Later Roman Empire (c. 250-450)

This module examines Britain in the later-Roman Empire, from the crisis that marked the middle years of the third century to the disappearance of Roman power in the early fifth and the rapid economic collapse and social transformation that followed. This is a fascinating period: an era of prosperity, integration, and sophistication, and yet marked also by rebellion, civil war, and the sundering of the links that had bound Britain to the continent so deeply for so long.

The module takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining archaeological and historical evidence – students will be expected to familiarise themselves with a wide range of types of evidence. We will examine the political framework of the later-Roman Empire, the textual and archaeological evidence for Britain’s society and economy, the barbarian peoples who threatened and interacted with it, and the question of how it ended up leaving the Roman Empire. It will encourage students to consider the integration of different types of source material and to think about Britain’s place in the wider world in a broader context.

The World of the Etruscans

When Rome was still a small town and before Athens became a city of international significance the Etruscan civilisation flourished in Italy and rapidly gained control of the Mediterranean. Who were the Etruscans?

The Greeks and the Romans regarded them as wealthy pirates renowned for their luxurious and extravagant lifestyle and for the freedom of their women. Archaeology, however, tells us much more, about their daily life and funerary customs, their religious beliefs, their economy, their language, and their technical abilities and artistic tastes.

In this module, you will examine visual and material culture, as well as epigraphic and literary sources, in order to lift the shroud of mystery that often surrounds the Etruscans. You will also place them in the context of the wider Mediterranean world in the 1st millennium BC, examining their exchanges with the Near Eastern kingdoms, their cultural interactions with Greece and the Greek colonial world, and their role in the early history of Rome.

By exploring Etruscan cities and cemeteries from the 9th to the 3rd centuries BC, with their complex infrastructures and technologies, lavish paintings, sculptures and metalwork, you will discover a most advanced civilisation that shared much with the classical cultures and yet was very different from them.

The Origins and Rise of Aegean Civilisation

In the early 20th century, British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans’s excavations at the site of Knossos on the island of Crete uncovered the remains of the earliest palatial civilisation in Europe. Knossos, the home of the mythical king Minos and the monstrous Minotaur, became the landmark of a new culture termed as ‘Minoan’.

Based on a combination of lectures and workshops, this module introduces students to the origins of the Aegean complex societies from the late 4th millennium BC and to the rise, apogee and fall of the Minoan palatial, state-level societies of the 3rd and early 2nd millennia BC. 

The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England

This module considers the archaeology of England from the end of the Roman occupation until the Norman conquest. You will explore the question of the Romano-British survival and the formation of new Anglo-Saxon societies, evidence of pagan beliefs and the conversion to Christianity; on the development of town and rural settlement patterns, on the role of the church in society and on the Viking incursions and Danish impact on England. 

History of Art optional modules

If you choose the history of art 20 credit dissertation then you may choose a further 40 credits. If you choose the history of art 40 credit dissertation, then you may choose a further 20. 

The range of modules available may include:

Self, Sign and Society

This module equips students you with the theoretical tools needed to explore how social identity is both asserted and challenged through the deployment of signs broadly conceived. 'Sign' is understood here primarily with reference to Saussurean linguistics, and the impact of the structuralist and then poststructuralist movements on disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, semiotics, postcolonial theory, cultural studies and visual culture.

  • How does our accent function as a sign of our class origins or cultural sympathies?
  • Does skin colour always function as a social sign?
  • How do the clothes we wear align us with particular lifestyles and ideological positions and how is this transgressed?
  • How has the phenomenon of self-branding colonised our everyday lives?
  • What does our Facebook profile say about how we would like to be read by the wider world? Does the logic of the sign itself exceed what we intend to do with it?
  • How do the signs that construct a social 'self' circulate in the context of new media?
  • Are there psychological costs associated with living in this society of the sign?

This module will address these and other related questions by introducing students to the approaches of thinkers such as Freud and Lacan, Saussure and Greimas, Barthes and Baudrillard, Levi-Strauss and Geertz, Derrida and Bhabha, and Mirzoeff and Mitchell among others.

Film and Television Genres

You'll be introduced to the key concepts and theoretical work on specific film genres. Each year, the module investigates a particular genre or cycle such as action cinema, television drama, low-budget film productions and TV movies, and more. Combined with what you have learnt on previous modules, you will look at genre in the context of production and consumption, spending around five hours a week in workshops and seminars.

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

This module introduces students to the cultural and social role of sound and listening in everyday life. Scholars have argued that, since the Enlightenment, modern societies have privileged sight over the other senses in their desire to know and control the world. But what of hearing? Until recently, the role of sound in everyday life was a neglected field of study. Yet Jonathan Sterne argues that the emergence of new sound media technologies in the nineteenth century - from the stethoscope to the phonograph - amounted to an 'ensoniment' in modern culture in which listening took centre stage.

Beginning with an examination of the relationship between visual and auditory culture in everyday life, this module introduces a variety of cultural contexts in which sound played an important role, including:

  • how people interact with the sounds of their cities
  • how new sound technologies allowed people to intervene in everyday experience
  • why some sounds (such as music) have been valued over others (such as noise)
  • the role of sound in making and breaking communities
  • the role of sounds in conflict and warfare
  • the importance of sound in film and television from the silent era onwards.

We use a variety of sound sources, such as music and archival sound recordings, in order to understand the significance of sound in everyday life from the late eighteenth century to the present.

Gender, Sexuality and Media

This module examines the politics of gender and sexuality in media and popular culture. It offers advanced inquiry into the intersectional fields of feminism, queer theory, and media and cultural studies. This module asks the key questions: how gender and sexuality are represented in media and popular culture, how media and cultural industries structure gender and sexual inequalities, how identities and practices of media audiences and users are gendered and sexualised, and what are creative and radical ways of resistances to gender and sexual norms?

Public Cultures: Protest, Participation and Power

This module will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the relationship between public space, politics and technology. Drawing on research in a range of fields including: critical theory, cultural studies, cultural geography, digital studies, urban sociology and politics, it will give students an empirically focused account of debates the changing nature and uses of public space, with an emphasis on contemporary developments in urban environments. A range of protest movements will provide case-study material and offer a central focus for both theoretical and practical explorations of the role of new technologies in controlling space, resisting control and enabling new forms of civic participation.

Fascism, Spectacle and Display
This module will examine cultural production during Italy’s fascist regime. There will be an emphasis on the experience of visual culture in public settings such as the exhibition space, the cinema, and the built environment. A wide range of cultural artefacts will be examined, paying attention to material as well as visual aspects. Visual material will be situated in the social, cultural and political circumstances of the period. Topics will include: Fascism’s use of spectacle, fascist conceptions of utopia, the regime’s use of the past, the relationship between Fascism and modernism, Fascism as a political religion, the cult of Mussolini, urban-rural relations, and empire building. The module will also consider the afterlife of fascist visual culture and the question of ‘difficult’ heritage.
Art and Science: 1900 to the present

This module explores the influence of scientific disciplines on art production and theory from the early twentieth century to the present day. It will examine how artists have interrogated ideas surrounding objectivity, optics, knowledge, and humanity itself by deploying traditionally scientific methodologies, processes, and epistemologies in the making of visual art. We will consider how the work of artists including the Surrealists, Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Broodthaers, Mark Dion, Joseph Beuys, Susan Hiller, and Marc Quinn has been influenced by the ideas and objects associated with diverse approaches to the material (and immaterial) world, such as astronomy, geology, ethnography, physics, and anthropology. 

Mobility and the Making of Modern Art
New technologies of mobility have long been a defining condition of modernity. It is from this perspective that we will examine modern art while highlighting the interrelated components of movement and speed – mechanized motion, temporality and their political connotations (e.g., social, ideological, artistic trends). This module includes a range of works, mainly paintings, from the mid nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. We will also consider photography and other pre-cinematic forms of moving images such as optical devices, peepshows, and panoramas that added different motion and time to representation. A key question is the role of artists in naturalizing the equation between mobility, modernity, and the West. To this end, our consideration will involve non-Western representations to explore the ideological and economic implications of mobility.
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

Essential course materials are supplied and recommended reading is available from our libraries.

Some limited modules have compulsory textbooks that you are required to buy. 

For voluntary placements (such as work experience or teaching in schools) you may need to pay for transport and refreshments.

Funding for compulsory archaeological field work

Many of our excavations are free but may require travel expenses. For example, for overseas excavations, you may need to pay for your own flights, while others will require a training fee. You can claim back a proportion of your costs from the department. In 2018/19 students were entitled to claim back £30 of expenses per day of work within their field work; this figure may be subject to change in subsequent years.

Please see our Field Work page for more information

Optional field trips 

Field trips allow you to engage with historical sources and environments on an immediate and personal level.

Our field trips allow you to develop different perspectives and to engage with historical material on a more personal level, often in its original setting. History will come to life. Field trips are optional and costs for students vary according to the trip, with some being wholly subsidised.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

With an excellent track record of graduate employment, an archaeology and history degree will prepare you for a wide range of professions. Some of the most popular of these are:

  • museum work, arts and heritage management and conservation
  • research-based careers
  • business and finance and innovation
  • national and local government
  • non-governmental organisations (both national and international)
  • journalism and publishing
  • marketing and advertising
  • administration
  • teaching

The skills you will acquire are versatile, wide-ranging, and transferable. You will learn to:

  • interpret the complex and diverse character of human society
  • understand the forces of change and continuity. 
  • analyse  data, critically and visually 
  • construct logical arguments
  • communicate knowledge intelligibly
  • work effectively in teams
  • manage time and workloads
  • lead discussions and presentations

These skills will develop your capacity to learn and adapt and will, therefore, equip you with the tools you need to develop your future career.

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

Average starting salary and career progression

75.1% of undergraduates from the School of Humanities secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £22,180*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

76.7% of undergraduates from the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £22,668*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived 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).

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Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.