Archaeology and History of Art BA


Fact file - 2019 entry

BA Jt Hons Archaeology and History of Art
UCAS code
3 years full-time (available part-time)
A level offer
Required subjects
none specific 
IB score
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


On this course you'll have the opportunity to explore how culture and art is studied from ancient times to the modern era.
Read full overview

This course offers the opportunity to explore the ways in which material culture and art are studied by the two inter-related disciplines of Archaeology and History of Art. Both subjects are interested in the analysis of visual and material culture and the ways in which human societies use objects and spaces to express and negotiate identities, politics and culture. You will explore the theory, methods and practice of archaeology and a range of archaeological periods and themes, from prehistory to the Roman and Medieval periods. In History of Art, you will think about the role of art and its place in society while fully examining aspects of Western art history and theory from the Renaissance to the present day. You will be encouraged to engage with a broad range of historical, theoretical and critical approaches and to develop the skills required to analyse a wide variety of visual and material evidence.

Fieldtrips to local and national archaeological sites, museums and galleries are an important part of the course. It is compulsory for you to gain archaeological experience in the UK or overseas by participating in an approved excavation project or related work experience placement (10 days for Joint Honours students). Look at our website for more information.

Our students have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in the University’s Archaeological Museum and the Lakeside Arts Centre, or in other local heritage organisations, museums and galleries.

In the first year, you will be provided with an essential grounding in the principles, methods and skills needed for the study of both archaeology and art history. You will further develop your skills in the second and third years with more in-depth modules in specific periods, themes and types of evidence, and you will undertake a sustained piece of independent research in your third-year dissertation project. The flexible structure of the degree and the wide choice of topics available will enable you either to specialise or maintain a breadth of interests as you progress through the course.

Year one

In archaeology you will study core modules in the principles and methods of archaeological investigation, as not many students have studied archaeology in depth before they come to university. You will be taught how we discover, excavate, record and analyse archaeological evidence ranging from landscapes to buildings and settlements to buried objects and organic remains, and you will have training in the field in basic archaeological techniques. You will also be given an overview of the archaeology of the British Isles from early prehistory to the industrial revolution, and you can choose to study key themes such as the archaeology of burials or aspects of archaeological science.

In history of art, you will take two core modules, Introduction to Art History I and II, which are concerned with key issues and methods relating to the study of art history and the interpretation of artworks, drawing upon examples from the Renaissance to the present day. You will also take optional modules allowing you to explore specific topics in more depth. 

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

Year two

In year two you will study more advanced core modules in archaeological research, which will teach you the diverse ways in which we approach and interpret our evidence. You can also choose to study particular periods in more depth such as Roman or Anglo-Saxon archaeology, or specialised topics such as Human osteology and evolution or Underwater archaeology. You may choose to take a module in Heritage and professional skills where they will learn about the professional context of Archaeology in the UK and work in groups to create a heritage project based on a local site.

In history of art, you will have the opportunity to undertake a professional placement at a local arts organisation as part of our optional Professional Placement Module. You will also choose from a selection of academic modules which allow you to explore art history in a range of geographical and historical contexts and across varied visual media from the  fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

Year three

In year three you will choose to take a dissertation project in either archaeology or history of art under the supervision of a member of staff. This is an opportunity for you to develop an original project based around a subject which you are passionate about, and it represents the culmination of the range of core practical and interpretative skills acquired during the first two years of the course.

For the rest of the year you select modules from the wide range of topics and periods offered within the Departments of Archaeology and History of Art, allowing you to develop advanced knowledge and skills across both disciplines.

More information

Please visit the Department of Classics and Archaeology and Department of History of Art websites to find out more about our teaching and research.

Entry requirements

A levels: ABB-BBB

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications

For details please see alternative qualifications page 

Flexible Admissions Policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  


The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.

Typical year one modules


Understanding the Past- Introduction to Archaeology

What is archaeology? How do we decide where to excavate and what happens after that? How do we date our sites and finds? This module will answer these questions and many more! In this module we look at the history of the discipline and how the evidence uncovered during excavation is discovered, recorded, and analysed, and how we use this to provide evidence for human societies from prehistory to the present day. You also go ‘into the field’ with integrated fieldwork at nearby Wollaton Park where you can learn and practise new skills such as mapping and surveying earthworks and buildings.

The Archaeology of Britain

This module provides you with an overview of the archaeology of the British Isles from the earliest humans up to the industrial revolution. By focusing in Britain as a ‘time core’ we will provide you with a clear understanding of the dynamics of cultural change as well as introducing you to all the important sites and discoveries that are on your doorstep. Teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures, seminars and fieldtrips. The module covers the entire story of Britain, beginning in the Palaeolithic period, ranging across Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age societies, to consider the Roman occupation, Anglo-Saxon and Viking incursions, and medieval, Tudor and modern Britain. It will reveal that, as today, the British Isles have always been cosmopolitan – a rich mix of cultures and identities that have resulted from millennia of colonisations, migrations and invasions.

Introduction to Art History I

History of art is a broad discipline that encompasses many different approaches. This module takes as its basic premise that there is no one true history, but rather that there are various ways of approaching the past. With this in mind, you will examine key terms that have shaped the discipline of art history, in order to consider some key issues and debates that shape writing about art. The module is designed to get you thinking about how and why histories are written. Over the course of the module, you will consider broad questions, such as:

  • What counts as art and what should be included in history of art?
  • Should a history of art be a history of artists?
  • What about patrons, viewers, critics, historians, and museums?
  • How important is artist intention in defining the meaning of art? How useful are “-isms” in writing history of art?
  • How should we understand art in relation to social, political, and economic contexts?
  • How and why does art change?
  • How have chronological, geographical, and gender biases affected histories of art?
  • What makes “good” art and should we care?

The module also includes weekly workshops, designed to help you develop the academic skills required to study History of Art at undergraduate level.

Introduction to Art History II

This module builds on the foundation laid in Introduction to Art History I. It examines the study and interpretation of objects by considering different forms of writing on art. Each lecture will focus on a single work of art, examining a variety of ways in which it has been analysed. The artworks studied will cover the historical breadth of teaching in the Department of History of Art, from the Renaissance to the present day. The aim is to highlight diverse methodological approaches to art history, and different perspectives in dialogue across periods, geographies, and backgrounds. Integrated weekly workshops will allow you to develop and refine the academic skills acquired in Introduction to Art History I.



Archaeology: The Living and the Dead

This module deals with the archaeology of life and death in all its complexity and diversity. You will learn about the major archaeological discoveries that have fundamentally changed our interpretations of past peoples. We also look at the personalities and ideologies that have shaped our discipline, noting how changing perspectives on gender, ethnicity and class have in turn shaped our ideas about the past. The module then turns to the archaeology of death – since, paradoxically, this can tell us a huge amount about the living. The cultural and scientific study of human remains will give you insights into past diets, social status, health and attitudes towards different members of society, while the study of burial practices and rituals cast light on the structure of human societies and their beliefs, from prehistory to the modern era.

Introduction to Archaeological Science

The use of methods from biological and earth sciences has transformed the practice of archaeology from the discovery of radiocarbon dating to the use of stable isotope analysis to trace the movements and diet of past populations. This module will introduce you to some of the key developments in archaeological science over the last 50 years and will show you how scientific methods have dramatically changed our understanding of the past, ranging from the study of archaeological materials and artefacts to environmental archaeology. The teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures, seminars and practical classes.

Inventing French Art: From the Renaissance to Louis XIV

This module will provide a broad survey of French art from the later 16th century to the end of the 17th century, focusing on the era of Louis XIV. We will consider the role of architecture and different types of patronage; the creation and structure of the palace of Versailles; the origins of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and its use of theory and art education. We will focus on the careers of Charles Lebrun, and two of the Best-known French painters based in Rome (Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain). We will also explore the remarkable provincial artists Georges de la Tour and the three Le Nain brothers. The module examines the functions of art and architecture within society and politics, and the invention of a national artistic tradition.

Art and Power: Paris 1937

This module focuses on the International Exhibition held in Paris in 1937, which provides a survey of art in the service of politics in the years immediately preceding World War II. Participating countries – including the USSR, Germany, Italy, and Spain – were represented by national pavilions, combining art and architecture to articulate national values and ambitions. The cultural battles between contrasting styles of state-sponsored art – Soviet Socialist Realism, German Neoclassicism, Spanish Modernism – will be examined in light of political and military conflicts at a time when Europe was divided by the ongoing civil war in Spain. The module will consider important individual works, such as Picasso’s Guernica, as well as the pavilions as integrated artworks, combining visual arts and architecture.

Plural Arts Histories

In this module, you will be examining selected pieces of art, architecture, and drama from classical Greece, China, Europe, colonial and postcolonial Americas, with some reference to contemporary examples, in order to explore some fundamental questions about art, such as: what is the relationship between creators and the world in which they live? How are the arts made, used, and regarded? In each case, the production and reception of the arts is studied through a contextual approach, paying attention to political, economic, religious, and cultural factors.

Art in America 1945-1980

This module introduces and examines some of the major themes and movements to emerge in American art after 1945, including Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Pop Art, and Conceptual Art. You will consider the historical and cultural contexts of art in a range of media, including painting, sculpture, installation and performance. You will look at some of the key critical responses to American modern art, and will investigate the extent to which post-1945 practices were radically new or whether they were informed by awareness of pre-war and/or European avant-garde practices. 

Art, Politics and Protest in  America

This module examines the ways in which artists responded to and engaged with domestic and foreign politics in America from the 1950s to the 1970s. It considers the ways in which artists used a range of artistic practices as a means of protest in an era of capitalist consumerism, the Cold War and the American Vietnam War, the rise of identity and sexual politics and the civil rights movement. In particular, this module will examine the work of historically marginalised constituencies, including African American artists, Mexican American and Chicano artists, and women artists.


Italian Renaissance Courts and Their Art, 1450-1520

This module examines painting, architecture and sculpture at the courts of Ferrara, Mantua, Naples, Urbino and Milan in the period 1420-1520 and suggests that the small princely courts of Italy played an important role in shaping ‘the Renaissance’. Princes at courts competed for the services of the 'best' artists, and Leonardo da Vinci, Pisanello, Piero della Francesca and Andrea Mantegna are just some of the masters who worked for these Courts. This module draws both on established literature, but also seeks to incorporate more recent research questions regarding gender, material culture etc. As such, this module introduces you to questions that will be developed further in modules in years two and three.  

Italian Art in the Age of Caravaggio

This module looks at Italian art in early 17th century Rome through a focus on one of the best known painters active during that period, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Caravaggio was a colourful character with a biography as delicious as his paintings, but the very notoriety of the artist during his lifetime can make looking at his merits as an artist quite difficult. Here, you look at Caravaggio and his contemporaries to get a better understanding of the artistic context of Rome in the late 1500s, a period often labelled as the Counter Reformation. The module will focus on the following themes:

  • the importance of imagery as a vehicle of propaganda
  • the importance of display and collecting to elite Roman patrons
  • the relationship between political centres; self-fashioning
  • the importance of women as patrons and as subjects of art, but also as artists themselves

Typical year two modules


Archaeological Research: 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 changed 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 and Society: Heritage and Professional Skills

This module will introduce the structure and context of the professional archaeological sector in the UK, and issues and debates in cultural heritage. It will outline the process of working in archaeology and the type of work carried out by commercial units, museums, and local and national government heritage originations, with careers advice from professional archaeologists across the sector. Students will learn how archaeologists plan excavation projects, study the archaeology of standing buildings, and manage the historic environment. In the spring term, you will apply this knowledge and develop your research, presentation and team-working skills through a group multi-media heritage project focused on a local historic or archaeological site.


Empires and Identity

This module will examine the archaeology of empire, hegemony and identity in three different historical periods, exploring how archaeological material can shed light on ways in which empires were experienced by both colonisers and colonised. We will start with Rome, arguably the model for many later imperial projects, and assess the evidence for the expansion of the empire and the ways in which Roman and other identities are manifested. We will then consider the medieval empires of northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the relationship between the Islamic world and the Crusader kingdoms of the Latin east. Finally, we will consider the Age of Discovery and the growth of European trans-Atlantic empires in the early modern era, exploring archaeological evidence for early colonial settlements, the growth of slavery, and the impact on native peoples.


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. 


Underwater Archaeology

Doing archaeology underwater is one of the most challenging but exciting contexts in which we work! This module will provide you with a broad introduction to current methods and practice of Underwater Archaeology. The module explores themes such as shipwrecks, submerged cities and sunken harbours, lake dwelling and freshwater archaeology, using case studies ranging in space from Scandinavia to Australia and in time from 1500 BC to the last century. It tackles the varied techniques of underwater excavation, finds processing and conservation, and the issue of cultural resource management vs. treasure hunting.


Exploring Archaeological Evidence 

This module is designed to provide you with a solid understanding of the theory and practice of scientific archaeology, building on what you have learnt in the first year, and covers a series of exciting topics, ranging from bioarchaeology (zooarchaeology and archaeobotany) to ancient technologies. You will learn how to identify, analyse and interpret plant remains and animal bones, and how these can be employed to study diet, economic practices and cultural identities in the past. You will explore how glass, pottery and metal objects were made, used and traded, using a range of different approaches and techniques combining theory, ethnography and scientific analysis. The module includes a combination of lectures and practical sessions which will enhance your understanding and equip you with real skills to increase your employability should you seek a career in archaeology.


Human Osteology and Evolution

What can we learn from the human skeleton and how can we tell the stories of past people from their bones? In this module you will handle real archaeological skeletons and learn how to identify their age, sex, stature and pathologies, and how we can reconstruct past populations from burial evidence. We also consider the skeleton in terms of human evolution, examining the anatomical differences between human and non-human primates, as well as the archaeology and life ways of our earliest ancestors. 


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.


From the Bastille to the Eiffel Tower: A Cultural and Architectural History of Paris 1789–1889

This module provides an overview of the development of Paris from the French Revolution to the Third Republic.

Themes covered include:

  • the evolving structure of the city
  • the evolution of building types
  • representations of the city the symbolic geography of Paris
  • the Parisian art world (artists’ studios, the art market, exhibitions)
  • major monuments and sites (e.g. the Panthéon and the Opéra Garnier


This module explores the Italian Futurist movement as a pioneering project in multimedia experimentation, which included painting, sculpture, architecture, design, photography, film, performance, typography, literature, fashion, and music. It investigates the movement’s apparent rejection of Italy’s cultural heritage and celebration of twentieth century technology, from the speed of the motorcar to the violence of modern warfare. The political objectives of the Futurists will be considered, including the movement’s complex relationship with Fascism. The publicity strategies of the group, such as the extensive use of manifestoes and provocative public interventions, will also be examined. The module will cover the period from Futurism’s headline-grabbing conception in 1909 through to the end of its second manifestation in the 1940s.


Realism and Impressionism, 1840-1890

This module examines two of the most influential movements in Western art, Realism and Impressionism. We will consider the major figures and critical debates in the history of modern art. Among the artists to be studied are Courbet, Bonheur, Millet, Manet, Morisot, Degas, Cassatt, Renoir, and others. This module includes the study of different critical approaches to the study of art works and visual culture.


 Los Angeles Art and Architecture

This module introduces a number of artistic and architectural practices that emerged in Southern California after 1945. Exploring their cultural and historical context, we will consider the role of Los Angeles in the development of post-1945 American art and architecture, including mid-century modernism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Light & Space Art. Central to this module is the question of whether all art made in Los Angeles can be classified as “Los Angeles Art” – that is, the extent to which the art and architecture of the region necessarily reflected the geographical location, climate, and expansive urban layout of Los Angeles. To this end, we will consider the critical reception of art of this period, investigating, amongst other critical constructs, the notions of centre and periphery, regionalism and the cultural construction of the American west that shaped much writing on California during the period.


The Politics of Display

This module examines the history of museums, galleries, collecting and the history and politics of the display of art objects. The emphasis is on the last two hundred years. Discussion will focus on such issues as: the establishment of national institutions such as the Louvre and the National Gallery, London; the role of cultural imperialism; exhibitions and their history; and the modern art museum.


Visualising the Body

This module examines the visual representation of the human body from antiquity the 21st century. It will entail close study and analysis of visual images, combined with critical readings in the histories and theory of art, society, film and visual culture.

Key themes usually include:

  • health and the politics of ‘normality’
  • the sexual body; the modified body
  • ideal and grotesque bodies
  • the ‘foreign’ body

Typical year three modules



Dissertation in Archaeology

This module will introduce you to original archaeological research by providing you with an opportunity to undertake and write up your own substantial piece of work of 10-12,000 words, 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, from identifying a suitable research topic to critically evaluating the issues relating to the subject area and 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.



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 Archaeology of the Medieval City

The aim of this module is to provide you with a broad knowledge of the archaeological evidence for the development of cities and urban life in the later medieval period AD 1000-1500, with a focus on English towns and cities in their wider Europe context. The module will explore the integration of varied sources of archaeological evidence including urban landscapes, buildings and material culture, covering key themes such as urban growth, trade and industry, households and daily life, guilds and the Church. 

Rome and the Mediterranean

In this module you will examine the archaeological evidence for the Roman period in Italy and the Mediterranean from 300 BC to AD 550. The major social, cultural and economic changes of the region in this period will be discussed as well as in the context of wider historical and archaeological approaches to the Mediterranean. Through a combination of lectures and seminars you will learn about Rome’s expansion into Italy and the Mediterranean, and the changes that occurred in towns, domestic building, rural settlement, religion, economy and society across the period from the Republic until Late Antiquity.

The Archaeology of Mycenaean Greece

This module will introduce you to the archaeology of the Mycenaean world and will give you familiarity with the achievements and the material culture of one of the greatest European Bronze Age civilizations of the second millennium BC, by discussing the historical, social, cultural and economic context of the period. You will explore the world of the Mycenaean palaces and citadels, their towns and trading ports, warfare, religion and cult activities, mortuary practices and ancestor worship, and their wider connections across the Mediterranean world.

Dead Important: archaeological answers to modern-day issues

Archaeology may be focused on the study of the past, but we believe that it is vitally important to help us understand the present and make a contribution to the future. This really exciting module breaks new ground by using archaeology to inform present-day concerns caused by increasing human population, intensification of food production, urbanisation, globalisation, climate change and inter-cultural conflict. None of these issues are purely modern phenomena, and this module brings an archaeological perspective covering 10,000 years of global culture change, using the innovative research being undertaken in our Department, to model bio-cultural dynamics and make a contribution to understanding and meeting the challenges facing the modern world.

Food and Culture: An exploration of tastes

Food is not just about nutrition and environment but it has also a strong socio-cultural dimension. This module takes an innovative approach to understanding the social role of food and plants, linking the past to current issues of food security, sustainability, trade and social in/stability. The module tackles issues such as the development of tastes, identity, social status, ethnicity, health and medicine, and feasting and commensality. It will explore the creation of ‘foodscapes’ and the investigation of diet and plants that cross boundaries in space and time from prehistory to the modern era, bringing together perspectives from archaeology, anthropology, sociology and geography.

Through a Glass Darkly

Ancient glass is a unique and beautiful translucent material. Since it was invented some 5000 years ago it has been used for a wide range of functions, from luxurious and decorative objects, to vessels and containers for traded liquids, to the coloured windows used in medieval churches and cathedrals. This module covers how glass is made from raw materials, how it was coloured and decorated, and how it was used in a variety of functional and ritual contexts from the Bronze Age to the medieval period. The module brings together socio-cultural and scientific perspectives to show how scientific analysis sheds light on glass technology, trade and provenance, and during practical sessions students will handle ancient glass and try out some of the techniques for themselves.

American Visual Culture

The module examines the visual culture of America from the late 19th century to the present day. The module explores how visual culture – art, advertising, architecture, cinema, television, cartography, video, the internet and images of science – has transformed and shaped the image of the United States. The module looks closely at a series of themes: urban and rural landscapes, icons and iconography, art and photography, race and gender in the US, high and low culture, sex and sexuality. The module also introduces various visual and critical theories which help us better understand the visual cultures of the United States of America.

Renaissance Luxuries: Art and Good Living in Italy 1400-1600

This module seeks to engage with the Renaissance as a period of conspicuous consumption of a range of luxury goods, and examines the social, cultural and economic factors which characterised the period 1400-1600.  Amongst the issues raised in lectures and seminars will be the importance of objects as signifier of status, magnificence, the diversification of objects and the concomitant rise in specialised living arrangements, and women as consumers of art. In this module you will have one 1-hour lecture and a one 2-hour seminar each week.

Rome Museum City

This module provides a survey of the changing identity of Rome as a destination for travel, a site for art education, and subject of representation. Themes include: the visibility and interpretation of antiquity and other historical material; travel and tourism; Rome as capital; the Roman landscape; the Roman people as a subject; and the evolving structure of the city.

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
  • empire building

The module will also consider the afterlife of fascist visual culture and the question of ‘difficult’ heritage.

Mobility and the Making of Modern Art, 1850-1920

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.

Performance Art

This module traces the development of performance art from the 1950s to the 1980s. It considers the work of a number of artists in America and Europe in terms of their focus on the body of the artist, the dematerialization of the art object, and the changing role of the audience or viewer. Youwill engage with a range of theories of identity, gender and selfhood; phenomenology and participation; duration, temporality and impermanence pain, endurance and abjection. Exploring performance art’s relationship with other visual art forms, including dance, experimental music, film and television, this module considers and evaluates the art historical genealogies of performance art and body art and examines the ways in which performance art has shifted the terms of art history. In addition, it will consider the issues at stake in constructing a history of performance art, and in documenting, exhibiting, and writing about ephemeral, invisible, or indeterminate practices.



You will have an in-depth understanding of the origins and development of archaeology and history of art as academic disciplines, as well as a comprehensive appreciation of the historical, social and cultural contexts of interpretation in those areas. You will have developed a deep and comparative knowledge of the archaeology and the history of art of selected geographic regions and chronological periods, along with the ability to reflect critically on the nature of archaeology and history of art as disciplines.

Our BA in Archaeology and History of Art fosters many vital skills. Researching and presenting your work involves a high degree of creativity and you will learn how to discover and interpret visual and material sources and how to present and analyse data on a range of subjects. The course helps you to develop your ability to research and process a large amount of information and to present the results of your research in an articulate and highly effective way in written, visual and oral presentations. By working in groups you will demonstrate your advanced team-working and communication abilities. A degree in Archaeology and History of Art from the University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent and hard-working individual who is flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training.

Archaeology, art, museums and heritage are a major component of the UK cultural economy. Our graduates go on to study these subjects at postgraduate level and enter a wide variety of careers in professional archaeology, in excavation units or in governmental or heritage organisations, or in museums and galleries. Other sectors of employment include education, media, business, financial services, the law, public relations, advertising and journalism.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 93.2% of undergraduates in the School of Humanities who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,205 with the highest being £38,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK. 

Careers support and advice

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.  


Fees and funding

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 £2,000 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

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


This course includes one or more pieces of formative assessment.

How to use the data

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.


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Department of Archaeology 
School of Humanities
The University of Nottingham
University Park
NG7 2RD  







Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry