History of Art


At a glance

  • Learn with staff who curate exhibitions at national institutions including Tate Britain, the National Museum of Wales and the National Portrait Gallery
  • In recent years, our students have undertaken placements at a range of local galleries and cultural organisations
  • 97% of our research was judged as being of international quality in terms of ‘originality, significance and rigour’*

* Research Excellence Framework, 2014.


What is History of Art?

History of art combines visual and historical studies, providing you with the critical tools to see and understand the world differently. Our undergraduate courses look at wide-ranging aspects of the visual arts including painting, sculpture, the graphic arts, film, photography, and other visual media, as well as museum history and the relationship between high art and popular visual culture.


How will I study?

Teaching is mainly carried out through lectures and small-group seminars. You will also have the opportunity to gain individual feedback and advice in the weekly consultation sessions offered by all tutors. First-hand study of art and architecture will form an important part of your learning experience. We dedicate one week each semester to local and national museum and gallery visits, with more frequent visits to sites within Nottingham. 


Assessment methods include formal exams, assessed classroom presentations, and written coursework, which varies in length from a 1,000 word case study to a 10,000-word dissertation. In year one, you need to pass your assessments in order to progress to year two, but the marks obtained do not count towards the final degree classification. The marks you achieve in second year are given a 33% weighting in the final degree assessment, with final-year examinations and assessments providing the remaining 67%.



As a Nottingham history of art graduate you will be well prepared for a range of career opportunities. In addition to management jobs in advertising, marketing and the media, history of art graduates find careers in journalism, law and public relations. They are also qualified to pursue more subject-specific work in arts administration, conservation, galleries, heritage management, museums, planning, research and teaching. 

In 2016, 93.2% of undergraduates in the school 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.

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 2013-2017, High Fliers Research).


Study abroad

We offer opportunities to study abroad in Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and Sweden. Further information can be found on our  study abroad web pages.

Nottingham has the highest number of any UK university on outward mobility under Erasmus.*

* Erasmus student and staff numbers by institution, Erasmus+ 2014.


Application and interview

Applicants are usually assessed on the basis of their UCAS form and invited for an informal interview. The interview should be seen as an opportunity for  the applicant to ask questions and find out more about the department.  

Open days

Choosing where to study for the next few years of your life is a difficult decision. By coming to an open day you can see for yourself why Nottingham could be the place for you.

If you make an application to study at the University of Nottingham and are successful in being made an offer, you will receive an invitation to attend an offer-holder event. These events take place between February and April.

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Department of History of Art

School of Humanities

The University of Nottingham

University Park



Call us:
+44 (0)115 951 5559
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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
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