History of Art (BA): 6-year, part-time

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Six years part-time

Attendance

One to two evenings a week

The BA in History of Art at Birkbeck offers you the chance to study all kinds of artworks, from painting and sculpture to digital art and installations. You will take a range of courses, from medieval to contemporary art, learning how to place artworks within their historical and cultural context, and to think more broadly about the role of images within society. If you are contemplating a career in the arts, this course will give you the chance to develop a range of key skills, from critical thinking and writing, to effective visual analysis. Studying at Birkbeck you are based in the heart of London, close to museums and galleries, while being part of a vibrant and stimulating student community.

As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we offer an exciting study trip abroad every spring. Students are encouraged to become involved in the lively research culture of the Department through the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre and the Vasari Research Centre, which has pioneered the field of digital art history.

This course is also available for full-time evening study over three years and part-time evening study over four years.

We offer information evenings for prospective students interested in our History of Art programmes throughout the year.

Highlights

Course structure

The 12 modules required for this programme are structured as broad introductory modules in the first two years, as more focused thematic and period-based modules in the third year, and as a range of specialised seminar modules in the final years, requiring increasing independence of thought as the degree progresses. You also complete a dissertation. You may take two modules in other disciplines as part of the programme, in consultation with your personal tutor.

In Year 1, you take two compulsory modules.

In Year 2, you take two compulsory modules.

In Year 3, you take two option modules at Level 5.

In Year 4, you choose one option module at Level 6, chosen from about 10 on offer annually (or choose another option module at Level 5 from Year 3). You also take the Level 5 Research Skills for Dissertations module.

In Year 5, you take two option modules at Level 6.

In Year 6, you take an option module at Level 6 and complete your dissertation.

Option provision is reviewed each year; the list below gives an indication of the range of subjects offered.

Module groups

Year 1 compulsory modules

Year 2 compulsory module

Year 3 option modules

Year 4 compulsory module

Years 4, 5 and 6 option modules

BA History of Art dissertation

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications, as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

    Certificates of Higher Education

    Students who successfully complete Birkbeck's Certificate of Higher Education in History of Art and Architecture are guaranteed a place on this BA, with the possibility of exemption from the first-year modules. Applicants in this position do not need to complete an admissions exercise.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 4625 pa
    Part-time international students: £6675 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    Additional costs

    As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits.

    On this programme, you will also have to pay for the following additional costs:

    An optional field trip is available as part of this programme, for which the Department does not charge a fee for attendance. Students are, however, responsible for paying all other costs, including travel, accommodation, food and drink and other subsistence costs, gallery fees, etc. The Murray Bequest offers a limited number of bursaries every year to students who would not otherwise be able to take the field trip. Details on how to apply are usually circulated to students in December or January.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    While some of our students have studied art history at school or have completed short courses, most haven't studied the subject in any depth prior to starting this course. The first-year modules are therefore intended to provide you with academic skills and a good grounding in the discipline. As you progress through the course, you will have opportunities to explore different types of visual culture in more detail - from buildings to installations, sculpture to digital media, paintings to photography.

    We use a variety of formal and informal teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops, gallery visits, group and individual tutorials, and field trips.

    Find out more about the teaching staff for this course.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Our assessment methods are equally varied, ranging from essays and examinations to research portfolios and oral presentations, so as to develop a range of subject-specific and transferable skills. The programme culminates in a 10,000-word dissertation on a chosen topic.

    All our classes are held in the evening, to enable you to continue your career or gain valuable intern or work experience during the day.

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Our students develop the ability to think critically and creatively, and to articulate their ideas persuasively. Intellectual rigor, visual sensitivity and informed debate are fundamental to the discipline of history of art, as well as being transferable skills relevant to a range of careers. Graduates can pursue jobs in arts management, conservation and policy; in education, marketing and publishing; in the museums and heritage sectors; and in research and academia.

    Jobs gained by some of our BA and MA graduates include:

    • Head of Learning, Design Museum
    • Curator, Schools Programmes, Tate Modern
    • Curatorial Assistant, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
    • Curatorial Officer, National Army Museum
    • Head of Campaign Management, Science Museum
    • Curator, Handel House Museum
    • Head Curator, National Maritime Museum
    • Director, Foundling Museum
    • Curator, British Art 1850-1915, Tate Britain
    • Courses and Events Programmer, National Gallery.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in October 2017.

    Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.