History of Art and History (BA): 3-year, full-time

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

UCAS Code

VV11

Duration

Three years full-time

Attendance

Three to four evenings a week

The past, and the visual art it has bequeathed to us, continues to fascinate. This is richly evident in media productions, the thriving heritage sector, and record visitor numbers to galleries and museums. This wide-ranging BA in History of Art and History will take you from the ancient world through to the present day.

You will explore social, cultural, intellectual and political histories, and develop your understanding of  visual culture within those contexts. You will acquire the analytical skills and critical approaches that enable you to investigate both texts and images for yourself, and to develop your competence in visual perception and historical interpretation.

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

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

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Highlights

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Course structure

This BA programme is a modular degree involving a combination of compulsory and option modules. Each module is worth 30 credits and you take 12 modules over three years, to a total of 360 credits. You take modules in both History and History of Art, which provide you with key study and research skills in those disciplines. Option modules allow you to select areas of specialism and to learn about certain topics and periods in depth. In your final year, you will submit a dissertation on a topic of your choosing.

In Year 1, you take two compulsory History of Art modules at Level  4 and choose two option modules in History, one at Level 4 and one at Level 5.

In Year 2, you take one compulsory module in History of Art at Level 4, choose one compulsory research skills for dissertations module (in either History, or History of Art, depending on which subject you wish your dissertation to focus on), choose one option module in History of Art at Level 5 and choose one option module in History at Level 5.

In Year 3 the pattern of study depends on whether you choose to complete the dissertation in History of Art or History. The History of Art dissertation at Level 6 is a single module of 30 credits and is studied alongside one History of Art option module at Level 6 and two History option modules at Level 6. The History dissertation at Level 6 is a double module of 60 credits and is studied alongside two History of Art option modules at Level 6 or one History of Art option module at Level 6 and one option module in History at Level 6.

Read more about modules

Year 1 compulsory modules

Year 2 compulsory modules

Indicative Level 4 History option modules

Level 5 History of Art option modules (choose one)

Indicative Level 5 History option modules

Indicative Level 6 History of Art option modules

Indicative Level 6 History option modules

BA History of Art with History dissertation (choose one)

You may also select options from another programme at Birkbeck, or taken on an intercollegiate basis at another College of the University of London. Programme Director approval is required in order to take such modules.

  • Entry Requirements We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

    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.

    UCAS tariff points

    112

    The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence. UCAS provides a tariff calculator for you to work out what your qualification is worth within the UCAS tariff.

    Foundation Year Degrees

    You can progress onto this degree if you successfully complete the foundation year of our BA Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course. This is an ideal route onto an undergraduate degree if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree.

    Certificates of Higher Education

    Students who successfully complete Birkbeck's Certificate of Higher Education in History of Art 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 We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.

    Fees (2017/8)

    Full-time home/EU students: £ 9250 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 13000 pa

    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 Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

    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 and/or history at school or have completed short courses, most haven't studied these subjects 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 disciplines. As you progress through the course, you will have opportunities to explore different historical periods, themes and topics and 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.

    Gallery and museum visits, attached to particular modules, mostly take place during weekends, in term time. Some of these are self-guided, while others are tutor led. There is also an annual History of Art study trip abroad (this has been to Rome, Paris and Berlin in recent years) during the Easter break.

    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 To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

    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.

    Graduate Destinations

    Average salary six months after the course: £26000

    Go on to work and/or study:

    Go on to work and/or study
    Now working: 60%
    Doing further study: 25%
    Studying and working: 5%
    Unemployed: 0%
    Other: 5%

    Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

  • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

    How to apply

    If you are applying for a three-year, full-time undergraduate degree at Birkbeck, you have to apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). To apply, go to the UCAS homepage and click on 'Apply and Track'. You will have to register, giving UCAS a few personal details, including your name, address and date of birth, and then you complete an application form.

    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.

    The Department of History of Art typically has some bursary funding available from its annual application to the Royal Female School of Art Foundation, which supports undergraduate students who are experiencing short-term financial hardship.

    Bursaries are available through the Murray Bequest to help students fund their place on the annual History of Art study trip abroad (this has been to Rome, Paris and Berlin in recent years) during the Easter break.

    UCAS Code

    VV11

    Application deadlines and interviews

    15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.

    Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.

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