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Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Our BA Art History degree helps you to develop a range of key skills, from critical thinking and writing, to historical research and visual analysis. We will explore the cultural and political contexts of artworks, buildings and exhibitions, and think more broadly about the role of images within society. Our modules make a creative and enjoyable use of the art galleries, museums and other facilities in London and beyond, including an exciting study trip abroad in spring. We teach art history as a rich and dynamic topic, encompassing architecture, installation, exhibitions, print culture and digital media as well as painting, sculpture and photography. You will be taught by experienced and skilled teachers who are also published writers of ground-breaking art history in periods from medieval to contemporary. On this art history degree, you will be part of a diverse, vibrant and stimulating student community in central London. Our evening teaching allows you to combine studying with work or taking up volunteering opportunities during the day, and the course will support you in making the first steps towards working in the arts. Our alumni now work in a variety of arts and art-related organisations in London and beyond, or progress to postgraduate studies. If you opt for the Foundation Year route, this will fully prepare you for undergraduate study. It is ideal if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied the relevant subjects, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on your chosen undergraduate degree. Highlights

  • Birkbeck was ranked as one of the top four universities in the UK for its Art and Design research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
  • The teaching and research of history of art was established almost half a century ago at Birkbeck. Today, we are an internationally respected centre in this area. Keep up to date with our activities on the Birkbeck History of Art blog. We offer information evenings for prospective students interested in our History of Art courses throughout the year. As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we offer an exciting study trip abroad every spring.
  • We have a state-of-the-art cinema and exhibition spaces, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell. See a video about our home in Gordon Square.
  • As a student here you are encouraged to become involved in our lively research culture through the Centre for Museum Cultures, 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.
  • We typically have some bursary funding available from our annual application to the Royal Female School of Art Foundation, which supports undergraduate students who are experiencing short-term financial hardship.
Careers and employability Graduates can pursue career paths in:
  • arts management
  • conservation and policy
  • education
  • marketing
  • publishing
  • the museums and heritage sectors
  • research and academia.
Jobs gained by some of our 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.

Modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

Short written exercises, essays which will develop in length and expected complexity as you progress through your studies, presentations.


How to apply

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. We also accept other English language tests.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

There are no qualification requirements for this course.

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.


Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

To be confirmed
Art History with Foundation Year at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS