Art History at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS

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Course summary

Our Birkbeck’s BA Art History offers the opportunity to study the visual arts as a central element of human endeavour in an accessible, engaging and flexible way. It is taught by world-leading scholars and makes the most of the amazingly rich art collections, monuments and study facilities of London. Why choose this course?

  • On this course you will explore the cultural and political contexts of artworks, buildings and exhibitions, and think more broadly about the role of images within society.
  • 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 groundbreaking art history in periods from medieval to contemporary.
What you will learn You will pursue a structured and progressive approach to the study of works of art understood as socially and politically engaged things. Working with active researchers with expertise ranging from the Middle Ages to now and encompassing a range of media from painting, sculpture and architecture to photography, installations and digital, you will be guided towards a critical understanding of the fabricated world around you. How you will learn You will learn in a supportive environment which encourages exchange between both students and tutors, and between students, with a mix of interactive lectures and small-group seminars. In-person teaching is concentrated in the early evening and is supported by rich online resources via our virtual learning environment. Foundation Year 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.
  • 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 On successfully graduating from this BA Art History, you will have gained an array of important transferable skills, including:
  • a sophisticated use of written and spoken English
  • an advanced critical ability in the use of theoretical perspectives
  • the ability to use analytical tools
  • the initiative to collect and organise complex materials and the ability to write up clear, well-presented reports or fluent critical arguments.
Graduates can pursue career paths in:
  • arts management
  • conservation and policy
  • education
  • marketing
  • publishing
  • the museums and heritage sectors
  • research and academia.


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

Application codes

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

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

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. FOUNDATION YEAR DEGREES Our 'with Foundation Year' route is designed to give you extra support as it provides you with an additional year (full-time) or two years (part-time) of supported study. This is an ideal route if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you did not achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree. Once you successfully complete your Foundation Year studies, you will automatically advance onto the main degree. ALTERNATIVE ENTRY ROUTES 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.

Student Outcomes

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

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £17620 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their course. Tuition fees for students continuing on their course in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.
Art History at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS