Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

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

On Birkbeck’s BA Art History with Curating you will explore the cultural and political contexts of artworks and exhibitions and think more broadly about the role of images within society. You will also have the opportunity to plan and pitch an exhibition. This history with curating degree will give you the opportunity to develop a range of key skills, from critical thinking and writing, to historical research and visual analysis. Our modules make creative use of the art galleries, museums and other facilities in London and beyond, including a study trip abroad in spring. We teach art history as a rich and dynamic topic, encompassing exhibitions, installation, print culture and digital media as well as painting, sculpture and photography. You will be taught by skilled and experienced teachers who have curated exhibitions in diverse settings and are published writers of ground-breaking art history in periods from medieval to contemporary. Our evening teaching allows you to combine studying with work or taking up volunteering opportunities during the day. This course will also support you in making the first steps towards working in the arts and you will be part of a diverse, vibrant and stimulating student community in central London. Alumni of the department now work in a variety of arts and art-related organisations, 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.
  • Established almost half a century ago, Birkbeck's Department of History of Art is an internationally respected centre for research and teaching. 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 degrees 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.
  • As a student here you are encouraged to become involved in the lively research culture of the department 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.
  • The department 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.
Careers and employability Graduates can pursue career paths in:
  • arts management
  • conservation
  • policy
  • education
  • marketing
  • publishing
  • the museums and heritage sectors
  • research
  • academia.

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

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.


Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
73%
Student satisfaction
50%
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
90%
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on 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 £16020 Year 1

Additional fee information

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. 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. An optional field trip is available as part of this course, 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.
Art History with Curating at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS