Birkbeck, University of London has opted into the TEF and received a Silver award.
Our fascination with the historical past, and the visual art it has bequeathed us, is richly evident in our thriving heritage sector and record numbers of visitors to museum and galleries.
This wide-ranging BA in History of Art and History will take you from the ancient world through to the present day exploring social, cultural, intellectual and political histories to develop your understanding of visual culture within these contexts. You will acquire the analytical skills and critical approaches that enable you to investigate texts, images and historical documents for yourself, and develop your competence in both visual perception and historical interpretation.
While some of our students have studied art history and/or history at school or have completed short courses, most have not 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.
Arts and humanities at Birkbeck are ranked fifth best in London, 18th in the UK and 87th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Art and Design at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading or internationally excellent research.
You will benefit from small, highly interactive classes, alongside students of different ages and from various walks of life. You can take advantage of field trips, including an annual visit to a European city, which takes place in the Easter vacation. We offer information evenings for prospective students interested in our History of Art programmes throughout the year.
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'll be invited to a dynamic range of events, many of which are organised through our research centres, including the Centre for Museum Cultures, the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre; Architecture, Space and Society Network; Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology; the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism; the Raphael Samuel History Centre; the Institute of Historical Research; and the Institute of Classical Studies. These give you access to some of the foremost figures in the discipline, and insight into the most recent and up-to-date research.
- The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.
For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.
Our assessment methods vary 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.
How to apply
If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:
15 January*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!
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Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
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.
|UCAS Tariff||112 - 128 points|
|A level||BBC - ABB|
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.
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.
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.
Fees and funding
|Channel Islands||£9,250||Year 1|
|Northern Ireland||£9,250||Year 1|