BA Combined Honours

The kind of student who would benefit particularly from a history of art degree programme at UCL should be of real academic promise and likely to enjoy looking at visual culture. They should be intensely curious about the way things look and relate to other aspects of human societies, the subject, from pre-A-level to mature students, and students from abroad with non-British qualifications.

Entry is highly competitive, but the department looks sympathetically on those who, for good reasons, lack the normal qualifications. Candidates are not required to have taken History of Art as an examined subject or to have studied it before, though history, English or a language taken to a higher level would be an advantage. Candidates are normally required to have a GCSE grade B pass (or the equivalent) in one foreign language and students are tested on their reading ability in at least one language in the first year of the programme. Though a typical A-level offer would be BBB-BBC, the typical A-level offer for the History of Art and Philosophy programme is ABB.

All candidates should apply through UCAS ( Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).  The UCAS closing date for applications is usually mid-January (the preceding mid-October for courses at Oxford or Cambridge University) and interviews at UCL usually take place between December and March.

On the basis of examination results or the equivalent, school or other record and other information presented, a number of applicants are invited for interview with members of staff from both of the departments in which the applicant would like to study. A selection of these candidates will be offered places, either unconditionally or conditional upon examination results. UCL normally offers up to 40 combined-studies places to cover all the combining subjects (some combinations are more heavily over-subscribed than others). 

Programme Structure

Consult with your 'parent' department for a full schedule.  HoA & Philosophy students take half their courses in the Philosophy department.  Listed below are the courses taken in the History of Art department.

Year 1

HART1001 History of Art and its Objects:  an introduction to a range of skills required to study the History of Art, including the first-hand study of works of art. It is designed to familiarise students with some current debates in the subject, and introduce them to a variety of theoretical positions of which they need to be aware in the course of their degree.


HART1306 History of European Art (1): Classical to Early Renaissance

and HART1305 History of European Art (2): High Renaissance to Present Day:  an introduction to the dominant narrative of art history as an historical development ('the canon'), and are encouraged to look at that model critically. The subject matter of the lecture series ranges from classical to contemporary art. Space is also given to categories outside the conventional canon.

Year 2

HART2001 Category Art:  aims to familiarise students with the way in which the concept of art has evolved in the European world, especially since the Renaissance. It examines the emergence of Aesthetics as a distinct branch of philosophy in the eighteenth century, and subsequent developments, especially in relation to the role of the category Art in Modernism.

or HART2002 Methodologies:  a text-based course to introduce students to a variety of different methodologies and approaches current in the discipline. Through lectures, seminars and weekly reading tasks students learn to identify and evaluate different kinds of art historical writing.

or HART2003 Methods and Materials of Artists:  a look at the changing techniques of artists painting from Medieval times to the present day, focusing on particular painters within three different periods, as well as introducing discussions of condition and conservation.

Year 3

Special Subject:  See Course Descriptions under Current Students.

HART3906 Independent Study Essay in History of Art:  some students may wish to take another half-unit Year 2 course together with HART3906.  See Course Descriptions under Current Students.