This degree provides a unique focus on works of art as physical objects. You will gain comprehensive skills in art history, together with a thorough understanding of artists’ techniques and questions of materiality, both at the time a work of art was made, and subsequently as it ages and deteriorates.
- UCAS code
- 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2017
- Applications per place
- 6 (2015 entry)*
- Total intake
- 65 (2017 entry)*
- No specific subjects, though essay-based subjects are an advantage.
- English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students a foreign language at grade B is required.
- A score of 16-17 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5. A minimum of grade 4 is required at standard level in a modern language.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Edexcel Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF), or Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Diploma (NQF) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with 18 credits awarded with distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units with Merit. Or a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.
D3,D3,D3 - D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects.
AAA-ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher - AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher).
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA-ABB.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
- The programme will develop your knowledge and understanding of the visual cultures encompassed by the term 'western art', making use where possible of artworks in London.
- The department includes well-known specialists on all periods from the medieval onwards. We have particular strengths in the study of contemporary art, material science, and conservation and preservation.
- The department houses the Material Studies Laboratory, consisting of two spaces, one dedicated to teaching and handling materials and artefacts, with the second focusing on the instrumental analysis of heritage materials.
- UCL's central location in London is within walking distance of the British Museum and British Library and provides easy access to the National Gallery, the Tate Galleries and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: History of Art.
- 85% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
The programme begins with introductory modules in History of Art and its Objects and a foundation module in history of art, together with thematic seminars. You will also take a basic science module for non-scientists and a Methods and Materials of Artists module, which will introduce you to the major classes of materials found within museum collections, and address their application as artists' materials.
Modules in the second year delve deeper into the technical aspects of art. These may include History, Theory, and Practice of Conservation; Methods and Materials II; and The Development and Application of Textiles in Works of Art and Artefacts.
In the final year, all students write a research project dissertation of approximately 10,000 words. This must have a technical element, combined with art historical research. The Art/Work/Spaces course enables you to gain practical work experience outside the department while writing an independent research project reflecting critically on this experience.
You may also take courses from outside History of Art in departments such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Chemistry, Geology, or History, with the agreement of the department concerned and your course tutors.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
History of Art and its Objects
History of European Art (1): Classical to Early Renaissance
History of European Art (2): High Renaissance to the Present Day
Methods and Materials of Artists
Science for Art Historians
Students must also take a 0.5 credit module in a modern foreign language, preferably in the first year.
You will select 0.5 credits from a wide range of optional modules, which normally include one of the following:
Thematic Seminar (1): Art and Architecture before 1800
Thematic Seminar (2): Art and Architecture after 1800.
Further options can be selected from within UCL History of Art, or from fields such as anthropology, archaeology, history or philosophy.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Methodologies of Making
Gateway Course I: After Life: Art, Knowledge and Observation in Early Modern Europe
Gateway Course II: Image/Object – Modern and Contemporary Art
(The content of the Gateway Courses changes regularly. These are the offerings for 2014-15.)
You will select 2.5 credits from a wide range of optional modules including at least one of the following:
Methodologies of Art History
The History of the Category "Art"
and at least one of the following:
History, Theory and Practice of Conservation
Methods and Materials II
Further optional modules can be selected from within History of Art.
Core or compulsory module(s)
History of Art and Material Studies Dissertation
You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules including Art/Work/Spaces, and at least one Special Subject. Further options can be selected from within History of Art, and from fields such as anthropology, archaeology, history or philosophy.
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars, and may include visits to monuments, film archives and sessions in the Material Studies Laboratory. Seminars may relate to a lecture series and involve travel within the UK or abroad. On a more frequent basis, first-year thematic seminars take place at London's many art collections and exhibitions.
Coursework, essays and written examinations will all be used as means of formal assessment of your work.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: History of Art with Material Studies BA.
You will gain the skills necessary to carry out historical and technical projects, communicate effectively, interpret material analysis, and to pursue academic research or take up responsible employment in a variety of contexts.
This BA provides an excellent basis for any career dealing at first hand with works of art, such as museum and gallery curators and registrars, art dealers, valuers and auctioneers. It is also a good foundation for those wishing to take up further training in any discipline within art conservation.
Any profession dealing with art would benefit from the expertise gained from this degree.
First destinations of recent graduates (2011-2014) of this programme include:
- Researcher, Sotheby's
- Assistant Manager, The National Gallery
- Full-time student, MA in History of Art at UCL
- Assistant Press Officer, Tate Britain
- Fundraising Assistant, Jozef Pilsudski Institute
*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
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Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme only.
- UK/EU students
- £TBC (2017/18 - see below)
- Overseas students
- £23,710 (2017/18)
UK/EU undergraduate fees are currently (August 2016) capped at £9,000 and UCL charges fees at the level of that cap. This cap on UK/EU undergraduate fees is currently under review by the UK Government and may be subject to increase for the year commencing 2017 and for each year of study thereafter. Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.
Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
We welcome applicants who have a serious interest in, and enthusiasm for, the study of art history. Entry is highly competitive, but you will not be required to have studied history of art before. However, advanced study in an essay-based subject such as history or English, as well as a language, would be an advantage.
How to apply
Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.
Application deadline: 15 January 2017
Applicants will be assessed not only on academic achievement, but on evidence of intellectual curiosity, and of critical appreciation of visual culture.
If we are considering making you an offer you will be asked to complete a short written exercise, and then invited to the department on an open day to meet the teaching staff and learn more about the degree programme.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students