UCL-IoE merger

UCL and the Institute of Education merged on December 2, 2014. Learn about the study options available to you.


Admissions Tutor

Dr Sarah James

Email: undergraduate-admissions@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 4025

More Information

Subject area:

History of Art

Faculty overview:

Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences

Department website:

History of Art

Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

80% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
(What is the RAE?)

History of Art BA

UCAS code: V350

UCL is one of the most exciting places to study history of art in the country. This programme aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the visual arts, covering a wide range of visual imagery and making use of London's extensive public collections, libraries, museums and architecture.

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades AAB
Subjects No specific subjects, though essay-based subjects are an advantage.
AS Levels For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students a foreign language at grade B is required.

IB Diploma

Points 36
Subjects A score of 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.

Other qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Selected entry requirements will appear here

International applicants

International qualifications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Select country above, equivalent grades appear here.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • High-quality research undertaken by staff, which is reflected in our research assessment profile, informs the content of our undergraduate courses, keeping our teaching at the forefront of the discipline.
  • We have specialists on all periods from the medieval onwards, with particular strength in the study of contemporary art, and two experts in the technical analysis of paintings.
  • UCL Art Museum houses an important collection of artworks, which is used regularly to support our teaching. These include works by Turner and Rembrandt, as well as important twentieth-century prints.
  • 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.

The programme begins with introductory courses in History of Art and its Objects and a Foundation Course in History of Art, together with thematic seminars. You will continue with courses set mainly within two chosen periods in the second year and in the final year you will select special subjects offered within the department or, in certain circumstances, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the Courtauld Institute or Birkbeck College.

You will also take courses in a subsidiary subject (Anthropology, Archaeology, History or Philosophy) to help build a solid foundation to comprehend visual culture, both past and present.

Your learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars, and may include visits to monuments, film archives and sessions in the painting analysis 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.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses 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).

Year One

Compulsory courses

History of Art and its Objects
History of Art Thematic Seminar
History of European Art (1): Classical to Early Renaissance
History of European Art (2): High Renaissance to the Present Day

Students must also take a 0.5 credit course in a modern foreign language, preferably in the first year.

Optional courses

You will select 1.5 credits from a wide range of optional courses, including at least 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 the History of Art Department or from fields such as Anthropology, Archaeology, History or Philosophy.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Gateway Course I: Rome: The Making of Early Modern Urban Visual Culture
Gateway Course II: Modernity through the Lens: The European Avant-Garde, Utopia, Technology, and Mass Culture

(The content of the Gateway Courses changes regularly. These are the offerings for 2012-13.)

Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of options, including at least one of the following:

The History of the Category "Art"
Methodologies of Art History
Methods and Materials of Artists

Further options can be selected from within History of Art, and from fields such as Anthropology, Archaeology, History or Philosophy.

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Undergraduate Report in History of Art

Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of options including 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.

Further details on department website: History of Art BA


The programme is broad and rigorous, making graduates fully competitive for jobs both within and outside the area of visual arts. The department takes seriously the need for students to develop presentational and other skills alongside the specific analytical and interpretive skills associated with the History of Art.

UCL's History of Art graduates have a record of success in careers in museums and galleries, academia, the art trade, the heritage industry, art publishing, art conservation and teaching. The unique combination of visual sensitivity and intellectual rigour has also proved valuable in journalism, publishing and advertising.


First destinations of recent graduates (2010-2012) of this programme include:

  • Administrator, Victoria and Albert Museum (2012)
  • Client Development Analyst, Christies (2012)
  • Director of Charity, New End Art Foundation (2012)
  • Full-time student, MA in History of Design at Royal College of Art (2011)
  • Intern, M & C Saatchi (2011)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

Your application

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 text-intensive subjects like history or English 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.


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.

Video: how to make your application stand out

Video: applying to UCL through UCAS

Fees and funding

UK & EU fee

£9,000 (2014/15)

Overseas fee

£15,200 (2014/15)

General funding notes

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

Playlist: funding for UK/EU and overseas students

Undergraduate playlist

Video channels

Page last modified on 26 feb 14 08:05