UCL-IoE merger

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


Departmental Administrator

Mrs Ann Higginson

Email: a.higginson@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7116

More Information

Subject areas:

History of Art

Faculty overview:

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Department website:


Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

75% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
(What is the RAE?)

Philosophy and History of Art BA

UCAS code: VV53

This degree aims to provide you with an understanding of a range of central philosophical debates together with a detailed education in history of art. All major areas of philosophy are available for study. You will also address issues about the very nature of art and human perception of visual culture.

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades AAA
Subjects No specific subjects.
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 grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points 38
Subjects A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.

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

  • UCL's Philosophy Department was ranked first in the UK in the RAE 2008. The research interests of the academic staff are wide-ranging, covering all the main areas of philosophy.
  • The History of Art Department features specialists on all periods from the early Renaissance onwards, with particular strength in the study of contemporary art and two experts in the technical analysis of paintings.
  • A rich array of extracurricular philosophy events is available in London. As a UCL philosophy student you will be able to attend the meetings of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, the Aristotelian Society and the University of London's Institute of Philosophy.
  • UCL's central location in London is within walking distance of the British Museum and provides easy access to the National Gallery, the Tate Galleries and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The first year includes several introductory lecture courses, which provide a foundation for later studies. The programme covers political philosophy, examining questions about the state, liberty and laws; moral philosophy, questioning distinctions of right and wrong, and our motivation for choosing between the two; epistemology which investigates the nature of knowledge and belief; metaphysics, which attempts to grasp the nature of things; and logic, which imparts principles of sound reasoning.

You will study Philosophy and History of Art on an equal basis.

Your learning

Our teaching is based on lectures and seminars that complement each other. In your first year, you will be introduced to the basic elements of philosophical reasoning through lectures, seminars and small-group tutorial classes. In years two and three your chosen courses will be taught by an expert from within our department through a combination of lectures, related seminars and classes.


Assessment is by a mixture of coursework (essays) and written examination. You may also elect to submit a dissertation as one of your philosophy options.

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 European Art (1): Classical to Early Renaissance
History of European Art (2): High Renaissance to Present Day

Optional courses

You will select 2.0 credits from the following:

Introduction to the History of Philosophy I
Introduction to the History of Philosophy II
Introduction to Logic I
Introduction to Logic II
Introduction to Moral Philosophy
Introduction to Political Philosophy
Knowledge and Reality
Philosophy Tutorial: Texts and Debate

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Gateway I
Gateway II

Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits of options from a selection of History of Art courses.
And four optional courses from Philosophy, including courses from at least two of the groups A, B, and C:

Group A
Theoretical Philosophy (e.g. Knowledge; Metaphysics; Mind and Body; Language)

Group B
Normative Philosophy (e.g. Aesthetics; Applied Ethics; Global Justice and Health; Morality and Literature; Normative Ethics; Political Philosophy)

Group C
History of Philosophy (e.g. Adorno: Art and Politics; Aristotle; Kant; Marxism; Plato)

Final Year

Compulsory courses

All third-year courses are optional.

Optional courses

You will choose four History of Art courses (to the value of 2.0 credits) from the wide range of options.You will also select four philosophy courses (to the value of 2.0 credits) from the wide range in year two.You can take 1.0 credits from other UCL departments in years two and three.

You must pass at least six level III courses and have passed one course from group A, B, and C respectively to graduate.

Further details on department website: Philosophy and History of Art BA


This programme will assist you in constructing and assessing philosophical positions and arguments, thereby teaching you how to analyse and present complex ideas. Furthermore, it will provide you with an understanding of a wide range of traditional and contemporary philosophical theories. Such skills are transferable to non-philosophical contexts.

The discipline of philosophical training, and in particular its emphasis on rigorous argumentation, logic, and clarity of thought and expression, makes philosophy graduates highly suitable for a wide variety of careers.

Many recent UCL graduates have excelled in the legal profession, training as both solicitors and barristers, while others have entered publishing, journalism, finance, the Civil Service, Parliament, or local government. Philosophy graduates are also sought after as programmers and systems analysts. A high proportion of students go on to further study in philosophy.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2012) of this programme and other related Philosophy programmes include:

  • Gallery Assistant, Bank Street Arts (2012)
  • Future Leader, Barclays (2012)
  • Researcher, DADA Television Associates (2011)
  • Investment Banking Analyst, Citigroup (2011)
  • Teaching Assistant, Woodbridge Primary School (2010)

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

Your application

In addition to looking for outstanding grades in your academic record, we also assess your application for evidence of your ability to engage with philosophical arguments, your skills in reasoning and your interest in history of art.

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.


Selection will be made on the basis of information contained in the UCAS application: achieved and predicted academic grades, the level of interest in, motivation towards, and experience of the subject as indicated in the personal statement, the reference supplied, and any relevant contextual factors.

In addition applicants may be asked from time to time to provide further information, such as AS module results, or a response to a questionnaire.

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