History of Art


Art and Architecture in London Modules

These elective modules are open to students who are registered outside the History of Art department (both UCL degree students and visiting affiliates).

They are challenging introductory modules for non-History of Art students and focus on works of art in London’s museum and gallery collections and the city’s architecture. The contents and syllabus of these modules change each year. Previous modules have focused on medieval art and architecture; Italian art of the 15th and 16th centuries in the National Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum; 17th-century architecture of Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren; and modern and contemporary art and artists from Europe, Africa and the United States represented at Tate Modern. 

Students interested in taking one of the Art and Architecture in London modules should register for the module directly on Portico. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Please note that students may only take a maximum of two Art and Architecture in London modules, and if they are taking two modules, they must each cover a different historical period, ie. before 1600 and Modern & Contemporary.


Most of the classes in these modules are taught off campus in galleries and museums across London. The start and end times listed on Portico are when the classes begin and end. You must ensure that you leave a least one hour free before and after your chosen Art in London module as you will often need to travel to sites across London for your class. If you have a module at UCL that ends less than 45 minutes before Art in London begins, you should not register for this elective.

Additional Costs

We expect students to pay their own fares to travel to classes held anywhere within the M25, and the entrance fee to any admission-charging exhibition or museum visited by a class. The teacher will usually negotiate a group discount where this is significantly cheaper than the individual student discount. Students can purchase an annual Student Art Pass for £10, which provides free or reduced-priced entry to many museums and major exhibitions.


The method of assessment for all Art and Architecture in London modules is:
750-word response paper (30%)
2000–2500-word essay (70%)

Art and Architecture in London modules 2024/25

We plan to offer the following modules in 2024/25:
HART0008 Art in London before 1600 (Term 1)
HART0018 Modern and Contemporary Art in London (Term 1)
HART0019 Modern and Contemporary Art in London (Term 1)
HART0024 London Architecture (Term 1)

HART0010 Art in London before 1600 (Term 2)
HART0020 Modern and Contemporary Art in London (Term 2)
HART0021 Modern and Contemporary Art in London (Term 2)
HART0027 London Architecture (Term 2)

Example module descriptions (specific topics will change each year)

Art in London before 1600

This module will investigate works made in the period 1350-1600 that are now housed in London’s museums and galleries. By focusing on a variety of media and materials we will explore how materials, artefacts, ideas and people moved across Europe and beyond.

Modern and Contemporary Art in London

This module will explore the continuing debates on the relevance of painting, examining major artists and movements from the nineteenth and twentieth century who both embraced and rejected painting’s possibilities. Seminars will focus on up to five works and will take place inside galleries and museums, including the National Gallery, the Courtauld Gallery, Tate Modern and Tate Britain.

London Architecture

Through visits to eight of the most innovative and significant case-study buildings, we will explore contemporary architectural design as stylistic, multi-sensory, formal and other aesthetic qualities as well as through detailed narratives of their enabling and embodied technologies, engineering and construction processes.

Contact details

If you have any questions about the Art and Architecture in London modules, please contact HoA.AiL@ucl.ac.uk