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BA History of Art Combined Honours

UCL History of Art offers a number of exciting and challenging multi-disciplinary Combined Honours programmes. Find out more below.

Overview

UCL is one of the most exciting places to study history of art in the country  arguably the world. Our combined honours programmes offer two separate streams the Modern Languages and History of Art BA, which is available for: French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, and Scandinavian Languages, and the Philosophy and History of Art BA. Both programmes aim to develop your knowledge and understanding of visual arts and material culture, complete with either expert knowledge of your chosen modern language and the broader culture that surrounds it; or an in-depth understanding of a range of central philosophical debates. Your home department will be either at the School of European Languages and Cultures, or the Department of Philosophy, but you will take approximately 50% of your modules in History of Art.

In both programmes, you will encounter a wide range of visual imagery, making use of London's extensive public collections, libraries, museums and architecture.

The History of Art stream will offer you a comprehensive training in the analysis and interpretation of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. While the focus has traditionally been on European art, we are now continuously expanding our geographic outlook and, together with our students, we are working towards the decolonisation of our curriculum. Our specialisations are British, French, German and Italian visual culture, the Americas including pre-Columbian art, and modern and contemporary art in Africa. Our staff research and teaching interests span a diverse history and geography; and we also have specialists in the history of materials and technology. We aim to equip students with the ability to critically analyse how artworks interact with their contexts, both in terms of their making and their reception.

In the Philosophy programme, all major areas of Philosophy are available for study. You will address issues about the very nature of art, and about human perception of visual culture. You will be able to construct and assess philosophical positions and arguments, thereby teaching you how to analyse and present complex ideas. You will hone your skills for rigorous argumentation, as well as your clarity of thought and expression.

In the Modern Languages programme, you will benefit from a strong focus on spoken and written language work. You will gain linguistic and cultural understanding of another set of cultures, and develop your knowledge of their art, literature, history, film and politics. UCL is an ideal environment for language study, offering an enormous range of state-of-the-art facilities, a large international population and a location at the heart of a cosmopolitan, multi-lingual city.

Programme Outline - Philosophy and History of Art BA

In the first year: 
The emphasis is on acquiring a firm foundation in the fundamentals of both art history and philosophy. You will study three core art history modules – History of Art and its Objects; History of European Art (1): Classical to Early Renaissance; and History of European Art (2): High Renaissance to the Present Day. These modules will give you a grounding in art history, critical thought and the significance of art within different societies and historical moments.
You will also select two philosophy modules from a range that includes introductions to the History of Philosophy; introductions to Logic; introductions to Moral Philosophy and Political Philosophy, and more.

In the second year: 
You will study two core Advanced Lecture Courses in the History of Art. These modules change regularly; the offerings for 2020/21 are Advanced Lecture Course I: Rome; and Advanced Lecture Course II: Action/Re-Action.
You will also be given an opportunity to select from a wide range of optional modules in both History of Art and Philosophy. In History of Art, this typically includes at least one out of the following: History of the Category ‘Art’; Methodologies of Art History; Methodologies of Making; and one thematic period course.
In Philosophy, this includes modules across three groups – theoretical philosophy, normative philosophy, history of philosophy. These courses will hone your analytical skills and help you identify your key areas of research interest. They will also give you a thorough grounding to take forwards into your final year dissertation.

In the third year: 
You will directly build on the skills and interests you have developed in the second year. One of the modules taken in History of Art can be a dissertation of 10,000 words on a topic discussed with and supported by your tutors, in order to develop your own critical voice and theoretical rigour.
You will also have the opportunity to explore your chosen research interests by taking Special Subject modules. You will either take two Special Subject courses (running over both terms) or one special subject course plus the History of Art Dissertation. The topics of the Special Subject modules change regularly, but their breadth and depth reflect the Department's diverse interests and research – in 2020/21 they include Visual Culture in Early Modern England, Psycho, and Postcoloniality, Colonialism and Art in the British Empire.
A selection of third year Philosophy modules can be found here.

Programme Outline - Modern Languages & History of Art BA

In the first year: 
The emphasis is on acquiring a firm foundation in the fundamentals of both art history and your chosen language. You will take 60 credits of modules from History of Art, including the core course History of Art and its Objects. You can find the range of first year modules and their descriptions here. These modules will give you a grounding in art history, critical thought and the significance of art within different societies and contexts. 
You will also choose from a range of cultural, literature, history, film and linguistics first-year modules related to your chosen language, or ELCS (European Languages, Culture & Society) modules – humanities-based modules which complement the language-specific teaching, open to students from all SELCS (School of European Languages, Culture & Society) languages.

In the second year: 
You will study two core Advanced Lecture Courses in the History of Art. These modules change regularly; the offerings for 2020/21 are Advanced Lecture Course I: Rome; and Advanced Lecture Course II: Action/Re-Action. You will also study core compulsory modules in your chosen language. 
You will start developing your own areas of research interest, with a chance to pick from a wide range of optional modules in both History of Art and Modern Languages. In History of Art, this includes two of the following: History of the Category ‘Art’; Methodologies of Art History; Methodologies of Making.
In Modern Languages, this includes a range of cultural, literary, historical, film and linguistics intermedia modules related to your chosen language, or ELCS modules (if not taken in year one). These courses will hone your analytical skills and help you identify your key areas of research interest. They will also give you a thorough grounding to take forwards into your final year dissertation.

In the third year: 
Your Year Abroad is spent in a country where your target language is spoken.

In the final year:
You will directly build on the skills and interests you have developed in the previous three years. You will take a core compulsory advanced module in your chosen language, and you will
 also choose from a range of cultural, literature, history film and linguistics first-year modules related to your chosen language, or ELCS (European Languages, Culture & Society) modules.
You will also take 60 credits of final-year modules from History of Art. The topics of the Special Subject courses change regularly, but their breadth and depth reflect the Department's diverse interests and output – in 2020/21 they include Visual Culture in Early Modern England, Psycho, and Postcoloniality, Colonialism and Art in the British Empire. One of the modules taken in History of Art can be a dissertation of 10,000 words on a topic discussed with and supported by your tutors, in order to develop your own critical voice and theoretical rigour.
By the end of your final year you should have exceptional language fluency, and a profound understanding of the cultures and contexts relating to your chosen language. You will also have an ability to interpret and analyse art across both geography and history, and a theoretical language and framework that will be of fundamental value to you whatever path your career takes.
The Combined Honours degree allows you to develop an in-depth specialisation in the art and cultures of the countries in which your chosen language is spoken.

Dissertations

We are passionate about doing challenging and rigorous research at the Department of Art History, and we encourage our students to think for themselves, be bold, and learn how to do original and exacting work. Your dissertation will be an opportunity to explore a topic that interests you in-depth, in order to hone your critical faculties and clarify your specialisms for potential further study.

The next steps

For details on:
-Entry Requirements
-Fees and Funding
-How to Apply

Please visit your home department: SELCS or UCL Philosophy.

FAQs

You can find a list of undergraduate FAQs here.

Contact

For enquiries, email Eleanor Day, Departmental Manager at UCL History of Art.

BA Module Descriptions 2020/21