History of Art, Materials and Technology BA

London, Bloomsbury
History of Art, Materials and Technology BA (2022)

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 and technology, both at the time a work of art was made, and subsequently as it ages and deteriorates.

UK students International students
Study mode
3 years
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
9,250 (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
24,000 (2022/23)
Programme starts
September 2023
Application deadline
26 Jan 2022
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

No specific subjects, though essay-based subjects are an advantage. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer information

BCC more about contextual offers
B in essay-based subject
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.

Contextual offer

30 more about contextual offers
A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects, including an essay-based subject, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAB

AAB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher).

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

International applications

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

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL 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: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Show details

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.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

The programme begins with introductory modules in History of Art and its Objects and foundation modules in history of art, together with a thematic seminar. You will also take modules in art and science and media and technologies. These modules will introduce the major classes of materials, media and technologies found within public and private collections, and address their application as artists' materials.

Modules in the second year delve deeper into the technical aspects of art. These may include the History and Theory of Conservation; and Textile Technologies.

In the final year, all students write a research project dissertation of approximately 10,000 words. This may have a technical element, combined with art historical research. The Art/Work/Space module 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 modules from outside History of Art in departments such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, History or Philosophy, with the agreement of the department concerned and your programme tutors.

What this course will give you

High-quality research undertaken by staff, which is reflected in our research excellence profile, informs the content of our undergraduate degrees, keeping our teaching at the forefront of the discipline.

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 theory and practice.

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.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in History of Art, Materials and Technology.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

  • History of Art and its Objects
  • History of Art Survey (1): Premodernity to c.1600
  • History of Art Survey (2): c.1600 to the Contemporary
  • Introduction to Media and Technologies
  • Introduction to Art and Science

Students must also take a modern foreign language module, preferably in the first year.

Optional modules

You will select one of the following:

  • Thematic Seminar (1): Art and Architecture before 1800
  • Thematic Seminar (2): Art and Architecture after 1800

Compulsory module(s)

  • Advanced Lecture Course I: Action/Re-Action
  • Advanced Lecture Course II: Rome: The Making of Early Modern Visual Urban Culture

(The content of the Advanced Lecture modules changes regularly. These are the offerings for 2020/21.)

Optional modules

You will select six from a wide range of optional modules, including at least two of the following:

  • Methodologies of Art History
  • Methodologies of Making
  • History of the Category 'Art'

and at least two options with a specific focus on materials and technologies, from a list which may include:

  • Theory and History of Conservation
  • Methods and Materials of Artists
  • Technologies of Vision

(Options vary from year to year. These are the offerings for 2020/21.)

Further optional modules can be selected from within History of Art.

Compulsory module(s)

Undergraduate Report in History of Art

Optional modules

You will select 90 credits from a wide range of options including Art/Work/Space and at least one Special Subject. Further options can be selected from within History of Art. It is also possible to select options from fields such as anthropology, archaeology, chemistry, earth sciences, history or philosophy, with the agreement of the department concerned and your programme tutors. There is also the option to continue with a language (non-beginners only).

Your learning

Art/Work/Space is an exciting work placement module that is only open to students enrolled on the MAT programme. It entails work experience in a museum, heritage institution, collection, gallery, conservation studio or the art trade, and lasts a whole term. After the placement, students write a reflective essay on a topic relating to one of the aspects of this experience.

This varies according to the modules you are taking. An average week may probably provide 8-10 contact hours. As well as time spent in lectures and seminars, you are expected to spend +/-30 hours a week studying independently. Students usually spend a lot of their time studying in the UCL library and the nearby Senate House and British Library, as well as doing close looking in London’s museums and galleries. In addition, all academic staff and personal tutors have regular office hours, which you are encouraged to attend.


Coursework, essays, oral participation and written examinations will all be used as means of formal assessment of your work.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

London and across the UK - Open day

UCAS Fairs and Events

UCL will be attending the UCAS fairs and events for 2022 in London and across the UK and we look forward to meeting you at one of these events.

Online - Open day

Undergraduate Virtual Open Days

Our virtual Open Days are an opportunity for students to learn about all our programmes of study and book onto live interactive sessions. The sessions will give you a unique opportunity to speak with admissions and academic staff and interact with current students. Our virtual site will go live on Monday 16 May where you can book onto sessions.

The foundation of your career

This BA provides an excellent basis for any career dealing at first hand with works of art, such as museum and gallery professionals, art dealers, valuers and auctioneers. It is also a good foundation for those wishing to take up further training in any specialism within art conservation. 

Any profession dealing with art would benefit from the expertise gained from this degree.

As a student at UCL, you will have access to careers support throughout your degree to help you develop your skills and achieve your ambitions. Working with the UCL careers team, we offer a wide range of events including skills workshops, alumni panels, networking opportunities, themed weeks, and careers fairs.


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.

UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) 9,250 (2022/23)
Tuition fees (2022/23) 24,000 (2022/23)

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/funding-your-studies.

Additional costs

Students are expected to pay the entrance fee to any admission-charging exhibition or museum visited by a class; the tutor will usually negotiate a group discount where this is significantly cheaper than the individual student discount.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

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.

Next steps

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 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.


Applicants will be assessed not only on academic achievement, but on evidence of intellectual curiosity, and of critical appreciation of visual and material culture.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021