Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Art History and Film - BA (Hons)

UCAS code WW36

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only

2017

This new programme offers a critically engaging and expansive approach to the discipline of art history combined with film. It has been designed to equip you with the key visual, critical and professional skills necessary for a career in the art world and for a range of other employment opportunities.

Overview

Art History

In your first year, you are given a firm foundation in some of the aesthetic, interpretative and methodological approaches to the discipline of art history. Throughout your second and third years, there are opportunities for you to develop and expand your engagement with the discipline through a range of specialist modules.

As well as options that explore Renaissance and Baroque art, modernism, contemporary art, French painting, surrealism, photography and aesthetics, this programme also offers an introduction to work-related skills directly relevant to employment in the visual arts sector, such as visual arts writing and exhibition curation.

Film

The strong interrelationship between contemporary art and cinema is prominent in contemporary culture. Within the film element of your degree, you engage with cinema’s rich scope and history, from silent classics and mainstream Hollywood to world cinema and the avant-garde.

Kent is one of the three major universities in the UK for film studies, and one of the most highly regarded departments in Europe. Our modules cover film theory, history and practice, and topics such as national cinemas, animation, fantasy and pulp film.

We have a thriving film culture, with the Gulbenkian (regional art cinema) based on campus and a lively student film society. In addition, you have access to our new 62-seat cinema 'The Lupino', offering state-of-the-art digital projection and sound. 

Think Kent video series

Dr Grant Pooke, Senior Lecturer in History of Art, discusses the work and legacy of Brij Mohan Anand. A trenchant critic of both British Imperium and Indian militarism, BM Anand fashioned an exceptional range of work, from scratchboards, sketches, genre scenes, pastoral images and starkly modernist figure compositions to a series of late, apocalyptic landscapes.

Independent rankings

History of Art at Kent was ranked 8th in The Guardian University Guide 2017

For graduate prospects, History of Art at Kent was ranked 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2017 and The Complete University Guide 2017.

Media and Film Studies at Kent was ranked 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, Cinematics and Photography at Kent was ranked 11th for the quality of teaching.

For graduate prospects, Media and Film Studies at Kent was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2017.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

The course introduces students to the language of film, from aspects of mise-en-scène (setting, performance, costumes, props, lighting, frame composition) to framing (camera movement, shot scale, lenses), sound (fidelity, volume, timbre) and editing (from requirements for spatial orientation through matches on action, eyeline matches and shot-reverse-shot structures to temporal manipulations through ellipsis and montage). The study of these elements enables students to understand the spatial and temporal construction of films, as well as the stylistic, expressive and/or dramatic functions of specific strategies.

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This module approaches the "big questions" that have surrounded film and the moving image and puts them into historical context. Although specific topics will vary, representative topics may address competing definitions of film and its constitutive elements, the effects that cinema has on spectators, the social, cultural and political implications that moving images reproduce, and the status of the medium between art and entertainment. Students will debate seminal writings on the nature of film and bring their arguments to bear on exemplary film productions.

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The module is intended as an introduction to the History of Art, as a body of visual artefacts and as an academic discipline. It is intended to be accessible to those with little or no previous experience, but also stimulating and informative to students with more background knowledge. The approach is chronological, focussing on a sequence of canonical works of art produced within the Western tradition. Such works provide a frame for introducing students to many of the basic analytical concepts and terms routinely deployed by art historians in describing, analysing and interpreting works of art: period, style, iconography, meaning, material/medium, technique, composition, creative process, representation, tradition, social function, patronage, genre etc.

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This course aims to provide students with an introduction to aesthetics and the philosophy of art. The first part of the course focuses on some of the major texts in the history of the philosophy of art in the western tradition (e.g., Plato's Republic, Aristotle’s Poetics, Hume’s Of the Standard of Taste and Kant’s Critique of Judgement). The second part of the course focuses on central contemporary debates in the philosophy of art (e.g., What is Art? Artistic and Aesthetic Evaluation and the problem of forgery, Intention and Interpretation, Ethical criticism of art, Art and Emotion, Art and Feminism.) The student will be encouraged to see connections between the two parts of the module and to understand how contemporary debates (both philosophical and those found in the public opinion and art criticism) can be traced back to or even helpfully illuminated by old and contemporary philosophical debates.

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15

This course aims to provide students with an introduction to aesthetics and the philosophy of art. The first part of the course focuses on some of the major texts in the history of the philosophy of art in the western tradition (e.g., Plato's Republic, Aristotle’s Poetics, Hume’s Of the Standard of Taste and Kant’s Critique of Judgement). The second part of the course focuses on central contemporary debates in the philosophy of art (e.g., What is Art? Artistic and Aesthetic Evaluation and the problem of forgery, Intention and Interpretation, Ethical criticism of art, Art and Emotion, Art and Feminism.) The student will be encouraged to see connections between the two parts of the module and to understand how contemporary debates (both philosophical and those found in the public opinion and art criticism) can be traced back to or even helpfully illuminated by old and contemporary philosophical debates.

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30

This module provides students with a broad introduction to the history of photography over the first 150 years of its existence, together with some of the prehistory of the medium. It begins by looking at the origins and invention of photography, as well as reactions to, and early uses of, the medium. Following this background, a number of photographic genre are explored along with key contributors to their development. While the genre explored may change from year to year, the genre covered are likely to include portraiture, documentary photography and landscape photography, but the greatest focus will be given to the various styles and movements giving shape to the history of photographic art.

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15

This module provides students with a broad introduction to the history of photography over the first 150 years of its existence, together with some of the prehistory of the medium. It begins by looking at the origins and invention of photography, as well as reactions to, and early uses of, the medium. Following this background, a number of photographic genre are explored along with key contributors to their development. While the genre explored may change from year to year, the genre covered are likely to include portraiture, documentary photography and landscape photography, but the greatest focus will be given to the various styles and movements giving shape to the history of photographic art.

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30

Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

This module addresses the influence of the early avant-garde on later experimental performance forms such as performance art and multimedia performance. It examines the impact of new technologies on performance and representation throughout the last century, and explores the relationship between media culture and theatre practice. Key modernist and postmodernist practitioners are discussed as the module traces the evolution of multimedia theatre and performance art. Students analyse how time, space and bodies manifest within a diversity of contemporary media art and performance art, and focus is placed on the nature of audience engagement. The module also considers questions concerning the live and mediated aspects of performance, and explores concepts such as 'liveness', ‘the body’, ‘intermediality’, ‘posthumanism’ ‘public space’ and ‘participation’.

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30

The art historian Aby Warburg – an avid reader of Thomas Carlyle's philosophical novel about clothes Sartor Resartus (1836) – said that a good costume, like a good symbol, should conceal as much as it reveals. This module will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of costume and fashion – the art that can be worn – in order to explore their roles in drama, film and the visual arts. The social values encoded by clothes, their relation to class or sexual identity, will be discussed, along with how these assumptions inform the use of costume in adaptations or stagings of texts, or how they colour our view of a character, or of a director’s interpretation (for example, using deliberate anachronism). The role of clothing and costume in the history of art will be analysed from artists’ representation of clothes, contemporary or otherwise, to their involvement in fashion design.

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30

The development of Abstract Art is one of the distinctive features of the 20th Century. This module examines the roots of the aspiration to allow ‘the object to evaporate like smoke’ in European and Russian art, and the establishment of Constructivism as a central force in artistic practice in 20th century art. The spiritual, philosophical and social ideas (and ideals) of key artists (such as Malevich, Tatlin, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Klee) are considered in relation to their artistic practice; the work and ideas of American abstractionists are addressed through an examination of legendary figures such as Rothko, Pollock and Stella; discussion of Nicholson, Moore, and de Staël, among others, enables us to think about the response of the British and European artworld to the challenges and opportunities of abstraction and construction. Finally, we will explore how contemporary artists make use of this ‘radical tradition’. Throughout the module we will raise the question of how to make, think about and respond to an ‘art without objects’.

Read more
30

This module aims to introduce second and third year students to the key aesthetic concepts of the sublime, disgust and humour, and to their application in the analysis of art and visual culture. Through a sustained focus on these key theories and a range of case studies, the module will also facilitate the development of students' subject-specific and key skills.

The module will be typically be divided into three parts which focus separately on the sublime, disgust and humour; although general issues confronting the study of experience in art history and theory will be discussed throughout. The first part of the module will focus on the historical origins of the concept of the sublime in the works of Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant. Their theories will be discussed in relation to eighteenth and nineteenth century visual culture, and in relation to instances of the sublime in modern and contemporary culture, including representations of nature and the cosmos, religious experiences and ascetic practices. The second part of the module will examine theories of disgust, including Charles Darwin’s evolutionary approach and Julia Kristeva’s account of 'the abject’. The vogue for the disgusting in contemporary art, beginning during the 1990s will be critically discussed, and the relation of disgust to shock and horror will also be considered. The third part of the module will examine theories of humour, including the ‘incongruity’ and ‘release’ theories, and Sigmund Freud’s theory of jokes. Various uses artists have found for humour, from Marcel Duchamp to postmodern irony, will be discussed. While focusing on the visual arts, the module will also consider case studies from literature and popular visual culture, including film and television.

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This module will pursue three interrelated aims through the use and study of drawing:

Firstly, it will introduce students to the range of drawing techniques used by the Old Masters, the different types of drawings they produced and their function in the process of designing and executing works of art. It will equip students with the tools for analysing and identifying drawings, providing the foundations for effective connoisseurship. Working with collections of Old Master drawings such as those at the British Museum, the Courtauld Institute, the Strang Print Room and the Victoria & Albert Museum it will familiarise students with a representative range of graphic art from the European tradition by such artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Dürer, Annibale Carracci, Rubens and Van Dyck.

Secondly, it will equip students with a practice-based understanding of the role of drawing in artistic training and of its importance as a tool for creative work. Students will participate in drawing seminars where they will carry out exercises modelled on artistic practice during the period 1400-1700 and illustrated with examples of Old Master drawings to provide guidance. These will begin with rudimentary conventions for drawing eyes and ears, through copy drawings to mechanical drawing methods like perspective and shadow projection, tracing and the use of the grid. The exercises will then build on these simple beginnings and develop towards portrait drawing informed by anatomical analysis of the skull, drawing from sculptural casts, from the draped and nude figure, sketching the landscape, and finally working towards the compositional drawing and methods for enlarging it. Drawing exercises will clarify for students the processes of artistic visualization and design, and make available to them an important tool of visual and art historical analysis.

Thirdly, the module will provide students with historical insights into the importance of drawing for art in the Western tradition, and of the theoretical expression of this importance in the concept of 'disegno'. It will explore theories defining drawing as an intellectual process of design (as well as a graphic technique), and related debates concerning the relative importance of drawing and colour, and painting and sculpture.

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30

This module explores a range of neo-avant-garde and post-war art practice from the 1960s through to the contemporary; from the Minimalism & Pop Art of the 1960s through to the YBAs and after. It will introduce and discuss some of the key artistic figures within the period, exploring their practice, critical contexts and legacy. Taking a thematic approach to one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse art historical periods, we will consider a range of genres – painting, sculpture, installation, performance and land art – exploring how artists have re-defined and developed their practice in the cultural period following Modernism. Artists exampled will typically include Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gilbert & George, Eva Hesse, Jenny Saville, Yinka Shonibare, Gerhard Richter and Rachel Whiteread.

Read more
30

The organising principle of this course is derived from Giovanni Pietro Bellori’s Vite de’ Pittori et Architetti Moderni (1672). In selecting a small group of twelve exemplary artists for his history, Bellori was employing artistic biography to expound his theory of art based on the Idea. This charted a middle way between naturalism and mannerism, through which the imitation of nature informed by the principles of antique art produced works which surpassed nature. Among the artists included in Bellori’s corpus are Annibale and Agostino Carracci, Michelangelo da Caravaggio, and the non-Italian artists Nicolas Poussin, Peter Paul Rubens, and Anthony Van Dyck. Several of the leading artists of the period were excluded from the canon, notably Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Francesco Borromini and Pietro da Cortona. Bellori presumably had these artists in mind when he condemned his contemporaries who “juggle madly with corners, gaps and twirling lines, discompose bases, capitals and columns with stucco nonsense, trivial ornament and disproportions”. The aesthetic and theoretical judgements which informed Bellori’s exclusion of artists from his book can be glimpsed in this quote. In the art historical literature on this period such critical judgements are explained in terms of the dichotomy between “classicism” and “the baroque” (although these were not terms used in the period). Following Riegl and Wölfflin the baroque has been defined in opposition to classic art, as an art of becoming rather than of being, addressing the emotions, rather than the intellect, through a tactile evocation of appearances. Often the theoretical writing of the period has been characterised as reacting against, or irrelevant to, what was truly innovative about the work of baroque artists like Bernini and Borromini. These generalisations will be tested through close study of the works of the artists named above, and also by exploring how they might relate to contemporary artistic debates, such as those at the French Académie Royale about the relative merits of Poussin and Rubens, or between Andrea Sacchi and Pietro da Cortona in Rome over the number of figures which should be included in a narrative painting. In addition to exploring the acute interest in stylistic criticism during the seventeenth century, the study of individual artists will also involve consideration of the role played by their patrons, especially their ideological, religious and antiquarian concerns. Although the course will progress by studying individual artists in roughly chronological order, the treatment will be thematic rather than monographic. Lectures at the beginning and end of the course will introduce and summarise the more general historiographical themes; the remaining lectures will be on artists including Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Bernini, Borromini, Pietro da Cortona, Poussin, Rubens and Van Dyck.

Read more
30

The module will focus on selected aspects of the development of art in France, during the period when Paris was widely seen as the powerhouse of innovation and achievement in the Western art world. The underlying structure will be chronological. Relevant tendencies and movements include Neo-classicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism and Cubism. Prominent artists to be considered include David, Géricault, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, Rodin, Matisse, and Picasso. Such visual material will be considered in the context of: wider political and social history; the evolution of exhibiting institutions and the art world; current art theory and criticism; attitudes towards artistic tradition and the visual cultures of non-western societies (e.g. the phenomenon of 'primitivism'; the impact and evolution of photography, launched in 1839; the emergence of the idea of the artistic avant-garde; the reinterpretation of specific genres, such as the portrait, landscape, the nude, history painting; patterns and shifts within art-historical scholarship on the material. The importance of studying original art objects will be embedded in the module through the scheduling of a visit to relevant galleries in London (e.g. National Gallery, Tate Modern, Courtauld Gallery) and/or Paris (subject to funding). Chronological coverage may vary between successive iterations of the module.

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30

The module is organised around the concept of the "New Hollywood Cinema of the 1970s," and structured through three blocks of inter-related screenings. The first block examines American genre filmmaking (the Western, the hard-boiled detective, and the gangster film, etc.), the second block looks at the road-movie, and the third considers representations of the city.

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In a country with a very strong literary and theatrical tradition, the British have also had a long-standing love of "going to the pictures." For more than a century, British filmmakers have been forging a rich and diverse national cinema in the face of Hollywood's dominance on British screens for most of that time. This course will offer an introductory historical overview of British cinema from its beginnings to the present day, assessing its role in the construction of British national identity, evaluating its major directors—including Carol Reed, Humphrey Jennings, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Terrence Davies. The films will be approached through multiple frameworks, including consideration of aesthetics (e.g. the question of realism), culture (e.g. gender and class), and history (e.g. questions of empire and modernity). The institution of cinema and film culture in a larger sense will be considered through the exploration of British film exhibition, criticism, cultural policy, and industry. Both fiction films and documentaries will be addressed with a particular focus on the urban experience. The cinematic city – London, in particular – will be discussed in relation to issues of memory and historicity.

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30

This module will offer students the rare opportunity to examine in detail the work of a single director or a group of directors. It will thus enable students to acquire a more complex understanding of the issues at stake in the production, distribution, and reception of a specific body of film work. The module will also develop students' knowledge and understanding of the questions, theories and controversies, which have informed critical issues and theoretical debates on film authorship. It will thus appeal to students who wish to extend their skills in analysing film form, meaning, and practice in both a conceptual and a historical context. Furthermore, as the module will enable detailed consideration of what 'film directing’ is, as an artistic and cultural practice, in given contexts, it will be a very useful course to combine with the practical study of filmmaking.

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30

This module studies individual genres, which may vary across different academic terms (it may focus on the horror, science-fiction, western, musical, comedy, the noir or the gangster film, among others). It combines aesthetic and narrative analysis with the history of the genre. The theoretical framework draws from Marxist, psychoanalytical, feminist, and reception theories. The historical portion of the course examines the genre’s growing commercial viability, the proliferation of subgenres, and the growing attention of academics. Topics include gender politics, representations of sexuality, and political commentary and allegory.

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30

This module addresses a series of documentary films in their historical context and in relation to the different modes of non-fiction filmmaking. Documentary narrative techniques including the use of archival footage, staged reconstructions of past events, and talking-head interviews, are investigated by means of close textual analysis and through a comparative approach to diverse documentary films. This module also explores the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction and, while articulating a definition of documentary film, it studies film forms that present an interplay between the two, such as Mockumentaries and Essay Films.

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30

This module examines types of cinematic practice whose principal labels have been 'experimental', ‘avant-garde’, ‘underground’ and ‘independent’ – terms which overlap but which are by no means synonymous. It is concerned with traditions of cinema which have, more or less self-consciously, formulated radically different aesthetics from those of the orthodox feature film, in which narrative is either radically reshaped, or displaced altogether by other concerns. Throughout, the course will juxtapose films deriving from the historical avant-garde movements (like the European avant-garde of the 20s, or the post-war American scene) along with contemporary exponents of related forms of filmmaking. The first part of the course provides a conceptual and historical overview of avant-garde filmmaking in the C20th; subsequent weeks focus on specific topics, for example collage, landscape, experimental narrative, and the interaction between film, video and the new media.

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30

This module examines different forms of narrative and storytelling in cinema in order to place film narration within the tradition of the 'popular' arts. Understanding a film involves making sense not only of its story, its events and actions, but also of its storytelling, of the way in which we come to learn of these events and actions. This module examines the ways in which the specific means of representation of cinema transform a showing into a telling. It looks at theories of narrative in literature and film in relation to the different forms of narration and storytelling in cinema, focusing on questions of structure, reliability and temporality. The psychological and aesthetic role of narrative may be explored through a range of theories and analyses from within film studies and from other disciplines such as anthropology, literary studies, psychology and philosophy. The course will be taught through a series of case-studies using a wide range of films within American and world cinema.

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30

This module offers students an introduction to the terms, ideas and craft, involved in the creation of screenplays. Screenwriting is a unique form of writing with very different concerns from the novel, theatre and radio. Although the screenplay is a vital component of a film's success, it tends to be neglected as a separate art form.

In this module we explore the conventions of dramatic structure, new narrative forms and short film variations. Students are encouraged to think critically about screenplay writing and will have an opportunity to write their own screenplay. A selection of writing exercises have been designed to take them through the writing process; from preparation and initial concept to final draft.

The emphasis here will be on practical knowledge and support as student’s uncover their creative voice. This module does not aim to provide vocational training for students wishing to pursue careers in the feature film or television industries.

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30

The proliferation of mobile devices and the rise of online video have had a transformative effect on how moving images are generated and experienced. The ease with which we can now create and share video has impacted on how films are made, by whom, on how they are distributed, and even on what film itself is. This module explores some of the many new forms of 'filmmaking' that have appeared as a result of this technological and cultural change, and encourages students to engage with these forms critically and creatively. Areas of focus may include vlogs, mashups, video essays, music promos, interactive videos, travelogues, short fiction and other forms of film and video aimed primarily at online distribution via platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. Students will create short works in one or more of these forms, and have the opportunity to harness the potential of mobile devices and social media for artistic ends. Practical work will be contextualised by an essay that situates students’ video exercises within the broader context of digital technologies and online culture.

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30

This module provides an introduction to some key current industry practice surrounding working with actors. Students will explore the practice and ethics of the casting, as well as examining current UK and US industry trends and debates. The module also explores the role and expectations of the professional actor working in film. By practical and theoretical exploration of mainstream acting methodologies, and practitioners such as Stanislavski, Mamet and Meisner, students will develop practical skills and vocabularies for engaging productively with actors on shoots and in rehearsal. The module will also examine the practice of working with non-actors as performers, and scrutinise some more unconventional working methods espoused by directors who may include, but are not limited to, Mike Leigh, John Cassavetes, Ken Loach, Roberto Rossellini etc.

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30

This course examines the mechanisms and conditions that facilitate and enhance transnational cultural flows. We will study how filmmakers actively franchise, adopt and rework film styles and genres. A genre or style initiated in one country can be quickly adopted in another, with filmmakers tailoring the genre or style to the tastes of local audiences. We will both analyse some of the generic conventions that these films foreground and/or transform and isolate some of the national subtleties that are only discernible to local audiences. As the number of co-productions continues to rise, critics and viewers feel perplexed, and sometimes even amused, in their attempts to discern and identify the nationality of a film. We will critically assess whether any limitations exist embedded in such a co-production strategy, which blurs and obscures the specificities of each nation-state involved. Finally, we will explore whether the changing mediascape – one of transnational, multi-media corporate conglomerate involvement in film production.

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30

Television is the most pervasive media form in daily life. In this introductory module students will look at the various historical, institutional and cultural factors that influence television production and programming. The module will examine a range of formats and genres (such as soap operas, sitcoms and 'reality TV') and students will gain critical understanding of the theoretical frameworks developed for their study. In addition, questions of target audiences (for example, children’s programmes) and key debates (such as the role of a public service broadcaster) will be addressed. The course will be taught through a series of case-studies using a wide range of television texts from Britain and beyond.

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability. 

All students within the Faculty of Humanities can apply to spend a Term or Year Abroad as part of their degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements, including achieving a merit at Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the Term or Year Abroad. 

The Term or Year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

The module will focus on selected aspects of the development of art in France, during the period when Paris was widely seen as the powerhouse of innovation and achievement in the Western art world. The underlying structure will be chronological. Relevant tendencies and movements include Neo-classicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism and Cubism. Prominent artists to be considered include David, Géricault, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, Rodin, Matisse, and Picasso. Such visual material will be considered in the context of: wider political and social history; the evolution of exhibiting institutions and the art world; current art theory and criticism; attitudes towards artistic tradition and the visual cultures of non-western societies (e.g. the phenomenon of 'primitivism'; the impact and evolution of photography, launched in 1839; the emergence of the idea of the artistic avant-garde; the reinterpretation of specific genres, such as the portrait, landscape, the nude, history painting; patterns and shifts within art-historical scholarship on the material. The importance of studying original art objects will be embedded in the module through the scheduling of a visit to relevant galleries in London (e.g. National Gallery, Tate Modern, Courtauld Gallery) and/or Paris (subject to funding). Chronological coverage may vary between successive iterations of the module.

Read more
30

The organising principle of this course is derived from Giovanni Pietro Bellori’s Vite de’ Pittori et Architetti Moderni (1672). In selecting a small group of twelve exemplary artists for his history, Bellori was employing artistic biography to expound his theory of art based on the Idea. This charted a middle way between naturalism and mannerism, through which the imitation of nature informed by the principles of antique art produced works which surpassed nature. Among the artists included in Bellori’s corpus are Annibale and Agostino Carracci, Michelangelo da Caravaggio, and the non-Italian artists Nicolas Poussin, Peter Paul Rubens, and Anthony Van Dyck. Several of the leading artists of the period were excluded from the canon, notably Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Francesco Borromini and Pietro da Cortona. Bellori presumably had these artists in mind when he condemned his contemporaries who “juggle madly with corners, gaps and twirling lines, discompose bases, capitals and columns with stucco nonsense, trivial ornament and disproportions”. The aesthetic and theoretical judgements which informed Bellori’s exclusion of artists from his book can be glimpsed in this quote. In the art historical literature on this period such critical judgements are explained in terms of the dichotomy between “classicism” and “the baroque” (although these were not terms used in the period). Following Riegl and Wölfflin the baroque has been defined in opposition to classic art, as an art of becoming rather than of being, addressing the emotions, rather than the intellect, through a tactile evocation of appearances. Often the theoretical writing of the period has been characterised as reacting against, or irrelevant to, what was truly innovative about the work of baroque artists like Bernini and Borromini. These generalisations will be tested through close study of the works of the artists named above, and also by exploring how they might relate to contemporary artistic debates, such as those at the French Académie Royale about the relative merits of Poussin and Rubens, or between Andrea Sacchi and Pietro da Cortona in Rome over the number of figures which should be included in a narrative painting. In addition to exploring the acute interest in stylistic criticism during the seventeenth century, the study of individual artists will also involve consideration of the role played by their patrons, especially their ideological, religious and antiquarian concerns. Although the course will progress by studying individual artists in roughly chronological order, the treatment will be thematic rather than monographic. Lectures at the beginning and end of the course will introduce and summarise the more general historiographical themes; the remaining lectures will be on artists including Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Bernini, Borromini, Pietro da Cortona, Poussin, Rubens and Van Dyck.

Read more
30

This module explores a range of neo-avant-garde and post-war art practice from the 1960s through to the contemporary; from the Minimalism & Pop Art of the 1960s through to the YBAs and after. It will introduce and discuss some of the key artistic figures within the period, exploring their practice, critical contexts and legacy. Taking a thematic approach to one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse art historical periods, we will consider a range of genres – painting, sculpture, installation, performance and land art – exploring how artists have re-defined and developed their practice in the cultural period following Modernism. Artists exampled will typically include Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gilbert & George, Eva Hesse, Jenny Saville, Yinka Shonibare, Gerhard Richter and Rachel Whiteread.

Read more
30

The development of Abstract Art is one of the distinctive features of the 20th Century. This module examines the roots of the aspiration to allow 'the object to evaporate like smoke' in European and Russian art, and the establishment of Constructivism as a central force in artistic practice in 20th century art. The spiritual, philosophical and social ideas (and ideals) of key artists (such as Malevich, Tatlin, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Klee) are considered in relation to their artistic practice; the work and ideas of American abstractionists are addressed through an examination of legendary figures such as Rothko, Pollock and Stella; discussion of Nicholson, Moore, and de Staël, among others, enables us to think about the response of the British and European artworld to the challenges and opportunities of abstraction and construction. Finally, we will explore how contemporary artists make use of this ‘radical tradition’. Throughout the module we will raise the question of how to make, think about and respond to an ‘art without objects’.

Read more
30

• This module will be for final year students who are interested in gaining employment within the art and heritage press and/or marketing sectors. It will complement the vocational and work-based emphasis of the existing HPA Internship module (HA579). It will comprise a series of taught seminars supplemented by visiting speakers from the art/trade press, and from across the marketing and heritage sectors [6-8 speakers per module delivery].

• NB: This is not an NCTJ validated course and makes no pretence at providing the full competencies of such. What it will provide will be an introduction to a range of press and related activities within the visual arts and heritage sectors. It will be of relevance for those students considering the possibility of working within these areas and for those who wish to explore some of the practicalities of researching and submitting copy and undertaking related promotional and marketing activities.

• The module will start by considering examples from the range of trade, specialist and institutionally affiliated publications which service the art and heritage markets. It will consider their target readerships, commissioning practices and particular subject and industry angles. Publications such as The Antiques Trade Gazette, The Art Newspaper, Tate Magazine and Art Monthly will be among those evaluated.

• Seminars will introduce some of the basic principles of trade writing: standing up and presenting copy proposals for commissioning; adapting copy to differing house-styles; preparing for and undertaking interviews for writing briefs and useful sources of information for generating ideas for prospective writing projects. Seminars will also consider the arts-related promotional work typically undertaken by press and marketing departments within auction houses, public art galleries and within government-funded organisations such as the British Council, and those local and regional authorities with heritage related responsibilities and sections (Canterbury City Council, Medway Unitary Authority etc).

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This module aims to introduce second and third year students to the key aesthetic concepts of the sublime, disgust and humour, and to their application in the analysis of art and visual culture. Through a sustained focus on these key theories and a range of case studies, the module will also facilitate the development of students' subject-specific and key skills.

The module will be divided into three parts which focus separately on the sublime, disgust and humour; although general issues confronting the study of experience in art history and theory will be discussed throughout. The first part of the module will focus on the historical origins of the concept of the sublime in the works of Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant. Their theories will be discussed in relation to eighteenth and nineteenth century visual culture, and in relation to instances of the sublime in modern and contemporary culture, including representations of nature and the cosmos, religious experiences and ascetic practices. The use of the sublime in promoting political and ideological ends, as in the Nazi propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl, will also receive attention. The second part of the module will examine theories of disgust, including Charles Darwin’s evolutionary approach and Julia Kristeva’s account of 'the abject’. The vogue for the disgusting in contemporary art, beginning during the 1990s in the work of artists such as Cindy Sherman, Paul McCarthy, Gilbert & George, Tracey Emin, David Falconer and Jake & Dinos Chapman, will be critically discussed, and the relation of disgust to shock and horror will also be considered. The third part of the module will examine theories of humour, including the ‘incongruity’ and ‘release’ theories, and Sigmund Freud’s theory of jokes. Various uses artists have found for humour, from Marcel Duchamp to postmodern irony, will be discussed. ‘Gross-out’ humour and ‘black’ humour will also be a topic of attention, and examples from contemporary popular culture, including The League of Gentlemen and the films of the Farrelly brothers, will be considered. While focusing on the visual arts, the module will also consider case studies from literature and popular visual culture, including film and television, and so should also prove an attractive option to students within the Humanities Faculty as a whole.

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This module will pursue three interrelated aims through the use and study of drawing:

Firstly, it will introduce students to the range of drawing techniques used by the Old Masters, the different types of drawings they produced and their function in the process of designing and executing works of art. It will equip students with the tools for analysing and identifying drawings, providing the foundations for effective connoisseurship. Working with collections of Old Master drawings such as those at the British Museum, the Courtauld Institute, the Strang Print Room and the Victoria & Albert Museum it will familiarise students with a representative range of graphic art from the European tradition by such artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Dürer, Annibale Carracci, Rubens and Van Dyck.

Secondly, it will equip students with a practice-based understanding of the role of drawing in artistic training and of its importance as a tool for creative work. Students will participate in drawing seminars where they will carry out exercises modelled on artistic practice during the period 1400-1700 and illustrated with examples of Old Master drawings to provide guidance. These will begin with rudimentary conventions for drawing eyes and ears, through copy drawings to mechanical drawing methods like perspective and shadow projection, tracing and the use of the grid. The exercises will then build on these simple beginnings and develop towards portrait drawing informed by anatomical analysis of the skull, drawing from sculptural casts, from the draped and nude figure, sketching the landscape, and finally working towards the compositional drawing and methods for enlarging it. Drawing exercises will clarify for students the processes of artistic visualization and design, and make available to them an important tool of visual and art historical analysis.

Thirdly, the module will provide students with historical insights into the importance of drawing for art in the Western tradition, and of the theoretical expression of this importance in the concept of 'disegno'. It will explore theories defining drawing as an intellectual process of design (as well as a graphic technique), and related debates concerning the relative importance of drawing and colour, and painting and sculpture.

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Films in certain genres, such as the Western, action film and martial arts film, are often gendered masculine, their powerful, active and typically violent male protagonists seen as representing masculinity. There is, however, also a long tradition of transgressive female protagonists in "male" genres, and this module investigates such characters. In addition to giving an overview of various types of transgressive female protagonists, the module explores in depth one or a few type(s) of transgressive female protagonist depending on the convenor's research interests. Case studies may include American action film, martial arts film, Blaxploitation/exploitation film, rape-revenge film, Western, crime film/television, film noir and horror in film and television. For example, in the action film the female protagonist’s display of power and strength may be seen as masculine, but she is often also portrayed with stereotypically feminine traits such as beauty and a sexy appearance. The female protagonist is thus often perceived as standing between the masculine and the feminine. Among the many questions triggered by transgressive female protagonists, this module might explore whether this character can and should be perceived as feminist or merely as exploitative, and how and why such protagonists may appeal to a female audience in particular.

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On application, students may take this 30 Credit Year Long module. Admission is subject to approval of a project proposal. Proposals must be submitted to the Module Convenor by 07/04/2017. Within your proposal you must state a preferred supervisor with whom you should have consulted. The proposal form can be downloaded from the School of Arts website, see www.kent.ac.uk/arts/current-students/undergraduates.html and click on module availability. Alternatively you can request a copy at Jarman Reception. The Module Convenor will contact you in the summer term to confirm whether your proposal has been accepted. Students wanting to change into ART500 at a later stage maybe permitted to do so (subject to the suitability of the application and the availability of the supervisor) but should contact the Module Convenor and submit a proposal at the earliest opportunity. Proposals will not be accepted after 12/06/2017 unless there are exceptional circumstances, for which there is a separate procedure and timetable in September. If students wish to make an exceptional application for consideration in September, prior to the start of term, this needs to be submitted through the potential supervisor who will write an accompanying supporting statement. This would need to verify the proposal, confirm supervisory responsibility and endorse the student's ability to complete the project on time. Students should expect to undertake preliminary research over the summer and to see their supervisor before the summer vacation begins. Hence, late applications will only be accepted if supervisors are convinced that students are sufficiently prepared for the independent study and have already undertaken prior research. Applications for consideration as exceptional circumstances in September need to be submitted between 04/09/17 and 18/09/17. Students cannot transfer onto ART 500 after the start of term. For more information please speak to the Module Convenor at the School Fair."

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Students will engage in a work-based situation of their choice. The student will be responsible for finding the work-based situation, though support from the School and CES will be available. The internship should bear relevance to their subject of study or a career they expect to pursue upon graduation. The total of 300 hours will be divided as required for purposes of preparation, attendance of work placement and reflection/completion of required assessment. For further information please talk to the module convenor at the School of Arts Module Fair.

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This module will investigate "the Gothic" as a significant and recurring cycle within Hollywood film with recognisable tropes and themes, and a dominant tone and style. Beginning with the 1940s cycle of “Women's Gothic” which emerged at the same time as Film Noir, and visually and thematically overlapped with it, the module will explore the particularly filmic ways that such texts manage to evoke the menacing atmosphere and the tone of sexualised danger and suspense achieved by the Gothic’s source novels and short stories. Continuing from the original cycle of films, the module will examine later Hollywood films that have employed the themes and imagery of the Gothic to tap into similar complex anxieties and desires, before inspecting films from other cinemas (for example, those of Europe or Asia) which also make use of the dominant Gothic tropes.

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This course introduces students to the history and theory of film criticism, emphasising the coexistence of different approaches to the analysis, evaluation and appreciation of film. The module will also have a practical aspect, offering students the opportunity to write critical pieces on the films screened for the class. In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, some sessions will be devoted to writing and to analysing fellow students' work. Participants will also be encouraged to reflect critically on different media of film criticism (newspapers, magazines, academic journals, the internet, television) and on the current state of film criticism.

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The module explores storytelling in fictional television series, and how the long duration of these series changes the spectator's engagement, as compared to engagement in the relatively short fiction film. Furthermore, this module focuses on case studies in order to investigate their narrative, stylistic and thematic characteristics, their specific genre conventions and their background in television history. Case studies may include The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad and Madmen in an inquiry into the narrative as well as moral complexity of this recent, so-called quality trend of American drama television series, and the emerging genre convention of the antihero. The module also addresses how various types of television series have been valued in critical reception through the history of television. For example, in relation to the case studies mentioned above, the module may examine critically the implications of the oft-used label 'Quality TV’ and the HBO slogan ‘It’s not TV, it’s HBO’. In addition to introducing the students to current developments in television studies, this module takes a film theoretical, narratological approach to current television series, and trains students in various approaches to the study of television series in and beyond television studies proper.

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From the intimate viewing experience offered by mobile phones to the social interaction required by sing-a-long screenings, this module considers the changing nature of where, when and how audiences engage with film and the moving image. It considers the history of cinema-going, paying attention to the old and new sites of exhibition, especially those facilitated by new technologies. Connectedly, the module analyses the different modes of spectatorship, including audience participation and the desire to prolong or enhance the cinematic experience via extra-filmic activities, such as film-tourism. It also considers film's interaction with other arts and media—for example, its use within theatrical performances and its relationship with television. In doing so, this module reflects upon and reconsiders the definitions and limits of cinema and addresses the implications this has for the academic discipline 'Film Studies'.

As part of this course, students will have the opportunity to attend special screenings, participate in field trips and/or watch films unsupervised.

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The module primarily focuses on contemporary digital filmmaking practices and film viewing. The first section of the module introduces trick cinema, special effects, the digital intermediate, and a range of computer generated images to explore the different opportunities these offer for manipulating space, constructing narratives and aesthetic innovation. The second section of the module more explicitly engages with a range of theoretical frameworks in order to think about how digital technologies alter our understanding of film, its relationships with other media, and the ways in which we participate in film culture.

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This module examines the creative critical turn made by artists and theorists when engaging with mass culture's quotidian productions. It examines such iterations of this turn as found in the surrealist's play with the violent poetics of arch-criminal mastermind Fantômas and the oneirism of film noir; the Nouvelle Vague’s validation of American hard-boiled fiction and crime films, particularly Kiss Me Deadly; Fritz Lang’s pulp fantasies of criminal conspiracies in his Dr. Mabuse series; abstract painter and film critic Manny Farber's theory of termite art and the art brut style of Samuel Fuller; and film critic Parker Tyler’s configuration of a camp aesthetic. These are all versions of the modernist intervention into the world of commodified culture – transformations of mass cultural artefacts into art through critique.

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Animation is a term covering a diverse range of forms, and this module introduces cell-animation, stop-motion puppetry, abstract animation, as well as computer-generated cartoons and features (including animated documentaries) to explore the animated form. The first section of the module introduces different styles through a study of Disney and Warner Bros cartoons, the stop-motion animations of the Quay Bros, TV Anime, abstract music animation and web-based animation. The second section of the module uses a range of critical approaches to explore contemporary feature length animations from different national contexts.

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This module examines the way New York has been used as a site for filmmaking, looking at the history of the production of films in and about the city, and as a vital centre of film culture -- not just of filmmaking, but also exhibition and film criticism. The module considers questions of modernity, the avant-garde practice in New York during the 1950s and 60s, and the city's representation in mainstream Hollywood productions. The work on New York and film will be contextualised within a cultural history of the city, with a dual emphasis on narratives of immigration and the city as the post-war centre of the world art market.

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching and assessment

All modules are assessed by coursework – essays, presentations, image or text analyses and other module-related activities. This approach to assessment helps you to develop an in-depth knowledge of topics within modules that are most interesting and relevant to your study, and to acquire a wide range of generic and transferable skills.

Our programmes emphasise a close working relationship with students. The academic adviser system ensures that all of our students have access to a designated tutor for pastoral support and academic guidance throughout their time at Kent.

All modules include weekly lectures and small group seminars, but a distinctive feature is that many modules involve visits to London galleries, overseas visits to museums and other out-of-classroom activities. Helping students to acquire independence of thought and the skills of autonomous study are central to our teaching ethos.

Programme aims

For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection:

Careers

At Kent, we take the commitment to supporting and preparing our students for life after university very seriously. A degree in Art History enables you to explore the history, meaning and nature of the visual arts, while also providing the skills for a career in the arts industries and elsewhere.

Career options include museum curation, options in heritage and tourism, working as an archivist and art historian; art librarianship; arts shipping and insurance; arts therapy; auctioneering; craft studio workshop management; community arts/project development work; art dealing and brokerage; gallery work; heritage management; independent curation/art consulting; journalism; picture/provenance researching and photography.

You have the opportunity to undertake an internship and we offer all our students support with their CVs and personal statements. In this way, the degree offers both a strong grounding in the foundations of art historical study and an expansive approach to developing career skills.

Recent Film graduates have gone on to careers in film and television industries, arts organisations, university and school teaching, local government and business, or to pursue postgraduate academic and practical film courses. In the last few years, students have gone on to take up positions such as film journalists, film/TV archivists and roles in marketing and distribution.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBB

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events. 

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810
Part-time £4625 £6920

UK/EU fee paying students

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year Abroad/Industry

As a guide only, UK/EU/International students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay an annual fee of £1,350 to Kent for that year. Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Please note that for 2017/18 entrants the University will increase the standard year in industry fee for home/EU/international students to £1,350.

Additional costs

Art History

The following course-related costs are included in your tuition fees:

  • You can apply for the National Arts Pass which is funded by the University

The following course-related costs are not included in your tuition fees:

  • Any books you wish to purchase (there are no mandatory textbooks)
  • gallery trips (optional) 

Film

The following course-related costs are not included in your tuition fees.

For students taking film practice/production modules, we recommend you purchase:

  • a copy of Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements. Student price approx. £90.
  • a laptop (ideally, but not necessarily, an Apple Mac) to run the above software.
  • an SD card (32GB Class 10 UHC1 or better). Typical cost: £20.

Our video production facilities will be Adobe-based. Therefore, if you wish to invest in your own equipment, these purchases will ensure it fits in seamlessly with our technology. However, any student unable to make these purchases will be guaranteed the use of the same, or better, University resources and will not be disadvantaged.

For students taking the Beyond Cinema module:

You have the opportunity to attend special screenings [and other activities?]. Participation is strongly encouraged. The fee for these activities is due in the first few weeks of term and is approx. £20 (based on previous years). 

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Full-time

Part-time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.