Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Art History - BA (Hons)

UCAS code V352

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only

2017

This programme offers a critically engaging and expansive approach to the discipline of art history. 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

In your first year, you are given a firm foundation in some of the aesthetic, interpretative and methodological approaches to the discipline. Throughout your second and third years, you 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, the degree 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. 

Study options

To enhance your employability, you have the opportunity to undertake an internship and we offer all our students support with their CVs and personal statements. You can also choose to study abroad for a term or a year but certain conditions apply. 

This programme can also be studied on a part-time basis and as part of a joint honours degree, combined with programmes such as English Literature, History and Archaeology or with a European language.

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.

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 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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30

This course aims to draw on both the history and theory of art in order to present a wide range of contemporary forms of art and artistic practice, and to articulate some key distinctions useful for addressing the question of the place of art in culture. In particular, a discussion of ideas of the avant-garde, of modernity and postmodernism will be relevant here. The course will explore, through pursuing general themes and case studies of particularly controversial art objects, the different means by which our notions of art and of the artist are 'framed' today, and it will therefore both inform students' broader study of the history of art and complement their individual artistic practice.

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15

This course aims to draw on both the history and theory of art in order to present a wide range of contemporary forms of art and artistic practice, and to articulate some key distinctions useful for addressing the question of the place of art in culture. In particular, a discussion of ideas of the avant-garde, of modernity and postmodernism will be relevant here. The course will explore, through pursuing general themes and case studies of particularly controversial art objects, the different means by which our notions of art and of the artist are 'framed' today, and it will therefore both inform students' broader study of the history of art and complement their individual artistic practice.

Read more
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

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.

Read more
30
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

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.

Read more
30

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.

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 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.

Read more
30
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Year in industry

This programme provides an 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.

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 a 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 does 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

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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30

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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30

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.

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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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 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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30

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.

Read more
30
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. We do not schedule exams. 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 aims, 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

Our aims are to provide students with:

  • a broad understanding of the history of art, as well as a critical and analytical approach to interpreting art and the opportunity to study selected areas of art history in depth
  • an informed knowledge of the principles of art history, visual traditions and traditions of art historical writing
  • teaching that is informed by current research and scholarship
  • knowledge to enhance students' awareness of sensitivity to the context of the production and reception of the arts over a range of historical periods
  • the ability to think, and work, independently
  • a distinctive focus on interdisciplinary and practice-based learning
  • the ability to interact with others and develop critical reflexivity in individual and group work
  • opportunities to develop students' personal, communication, research and other key skills.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • particular forms of the visual arts and the way in which they can be interpreted
  • the historical evolution of visual traditions, artistic movements, media and genres of art
  • the works of a range of significant artists, in particular from the Renaissance to the present day
  • the cultural, social and historical contexts in which works of art are produced, and the uses to which they are put
  • the techniques and processes through which artefacts are constructed in the cultures studied
  • modes, formal conventions and styles of representation in the fine arts, photography and related visual media
  • critical tools, theories and concepts that have evolved for interpreting works of art
  • methodologies and approaches to the study of visual arts, including the terminology used in art history
  • substantive areas of current research in history of art.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual abilities in the following:

  • engaging critically with major thinkers, intellectual paradigms, scholarly literature and issues and debates within art history
  • understanding the historical emergence of forms of visual culture and the discipline of art history
  • undertaking informed examination of the social and historical context in which art is produced
  • combining empirical and historical information with relevant concepts in articulating your knowledge and understanding of the discpline of art history
  • applying your knowledge and experience to address problems within the subject
  • analysing and interpreting works of art in a manner that demonstrates critical evaluation and contextual understanding
  • critically reflecting upon your own work and your understanding of the subject in an open-minded and receptive manner to unfamiliar artefacts, issues and ideas
  • conducting various forms of research for essays, projects, seminar assignments and dissertations involving independent inquiry
  • formulating appropriate research questions and employing suitable methods and reources for exploring those questions
  • drawing upon and evaluating a range of sources and the conceptual frameworks appropriate to researching in the chosen subject area
  • reflecting upon the underlying cultural and epistemological assumptions that structure the understanding of the chosen subject.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • analysing and interpreting visual artefacts with an informed knowledge of the conventions of visual traditions
  • critical skills of visual observation, description and analysis
  • the effective deployment of terms and concepts specific to history of art
  • locating and evaluating evidence from a wide range of primary and secondary sources (visual, oral or textual) and interpreting it in relation to relevant issues and inquiries
  • drawing upon and bringing together ideas from different sources of knowledge, not only from the subject area but also from other academic disciplines
  • articulating an understanding of visual media orally and in writing
  • demonstrating the ability to marshal an argument, summarise and defend or critique a particular interpretation or analysis supported by relevant visual, textual or other evidence as appropriate
  • evaluating a range of different methodologies and approaches within the subject.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • organising information clearly, responding to written sources, presenting information orally and adapting your style for different audiences, using images as a communication tool; presenting arguments cogently and effectively in written, spoken or other form
  • IT – producing written documents, undertaking online research, communicate using email and process information using databases
  • exploring your personal strengths and weaknesses, critical and analytical skills, self-discipline and self-direction, independence of thought, time management and develop specialist learning skills, such as foreign languages, seeking and utilising feedback and critically reflecting upon and improving your own performance
  • working with others, in particular define and review the work of others, work co-operatively on group tasks and understand how groups function
  • problem solving – identifying and defining problems, exploring alternative solutions and discriminating between them. Focusing and applying attention to detail and working diligently to fulfil briefs and deadlines and taking responsibility for your own work.

Careers

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.


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. Interview required.

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. Interview required.

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

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) 

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.