Art History - BA (Hons)

Study the art you love, develop new skills, and gain valuable experience ready for a career in the art world.

Overview

Join world-leading experts, benefit from proximity to London’s art collections and galleries, and take advantage of all the resources in Kent’s School of Arts including the Studio 3 Gallery and the student-curated, museum-standard Kent Print Collection, which includes works by artists from Dürer to Tracey Emin, and Gilbert & George to Liliane Lijn.

Why study Art History at Kent?

  • Our curriculum is inclusive, with a global reach. You might explore how disability is represented in the arts, find out how art can be made more accessible to everyone, discover how LGBT+ groups are represented (or not) in the arts, or ask what diversity in the media should look like
  • Creativity is at the heart of everything we do. You will have the opportunity to curate your own exhibition, publish a catalogue, take photographs, create a portfolio of drawings, put on a fashion show, and even, like a Surrealist, analyse your dreams.
  • Get career-ready. You’ll graduate with skills such as curating, writing to publication standards, or producing a portfolio that meets a creative brief. Our close links with arts institutions and galleries and our vibrant alumni community will give you access to a professional network from day one.
  • Become an art historian. You won’t just learn about the history of great art; you’ll discover how art is created and perceived, and how ancient debates about art can help us tackle contemporary questions
  • Your degree, your way. Our teaching brings the subject to life and encourages you to think independently. Customise your studies with elective modules, a year abroad or in industry, and a host of extra-curricular courses.

Our multidisciplinary team includes practising artists, art historians, curators and theorists. Located in the southeast of England, we’re at the centre of a thriving arts culture including The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in Canterbury, Turner Contemporary in Margate, the Folkestone Triennial and Whitstable Biennale, which are all within a short distance.

What our students say:

"My proudest achievement at Kent would definitely be organising and curating a public exhibition. Over the course of a term we got the opportunity to liaise with artists and contact galleries to put together an exhibition of almost 50 art works which was open to the public for two weeks. It was hugely exciting!" - Georgina Rehaag, BA Art History.

Art History at Kent is ranked 5th in the Complete University Guide 2022 and achieved a 100% overall approval rating in the National Student Survey 2021.

Your course

Art History at Kent looks forward, informed by the way that the arts have developed over hundreds of years. You’ll find modules that range from Plato to contemporary photography, debate cutting-edge issues in digital culture, and consider how the art world might change in the future.

Your first year will give you compulsory and optional modules that give you a broad introduction to the subject.

In your second year, you will be able to tailor your degree and choose from (subject to approval) topics such as:

  • Photography: Contexts of Practice
  • Museum Studies
  • Dialogues: Global Perspectives on Art History
  • Surrealism: Myth and Modernity
  • Print Collecting and Curating
  • The Art of the Nineteenth Century
  • Latin American Art
  • The Dutch Golden Age: Seventeenth-Century Art and Culture
  • The Art and Aesthetics of the Natural Environment.

Your third year courses are likely to include:

  • Study of a Single Artist
  • Arts Criticism
  • Drawing: History and Practice
  • The Art and Architecture of the Renaissance
  • Costume and Fashion
  • Sex, Gender and Digital Culture.

During your course you are likely to be writing essays and giving presentations, but might also find yourself producing creative and digital portfolios, curating exhibitions, creating photographs and drawings, or putting on fashion shows.

An Arts Internship or an Arts Project module will help shape your own independent project, giving you valuable professional skills. You might also choose to take modules from other subject areas, subject to availability, to make your degree your own.

Tailor your course to suit you with Kent Extra, which provides a range of co-curricular activities to enhance your employability and add a new dimension to student life. You can spend a year abroad, work in industry, attend a summer school, volunteer, or take a Study Plus course. You could even add a year in Computing, Data Analytics, Journalism or a Language to your degree.

Do you have a passion for film? BA Art History and Film is also available.

Your future

Your Art History course will provide you with skills and experiences that will equip you for a career in the art world.

In the course of their degree our students participate in curating, cataloguing, purchasing art works, editing, publishing, picture research and copyright, negotiating loans, art handling, interviewing, logistics and planning, fundraising, managing a budget, marketing and publicity, event management, education, and a range of different types of art writing from exhibition proposals to press releases.

This will give you a real experience of what it is like to work in a museum or gallery, and key professional skills that will enhance your employability.

Art History, like other Humanities subjects, also provides valuable transferable skills like research, analysis, and communication. It is particularly important for developing visual literacy, an increasingly important skill in an image-saturated world.

We are proud that School of Arts graduates have taken the skills they developed at Kent into to successful careers in a wide range of arts organisations including national institutions like The Royal Academy and The Art Fund, national and regional museums, and commercial art galleries and auction houses.

To find out more about the Department, our students, staff and alumni, visit our blog, Artistry.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBC

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    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. A typical offer would be to achieve DMM.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average.

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

Typical entry requirements for 2022 entry remain published on the UCAS course search website. These provide a rough guide to our likely entry requirements for Clearing applicants. 

During Clearing (after 5 July), our entry requirements change in real time to reflect the supply and demand of remaining course vacancies and so may be higher or lower than those published on UCAS as typical entry grades. Our Clearing vacancy list will be updated regularly as courses move in and out of Clearing, so please check regularly to see if we have any places available. See our Clearing website for more details on how Clearing works at Kent.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad/in industry), 6 years part-time (7 with a year abroad/in industry)

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 ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

You take one compulsory module and then choose 60 credits from a list of optional modules.

Compulsory modules currently include

The module is intended as an introduction to the world of art and to art history, both as a body of artefacts and as an academic discipline. It is intended to be accessible to those with little or no previous experience, and stimulating and informative for those who have previously studied art and culture. The approach is chronological from ancient to recent times in a global context. The module covers a range of topics, artists and art forms, including painting, sculpture and architecture, and ways to examine them (historical, cultural, artistic etc.). It introduces fundamental concepts, ideas and terminology to describe, analyse and interpret art, such as period, style, iconography, social function, patronage, composition, form, medium, genre etc.. It offers students a solid basis for the appreciation of art and its further study.

Find out more about HART3550

Optional modules may include

An exploration of women artists through the ages in twelve case studies. Each artist has made a significant contribution to the history of art through their mode of making and critical concerns. The artists include canonical figures from across the globe, such as Guan Daosheng and Artemisia Gentileschi and artists who are known for innovations in a particular field, such as Meta Warrick Fuller and Marina Abramovic.

The lecture series is located within a broadly feminist, intersectional thematic which may include material practice, biography, body politics, sexuality, race, representation and performativity. A range of lecturers in Art History will contribute to the lecture and seminar series.

In the workshops, a multi-method feminist approach draws the artists closer through playful re-enactments of their practice, narrative and talk.

Find out more about HART3000

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.

Find out more about HART3160

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.

Find out more about HART3170

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.

Find out more about HART3610

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.

Find out more about HART3620

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

Optional modules may include

This module will look at disability in the arts, covering theatre, film and visual art. The students will engage with the historical representation of disability within the arts and the way in which disability scholars have critically engaged with it. The students will also look at arts institutions (i.e. theatres, cinemas and galleries) and the disabling barriers within those institutions that prevent the full participation of people with impairments in the arts. This will culminate in an 'accessibility review', whereby the students analyse the adjustments made by arts institutions for people with impairments and the extent to which they are effective. Finally, the students will engage with examples of contemporary disabled artists whose impairments informs the aesthetic qualities of their work.

Find out more about ARTS5220

This is a practice-based module exploring the photographic medium and the contexts of its use through the production of photographs in response to a project brief and group-based critical discussion of the work produced. Students investigate how the context in which photographs are made affect how the world is represented, and how in turn these images shape perception. Students choose two practical project briefs that are designed to enable them to explore the medium creatively and through informed and reflective practice. The emphasis of the module is upon this creative practice rather than the acquisition of specific technical skills, and as such students are at liberty to use any photographic production and post-production technologies they wish to experiment with or find appropriate. A camera phone and access to a computer and printer are all that is needed for this module, though students who wish to make use of digital image processing or analogue processes, including use of a darkroom, are encouraged to do so. Each of the practical project briefs will be supported through a series of lectures closely examining various genres, styles and other contexts of photographic production through the work of those who have shaped them. In addition students will present the work they have produced in response to their project briefs, and engage in a broad critical discussion or their own and other's work.

Find out more about ARTS5230

This module introduces students to the art and cultures of Latin American countries such as Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba. Students will explore non-Western artistic traditions, practices and theoretical frameworks, and consider art's relation to society. The art works considered are drawn from various countries across Latin America and represent a wide range of visual art forms (with a focus on the art of the Twentieth Century) and assess both their formal analysis and their historical context. Attention will also be given to the Latin American diaspora and transatlantic exchanges. In the course of these investigations issues relating to imperialism, colonialism and post-colonial frameworks across theory and practice will be closely studied, as well as the challenges artists face in negotiating expressions of national identities and problematics versus the adoption of international styles; and the role of collections, exhibitions and art institutions within and beyond national borders.

Find out more about HART5005

This module will explore the major art movements of the Nineteenth Century such as Romanticism, Realism, Pre-Raphaelitism, Impressionism, the New Sculpture and Post-Impressionism. It will look in depth at the work of a number of key artists during this period (for example, these may include J. M. W. Turner, Eugène Delacroix, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Auguste Rodin, Camille Claudel, Paul Cezanne and Vincent van Gogh). While the focus will be on the visual arts in France and England, the module will situate these artistic trends within a broader historical context, exploring parallels with literary, scientific and philosophical developments. Social attitudes towards the arts will be examined in the light of the class, gender and racial issues that characterised an age of industrial growth, European colonialism and empire building. Seminars will be dedicated to analysing topics like Delacroix and Orientalism, the 'Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood', the representation of poverty, nature and landscape, the modern city and popular culture, the impact of photography, or Gauguin in Tahiti.

Find out more about HART5006

This module explores the natural environment as the subject matter of aesthetic attention and value, as well as creative interventions into nature such as landscaping, gardens and land art. Differing contemporary approaches to understanding the aesthetic value of nature and the natural environment will be explored, as well as older concepts, such as the picturesque, natural beauty and the sublime, that were important in the first attempts to think of the natural environment as site of aesthetic experience and value. The issues of climate change and environmental degradation will provide a backdrop throughout the module, providing increased focus upon the aesthetic value of nature, the natural environment and the interventions of land artists.

Find out more about HART5007

This module explores a range of interconnections and tensions between western and non-western art historical and visual traditions. The lectures and seminars identify and consider examples of transcultural 'encounter' between principally western and non-western countries and territories, as well as appropriations from, and differences between, traditions of representational and non-representational art. In examining the influences, appropriations and cross-fertilizations of western and non-western art and culture the course will also place these within broader political and social histories, the rise of nationalism, continental trade relations, the advent of war, tourism, colonialism and imperialism. More broadly, the module will explore the nature and modalities of 'dialogue' from various critical and art historical perspectives, including the terms, elisions and the failures of such between western and non-western traditions. Visual and textual examples will also encompass the exclusions, altercations, violations and marginalization of non-western cultures and their traditions within and across this framework.

Find out more about HART6600

The module will involve the study of a single artist of significance for the history of art. Through the in-depth study of the works of art of a single artist, the interpretations made of them and the cultural significance of the artist's life and oeuvre, students will be introduced to a wide range of approaches and issues central to the theory and practice of the discipline of Art History. They will also acquire subject-specific and generic learning skills necessary to progress on their degree programme. The convenorship of the module will rotate among members of History of Art and with it the choice of artist to be studied.

The purpose of the module is not to uphold a canon of established masters. The artist chosen could be historic or contemporary, working in a traditional or non-traditional medium or located anywhere in the world. An indicative list of possible artists is: Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Léon Ferrari, El Anatsui, or Rachel Whiteread.

Find out more about HART6690

You have the opportunity to select elective 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 Division of Arts and 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 meet any progression requirements including achieving a merit at Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the term or year abroad. To find out more, please see Go 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.

Stage 3

Optional modules may include

The module gives School of Arts students across a range of undergraduate programmes the opportunity to undertake a written independent research project at stage 3.

Students who wish to take the module must approach a permanent academic member of staff with a proposal, typically in advance of module registration, during the Spring term of the previous year. Students pick a research topic of their choice; however, students are only allowed to register for the module with the permission of a staff member who has agreed to supervise the project, and who has the expertise to do so. Potential supervisors must also ensure before they agree to supervise a project that the resources required to complete the project will be available to the student, and that adequate supervisory support will be available to the student throughout their study on the module.

Students will be supported in the preparation and submission of their work by their supervisor, although a central expectation of the module is that students will take increasing responsibility for their learning, consistent with expectations of Level 6 study.

Find out more about ARTS5000

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.

Find out more about ARTS5010

This interdisciplinary course will examine historical and current theoretical ideas and research on the ways in which art is created and perceived. Artforms that will be considered include visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, popular art), performing arts (dance and theater), music, and film. Readings will interface with subdisciplines of psychology such as perception, psychoaesthetics, neurophysiology, social psychology, and studies of emotion. Principal areas of focus will include aesthetics, arts-experimental design, perception of art, meaning in art, the psychology of the creative process, social and cultural issues, and the ramifications of arts-sciences research. The primary focus will be on Western art forms, though other world art traditions and aesthetics will also be discussed. Assessment methods will test understanding through a summary and critical reflection on a selected text and the proposal, research, and design and oral presentation of a potential interdisciplinary research project.

Find out more about ARTS5200

The module provides a practice-based approach to art history to complement the academic approach of other modules in the History of Art programmes. By focusing on prints it will aim to provide students with an "apprenticeship" in two practical areas of art history, namely collecting and curating. The module will involve students in the full cycle of these two interrelated processes: from identifying and acquiring a print, to cataloguing and curating it, to making sense of it to a wider public by placing it in the context of a themed exhibition. In the first assessment task each student will submit an “exhibition bid” proposing an idea for an exhibition based on the existing collection and suggesting new acquisitions (and possibly loans) to realise the idea. The concepts for exhibitions could derive from the subject matter or techniques of prints in the collection, or they could involve focussing on a particular artist or period. The best conceived bid will then be adopted by the group who will work collectively to put on the exhibition. At this stage students will visit dealers and auction houses and carry out object-based research in order to secure new acquisitions. A study diary will be kept by each student to record this process and will be submitted at the end of the module as part of the overall assessment. As prints are acquired they will be catalogued to a professional standard format and these entries will form the basis of a catalogue to accompany the exhibition that will be the culmination of the module. Putting on the exhibition will require practical team-work to frame and hang the prints, to write and produce labels and illustrative material, and to staff and publicise the exhibition.

Find out more about HART5730

This module explores a range of interconnections and tensions between western and non-western art historical and visual traditions. The lectures and seminars identify and consider examples of transcultural 'encounter' between principally western and non-western countries and territories, as well as appropriations from, and differences between, traditions of representational and non-representational art. In examining the influences, appropriations and cross-fertilizations of western and non-western art and culture the course will also place these within broader political and social histories, the rise of nationalism, continental trade relations, the advent of war, tourism, colonialism and imperialism. More broadly, the module will explore the nature and modalities of 'dialogue' from various critical and art historical perspectives, including the terms, elisions and the failures of such between western and non-western traditions. Visual and textual examples will also encompass the exclusions, altercations, violations and marginalization of non-western cultures and their traditions within and across this framework.

Find out more about HART5910

This module introduces students to the art and cultures of Latin American countries such as Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba. Students will explore non-Western artistic traditions, practices and theoretical frameworks, and consider art's relation to society. The art works considered are drawn from various countries across Latin America and represent a wide range of visual art forms (with a focus on the art of the Twentieth Century) and assess both their formal analysis and their historical context. Attention will also be given to the Latin American diaspora and transatlantic exchanges. In the course of these investigations issues relating to imperialism, colonialism and post-colonial frameworks across theory and practice will be closely studied, as well as the challenges artists face in negotiating expressions of national identities and problematics versus the adoption of international styles; and the role of collections, exhibitions and art institutions within and beyond national borders.

Find out more about HART6005

This module will explore the major art movements of the Nineteenth Century such as Romanticism, Realism, Pre-Raphaelitism, Impressionism, the New Sculpture and Post-Impressionism. It will look in depth at the work of a number of key artists during this period (for example, these may include J. M. W. Turner, Eugène Delacroix, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Auguste Rodin, Camille Claudel, Paul Cezanne and Vincent van Gogh). While the focus will be on the visual arts in France and England, the module will situate these artistic trends within a broader historical context, exploring parallels with literary, scientific and philosophical developments. Social attitudes towards the arts will be examined in the light of the class, gender and racial issues that characterised an age of industrial growth, European colonialism and empire building. Seminars will be dedicated to analysing topics like Delacroix and Orientalism, the 'Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood', the representation of poverty, nature and landscape, the modern city and popular culture, the impact of photography, or Gauguin in Tahiti.

Find out more about HART6006

This module explores the natural environment as the subject matter of aesthetic attention and value, as well as creative interventions into nature such as landscaping, gardens and land art. Differing contemporary approaches to understanding the aesthetic value of nature and the natural environment will be explored, as well as older concepts, such as the picturesque, natural beauty and the sublime, that were important in the first attempts to think of the natural environment as site of aesthetic experience and value. The issues of climate change and environmental degradation will provide a backdrop throughout the module, providing increased focus upon the aesthetic value of nature, the natural environment and the interventions of land artists.

Find out more about HART6007

The module will involve the study of a single artist of significance for the history of art. Through the in-depth study of the works of art of a single artist, the interpretations made of them and the cultural significance of the artist's life and oeuvre, students will be introduced to a wide range of approaches and issues central to the theory and practice of the discipline of Art History. They will also acquire subject-specific and generic learning skills necessary to progress on their degree programme. The convenorship of the module will rotate among members of History of Art and with it the choice of artist to be studied.

The purpose of the module is not to uphold a canon of established masters. The artist chosen could be historic or contemporary, working in a traditional or non-traditional medium or located anywhere in the world. An indicative list of possible artists is: Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Léon Ferrari, El Anatsui, or Rachel Whiteread.

Find out more about HART6700

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13000
  • International full-time £17400
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6500
  • International part-time £8700

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

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.* 

Your fee status

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 in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.

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.

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 A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

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.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

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 discipline 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 resources 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.

Independent rankings

History of Art at Kent was ranked 11th for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2023.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have a very good record of finding employment in the visual arts. Recent graduates have gone into areas including:

  • art dealing
  • working in galleries
  • arts administration
  • arts therapy
  • craft studio workshop management
  • teaching
  • journalism and the media
  • picture research libraries
  • photography.

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.

Help finding a job

Kent School of Arts has an excellent reputation and many links with institutions and individuals working in the field. This network is very useful to students when looking for work.

The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

As well as gaining skills and knowledge in your subject area, you also learn the key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently.

Taking a year abroad demonstrates to employers that you are flexible in your outlook and have an understanding of other cultures. While going on a placement year gives you the relevant experience that many employers look for.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Art History - BA (Hons)

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  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code V352
  • Institution ID K24

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