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.

Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBC

  • medal-empty 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.

  • medal-empty 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. 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 which are closely aligned to the programme applied for. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed above. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

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 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, focusing on a sequence of so termed '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.

Find out more about HART3550

Optional modules may include

This module examines a wide range of contemporary forms of art and artistic practice, and articulates some key distinctions useful for addressing the question of the place of art in culture. These include a discussion of ideas of the avant-garde, of modernity, and postmodernism. It pursues general themes and case studies of particularly controversial art objects, and investigates the different means by which our notions of art and of the artist are 'framed' today.

Find out more about HART3140

This module examines a wide range of contemporary forms of art and artistic practice, and articulates some key distinctions useful for addressing the question of the place of art in culture. These include a discussion of ideas of the avant-garde, of modernity, and postmodernism. It pursues general themes and case studies of particularly controversial art objects, and investigates the different means by which our notions of art and of the artist are 'framed' today.

Find out more about HART3150

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

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.

Find out more about ARTS5030

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 is a module built around a current academically rigorous exhibition (i.e. an exhibition running at the same time as the module). Through studying and assessing an exhibition, students will learn about a varied range of issues involved in curating art history from the logistical to the conceptual. Some of these issues are generic to the challenge of curating, others are specific to the piece of curation which is being studied (and which will from vary year to year). In addition, the course will examine the exhibitions as a multi-platform media event with its own digital dimension, which may generate press or media coverage, and involve other forms of interaction with its audience.

Find out more about HART5001

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 artists, the different types of drawings they produce 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, and provide foundations for effective connoisseurship..

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. To give some indicative examples, these may 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 may 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.

Find out more about HART6660

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

The course begins with an analysis of Raphael's frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura of the Vatican Palace, as a means of introducing the key themes which will be considered throughout: proportion in architecture, the body and the geometry of vision; rhetoric, both verbal and visual, and the related concepts of variety, decorum, and composition; poetic inspiration, emulation and imitation; and the revival of antiquity. These themes are then reviewed as they occur in the writings of Leon Battista Alberti, the most evolved theoretical texts on the visual arts of the period. Alberti’s works raises the question of whether he was describing current practice or setting out an ideal, and also whether he was writing principally for artists or for their patrons? Alberti’s elevated claims for painting, architecture and, to a lesser extent, sculpture as liberal arts, are then compared with the contemporary status of artists, whether operating from a workshop or employed at court. The course continues by looking in detail at the works of four key Italian artists – Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian – to assess how far they engaged with, or departed from, the Albertian paradigm. Albrecht Dürer, a northern European artist excelling in the less "noble" medium of printmaking, but also profoundly interested in issues of perspective and proportion, is considered to provide a non-Italian point of view on the Renaissance. Interspersed with these studies of single artists lectures may consider in greater detail particular themes raised by these artists’ works, such as the extent of artists’ knowledge of anatomy, the influence of the ruins of Rome, the Renaissance ideal of love, the creation of new styles by transgressing architectural rules for playful effect or to achieve “grace”, and the development in Venice of the genre of pastoral landscape. Alternatively, the work of other major artists may be considered such as Correggio, Parmigianino, Bandinelli etc. Having, broadly speaking, covered the period 1470-1550 chronologically, the course concludes by looking at the mid sixteenth-century reassessment of these artistic achievements in the writings of Dolce, Varchi and Vasari.

Find out more about HART6770

This module explores the history, theory and practice of arts criticism. Although critical practice related to all art forms may feature, the emphasis will be upon the visual arts, and in particular, the pictorial arts, sculpture and installation. The lectures will address the aims and methods of art criticism, as well as the media and professional contexts in which it is produced. Seminars will be devoted to exploring the connections between theory and concrete examples of art criticism produced by noted critics. Students will produce a portfolio of their own art critical reviews of works, exhibitions and related art events. The emphasis of this practical component will be the production of art criticism that meets standards and expectations of general and specialist newspapers, magazines and websites.

Find out more about HART7010

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 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 course begins with an analysis of Raphael's frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura of the Vatican Palace, as a means of introducing the key themes which will be considered throughout: proportion in architecture, the body and the geometry of vision; rhetoric, both verbal and visual, and the related concepts of variety, decorum, and composition; poetic inspiration, emulation and imitation; and the revival of antiquity. These themes are then reviewed as they occur in the writings of Leon Battista Alberti, the most evolved theoretical texts on the visual arts of the period. Alberti’s works raises the question of whether he was describing current practice or setting out an ideal, and also whether he was writing principally for artists or for their patrons? Alberti’s elevated claims for painting, architecture and, to a lesser extent, sculpture as liberal arts, are then compared with the contemporary status of artists, whether operating from a workshop or employed at court. The course continues by looking in detail at the works of four key Italian artists – Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian – to assess how far they engaged with, or departed from, the Albertian paradigm. Albrecht Dürer, a northern European artist excelling in the less "noble" medium of printmaking, but also profoundly interested in issues of perspective and proportion, is considered to provide a non-Italian point of view on the Renaissance. Interspersed with these studies of single artists lectures may consider in greater detail particular themes raised by these artists’ works, such as the extent of artists’ knowledge of anatomy, the influence of the ruins of Rome, the Renaissance ideal of love, the creation of new styles by transgressing architectural rules for playful effect or to achieve “grace”, and the development in Venice of the genre of pastoral landscape. Alternatively, the work of other major artists may be considered such as Correggio, Parmigianino, Bandinelli etc. Having, broadly speaking, covered the period 1470-1550 chronologically, the course concludes by looking at the mid sixteenth-century reassessment of these artistic achievements in the writings of Dolce, Varchi and Vasari.

Find out more about HART5020

This module explores the history, theory and practice of arts criticism. Although critical practice related to all art forms may feature, the emphasis will be upon the visual arts, and in particular, the pictorial arts, sculpture and installation. The lectures will address the aims and methods of art criticism, as well as the media and professional contexts in which it is produced. Seminars will be devoted to exploring the connections between theory and concrete examples of art criticism produced by noted critics. Students will produce a portfolio of their own art critical reviews of works, exhibitions and related art events. The emphasis of this practical component will be the production of art criticism that meets standards and expectations of general and specialist newspapers, magazines and websites.

Find out more about HART5950

This is a module built around a current academically rigorous exhibition (i.e. an exhibition running at the same time as the module). Through studying and assessing an exhibition, students will learn about a varied range of issues involved in curating art history from the logistical to the conceptual. Some of these issues are generic to the challenge of curating, others are specific to the piece of curation which is being studied (and which will from vary year to year). In addition, the course will examine the exhibitions as a multi-platform media event with its own digital dimension, which may generate press or media coverage, and involve other forms of interaction with its audience.

Find out more about HART6001

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 artists, the different types of drawings they produce 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, and provide foundations for effective connoisseurship..

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. To give some indicative examples, these may 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 may 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.

Find out more about HART6480

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

This module gives students the opportunity to bring prior learning on gender and sexuality into a focused context, whilst employing a critical study of representation in contemporary mediaand digital cultures. `Students will be encouraged to question how (and if) representations of gender and sexuality are shifting in the millenial era though a series of critical questions, such as: How has the Internet changed human relationships? What is the impact of pornography on contemporary youth culture? Are men also objectified by the media? How should we understand misogyny and has it been intensified in the digital age? How do we define consent post MeToo? Have advertisers apropriated feminism? What is the difference between liberation and exploitation? How are LGBT groups represented (or not represented)? What is the relationship between race and sexualisation? What should diversity in the media look like?

One of the assessment methods employed on this module is a Digital Portfolio. The Digital Portfolio platform allows students on theoretical modules to create practical implementations of scholarly ideas and interactive forms of assessment, which may include blogging, video essays, and other forms of trans-media content.

Find out more about MSTU6003

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

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only the 2021/2022 fees for this course were £9,250.

  • 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

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2021/22 entry 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.

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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

Of final-year Art History students who completed the National Student Survey 2021, 100% were satisfied with the overall quality of their course. 

History of Art at Kent was ranked 5th in The Complete University Guide 2022

History of Art at Kent was ranked 4th for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2022.

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 this course

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

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