Would you like to get involved in curating an art exhibition, researching and writing art reviews or working in an art gallery? Have you ever wondered what makes art great and who decides? At Kent, you gain an understanding of theory, experience of practice, and the confidence to choose your own ‘great art’.
Kent's School of Arts is well-known for its innovative programmes in the visual arts. Our Art History programme combines a comprehensive review of art movements, artists and artistic media with opportunities to put your knowledge into practice.
As an arts student, you become part of an artistic community based within the School of Arts’ Jarman building – a creative hub for students of art history, film, drama and media studies.
Our degree programme
This programme offers a critically engaging and expansive approach to the discipline of art history. It equips you with the key visual, critical and professional skills necessary for a career in the art world and for a range of other employment opportunities.
In your first year, you take an introductory module on the history of art. Further modules are available on the philosophy of art, photography or contemporary art. You can also choose modules from our film or drama degrees, or from other humanities subjects.
Throughout your second and third years, you develop and expand your engagement with the discipline through a range of specialist modules. As well as options that explore Renaissance and Baroque art, modernism, contemporary art, Surrealism, photography and aesthetics, the degree also offers an introduction to work-related skills directly relevant to employment in the visual arts sector, such as visual arts writing and exhibition curation.
To enhance your employability, you have the opportunity to undertake an internship. Spending time on a placement you gain invaluable workplace experience and also have the chance to evaluate a particular career path. We offer all our students support with their CVs and personal statements. See Course structure for more details.
You can also choose to study abroad for a term or a year but certain conditions apply. In the past, students have spent time in countries including Canada and Hong Kong, as well as countries in Europe. See Course structure for more details.
This programme can also be studied on a part-time basis and as part of a joint honours degree, combined with programmes such as English Literature, History and Archaeology or with a European language.
Our first-class resources allow us to offer innovative modules and ways of learning. These include:
- the Studio 3 Gallery – a high-calibre exhibition space where you can develop professional curatorial and gallery management skills
- the Kent Print Collection – our collection of works by contemporary artists and Old Masters gives you the chance to get involved in the acquisition of valuable works of art on behalf of the department.
History of Art at Kent was ranked 11th for course satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2018.
For graduate prospects, History of Art at Kent was ranked 9th in The Complete University Guide 2018.
Teaching Excellence Framework
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
Stage 1 modules
You take the following 30 credit module:
You then choose 60 credits of optional modules from a list that may include:
Stage 2 modules
Possible modules may include:
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.
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
All students within the Faculty of Humanities can apply to spend a term or a year abroad as part of their degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements including achieving a merit at Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the term or year abroad.
The term or year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.
Stage 3 modules
Possible module may include:
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.
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.
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.
You develop intellectual abilities in the following:
- engaging critically with major thinkers, intellectual paradigms, scholarly literature and issues and debates within art history
- understanding the historical emergence of forms of visual culture and the discipline of art history
- undertaking informed examination of the social and historical context in which art is produced
- combining empirical and historical information with relevant concepts in articulating your knowledge and understanding of the discpline of art history
- applying your knowledge and experience to address problems within the subject
- analysing and interpreting works of art in a manner that demonstrates critical evaluation and contextual understanding
- critically reflecting upon your own work and your understanding of the subject in an open-minded and receptive manner to unfamiliar artefacts, issues and ideas
- conducting various forms of research for essays, projects, seminar assignments and dissertations involving independent inquiry
- formulating appropriate research questions and employing suitable methods and reources for exploring those questions
- drawing upon and evaluating a range of sources and the conceptual frameworks appropriate to researching in the chosen subject area
- reflecting upon the underlying cultural and epistemological assumptions that structure the understanding of the chosen subject.
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.
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.
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
- journalism and the media
- picture research libraries
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.
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.
For graduate prospects History of Art at Kent was ranked 9th in The Complete University Guide 2018.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
New GCSE grades
If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.
|Qualification||Typical offer/minimum requirement|
|Access to HE Diploma||
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.
34 points overall or 15 points at HL. Interview required.
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
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
For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385.
Fees for Year Abroad
UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
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
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.