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Course Description

At the School of Art, you are not just studying the history of art, you become actively engaged in it. The School is housed in a magnificent listed building where history meets practice. Here, art is made, curated and exhibited. The study of art history has many practical applications. It promotes critical thinking and provides a sound foundation for careers in education and publishing, in journalism and advertising, as well as in curating and art administration.

The BA in Art History at Aberystwyth equips you with essential research and writing skills. This ensures that you not only learn how to read art history but that you know what it means to be an art historian.

  • Studying at the School of Art, you will have access to an internationally renowned collection of art and artifacts. Our collection consists of some 20,000 prints, photographs, drawings, paintings and ceramics. We actively draw on those original works of art to build a practical knowledge of art history.
  • The School of Art is a government-accredited art museum that runs its own galleries. There are only two such schools in the UK. This means a hands-on study of art in a museum environment. It gives you the opportunity to engage creatively with art history by curating works from our collection as part of your degree scheme.  For examples of a student-curated exhibition, visit our Museum and Galleries blog.
  • As a student here, you will be joining one of highest-ranking art departments in the UK. The School of Art is the only Art History degree awarding university in Wales.
  • Our staff are actievely engaged in research, and their findings inform our teaching in the School of Art. Our team of experts include well-known art historians, practicing curators and exhibiting artists.
  • During your time in the School of Art, you will have the opportunity to work with and study our internationally renowned collection of prints, photographs, paintings and ceramics.
  • All students in our school have access to our teaching facilities which inlcude a MAC suite, studios and learning spaces.
  • The highlight for all students in our department is curating an exhibition in our galleries as part of your degree scheme.
  • On the our doorstep is the National Library of Wales. One of only five copyright libraries in the United Kingdom, the National Library in Aberystwyth holds over six million books, maps, prints and manuscripts, and has an outstanding collection of paintings and works on paper.

At the School of Art, you are not just studying the history of art, you become actively engaged in it. The School is housed in a magnificent listed building where history meets practice. Here, art is made, curated and exhibited. The study of art history has many practical applications. It promotes critical thinking and provides a sound foundation for careers in education and publishing, in...

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Course Content

In your first year you will: 

  • Gain a broad foundation in Western art organised by themes, genres, movements and styles from the Renaissance to the twentieth century (for example, representations of the human figure and ways of looking into landscape);
  • Learn the fundamentals of researching and interpreting works of art and visual culture;
  • Examine the School of Art Museum collections and engage with works of art at first hand;
  • Choose from optional modules to deepen your understanding of specific subjects.

 In your second year you will: 

  • Investigate the history of twentieth century Western art, the shift from Modernism to Postmodernism, as well as contemporary visual culture;
  • Explore critical and theoretical approaches to art history and practice;
  • Continue to build your own curriculum from our portfolio of optional art history modules on subjects such as photography, printmaking, book illustration and abstraction;
  • Receive individual and subject-specific guidance in professional practice (writing and research) as you develop your dissertation project under staff supervision.

In your third year you will:

  • Choose from a range of interdisciplinary subjects such as adaptation, the Gothic, and the relationship of art and sound;
  • Have the opportunity to draw on your first-hand knowledge of our art collection by curating an exhibition with a team of your peers;
  • Gain insights into how art is made through workshops and practicals exploring techniques, tools and materials;
  • Conduct original research as you work towards your dissertation under staff supervision.

In your first year you will:  Gain a broad foundation in Western art organised by themes, genres, movements and styles from the Renaissance to the twentieth century (for example, representations of the human figure and ways of looking into landscape); Learn the fundamentals of researching and interpreting works of art and visual...

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Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 96 - 120

A Levels BBB-CCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-MMM

International Baccalaureate:
30-26

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall

UCAS Tariff 96 - 120 A Levels BBB-CCC GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4): English or Welsh BTEC National Diploma: DDM-MMM International Baccalaureate: 30-26 European Baccalaureate: 75%-65%...

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Assessment Methods

Assessment is generally by coursework (essays, dissertation project and, to a lesser extent, exams). As a practice-oriented programme, we also use a range of practical assessments, including seminar presentations and project work. Learning outcomes are clearly communicated in the outline for each module, so you always know what kind of work is involved.

Assessment is generally by coursework (essays, dissertation project and, to a lesser extent, exams). As a practice-oriented programme, we also use a range of practical assessments, including seminar presentations and project work. Learning outcomes are clearly communicated in the outline for each module, so you always know what kind of work is involved.