BA (Hons) Art History

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Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

Artists have responded to the modern world in many imaginative ways that have changed how people view society. This course focuses on relationships between art and modern society through the study of artists, artworks and movements from the early 19th century to the present. You will be encouraged to engage in independent research and professional development using the many galleries of Manchester and the North West.

The programme addresses a diverse range of artists and movements in different places and times, as well as theoretical approaches to art history. The team delivering the course are research-active art historians, theorists and curators with expertise in art in the modern and contemporary period, curatorship and art practice. There are opportunities for national and international study trips, international Erasmus+ programme study abroad and the option to study a language.

Find out more about this course, including staff profiles and read the course blog at www.art.mmu.ac.uk/arthistory

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

This course is appropriate for careers in a range of cultural roles eg art historian, curator, art writer/journalist, arts manager, teacher, archivist, as well as being appropriate for postgraduate study.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2018 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2019 academic year. Please check back for further details.

UCAS tariff points/grades required

112-120

Minimum 112 - 120 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design). A Level General Studies is not accepted.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate points

26

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

BA (Hons) Art History focuses on the study of art between 1800 and the present day, framing developments in art practice during this period in terms of their social, cultural, and other contexts.

The programme addresses a diverse range of artists and movements in different places and times as well as theoretical approaches to art history.

In Year One you will study the history of art during the modern period (1800-1950), by considering general relationships between art and society, as well as specific movements and artists. You will also consider the meanings of images, objects and contexts for their use and display.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Unit X

At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities. 

Modern Art History: 1800-1950

The unit involves an introduction to modern art c.1800-1950, addressing  Romanticism, Realism, and Modernism in relation to modern life and modernity, and also considering different art historical approaches to art during this period. The unit aims to introduce students to the history of art during the modern period (c. 1800-1950) by considering general relationships between art and society as well as specific movements and artists.

Art History and Visual Theory

The unit provides an introduction to approaches to art history and to visual theory through the exploration of art historical and as visual cultural examples.

Option Units

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice. The 15 credit option is taken when you opt to do a 15 credit Uniwide languages unit as well (mmu.ac.uk/uniwide).

Contextualising Practice 1

30 credit unit. You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice.

In Year Two you will explore the development of art practice between 1950 and 2000, looking at the emergence and spread of new approaches to art and the development of new relationships between art and society during this period. You will also develop your interpretative skills by addressing approaches to the historical and critical interpretation of art and images.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the University and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Post War Art History: 1950-2000

The unit explores art c. 1950-2000 in different geographical locations, considering categories of art practice, artists and groups, political and social conditions, and art historical issues arising from the study of art during this period. Unit content will cover: the emergence of the United States as a key context for the international art world; relationships between art and the Cold War; the role of the avant-garde in the second half of the twentieth century; art and consumer society; the debate around art and Post-Modernism; the general proliferation of art practices from the 1960s onwards; relationship between art and politics, and relationships between art and the culture industry; issues around globalisation.

Interpretations: Theories of Art History and Curating

The unit addresses key approaches, methods, and theories relevant to the interpretation of art and forms of visual culture. The unit will further introduce students to interpretative approaches, methods, and theories relevant to the study of art and visual forms, focusing primarily on the period 1950 to 2000. These approaches, methods, and theories will include: iconography and iconology, formalism, semiotics, phenomenology, Marxist approaches to cultural production, the social history of art, Foucauldian discourse analysis, Feminist approaches to art history,  picture theory, post-colonial theory, psychoanalysis and cultural geography.

Option Units

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

In Year Three you will examine a range of art practices that have been developed between 2000 and the present-day, considering old and new mediums and both traditional and new ways of displaying contemporary art. You will also reflect upon the contexts within which art (both historical and contemporary) is produced, seen, interpreted and circulated.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Contemporary Art: 2000-the Present

The unit looks at a range of art practices that have been developed between 2000 and the present-day, considering old and new mediums and both traditional and new contexts for the display and circulation of contemporary art. The unit will consider contemporary art practice (c. 2000-present) in relation to the areas of painting, sculpture, public art, installation and site-specific work, lens-based practices, digital art, participation, relational aesthetics, and activist art. The aim of the unit is to explore the technical and aesthetic forms of these practices as well as their discursive, institutional, professional, political, global, and ethical contexts and ramifications.

Framings: the Contexts of Art

The unit will examine a range of institutional contexts and discourses related to the production, circulation, interpretation, and valuing of art between the early nineteenth century and the present, with a particular focus on institutional structures relevant to contemporary art since the late twentieth century. These will include the nineteenth century academies, the art market, the art museum, avant-garde formations and alternative display sites, the art magazine, and digital cultures. These different subjects will be addressed in terms of relationships between discourses, sites, practices, and agents. The unit will encourage critical reflection upon the place of art within socio-cultural structures and upon the roles of art institutions and art professionals.

Independent Research Project

The unit enables you to develop a research methodology and theoretical framework through which to identify, organise, and interpret primary research material related to a number of cases studies.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

Study
Assessment

Manchester School of Art

Our School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain, offering courses designed to serve specialist industry needs and give students the tools for their chosen career.

Like the city of Manchester, the school prides itself on being creative, unconventional and professional, providing a broad range of architecture, art, design, media and theatre undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a unique creative environment that encourages creative collaboration across the disciplines.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

Tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are still being finalised for all courses. Please see our general guide to our standard undergraduate tuition fees.

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students often choose to buy their own laptop in their first year. However there are computer facilities on campus. £200-£800

Placement Costs

Educational visits to European centres during each year. These are optional and if related to a unit of study, local alternative are identified.

Professional Costs

There are no additional professional membership fees required for full qualification.

Other Costs

£150

Books and digitised readings are available from the library. However you will be required to purchase a small number of core books. There will also be some costs associated with printing (core and optional).

Funding

For further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships, follow the links below:

Bursaries and scholarships

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

2W33

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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