BA History of Art (European Union)

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  • Objectives
    We live in a world dominated by images - still and moving - which interact in complex and subtle ways. Images are fundamental to the way people understand the world and other people, and they have always played this role. Images encapsulate and therefore give us access to some of the most profound and contentious issues in civilisation, such as religious beliefs, scientific concepts, social commentaries, ethnic and gender prejudices, ideals of beauty, fashion and taste, and many other things besides. This course traces the enduring power of images through centuries of human history, and it will equip you with the skills necessary not only to analyse and evaluate them on their own terms, but also to read through them into the historical cultures, ideas and people that lie beyond.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements * A/AS Levels: Three A levels usually required. Two AS levels considered in place of one A level. General Studies accepted. * GCSE: No specific requirements. * Access to HE course: Pass, with at least the requisite credits at level 3. * European Baccalaureate: Pass with 65% overall. * International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points. * Leicestershire Progression Accord: 230-310 points as above plus full Accord credits. * BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DMM. * Other qualifications: Other national and international qualifications welcomed. * Mature students welcomed: Alternative qualifications considered. * Second Year Entry: Possible for those with advanced qualifications compatible with our degree structure, e.g. Certificate in Art History. * Students may be required to attend an interview. All applicants who receive an offer will be invited to visit the Department. * It is also possible to study for this degree on a part-time basis.
  • Academic title
    BA History of Art (European Union)
  • Course description
    BA History of Art (European Union)


    First Year

    During the first semester you will take two core modules, one introducing you to the broad history of art and architecture from classical antiquity through to the eighteenth-century, the other introducing you to the different ways that art has been written about and providing a practical guide to the skills required when looking at art. You will also select a supplementary module from a wide variety of subject areas: Practical Art, Film Studies, American Studies, English, History, or Modern Languages for example.

    In the second semester you will take two core modules, one of which continues the story of the history of art from the eighteenth century through to the present day, and the other of which introduces you to some of the key issues and difficulties that scholars face when working in the field of art and architectural history. You will also select another module from the supplementary list.

    Second Year

    In semester one you will again take two core modules. In the first you will get to grips with the main documents in the art historical 'canon' including Alberti's 'On Painting', Reynolds' 'Discourses' and Freud's 'The Uncanny', among others. In the second you will focus on European Art of the period 1890-1940. You will also select a module from a list that currently includes:

        * From Drawing to Painting in the Italian Renaissance
        * Sin City
        * Researching World Cinemas
        * American Film and Visual Culture

    In semester two you will take a core module in Italian Art and Architecture 1400-1600, and will have the option of a five-week guided study trip to Italy – Rome, Siena and Florence – during the Easter vacation. You will also write a 5,000 word Long Essay on a topic of your choice.

    Third Year

    You will spend your third year studying abroad under the Erasmus exchange scheme.

    Final Year

    All students will research and write a 10,000 word Dissertation, which will be completed under the one-to-one guidance of a specialist supervisor. Students will also take a core module that explores the way that classical aesthetics have been adapted and challenged by more recent developments in critical art theory, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition you will select four specialist options from a list that currently includes:

        * British Gothic Sculpture
        * Italy and the North 1550-1700
        * Florentine Sculpture of the sixteenth century
        * Genre Painting in nineteenth-century England
        * The Death and Life of Modernist Architecture
        * Hollywood and Melodrama
        * Silent Cinema: a visual art
        * American Filmmakers and the Studio System
        * British Cinema and Society 1930-1950
        * Conceptual Art and its Aftermath

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