(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Art History and Modern Languages
University of Essex
University of Essex
Art History and Theory
History of Art, Architecture and Design
Languages, Cultures and Societies
If Portuguese is taken as the major language, an A-level pass (or equivalent) in Italian, French, Spanish or Portuguese or first language level fluency in Italian, French, Romanian or Spanish is required.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
To study Portuguese as your major language, you need a pass in Higher Level Italian, French, Spanish or Portuguese or fluency in Italian, French, Romanian or Spanish.
Access to HE Diploma:15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
The choice of art history options, the topic of the dissertation, and the arrangements for the year abroad must be agreed in advance with an appropriate staff member in art history. The choice of modern language must be approved by the Modern Languages Teaching Co-ordinator.
If two languages are taken on this scheme, the second language must be studied for at least two consecutive years, and up to at least Intermediate level (level 3). If a single language is taken, the fourth component in the second and final years can be either an additional course in that language (where available) or a language descriptive course in that language, or another LA course approved by the scheme director.
Students who have the option to do so may, if they wish and have the module supervisor's permission, take 30 credits at level 6 in year 2. They may also take 30 credits at level 5 in year 3. It is recommended that students take 120 credits at level 6 as at least 90 credits at this level must be passed to be awarded a degree. See section D: Rules of Assessment.
Dr Dominic Paterson
Senior Lecturer in History of Art / Curator of Contemporary Art University of Glasgow
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
To enable students to become proficient in one or more modern languages, developing an appropriate level of fluency and accuracy in using the language(s) as a medium of understanding, expression and communication (both oral and written), with awareness of stylistic and sociolinguistic variation, and (where relevant higher-level modules are taken) developing a corresponding level of proficiency in translation, interpreting, and creative writing.
To develop students' understanding of aspects of the culture and society of one or more countries which use the chosen modern language(s) as a medium of communication, enabling them to draw comparisons with their own culture and observe contrasts, and (through the year abroad) to experience, engage with and integrate into another culture.
To introduce students to a variety of interpretative methods appropriate to texts and visual images.
To acquaint students with a range of contextual and comparative frameworks suitable for the study of culture, and especially visual art.
To provide the knowledge and skills (critical inquiry and argument, imaginative understanding, written, spoken and visual communication and presentation) that will not only stand students in good stead for more specialised academic careers, but will also enhance their opportunities for employment in a wide range of other careers.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Phonology, morphology, syntax, lexis, usage, and socio-stylistic variation in the chosen modern language(s), and (on relevant higher-level courses) techniques of translation, interpreting and creative writing
A2: Aspects of the culture and society of one or more countries which use the chosen modern language(s) as a medium of communication, drawing comparisons with their own culture and observing contrasts
A3: Linguistic concepts and metalanguage used to describe and analyse the chosen modern language(s), and analytic methods and techniques used to analyse texts and other authentic modern language materials from a variety of perspectives.
A4: One or more periods or forms of visual art, including some awareness of substantive areas of current research
A5: The basic methods of argument appropriate to art history
A6: Some of the concepts, values and debates that inform study and practice in the field.
Modern language proficiency A1 is developed through classwork, homework, use of dedicated software and Web materials, and the year abroad. Cultural awareness A2 is developed through class and web materials, and the year abroad (during which students experience, engage with and integrate into another culture, either by a period of study at a partner institution offering the opportunity to operate in a different academic, linguistic and cultural environment, or by working as a language assistant and thereby acquiring valuable vocational experience of working abroad). Skills of linguistic analysis A3 are developed through study of authentic (textual, or video, or film, or aural) materials in class. A1-A3 are reinforced by feedback from staff in class, in office hours, or by email.
A4-A7 are developed in art history courses through lectures, classes, continuously assessed coursework (with regular feedback, both oral and written, from staff), and various study visits both within the UK and abroad. . Skills of visual analysis and theoretical understanding demonstrated in lectures are further developed in gallery visits in all three years at Essex and through seminar discussions and presentations.
A1-A3 are assessed on Modern Languages courses by a range of methods which typically include: role-play activities; class presentations; oral exams; written coursework, e.g. essays, book reports, translations, project work; unseen written exams; class tests; web-based assignments involving a web search or producing web materials.
A4-A7 are assessed on art history modules from the first year to the final year of study.
Assessment of students' knowledge and understanding takes place through a variety of assessment instruments including coursework essays, individual presentations, virtual exhibitions, and unseen written examinations, including questions on visual material in photographic form.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Abstract and synthesise information from authentic written and spoken modern language materials
B2: Interact in the chosen modern language(s), expressing their own ideas (and responding to those put forward by others) coherently and articulately
B3: Analyse authentic modern language materials from a variety of perspectives
B4: Think independently and with an open mind
B5: Problem solve, applying knowledge and understanding to new material within a given framework of questions
B1-B3 are developed on Modern Languages courses by a range of methods which typically include: group discussion of topical themes and analysis of authentic (textual, or video, or film, or aural) materials in class; laboratory work involving use of dedicated software and Web materials; and staff advice, feedback and interaction with students in office hours and via email.
B4-B5 are acquired in art history courses through lectures, seminars, one-to-one tutorials (where appropriate), and feedback on essays. Gallery visits and encounters with unfamiliar visual artefacts provide an opportunity for students to develop problem-solving skills.
B1-B3 are assessed on Modern Languages courses by a range of methods which typically include: role-play activities; class presentations; oral exams; written coursework, e.g. essays, book reports, translations, project work; unseen written exams; class tests; web-based assignments involving a web search or producing web materials.
B4-B5 are assessed by written essays, take-home research papers, in-class slide tests, summaries of weekly readings, and unseen written examinations, including questions on visual material in photographic form.
C: Practical skills
C1: Organise and present (orally and in writing) ideas and materials in the chosen modern language(s)
C2: Gather and process information from different sources, e.g. do a bibliographic search, access material from online databases and locate and download appropriate materials from the web
C3: Demonstrate Visual Skills: including observation (not only recognition of materials and techniques but also other aspects of works of visual art such as formal organisation or narrative structure), description (using ordinary as well as specialised language) and interpretation (recognising necessary differences between language and visual art, making appropriate use of personal responses, relating works of visual art to historical and contemporary cultural context)
C4: Demonstrate Critical Skills: including selection of relevant material, and appraisal of other people's arguments on the basis of familiarity with source materials and current literature
C5: Demonstrate Writing Skills: including use of proper academic conventions and effective use of language to convey particular and general responses of readers or viewers to works of literature or art
C6: Ability to apply the necessary organisational and cultural skills for living and working abroad.
C1 and C2 are developed on Modern Languages courses by a range of methods which typically include: group discussion of topical themes and analysis of authentic (textual, or video, or film, or aural) materials in class; laboratory work involving use of dedicated software and Web materials; and staff advice, feedback and interaction with students in office hours and via email.
C3-C5 are introduced in art history lectures and developed through classes and seminars.
Guidance on all three skills is given in supervision of essays, and in the Art History Handbook (available on-line).
Gallery visits form a crucial element in the development of C3. Guidance on the relevant skills is also given through orientation visits to the Albert Sloman Library.
C6 is acquired through the guided but relatively independent process of organising and successfully completing a period of living and studying abroad.
C1 and C2 are assessed on Modern Languages courses by a range of methods which typically include: role-play activities; class presentations; oral exams; written coursework, e.g. essays, book reports, translations, project work; unseen written exams; class tests; web-based assignments involving a web search or producing web materials.
C3-C5 are assessed by written essays, take-home research papers, in-class slide tests, summaries of weekly readings, and unseen written examinations, including questions on visual material in photographic form.
Provision is made for students to be assessed by a dissertation in lieu of a taught course in art history in year four, subject to their ability to define an acceptable topic in consultation with a chosen supervisor.
C6 is assessed throughout the Year Abroad.
D: Key skills
D1: Present ideas, information and arguments (both orally and in writing) effectively and clearly in English and the chosen modern language(s) (with the level of modern language fluency depending on the level of the courses taken); be an effective listener; deploy visual material in a variety of media in the context of presentations or written work
D2: Demonstrate IT skills which will typically include the ability to do word processing, use Powerpoint and e-mail, conduct bibliographic searches, locate and download internet materials and utilise software packages
D3: Analyse relevant materials, identifying problems; apply knowledge and understanding in order to make judgements and offer creative solutions in a range of contexts
D4: Collaborate with others to work creatively and flexibly as part of a team (only on Modern Language components
D5: Work autonomously showing organisation, self-discipline and time management; reflect on their own work and respond constructively to the comments of others; learn new material; adapt to new ways of learning; take responsibility for their own work
Methods employed to develop key skills on Modern Languages courses typically include: group discussion of topical themes and analysis of authentic (textual, or video, or film, or aural) materials in class; laboratory work involving use of dedicated software and Web materials; and staff advice, feedback and interaction with students in office hours and via email.
On History of Art courses, D1, D3 and D5 are cultivated through seminars, lectures and gallery visits.
D1 is also acquired through personal instruction prior to class presentations by students.
Students are expected to acquire D2 independently after initial induction in the first year
Methods employed to assess key skills on Modern Languages courses typically include: role-play activities; class presentations which may involve the use of PowerPoint; oral exams; written coursework, e.g.
Essays, book reports, translations, project work; unseen written exams; class tests; web-based assignments involving a web search or producing web materials.
On History of Art courses, D1, D2, D3, D5 are assessed through performance on coursework and examinations.