(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Art History with Modern Languages (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
History of Art, Architecture and Design
Languages, Cultures and Societies
UK and EU applicants:
All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you
- think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
- have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
- are returning to university after some time away from education; or
- are looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.
Examples of the above tariff may include:
- A-levels: DDD
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
- T-levels: Pass with E in core
To study Portuguese as your major language, you need an A-level pass (or equivalent) in Italian, French, Spanish or Portuguese or fluency in Italian, French, Romanian or Spanish.
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.
Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:
We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.
Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 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 required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 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.
Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen 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.
A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The
specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of
Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is
optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
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.
Enable students to become proficient in a modern language, developing an appropriate level of fluency and accuracy in using the language as a medium of understanding, expression and communication (both oral and written), with awareness of stylistic and sociolinguistic variation, and (where relevant higher-level courses are taken) developing a corresponding level of proficiency in translation, interpreting, and creative writing.
Develop students' understanding of aspects of the culture and society of one or more countries that 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.
Introduce students to a variety of interpretative methods appropriate to texts and visual images.
Acquaint students with a range of contextual and comparative frameworks suitable for the study of culture, and especially visual art.
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 regular 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 courses.
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 on art history courses by essays, in-class slide tests and unseen written exams, 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
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 School Handbook (available online).
Guidance on the relevant skills is also given through orientation visits to the Art History Library and the main library.
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 on art history courses by essays, take-home research papers, in-class slide tests, summaries of weekly readings, and written examinations, including questions on visual material in photographic form. Provision is made for students to be assessed by a dissertation (capstone project) in lieu of a taught course in art history in year four.
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.