Philosophy and Art History (Including Foundation Year)

Staff member? Login here

Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy and Art History (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
History of Art, Architecture and Design

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

UK and EU applicants should have, or expect to have:

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

Essex Pathways Department accepts a wide range of qualifications from applicants. If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

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.

Additional Notes

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.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Prof Richard Simon Clay

Professor of Digital Cultures

Newcastle University

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.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 27 January 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 0 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  IA121-3-PS  Philosophy: Fundamental Questions, Major Thinkers  Core  30 
02  IA195-3-PS  Research and Academic Development Skills  Core  30 
03  IA118-3-PS  Becoming Enlightened Citizens: Foundations in Politics and Government  Core  30 
04    IA108-3-PS or IA111-3-PS or IA101-3-PS  Core with Options  30 

Year 1 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  PY111-4-FY  Introduction to Philosophy  Core  30 
02  AR113-4-SP  Art and Ideas: I(A)  Core  15 
03  AR119-4-AU  Art and Ideas: I(B)  Core  15 
04    PY113 or CS101 or Outside Option(s)  Optional  30 
05    Recommend AR116-4-AU and/or Art History option(s)  Optional  30 
06  CS711-4-FY  Skills for University Studies  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  PY400-5-SP  Knowledge and Reality  Compulsory  15 
02  AR220-5-SP  Art and Ideas II: More Art, More Ideas - Critique and Historiography in the History of Art  Compulsory  15 
03    Art History or Philosophy option(s)  Optional  30 
04    CS201-5-FY or Art History or Philosophy option(s) or Outside Option(s)  Optional  30 
05    AR250-5-FY or (CS712-5-FY and Art History option)  Compulsory with Options  15 
06    Philosophy option  Optional  15 

Year 3 - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01    Art History option  Optional  15 
02    Philosophy option  Optional  15 
03    Art History or Philosophy options  Optional  30 
04  PY455-6-SU  Philosophy Capstone Module  Compulsory  30 
05  AR323-6-AU  Art and Ideas III  Compulsory  15 
06    Art History or Philosophy option  Optional  15 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

To offer a varied, flexible and distinctive curriculum across the field of art history and philosophy.

To provide the opportunity for an understanding of both artistic and philosophical events within a broader theoretical, aesthetic and cultural context.

To enable students to understand the relationship between the ideas, theories and aesthetic concepts of the past and the present and to enable consideration of the ways in which this is documented creatively and visually.

To encourage both critical engagement with and enjoyment of the visual arts, particularly through first-hand observation.

To develop the skills of research analysis and argument which bring the disciplines of philosophy and art history together and to enable students to understand and to appreciate the relationship between them with a degree of critical awareness.

To enable students to undertake independent study in a dissertation on a topic of their choice within the School.

To provide the knowledge and skills (critical inquiry and argument, imaginative understanding, written, spoken and visual interpretation, 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.

The outcomes listed below represent the minimum that might be expected of a graduate of the School of Philosophy and Art History of the University of Essex. It is the intention of the School that the vast majority of graduates will achieve significantly more.

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

Learning methods

Assessment methods

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

Learning methods

Assessment methods

C: Practical skills

Learning methods

Assessment methods

D: Key skills

Learning methods

Assessment methods


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: