(Integrated Master in Art History:) Integrated Master in Art History
Art History (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Art History and Theory
History of Art, Architecture and Design
BTEC: D*DD, dependent on subjects studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis.
IB: 33 points or three Higher Level certificates with 665.
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.
T-levels: Distinction* - Entry requirements for students studying T-level qualifications are dependent on subjects studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis.
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.
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.
1. To offer a varied, flexible and distinctive undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum across the field of Art History and Theory.
2. To encourage both critical engagement with and enjoyment of the visual arts, particularly through first-hand observation.
3. To introduce and develop sound understanding of a variety of interpretive methods and forms of questioning appropriate to visual artefacts: including historical inquiry, theory of representation, aesthetic approaches to the value and function of visual art, and critical approaches to the conditions of the production, consumption, interpretation or reinterpretation of visual artefacts.
4. To provide the opportunity for an in-depth understanding of aspects of art history from Early Renaissance art and architecture to the present day, including systematic knowledge informed by developing new material or by applying ideas to existing material.
5. To develop the knowledge and skills appropriate to the advanced study of art history (critical inquiry and argument, imaginative understanding, written, spoken and visual interpretation, communication and presentation), in particular through the writing of a draft journal article for their final project, thus providing them with the basis for further progression.
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
A101: Advanced knowledge of developments in visual art from the Early Renaissance to the present day, including theoretical issues that have been central to the Western European tradition in visual art.
A102: Critical understanding of the relationships between works of visual art and their broader cultural contexts, including methods of critical analysis and argument appropriate to visual artefacts.
A103: Detailed knowledge of one or more artists, exhibitions, places, theoretical texts.
A104: Ability to engage critically with substantive areas of current research in Art History
A105: In-depth understanding methods of critical analysis and argument appropriate to visual artefacts
A106: Advanced knowledge of the concepts, values and debates that inform study and practice in this field.
A1-A6 are acquired through lectures, classes, coursework (with regular feedback, both oral and written, from tutors), and various study visits, for example, to museum and galleries both within the UK and abroad.
At UG level, art history lectures and seminars demonstrate skills of visual analysis and theoretical understanding in the context of a particular historical/geographical framework. Knowledge and understanding are developed further on study visits to examine work, for example, ‘as display’ and in situ and through seminar discussions and presentations with oral feedback from tutors.
Throughout, students are expected to extend and enhance the knowledge and understanding they acquire from classes and lectures by regularly consulting library or archival materials related to the course. This independent research is then consolidated in essay work and through feedback in written form.
At PG level, teaching takes the form of two-hour seminars. Students may be asked to give short non-assessed presentation of their research, followed by discussion. This provides an opportunity for an informal assessment of their skills in the critical analysis and argument appropriate to visual artefacts.
Students also prepare a Capstone project and a Final Project on topics of their choice which are individually supervised.
Outcomes A1-A6 are formally assessed through 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.
Formal assessment is also carried out through the marking of the Capstone project and the Final Project.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B101: Analyse a complex body of material, which may be incomplete, breaking it down into component points or parts and highlighting the most significant among them
B102: Reason critically and offer judgements based on argument that can be communicated effectively to a specialist or non-specialist audience
B103: Think independently and with an open-mind, sometimes making connections between familiar and new ideas or material
B104: To consider and solve problems using knowledge and experience
Intellectual and cognitive skills are practised in module seminars, either in responding to or giving presentations on agreed topics. The seminar work encourages critical discussion arising from the analysis and interpretation of texts or visual artefacts with an emphasis on being able to reason cogently, argue coherently, present one‘s own viewpoint persuasively, and learn from others.
The theoretical work done in Art and Ideas from Level 4 to Level 6 particularly emphasises skills B101-B104 through the guidance given in seminar discussion and through feedback on essays. The seminars are intended to foster cognitive skills. Students translate the skills acquired there collectively into individually assessed essays. In turn, the essays prepare students for examinations, in the modules in which they are held. Exams test students’ ability both to demonstrate and to sustain the same skills in controlled conditions.
Supervision of Capstones and Final Projects cultivates these skills through written commentary and discussion concerning the development of the research and on drafts of work.
Assessment of B101-B103 is 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
C101: Visual Skills; including observation (including recognition of materials, mis-en-sc¦ne and techniques but also other aspects of works of visual art or films such as formal organisation or narrative structure), description (using ordinary as well as specialised language) and interpretation (recognising necessary differences between visual art and film, making appropriate use of personal responses, relating works of visual art and film to historical and contemporary cultural context)
C102: Research Skills: including use of appropriate methods to locate primary and secondary sources, and works of visual art, but also forming research questions and pursuing them autonomously.
C103: 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.
C104: Writing Skills: including use of proper academic conventions, creating logical and structured narratives, and effective use of language to articulate complex conceptual issues and create frameworks for understanding them.
C105: Ability to apply the necessary organisational and cultural skills for living and working abroad.
Skills C101 and C103 are introduced in lectures and developed through classes and through seminars. Gallery visits (both on-campus and elsewhere) form a crucial element in the development of C101, through dialogue among students and with staff in front of particular artefacts, often after preparation in class.
Guidance on skills C101, C102, C103 and C104 is given in teaching, in supervision of essays, and to a limited extent in School Handbooks. The strategy ensures that, having acquired a basic command of the range of skills, students exercise these skills in the more specialised courses.
C105 Ability to apply the necessary organisational and cultural skills for living and working abroad.
A member of staff gives students choosing an Art History Capstone or Final Project formal guidance on the development, research and writing of specialist studies in the form of written and verbal instruction. There will be detailed guidelines on the writing of Capstones and Final Projects in the Departmental handbook to supplement guidance given by the supervisor.
Considerable autonomy is encouraged in researching essays at postgraduate level, with a staff member aiming to assist in the formulation of research questions and in developing a strategy for answering them.
All students on the Integrated Masters programme are encouraged to attend the weekly Staff-Student Research Seminar, and to participate in debate on the topic presented.
Assessment of students' knowledge and understanding takes place through a variety of assessment instruments at UG level including coursework essays, presentations, virtual exhibitions, and unseen written examinations, including questions on visual material in photographic form. Students are expected to analyse texts in the light of the contextual, conceptual and comparative frameworks offered to them during the scheme, whilst also formulating their own arguments and displaying critical competence.
In-class slide tests and unseen written examination questions, including questions on visual material in photographic form, test skills C101, C103 and C104.
C105 is assessed throughout the Year Abroad.
Essay questions, the Capstone and the Final Project are designed to test all skills.
D: Key skills
D101: The ability to communicate information, arguments and ideas cogently and effectively in a range of different contexts using a range of different aids or resources; special ability to deploy visual material in a variety of media in the context of presentations or written work
D102: Students should be able to make use of IT for research purposes (including searchable databases such as library catalogues and internet sources), to present assessed work, and be able to use email.
D103: Management of projects and timetables. Students should be able to apply knowledge and understanding in order to make judgements and offer solutions in a range of contexts.
D104: Students should have the ability to work to briefs and deadline, to take responsibility for their own work, and to reflect on their own learning and performance and make constructive use of feedback
The five key skills are implicit throughout the degree.
Communication is developed through seminar discussion, but also through attending lectures. Visual media skills are developed through personal instruction to students using slides in class, and through drawing attention to the media whereby visual images are presented to us, both in terms of informing students but also developing a critical appreciation of the relationship between image and context in any medium. All students present their plans for Final Projects to their peers and to staff, using PowerPoint, etc.
Students are expected to acquire IT skills based on some initial guidance.
Students will be given the opportunity to work constructively and productively in groups, and be able to participate effectively in seminars.
Most seminars require students to present theories or historical material to the group, and to answer questions on the topic.
Students are expected and encouraged to share responsibility for their own programme of studies.
Essays, Capstones and Final Projects are assessed for qualities that incorporate skills D101, D102, D103 and D104.