Art History provides a first-class rounded education and excellent intellectual training. While the primary focus is on the visual arts, the subject also touches on many other traditional humanities disciplines such as literature, history, religion, languages, classics, psychology and philosophy, with which it provides natural subject combinations. Students acquire skills of critical and historical analysis and the ability to evaluate evidence and present arguments fluently, both orally and in writing.
The English Literature minor complements the critical and interpretive approaches in art history through the analysis and assessment of selected topics in the subject. The study of literature engages with aspects of cultural context, style, expression and formal values comparable to those with which art history is concerned, and literary sources inform, influence and often inspire the visual imagination. At the same time, the visual arts have exerted influences on writers, and in both literature and the fine arts critical values and writing are often closely related. Ideas in art and literature share comparable sources and complementary values which inform understanding and interpretation, and valuable comparisons can be made between different vehicles and media of communication.
Buckingham’s 4-term year means that you can complete a normal 3-year BA honours degree in 2 years or combine with an MA or MBA in 3 years. Art History students can opt to start either in September or January. September entrants have the unique opportunity of studying Italian art for one term at the British Institute in Florence (for which there is an additional fee; more information).
- Hands-on study of art with frequent study visits
- A unique partnership with the British Institute in Florence providing an introduction to art history in Italy exclusively for Buckingham students (September entry only)
- Unique combination of History of Art and Heritage Management
- Close links with museums (including the Wallace Collection), heritage organisations and the art market
- Varied range of subjects including design and decorative arts, art markets, museums and country houses
- Opportunities for practical project work and academic research
- Excellent record of graduate employment
- Competitive fees
- Generous scholarships/bursaries
Modules available on this course
Click here for a full list of staff in the Department.
Buckingham students are committed to achieving success. We are as interested in your potential as in your academic record. You can apply whatever subjects you may already have studied. Typically you will have 2 or 3 good passes at Advanced Level (or equivalent): offers of a place are normally pitched at BBB in A-level (or equivalent). Applicants must also have GCSE English and Maths at Grade C or above (or equivalent). We pay particular attention to what you tell us about yourself and your interests.
Applicants with no previous knowledge of the chosen language must begin in September for a fast-track induction programme. To commence studies in January, applicants must have at least grade ‘C’ GCSE in their chosen language.
You may apply either through the national UCAS university admissions system, or at any time directly to the University using our own online application form.
Because of our two-year degree we find that the age range of our student body varies between those who have recently completed A-levels (or equivalent) to more mature students. Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students. We can be particularly flexible in cases where work experience or a career has motivated an applicant to enter or return to higher education.
We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.
The University is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor.
If English is not your first language, please check our undergraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.
If you already have a Foundation Degree or Undergraduate Diploma (240 credits, with at least 120 at Second Year Level 5) and wish to continue your studies to complete a BA Honours in Art History (requiring 120 credits at Final Year Level 6), you may apply to Buckingham to study full-time or part-time.
Students who have successfully completed an Undergraduate Certificate (120 credits at First Year Level 4) can also be considered for transfer to the Buckingham BA Honours Programme.
Wherever possible, you will be invited to the University to meet the Admissions Tutor for an informal interview and to have a tour of our campus. If you are an international applicant, it may not be possible for you to visit in person, so if the Admissions Tutor has any queries about your application you may be conducted by skype, email or phone.
We welcome enquiries from potential applicants, so please contact the University’s Admissions Office if you want to know more about our programmes or have an admissions enquiry. Our chief concern is that you should find the degree which will help you achieve your potential. The Admissions Team for Art History would be happy to answer any questions you may have:
Terms and conditions for prospective students
When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the terms and conditions between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the terms and conditions outlined in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the terms and conditions contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting any offer. Read the admissions terms and conditions > >
We offer high quality, traditional Oxbridge-style teaching, which leads to our degrees being recognised around the world. The standards of degrees and awards are safeguarded by distinguished external examiners – senior academic staff from other universities in the UK – who approve and moderate assessed work.
High calibre staff
Most of our academic staff teach for three terms out of four, with the remaining term used for research. Because of this, we have no difficulty in attracting high calibre, highly respected lecturers, many of whom also have a background in business or industry and can offer networking opportunities for students.
Teaching is carried out through a combination of lectures supported by seminars and tutorials. A key feature of the Buckingham teaching method is the use of small tutorial groups which provide the most effective means of ensuring that the students benefit from the academic expertise at their disposal. It is also the philosophy of the University’s faculty to be available to students outside the scheduled tutorial times and to encourage good working relationships between staff and students.
Art History modules introduce students to the materials and methods, providing an historical overview of western art and architecture from Greece and Rome to the modern and contemporary world. Students also study the art market, decorative arts and the English country house.
Term in Florence
A unique feature of Buckingham’s Art History programme is the opportunity to start your degree with an inspiring introductory term in Florence. If you choose to start your BA in September, after an initial week of orientation and preparation at Buckingham you will spend your first term studying the University’s own modules which are taught in English at the British Institute of Florence, situated beside the River Arno in part of a Renaissance palace in the heart of the historic centre of the city. More information and video.
The assessment of individual modules within each course varies according to the subject. Assessment is usually by examination, assessed coursework, or a combination of the two. Please check module information for more details.
Preparation for work
All our degree courses combine academic challenge with the transferable skills that will stand you in good stead for future employment. Many of our more vocationally-focused degrees offer the opportunity of work placements and experience in industry.
We have a high graduate employment rate, The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ranked Buckingham top for graduate employability with 98.1% in July 2015.
Our graduates have gone on to further study at most of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, London, Oxford and Cambridge and secured jobs in senior positions around the world. Among our alumni we have a graduate who became the head of his country’s civil service and one who became a leading Formula One motor-racing driver. Another secured a position as the Minister of Sabah and one female law graduate became the first British lawyer to become a French Advocate.
Pathways to a career
As well as the wide variety of professional or management careers for which an arts and humanities degree is a useful preparation, art history and heritage can prepare graduates for employment or further academic study or graduate training in areas related to the subjects studied, which can include the art market, curating, museums and heritage organisations, specialist media and publishing, and to areas for which visual understanding is an asset such as in advertising. A knowledge of art history is also useful for conservation training in fine and decorative art and architecture.
Read about the careers of our MA students.
The following fee illustrations provide an insight into the cost savings which can be made by studying at the University of Buckingham.
You may also find it useful to visit the following fee related information on our site:
Students who graduate from the University and plan to continue their studies with a postgraduate degree at Buckingham can benefit from a very generous automatic discount on their fees:
- 33%, those with a first class honours degree from Buckingham
- 25%, those with a Second Class Honours, Upper Division (2:1) degree from Buckingham
The following automatic awards are available to undergraduate Home students:
- High Achiever Scholarship
We offer a reduction of £2,500 on your tuition fees (January and July 2017 entry) or £2,000 (from September 2017) if you achieve ABB (AAB from September 2017) or above in your A levels (or equivalent) excluding General Studies. This scholarship is dependent on your making Buckingham your firm choice. It will be reviewed after your preliminary and subsequent examinations and will continue if your average mark is in the upper second or first class.
- Five Counties Scholarship
If you live in Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes), Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire or Oxfordshire, you will be entitled to a local scholarship of £2,500 per annum (January and July 2017 entry) or £2,000 (from September 2017) providing you meet the conditions of your offer. This scholarship is dependent on your making Buckingham your firm choice. You are not eligible for this award if you hold another scholarship from the University.
- Buckingham Bursaries
If, when you join the University, you are in receipt of a Maintenance Loan of £5,000 or more from Student Finance, you will receive a further bursary of £1,100 towards your tuition fees. This bursary may not be held with any other scholarship from the University (please note that because of the significant increase in the Five Counties Scholarship, this bursary is no longer awarded in addition).
An International Law Scholarship, worth up to 25% of the LLB international fees is available through our Law School.
Details of other scholarships can be found on our main Bursaries and Scholarships page.
We guarantee on-campus accommodation to all new students for their first four terms of study, as long as it is booked and paid for in good time, so you’re assured of a safe and secure home from home when you arrive at the University. Most new students choose this option.
Living on campus enables you to become involved in University activities, make friends, and integrate with the University community. For some of you this will be your first time in the UK; for others it will be the first time living away from home – and independence brings its challenges as well as its excitements. Whatever your circumstances, we know how important it is for you to feel comfortable in your accommodation.
All our study bedrooms are fully furnished, centrally heated, and connected to the internet. With few exceptions they have a wash basin and small refrigerator. We have a large number of ensuite rooms, and are upgrading more rooms each year. There are shared kitchens for when you wish to cook for yourself.
Find out more
We recommend that all prospective students visit our campus if they are able to, and campus tours include a typical student room. Arrange a tour via your Admissions Officer.