Fine Art and History of Art
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There is a strong harmony between the disciplines of Fine Art and History of Art, with the former exploring the theory and making of art and the latter the historical analysis of art. A combination of the two subjects can lead to an especially well-rounded understanding of art. Experience in making art deepens the understanding of past practices studied by art historians, while knowledge about the development of art in the past broadens the frame of reference informing the work of practising artists. The two subjects offer a particularly strong grounding for those interested in careers in museums and galleries, from curating to art education, or for students interested in teaching art and/or art history in schools, but also open many other career possibilities.
Combining the two disciplines makes it possible to explore artefacts and the making of art from a wide range of perspectives. The programme's modules fall broadly into three types: practical, historical, and employment-oriented.
Why Oxford Brookes University?
Don’t just study, indulge
We want you to enjoy art first-hand, so we provide plenty of opportunities throughout the course.
Explore your interests
As well as the wide range of topics covered in taught modules, you can explore your interests in independent study and dissertation modules.
Packed with career skills
You’ll develop your artistic practice, and your logical and critical thinking skills and learn advanced research techniques.
Study in Oxford
The city has renowned museums, galleries, and auction houses to not only visit but volunteer or work in to gain experience in the sector.
This scheme helps to support and grow our professional network with the Creative Industries for the benefit of students, staff, and our external partners.
Free language courses
Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.
You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.
Modules fall into three categories:
- Practical, designed to develop students’ skills, ideas, and identities as artistic practitioners.
- Historical, designed to develop students’ historical understanding of the visual arts and their contexts.
- Employment-focused, designed to prepare students for the world of work, both in theory and through direct experience of workplace situations and contact with professionals in the arts.
Practical modules focus on creativity, experimentation, and intellectual pursuit. With a symbiotic relationship between art-making and theoretical frameworks, you develop a rigorous, experimental creative practice that is underpinned by a deep understanding of the concepts, theories and ethics that are important in today’s world.
The historical modules cover the period from the Renaissance to the twentieth century and focus on developing a historical understanding of artworks and their contexts. Oxford is an excellent place to study the history of art, with outstanding local museums and galleries. London with its wealth of museums is just a short journey away.
Learning and teaching
- Lectures underpin your historical and theoretical understanding, and discussions within lectures allow you to process and interrogate your learning.
- Seminars allow you to discuss examples, texts and ideas and raise questions about material covered in lectures.
- Workshops, which introduce you to methods and techniques in creative art practices.
- Group tutorials, which focus on your research issues, concerns, methods, and progress within a group setting.
- Individual tutorials, where you are encouraged to reflect upon and utilise their developing academic, research and personal literacy skills, to transfer prior learning into new contexts.
- Self-evaluation teaches you how to develop critical self-awareness through processes of self-evaluation and you are required to write a ‘self-evaluation report’ for each practice module.Summative tutorials require you to present either resolved or in-progress experimental work and provide feedback on each other’s practice.
Assessment is conducted through a wide range of methods, in order both to foster a range of transferable skills and to ensure that you have some capability to choose those that suit you best. Assessment types include:
- Practical work is assessed in the light of the accompanying written self-evaluation and workbook/portfolio. End of Year Exhibitions held at the end of Semester 2 give all year groups the opportunity to present their practical work to a wider audience.
- Portfolios may take several forms: a workbook, a clearly labelled dossier with key and introductory text; a USB with ‘PowerPoint’ files, a website, or photographs.
- A range of written assignments, from essays to exhibition reviews, from creative writing to reflective diaries, all of which develop written communication skills.
- Spoken presentations, which build confidence and develop presentation and oral communication skills.
- Exhibition curation is foregrounded in the compulsory Curatorial Practice module.
Field trips are given prominence within the programme. They feature in many modules and typically visit local or regional sites of artistic importance, whether galleries, buildings, events, or festivals. The Field Work in Art History module takes the form of an extended visit to an important European artistic centre, usually Paris. Field trips enable students to experience artefacts first-hand and gain a greater understanding of their institutional, historical, and professional contexts. They also enable you to relate your practice to current and emerging practices, technologies and global trends.
Regular career events give students the chance to meet with recent graduates and hear about their experiences, and a LinkedIn page allows them to follow and contact graduates.
If students opt to take the programme in the four-year sandwich mode, they will be able to spend a year during the degree either working in a placement or series of placements or studying at a university abroad, two options that offer great opportunities for developing employability skills and, in the former case, networking and building contacts.
This course is appropriate for careers in a range of cultural roles such as artist, curator, journalist, arts manager, gallery assistant, and teacher, as well as being appropriate for postgraduate study.
Specific entry requirements
English language requirements
English requirements for visas
If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.
Terms and Conditions of Enrolment
International qualifications and equivalences
How to apply
Full time international applicants can also apply through UCAS
Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
Questions about fees?
Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.
Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.
The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.
How and when to pay
Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.