History of Art
Find a courseExpand
The moving sun creates shadows that dance over a building by Sir Christopher Wren. You’ll watch the spectacle. Pause and really take it in. Then back in the classroom we’ll talk about the historical and theoretical context that makes the moment even more significant.
At Oxford Brookes, we give you the chance to get out in front of actual art and buildings. Hunt through the riches of the Ashmolean Museum, handling some of the rare objects contained there. You could explore the fascinating tombs of Warwick’s Beauchamp Chapel. You’ll even get to take in a continental European city, perhaps wandering through the Louvre in Paris before heading back to a historic townhouse to discuss what you’ve seen with friends.
We focus on art and architecture from the Renaissance to the 20th century. In addition – in your own projects you can explore any area that interests you. Our team has world class research expertise. Whatever you’re interested in, you’ll find an expert who can support and encourage your specialism.
Why Oxford Brookes University?
Don’t just study, experience
We want you to enjoy art and architecture first hand, so we provide plenty of opportunities throughout the course.
No experience necessary
If you haven’t studied art history, we’ll get you up to speed. If you have, we’ll introduce you to new topics.
Packed with career skills
You’ll develop your logical and critical thinking skills, learn advanced research techniques, and become a great communicator.
Study in Oxford
The city has renowned museums, galleries, and auction houses to not only visit, but volunteer or work in to gain experience of the sector.
Explore your interests
As well as the wide range of topics covered in taught modules, you can explore your own interests in independent study and dissertation modules.
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 Oxford Brookes. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.
In year 1, we’ll introduce you to the key theories and history you need to know to succeed in the course. If you’ve studied art history before, we’ll introduce you to new concepts and advanced ideas that you won’t have come across. And if you haven’t, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable with the basics before you move on.
You’ll start to study museums and curating in your first year, and this will be a theme throughout the course as we invite curators in to talk about their work. By the end, you’ll have practical experience curating exhibitions.
In your second year, you’ll have the chance to spend a week in a European city, usually Paris. You’ll enjoy a busy schedule of tours and visits.
Back at Oxford Brookes, you’ll be studying specific periods from the 15th to 20th centuries. And you’ll look at wider thematic ideas, for example thinking about how technology changed European culture.
In your final year, you’ll study advanced subjects in small groups and discuss and debate new ideas each week. You’ll also complete an independent project with support from an expert supervisor.
Learning and teaching
You will learn through a mixture of:
First-hand experience of art works and buildings is important, so most modules feature a guided visit. We teach the fieldwork module entirely on site.
Many of the modules, in particular the final year advanced seminars, are closely based on staff research interests. You can find out more about our individual research and expertise on our staff pages.
Assessment is by coursework and examination.
- group projects
- individual seminar presentations
- research projects.
Some modules involve an element of examination at the end of the semester, but others are assessed solely on the basis of your work during the semester.
Assessed work for the honours dissertation takes the form of a 10,000 word piece of work.
- The course includes regular trips to galleries, museums and architectural sites.
- London is an easy coach journey away, and many modules feature guided visits to London museums.
- A highlight for many students is the study trip to Paris, usually taken in the second year. It involves a week’s intensive study of great artworks and buildings under the guidance of your tutors.
For the Paris study trip, the cost of the return trip to Paris, accommodation, breakfast and evening meals are all covered by your course tuition fees.
For return trips to London galleries or museums, mid-day meals, and any entrance fees are not included in your course tuition fees, and would need to be covered by the student.
In general, we recommend travelling to London and back on the Oxford Tube, which is £16 for a period return. In addition we estimate a daily cost to the student of between €20-50 whilst on the Paris study trip to cover food and gallery entrance fees.
Past students of the course have gone on to a broad range of careers. They’re working in:
- auction houses
- heritage organisations
Employers include Sotheby’s, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Oxford Museum of Natural History.
In your final year, you’ll develop practical experience of managing exhibitions and curating displays, ideal for a career in museums or galleries. But you’ll also develop lots of other key skills valued by many employers, in areas like administration, communications, public relations or retail.
"I love delving into all this research and having this amazing library where you can get loads of books. It’s just a different approach to learning, a lot more skill based, and putting things into practice and I’ve really enjoyed that"Read more about Lucia
"Everything is really comfortable and up to date at Oxford Brookes. The library is great. It’s huge and really keeps you in the zone"Read more about Lois
"I loved my degree so much that I’m doing a master’s. I can honestly say that the entire academic team at Oxford Brookes are absolutely fantastic"Read more about Perdy
"I got a great feeling as soon as I came to Oxford Brookes. I visited a lot of universities, but Oxford Brookes was my favourite"Read more about Pheobe
"There are so many things that I can do to help me make progress"Read more about Sina
"I really like the approach the History of Art Department takes to teaching. They want us to see works of art first-hand and the modules really take advantage of both the museums and galleries in the city of Oxford and of those around London"Read more about Victoria
Specific entry requirements
English language requirements
Pathways courses for international and EU students
If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.
If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.
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.
|Additional costs||Amount (£)|
In Year 2, you will travel to Paris on a field trip. Your return travel from London to Paris, as well as accommodation in Paris, are paid for by the university. You are responsible for the cost of travel from your home to London, as well as meals and entry fees to galleries and museums in Paris.
|Additional costs||Amount (£)|
For any other field trips, you will need to cover the costs of your own travel. This does not normally extend beyond London. We do not normally visit exhibitions with entry fees, and if we did, visiting would be on a stricly voluntary basis.
It’s your responsibility to cover print / binding costs where coursework submission is required. Please note that a lot of the coursework is now submitted online.
|You may choose to purchase books to support your studies. Many books on our reading lists are available via the Library, or can be purchased secondhand.||£20-60 per book|
Accommodation fees in Brookes Letting (most do not include bills)
|£94-265 per week|
Accommodation fees in university halls (bills included, excluding laundry costs)
|£122-180 per week|
Graduation costs include tickets, gowning and photography. Gowns are not compulsory but typically students do hire robes, starting at £41.
Students are responsible for their own travel to and from university for classes. BrookesBus travel is subsidised for full-time undergraduate students that are on a course with a fee of £9,250 or more, or living in an Oxford Brookes hall of residence. There is an administration fee for the production of a BrookesKey.
Financial support and scholarships
Featured funding opportunities available for this course.