Art & Design HistoryUCAS Code: Combined Honours only – see combinations tab|Duration: 3 years|Full Time|Creative Campus|UCAS Campus Code: L46
Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
About the course
Art and Design History is an exciting discipline that encompasses the study of visual and material artefacts, museum and gallery practices and the production and circulation of meaning around art and design. The Art and Design History combined honours degree provides a systematic understanding of art and design practices and theories with a strong emphasis on critical thinking.
Exclusive partnerships with National Museums Liverpool and Tate Liverpool, plus close collaborations with FACT and Bluecoat Gallery and Display Centre, offer you privileged access to important collections in Liverpool and experts working in the field. There is also the possibility to participate in overseas study tours – in recent years the department has visited Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bilbao, Milan, Paris, Florence, Venice, Berlin and New York.
Another distinctive element of this degree is the curriculum, which covers key developments in art and design history. Furthermore, students in the second and third year will take ‘Professional Practice for Art and Design History’. These courses look at theoretical approaches to museology, as well as more practical considerations such as conservation, exhibition planning and design, curatorial practices and educational activities.
Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars of smaller groups of around 15-20 students, small group tutorials, one-to-one meetings, site visits, professional practice elements, special study preparation and a special study.
For the Art and Design History part of your Combined Honours degree, there will be approximately 6 teaching hours per week in your first year, which reduces to approximately 5 teaching hours in your second and third years. As well as teaching hours, you will be expected to spend a number of hours working independently each week, as well as working in groups to prepare for any group work you may have.
Assessment and feedback
Assessment methods vary but include learning portfolios, essays, a textual analysis, exams, project work and a special study.
You will be given written feedback on your assessments, and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with your tutor in more detail.
You will study a core art and design history theme, exploring key developments in ancient, medieval, early modern, modern and contemporary art and design. This will be complemented by studying special topics informed by the research of art and design historians in the department. Furthermore, there will be professional practice projects and special study preparation, culminating in an individually researched special study.
Themes and Issues in Art and Design History
This chronological lecture series introduces you to key events, styles and movements in the history of art and design, starting in Antiquity and ending with modern/postmodern art in the late 20th century. The lecture and seminar series is organised in five chronological period blocks. Within each block, thematic topics will draw together cross-disciplinary content relating to diverse aspects of historical art and design practices, from painting and sculpture to ceramics, fashion and graphic design. Themes of the study include concepts of the self and the body; the social and political role of art and design history; inhabiting the material world; producing and consuming art and design. Each block will also contain a key reading, which will introduce students to a range of critical thinkers. Each block lasts five weeks and includes one full day for a site visit.
Art and Design History: Close Up Lecture
The ‘Close Up’ programme extends the lecture series through provision of in-depth investigation of particular themes, makers and objects. Lectures may include:
- Close up investigation of a single artwork or artefact incorporating both formal and contextual analysis
- Considering a range of diverse historical and cultural contexts for individual artworks, artefacts and practices
- Challenging the ’grand narratives’ of art and design history by drawing attention to marginalised areas of practice
- Workshop, studio or museum/gallery visits in order to handle and discuss materials/artefacts/artworks at first hand.
Contemporary Practices in Art and Design
This lecture series provides a complementary programme to the historically focused ‘Themes and Issues’. This topic will be structured to maximise connections across these programmes of study, e.g. attitudes to the human body in 20th/21st century art and design as a parallel strand to historical idealisations of the body. The interconnectedness between these programmes is intended to make explicit the relevance of historical studies to contemporary issues and ideas. This topic will also include guest lectures from practitioners from within and outside the institution, introducing a range of voices and perspectives to contemporary enquiry.
The weekly tutorial will provide a focus on developing study skills and methodologies, and encouraging student-led discussion and activities. Themes introduced during the three lecture/seminar elements will be picked up during the tutorials.
Special Topics in Art and Design History
This topic gives you the opportunity to get involved with academic research based on your tutors’ expertise. Special topics will be offered in the form of six-week blocks, including a site visit. Topics will include relevant approaches from the fields of Fine Art, Design and Graphic DesignThese may change from year to year, but examples include ‘Narratives in Art and Design’, ‘Feminism and Gender’, ‘Propaganda and Persuasion in Visual and Material Culture’, ‘National Identity and Postcolonialism’. The seminar will pick up the content of the lecture through the texts of key thinkers. At the end of each block, you will be asked to produce a practical writing task will then be assessed by others in your class.
Professional Practice for Art and Design History
The practical component is a year-long lecture and seminar series studied alongside students studying Fine Art. It will introduce you to more advanced aspects of exhibition planning, project management and fundraising. The practical components will take place in the seminar and are largely self-directed. The assessment of this element, a Learning Portfolio, will focus on the preparatory stage of the exhibition planning.
Study skills and methodologies that were introduced during the first year will be explored in more depth during your second year. The other key function of the tutorial is assignment and exam preparation. Particular attention will be given to the Special Study Proposal, which is a viability study of the research project in Year 3.
Contemporary Curating: Display, Interpretation, Audiences
This lecture series will explore the development of curating as an integral aspect of creative practice, both as an art form in itself and as a fundamental element of professional creative life. Curating today goes far beyond the confines of the museum or art gallery; the term is increasingly used to describe the practice of navigating, selecting, presenting and making meaning from the plethora of images, objects and experiences available in a digital age. This lecture/seminar series will combine theoretical/historical discussion with presentations by professional guest speakers from across the region during term 1, followed by a diverse programme of visits in term 2 providing opportunities to apply theoretical ideas to real world examples. It will provide you not only with grounded knowledge of developments in curatorial theory and practice but also a network of contacts within the creative industries in and around Liverpool.
The term-long seminar ‘Aesthetics’ will analyse key aesthetic concepts relating to the making and understanding of art and design. The history of aesthetics is bound up with philosophical ideas about the nature and function of art and design, and how the past has influenced current theories of art. Given the extensive nature of this subject, the topic aims to act as a catalyst to further study and thought rather than providing a comprehensive history of aesthetics. Seminars will focus on the five key aesthetic concepts of beauty, taste, value, interpretation and creativity. Through intensive study of these concepts, you will be introduced to a wide range of writers and philosophers of art, design and wider culture, spanning centuries of Western history.
Professional Practice will focus on advanced professional transferable skills and consider your future career goals by focusing on issues such as job searching, applications, training development and overall language and presentation skills.
Your final year tutorials are a mixture of group tutorials and individual tutorials, directly supporting you during the process of writing your final research project (special study or combined dissertation).
|UCAS Tariff Points||112 UCAS Tariff points must come from a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent). Additional points can be made up from a range of alternative qualifications|
|Access to HE||112 Tariff Points|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||112 Tariff Points from Higher Level qualifications only|
|Welsh Baccalaureate||This qualification can only be accepted in conjunction with other relevant qualifications|
|Subject Requirements||No specific subject requirements|
International entry requirements
|Specific Country Requirements||Select your country|
6.0 overall (with reading and writing at 6.0) and no individual score lower than 5.5. We also accept a wide range of International Qualifications. For more information, please visit our English Language Requirements page.
Many graduates in Art and Design History go on to work in galleries and museums, academia, the heritage and cultural industries, community work, the media, publishing, marketing, advertising, education and the commercial arts sector.
Skills developed studying Art and Design History such as visual analysis, critical awareness and interpretation, working with complex theoretical concepts and independent thinking, will open up a wide range of career opportunities.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2022/23 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
As well as tuition fees, there is an additional cost of approximately £300 to cover the cost of the optional field trips each year.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
International tuition fees
The International Tuition fees for 2022/23 are £11,400.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
This course is also available as a Combined Honours degree with the following subjects: