History of art seeks to understand how and why paintings, sculptures, buildings and works in a variety of media come to look the way they do. You will examine the circumstances under which works of art were made, who they were made for, how they were understood, and what function they performed in their original societies.
The first year provides an introduction to history of art by analysing the main trends in four contrasted subject fields. These have been selected so as to provide an accessible and wide-ranging programme of study, even if you are new to art history.
They allow you to study works by some of the best-known artists, designers and architects of all time and also introduce you to some key issues in history of art: the uses of different techniques and materials, and relationships between art theory, the role of art patrons and the concept of style.
You will also study two other subjects of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
In second year you will study a range of specific topics within Western/non-Western art (these may vary from year to year).
At this stage of the programme, greater emphasis is placed on theoretical issues, which is a useful foundation for progression to the more detailed study undertaken at Honours level. You will also be introduced to contrasted art historical approaches and methodologies.
You will also study two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3 and 4
If you progress to Honours, the third and fourth years are devoted to preparation of a dissertation and study of a wide range of special options concentrating on specific periods and artists. You can also take an option in multimedia analysis and presentation and there are core courses on methodological aspects of art history, and research skills in art history, with opportunity to apply for a credit-bearing work placement at a local gallery, archive, or other relevant organisation.
You will benefit from the extensive history of art and special collections of the University’s library and the resources of The Hunterian, the University’s museum and art gallery, which feature the world-famous Hunter, Whistler and Mackintosh collections.
The University has major, externally funded collaborative research projects with other national institutions, including the National Gallery; Victoria & Albert Museum; Birkbeck College, London; the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; and the Freer Art Gallery, USA.
We have an Erasmus agreement with Bonn University Institute for Art History, enabling suitably qualified students to spend their third year there.
A degree in History of Art offers an excellent starting point for careers in publishing, journalism, teaching, librarianship and for work in museums, galleries, the heritage sector, art dealing and auction houses. Students accepted for the innovative, credit-bearing ‘Methodology of Art History with Work Placement’ course in Junior Honours (Year 3) obtain a valuable introduction to work in arts/heritage organisations, thereby enhancing their CVs, and acquiring experience increasingly viewed as essential by employers. Our graduates have been appointed to posts including a Getty Collections Management Internship in the USA, and to curatorial or administrative posts at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London; Handel House, London; and the Design and Artists Collecting Society, London.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including English and a humanities subject or a language (including Gaelic) at grades A/B or B/A) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. Please note that Advanced Highers in subjects where grades A or B have already been attained at Higher will not be double-counted. English and a humanities subject/language at grades A or B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers, either conditional or unconditional, MAY be made to applicants who achieved AABB or ABBB at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher AND another humanities/language Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.
- Art & Design
- Business Management
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Classical Greek
- Classical studies
- English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Media Studies
- Modern Studies
- Personal and social education
- Religious Education
- Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
A-levels: Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.