|Discipline||Art History & Visual Culture|
- Interpret different aspects of contemporary culture (including architecture and design) as well as images, objects and practices in order to understand past and present societies.
- Learn Chinese (Mandarin), French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian or Portuguese.
- Your third year will normally be spent studying abroad in a country where you can develop your chosen language.
- Gain a high level of proficiency in reading, writing, understanding and speaking your selected languages, providing you with valued language skills of potential use for future careers.
Modern Languages: Top 200 in world subject rankings
QS World University Subject Rankings 2021
Study 1-3 languages with 7 language options to choose from
7th for History of Art, Architecture and Design
The Complete University Guide 2022
Internationally recognised fine art, heritage and film collections on site, including the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum
Studying at Exeter has been a brilliant experience, it felt like the right choice from the first open day I visited.
Exeter has provided me with access to work experience in the local arts centres and museums, and has given me the opportunity to travel and visit the art we study in class. In my experience lecturers go above and beyond to provide academic support for students, as do the Wellbeing and Accessibility Services. I have also been able to join a range of academic and social societies, in which I have made friends for life.
BA Art History & Visual Culture and Classics
Entry requirements (typical offer)
|Qualification||Typical offer||Required subjects|
|A-Level||AAB-ABB||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|IB||34/665-32/655||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|BTEC||DDD-DDM||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|GCSE||C or 4||English Language|
Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.
|Other UK, EU and International equivalences|
NB General Studies is not included in any offer.
Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply
- Grade B at A level is required in any language you intend to study from A level.
- You may only choose one language.
- Students wishing to pursue language study on the basis of a GCSE are normally classed as beginners.
- French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish can be studied either from A level or beginner’s level, with both cohorts reaching degree level in the final year. Portuguese and Chinese can normally only be studied from beginner’s level, not from A Level; students of these two languages reach degree level in final year.
Languages and levels available for Combined Honours courses
I want to study a new language at beginner level alongside my other subject (excluding programmes with Arabic)
|Modern Languages requirements||GCSE grade B/grade 5 (or equivalent) in any Modern Foreign Language|
|Advanced level languages available||n/a|
|Beginners level languages available||Chinese (Mandarin); French; German; Italian; Portuguese; Russian; Spanish|
I want to study my A level (or equivalent) language at advanced level alongside my other subject (including programmes with Arabic)
|Modern Languages requirements||A level grade B or IB HL 5 (or equivalent) in the language chosen at advanced level|
|Advanced level languages available||French; German; Italian; Russian; Spanish|
|Beginners level languages available||n/a
Completing your UCAS form
In the section named ‘further details’ on your UCAS application form please indicate in the ‘choices’ field the language and route you wish to study using the abbreviations below, separated by a space:
Your year abroad
Study/Work Abroad in Year 3
A pivotal part of all Modern Language programmes is the year spent abroad, either studying at one of our prestigious partner universities, teaching on a British Council placement, or working in other employment. By immersing yourself in the culture you study, you will not only enhance your language skills, but cultivate:
- strong intercultural understanding
- improved communication skills
- the ability to think and study in different ways
- resilience and confidence
- analytical skills and the ability to make cross-cultural comparisons
- adaptability, independence and valuable life experience
During your Year Abroad, you will still be registered as an Exeter student and therefore supported in several ways. You will retain your personal tutor and be expected to keep in contact with them. You will also have the support of the Exeter Global Opportunities team for advice on any matter.
You will need to decide how to spend your Year Abroad during the first half of the second year. We will help you in the process. During your first year you will be invited to an introductory presentation about your Year Abroad options. In your second year, there is an extensive orientation programme to help you prepare for your Year Abroad.
Ways to spend the Year Abroad
- You must spend 7-15 months abroad, maximising the opportunities available to you
- You can work, study, or split the year on two or more placements
- Students going to China or Russia can currently only study (work abroad is not available)
- If you study Portuguese, the only options available are study or work abroad (not a British Council assistantship)
Studying abroad offers a range of possibilities, with over 40 different partner universities worldwide available to Modern Languages students. This can provide you with the opportunity to experience a different academic environment with local and other international students broadening your knowledge of the language and culture you study.
Internships are very rewarding in that they can offer you valuable workplace experience. Placements can be sourced via our Global Opportunities webpages, but you can also source your own internship externally, though it must be approved by the Global Opportunities team. Some of our students have spent their Year Abroad working in translation, tourism, marketing, fashion, commerce, journalism, heritage and many other sectors.
British Council English Language Assistantship
Becoming an English Language Assistant with the British Council is a brilliant opportunity to explore both the world of working and, more specifically, the idea of working as a teacher. An academic year is spent supporting teachers in a primary or secondary school in the country of the language you are studying.
Does it count towards my degree?
The Year Abroad is an assessed year and the marks obtained count towards your final degree classification. If you begin a language in your first year at Exeter and intend to take that language in your final year, we strongly recommend you spend the majority of your Year Abroad in a country where that language is spoken. If you would like to arrange the year differently, you should first speak with the Programme Director for your language and/or the Study Abroad Officer.
How does it affect my tuition fee and funding?
For your Year Abroad you will pay a significantly reduced tuition fee to Exeter – for more information visit our fees pages. You will also continue to receive any Student Finance support for which you are eligible. Other financial support may also be available for certain students.
Tuition fees for 2022 entry
UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £20,000 per year
The University of Exeter has over £2.5 million in scholarships available for students applying to study with us from September 2022 - including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students and financial support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.
* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.
Learning and teaching
How will I learn?
You will be taught by internationally respected staff, who are leading researchers in their specialisms. We use a wide variety of techniques and approaches including seminars, lectures, study groups and web-based learning, as well as valuable field study. We integrate the latest approaches with traditional learning and teaching to give you a varied and challenging programme. As you study the compulsory modules, you will learn through individual practical and project work, teamwork and a research project, all of which are designed to help you develop key skills for success throughout your degree and into your future career.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed in a variety of ways, but primarily through exams and coursework. Coursework includes essays, a dissertation and presentation work. The ratio of formal exams to coursework is on average 40:60 (depending on your choice of modules). Your first year doesn’t count towards your final degree classification, but you do have to pass it in order to progress. In order to be eligible for ‘with Study Abroad’ programmes, you will need to attain an average of 60 per cent or more in your first year. The assessments in the second year, year abroad (if applicable) and final year will contribute to your final degree classification.
In your first year, you will receive a minimum of 10 hours of contact with academic staff per week. You will also be expected to attend other activities such as study groups, workshop activities and film screenings. Your total workload should average about 40 hours per week during term time. The exact amount of time spent working independently varies from module to module.
Teaching that is inspired by research ensures lectures are up-to-date and relevant: you will benefit from access to the latest thinking, equipment and resources. All options are taught by staff with expertise including art history, architecture, film, photography, visual media, art and technology, curation and exhibition, mixed and virtual realities, performance art and visual culture in the UK and abroad.
All students have access to a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also several services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
Employer-valued skills this course develops
Studying Art History & Visual Culture equips students with a broad range of highly desirable transferable skills in analysis, critique, research and theoretical and practical creativity. These will prepare you to enter a wide variety of professions.
You will also develop specialist knowledge of everything from traditional art forms such as architecture and sculpture, to today’s visual practices such as film, video, performance and digital art. You will benefit from productive engagement with collections, institutions and art groups in the area, in tandem with the wider arts community in the South West and beyond.
The Art History & Visual Culture programme prepares its graduates to undertake postgraduate study or training in areas such as education, arts management and journalism, amongst others. Recent graduates have gone on to study:
- MA Publishing
- MA Multimedia Broadcast Journalism
- MA Creative Advertising
- CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
- MA Fine and Decorative Arts
- MA Marketing & International Management
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- MA Stage and Event Management
Career support and pathways
We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service, ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market.
Art History & Visual Culture graduates compete very successfully in the employment market, with many employers targeting the University when recruiting new graduates.
Examples of roles recent graduates are now working as include:
- Art Gallery Intern
- Brand Intern in fashion industry
- Civil Service Fast Stream
- Collections Information Officer
- Editorial Assistant
- Events Planner
- Marketing Intern
- PR Account Executive
- TV Promotions Assistant