BA Art History & Visual Culture and English
|Typical offer||AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34; BTEC DDD|
Since its inception, humanity has documented its history through both the written word and through art. Today, we can combine studies in English and the arts to unlock the secrets of the past. The BA Art History & Visual Culture and English course allows you to navigate history to learn about changes in society, culture, politics, religion and apply them to current theories and practices. You will learn how to interpret works of art, architecture, design, images, objects and practices to understand not only past societies, but the contemporary society that we live in today.
As a student at one of the top universities in the world you will gain access to an internationally recognised fine art, heritage and film collection. We have one of Britain’s largest public collections of books, prints, artefacts as well as the unique Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, all of which, will give you first hand exposure to works of art and other visual artefacts. This course utilises a wide variety of teaching techniques and approaches to learning, including ‘in the field’ study at galleries and museums.
In English, you will be taught by world-class faculty staff whose expertise spans the entire academic landscape, with specialist knowledge in film studies and creative writing. The supportive teaching style will give you the skills required to critically analyse texts, draw informed comparisons and challenge theories with confidence. From a vibrant city centre location, with coast and countryside on your doorstep, you will hone your investigative skills to become an accomplished independent researcher and through exploration of literary greats, will define your own writing style.
In a world now dominated by visual imagery, having the skills and experience to write about and interpret such changes, can be very appealing to employers. This degree course is designed to equip you with a broad range of transferable skills, with specialist and professional experience that will lead not only to humanities jobs, but a diverse range of careers across multiple industries. At the University of Exeter, you enjoy flexibility to build a programme that covers the areas you’re most passionate about and can even incorporate Employment Experience into your studies or get the opportunity to study abroad. Our students are currently in Australia, the Netherlands, Japan and the US amongst other places.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The Art History & Visual Culture and English degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.
Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of art history, visual culture and English theory and concepts. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks. You will take 60 credits in English, and 60 credits in Art History & Visual Culture (a pattern repeated throughout the programme)
In the second year you will advance your grasp of art history and English knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.
The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take up to three other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.
Full module descriptions
Entry requirements 2019
AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34; BTEC DDD
GCE AL English Literature grade A; IB English HL6.
Candidates may offer either GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature.
Candidates taking the IB should offer English syllabus A.
Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature.
Additional selection criteria
We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.
In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.
*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.
International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programme for Humanities, Law and Social Science.
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
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, team work 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.
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.
Museums, galleries, and field trips
We believe it’s really important for you to gain first-hand exposure to works of art and other visual artefacts. You will profit from engaging with the museums and galleries in the region, in addition to field trips to collections in London and elsewhere. You will also have the opportunity to develop expertise in curation through the University’s Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.
Art History and Visual Culture field trip abroad
In the second year of the programme we offer a core module, Art History & Visual Culture Field Study, which involves an intensive study trip abroad to immerse our students in the art, architecture and visual culture of a specific location in Europe. This year our study abroad trip took place in Florence Italy*.
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 a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
Studying for your degree at Exeter offers you the exciting possibility of spending up to a year abroad. You could learn a new language and experience different cultures, become more self-confident and widen your circle of friends. This year over 700 Exeter students are currently studying at one of our partner universities, located in more than 40 countries around the world. You could get the chance to specialise in areas that are not available at Exeter, and when it comes to a career, your skills and knowledge of another country will prove invaluable to many employers. This programme is available equally to overseas students coming to study at Exeter. Further details about study abroad and our partner institutions can be found on our study abroad pages.
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.
*Fieldcourse destination subject to change
The College of Humanities has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters.
Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter is a bold interdisciplinary programme which will enable you to stand out in the job market. This programme will give you 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 develop a broad range of highly desirable skills in analysis, critique, research and theoretical and practical creativity. Art History and Visual Culture graduates will be able to succeed in a range of sectors, including:
- Arts Administration
- Market Research
- Civil Service
- Public Relations (PR)
Every year a high proportion of Humanities graduates choose to progress to further study or professional training. The Art History and Visual Culture programme presents its graduates with opportunity to undertake further study or training in areas such as education, arts management and journalism, amongst others.
The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone, where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you.