BA Art History & Visual Culture and History with Study Abroad

UCAS codeVV32
Duration4 Years
Typical offerAAA-AAB; IB: 36-34
  • Art History and Visual Culture
  • History
Location Streatham (Exeter)


Art History & Visual Culture can be studied with History, combining these two popular subjects to give you a wider breadth of study.

The programme enables you to divide your time equally between the two related subject areas.

Art History & Visual Culture provides an excellent grounding in both traditional fine arts and contemporary visual forms. Through the flexible structure of the degree, you can study painting, sculpture, and illustration and follow your own personal interests through a wide range of optional modules.

The History side of the programme builds on a broad foundation in the first year, to highly specialised work in the final year, including the study of a particular subject in depth. There is a huge amount of module choice covering time periods from the Roman Empire to the 1960s and topics as diverse as the Vikings, early medieval empires, British politics since 1900, women in society, the Norman conquest, magic and witchcraft in early modern Europe and reformation London.

Programme structure

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 History 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 third year is spent abroad.

Year 1

The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of art history, visual culture and history theory and concepts. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.

Year 2

In the second year you will advance your grasp of art history, visual culture and history knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

Year 3

Students will spend the third year of their studies in a partner university on an Erasmus/Socrates exchange or other approved programme of study. The year abroad comprises 120 credits and assessment is based on the credits gained at the partner institution.

Year 4

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

For full module descriptions please visit the Art History and Visual Culture website and History website.

Entry requirements 2017

Typical offer

AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34

Additional selection criteria

We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.

We receive a large number of applications from well-qualified applicants and may not be able to make offers to all those applicants who have achieved or are predicted to achieve grades in line with the typical offer shown above.

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.

Programmes with Study Abroad

Entry for programmes ‘with Study Abroad’ is offered on the basis that you will spend your time abroad at an institution where the teaching and examining is delivered in English. However, we also have partners that teach in French, Spanish and German. Should you wish to study at one of these institutions you will need to take modules through the Foreign Language Centre up to ‘Advanced’ standard in the appropriate language. In order to reach this standard before the year abroad, students usually need to have entered the University with the equivalent of a good GCSE or AS level (or higher) in that language.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

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 research-active staff. We use a wide variety of techniques and approaches to help you learn and get the most out of your degree. Our teaching methods make full use of seminars, lectures, study groups and web-based learning, along with relevant work ‘in the field’ at galleries and museums, and through our art galleries and collections on site. We integrate the latest approaches with traditional learning and teaching to give you a varied and challenging programme. During core modules you will learn through individual practical and curatorial work, project work, team work and a research project, all of which are designed to help you develop key skills for success through your degree and into your future career.

You’ll receive ten contact hours per week with staff, both in teaching time and with your personal tutor You’re also expected to invest a lot of time in independent study; this involves individual study and contact with your study-group (for example, in preparation for seminars). The exact amount of time spent working independently varies from module to module.

You will develop expertise in curation through one of Britain’s largest public collections of books, prints, artefacts and ephemera relating to the history and prehistory of cinema and the versatile facilities provided by the Forum – our brand new development at the heart of Streatham Campus which combines student services with catering and retail outlets – along with works of art and flexible multimedia spaces.

For your History modules, you will learn through lectures, tutorials and seminars, with a growing emphasis at each successive level on student-led learning. Modules are designed to encourage you to think about long-term developments and processes of historical change, and to make comparisons between countries and cultures. This helps you progress from the more tightly defined topics studied at A level. Modules are also designed to encourage you to think and write analytically about these broad subjects. They emphasise historical questions that require you to identify patterns across time, or between countries, and to isolate common or competing trends, instead of concentrating on short-term or single explanations.

Research-inspired teaching

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 staff teach third year options which are linked to a broad range of their own interests.

Academic support

All students have a Personal Tutor who is available for advice and support throughout their studies.


Assessment methods vary between modules, but generally include coursework, project work, written exams and various forms of presentation. Please see the individual module descriptions for further details.

You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.

Study abroad

A four year ‘with Study Abroad’ degree programme is available. A full year abroad, at one of our renowned partner institutions, is generally taken in the third year of a four year degree programme. You can apply directly for the four year 'with Study Abroad' programme, or transfer from another programme once you are at Exeter.


The College of Humanities has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters. Six months after graduation 96%* of Humanities graduates are employed or in further study.

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:

  • Heritage
  • Arts Administration
  • Consultancy
  • Market Research
  • Civil Service
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Publishing
  • Charities
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations (PR)

Further Study

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.

Career Zone

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.  

*First–degree University of Exeter graduates across the College of Humanities. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.

‌Find out more about careers in Art History and Visual Culture and History

Contact us


Phone: +44 (0)1392 724202

Website: Visit the Art History and Visual Culture website