BA Art History & Visual Culture and Classical Studies
|Typical offer||AAB–ABB; IB: 34–32; BTEC: DDD–DDM|
We live in a world dominated by visual imagery. From historic paintings, sculptures, prints and architecture to modern day photography, film and installations – visual culture now impacts almost all of everyday life on a global scale. At the University of Exeter, we believe the best way to understand the present society we live in is to examine the past to uncover the changes in civilisation, conflict, culture, religion, politics and science that led us to where we are today. A combined degree of Art History & Culture and Classics brings together a progressive, emerging field of study with a well-established subject area that allows you to explore the culture and thought of the ancient world through its literature and artefacts.
This course teaches you how to interpret works of art, architecture, design, images, objects and practices to uncover the role and significance of visual culture movements that changed the world. Explore revolutionary France, Victorian visions, New York’s Avant-garde and iconic representations of the face throughout history up to the present day. Over a three-year period, you will engage in lively debate, collaborative team working, independent research and immerse yourself with visits to museums and art galleries, including an opportunity to spend an intensive one-week study trip in one of Europe’s famous continental cities.
In Classics, the University of Exeter is ranked 5th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and The Complete University Guide 2020. Exeter is also in the Top 50 Universities worldwide to study Classics and Ancient History. This internationally renowned course is designed to equip you with a broad range of highly desirable skills that complement those gained through your study of Art History. This combined study can lead to careers in a range of fields from acting to banking, teaching, law, publishing and journalism to name but a few. Develop expert skills in problem solving, critical reflection, communication, research and independent thinking. By looking back at material of the ancient Mediterranean (in particular Ancient Greece and Rome) you will learn to decipher the meaning behind some of the most brilliant and complex works and apply this to all manner of texts, from political speeches to advertising slogans.
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 and artefacts, the unique Bill Douglas Cinema Museum on campus and the award winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum in the centre of Exeter. This degree course is designed to equip you with a broad range of transferrable skills, with specialist and professional experience that will lead not only to humanities jobs, but a diverse range of careers across multiple industries. Graduating as a trained linguist you will also open doors to fields such as finance, translation, law, journalism, marketing and communications, business, the Civil Service and education.
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.
Full module descriptions
For full module descriptions from previous years, please visit our student website.
Entry requirements 2020
AAB–ABB; IB: 34–32; BTEC: DDD–DDM
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
If your academic qualifications or English language skills do not meet our entry requirements our INTO University of Exeter centre offers a range of courses to help you reach the required language and academic standards.
International Foundation programmes
Preparation for entry to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree:
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.