At Edinburgh, History of Art is a window to the world…
You will take History of Art combined with courses from two other subject areas (such as Architectural History, Anthropology or Psychology) in your first two years, then choose from around 30 option courses within History of Art in years 3 and 4. The breadth of courses on offer at Edinburgh is unrivalled: you may choose to study Pictish stones, Medieval manuscripts, Chinese scrolls, Japanese Buddhist relics, Renaissance altarpieces, Scottish Enlightenment portraits and artefacts of eighteenth-century material culture, Pre-Raphaelite and French Impressionist paintings, problems in Modernist painting and sculpture, Landscape art and radical eco-aesthetics, Feminist art and activism, as well as a range of Contemporary art practices. In year 3 you will combine specialist option courses with project work focusing in detail on your choice of either art objects, exhibitions, or texts of art theory, so that you develop core skills in writing and researching art history. You may also choose a work placement in a local museum, gallery, or school. In your final year you will take more specialist option courses and will devise and write an original, independently researched dissertation which is the culmination of your studies.
This degree programme is for you if you are interested in art and visual culture and the histories and ideas that they embody. You do not need to have studied Art History before but you will be curious to learn about new ideas, places and times that will challenge the way you see the world.
How we teach
You will be taught by leading academics and professors who are all active researchers and in some cases, curators. We combine lectures (three a week) with small group tutorials and gallery visits at years 1 and 2, then seminars, placements and site visits in years 3 and 4. In addition to the academic guidance of your lecturers and tutors you will be supported by a Personal Tutor throughout your learning journey.
Studying in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a culturally rich and active international city. We enjoy world-class museum and gallery collections and a busy contemporary arts scene on our doorstep. As a History of Art student you will have the chance to make the most of the art and culture that is on offer, and if you choose a work placement in your third year, you may experience life behind the scenes in one of the city’s collections. Within the University, History of Art is part of Edinburgh College of Art so you will study alongside practicing artists, designers, architects and musicians.
You can combine History of Art with a range of other courses, including:
- Architectural History
- Chinese Studies
- English Literature
- French, German, or other modern European language
- History of Music
You can also study History of Art combined with a practical art element with our five-year MA (Hons) Fine Art degree.