Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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BA History of Art with Cultural Studies

This information is for 2019 entry only. Information for 2018 entry.

This course allows you to combine a questioning and critical approach to the historical study of art with a cultural focus on theories and practices of language, image, identity, gender, race, sexuality and class.

We do not take for granted that ‘art’ or ‘culture’ have been universally understood in the same way over time. You’ll learn about the history of the practices we recognise as art in the context of literature, music, film, photography and the media, to explore how societies have represented themselves and the world around them.

You’ll deepen your understanding of how art has been produced and received in different societies and times, and examine cultural forms and processes that have shaped contemporary societies such as revolution, the city, war, memory, psychoanalysis and cinema. Throughout these studies you’ll engage with cultural theories relevant to the artistic and cultural activities people have used to make sense of their changing worlds.

Specialist resources

The University has a variety of resources to support your learning and research. We have a wide range of museum collections and galleries on campus such as the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and the Brotherton Library Treasures Gallery. ULITA – An Archive of International Textiles – is housed on campus to collect, preserve and document textiles and related areas from around the world. Project Space, a new multi-purpose space designed for the development of curatorial practice and visiting exhibitions, sits at the core of the School’s new building.

The University also houses a wealth of modern and contemporary art that make up the Art on Campus displays of sculpture, in addition to the Yorkshire Fashion Archive and the Marks & Spencer Company Archive and exhibition displays. These resources all offer exciting opportunities for our students to engage with art and culture.

Year 1 will equip you with skills and theoretical and historical knowledge for analysing art and culture. Core modules will introduce you to key themes and interpretative methods for analysing and interpreting cultural practices. You’ll examine different cultures and materials and consider the intentions and identities of artists. A choice of optional modules will allow you to broaden your studies by studying topics like cultural or media history, or country house or museum studies.

You’ll build on this knowledge in Year 2, when further core modules will deepen your understanding of the complex relationship between art, ideas and society. In addition, you’ll shape your studies to suit your interests when you choose from a wider range of optional modules, choosing from a group of cultural studies subject that extend your initial studies of gender, the moving image, the postcolonial perspective, and cultural theory. You’ll also select modules that focus on specific issues in art history.

By your final year, you’ll be able to apply your research and critical skills to an independently researched dissertation on a topic of your choice. To complement and support your research, you’ll select additional modules from the diverse options on offer, many of which combine studies of the visual arts with other cultural forms. If you choose, you can take one fewer optional module and go into greater depth on an extended dissertation.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Cultural Analysis 1 20 credits
  • Introduction to Cultural Analysis II 20 credits
  • A Story of Art I 20 credits
  • A Story of Art 2 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Elements of Visual Culture I 20 credits
  • Cultural History 20 credits
  • Cinema and Media History 20 credits
  • The English Country House: Making and Meaning 20 credits
  • Introduction to Museum and Art Gallery Studies 20 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Art History and Art Historiography 20 credits
  • Keywords 20 credits

Optional modules

  • The New York School 20 credits
  • Cinema and Culture 20 credits
  • Seeing in Asia 20 credits
  • The Art Market: Moments, Methodologies, Meanings 20 credits

Year 3

Optional modules

  • Deconstruction Reading Politics 20 credits
  • From Trauma to Cultural Memory: The Unfinished Business of Representation and the Holocaust 20 credits
  • Cultural Diversity in Museum and Material Culture - Case Study 20 credits
  • Sins, Sinisters and Sciapods: The Margins of Medieval Art 20 credits
  • Utopia: Demanding the Impossible! 20 credits
  • Africa and the Atlantic World: History, Historiography and the Visual Arts 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read History of Art with Cultural Studies BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from the expertise of your tutors. These will include lectures, seminars, screenings, tutorials, workshops and field trips. You’ll also be able to attend talks by visiting artists and speakers, as well as workshops, conferences, exhibitions and other events. You’ll be supported by your supervisor during your dissertation and be able to attend skills workshops.

Independent study is also crucial to the degree, allowing you to develop important critical and research skills and to form your own ideas.


You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods, allowing you to build different skills. Usually these will include essays, exams and module presentations, as well as small-scale research projects and your dissertation.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB not including General Studies or Critical Thinking.

Where an applicant is undertaking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), the School may make an alternative offer that is one A level grade below that of our standard offer – on the condition that the applicant achieves a grade A in their EPQ (e.g. AAB at A level / alternative offer ABB plus grade A in EPQ).

NB: An EPQ is optional and not a requirement of application.

Alternate Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Pass with 60 credits overall including 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 must be at Merit level.


Extended Diploma: DDD-DDM.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M1 – D3, M1, M1 in three principle subjects.

International Baccalaureate

34-35 overall (with at least 4 in English Language).

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)


Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AABBB (AB at advanced level) OR AAABB (A at Advanced level). For applicants just undertaking the higher level, grades of AAAABB will be required.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 77-80% overall and at least 60% in English.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies Undergraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If youre unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £17,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, youll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

A high percentage of graduates from this course go on to postgraduate study. However, others have pursued a wide range of careers in the arts and related industries.

Graduates from our School have gone on to work at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice, the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The Saatchi Gallery, The Henry Moore Institute, National Trust, Bonham’s, Leeds City Museums, The Hepworth Gallery, The Geffrye Museum London, The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Rydale Folk Museum.

Some examples of roles they have gone on to have include Head of House and Collections at Harewood House, Events Manager at the National Portrait Gallery, PR Officer at Christie’s (London and New York), Lecturer at the University of Leeds and Chief Curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Placement opportunities

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

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