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Herbert Read Gallery, UCA Canterbury

Art History, Theory and Contemporary Culture BA (Hons)

Art History, Theory & Contemporary Culture BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Course overview

Our fascinating, in-depth BA (Hons) Art History, Theory and Contemporary Culture degree course will take you on a journey to discover the contexts in which contemporary art emerged from modern and postmodern practices in Europe and the USA after the Second World War - and how it established itself across the Americas, Africa and Asia.

As you study, you'll explore the growth of global contemporary art and the evolution of culture since the beginnings of decolonization in the 1950s.

You'll also learn about the ways in which contemporary art has been made, consumed - understanding the roles played by museums, galleries, auction houses, educational institutions and more - and thought about globally over the last century.

You'll graduate with extensive knowledge of the current state of contemporary art and its likely evolution.

As part of the course, you'll benefit from a professional placement – or a Professional Practice Year, if you choose that pathway – and build industry-relevant skills to ensure that you graduate ready for the workplace.

Please note: the 3 year BA (Hons) course and 4 year BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year have been suspended for 2022 entry. 

Our standard three year undergraduate degree for those who meet the entry requirements for higher education.

UCAS Code for 3 year/standard: W105

A four year degree programme, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year: W10A

A four year course, specifically designed to provide international students with the English language and creative skills before they embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year: W10C

A four year programme, which sees you spend an entire year gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice: W106

A five year course, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W10B

A five year course, including an international foundation year concentrating on English language and core creative skills before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with International Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W10D

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Course details

Course Details

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year, based at UCA Farnham to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Launch
This is your introduction to the Campus and to the Course. As well as to the contexts and forms relevant for the Fine Art programme. You will be asked to make an impactful and meaningful collaborative project.

When was art?
You’ll examine how the term ‘art’ has been used in a variety of institutional and disciplinary ways, including the western discipline of art history and its development from the late nineteenth century, together with an analysis of contemporary art ideas, theories and practices since the 1990s.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 1
By exploring what is meant by gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and social class, you will have the opportunity to explore how dominant culture mindsets contribute to the inclusion or exclusion of individuals or groups, and the ways in which divisive practices of ‘otherness and belonging’ are enacted, questioned and challenged in the context of contemporary Fine Art practices and a wider global arena.

Independent project 1: starting writing
You’ll research an independently chosen subject relating to art history, theory, and contemporary culture, and then develop and share your ideas with a clear and sustained argument.

Opportunity
For Opportunity Week, you’ll go on visits to locations, attend a range of events both course-specific and independently led, and respond to a Call Out – where creative responses are asked for around a given theme, before being presented and celebrated across campus.

What is the object of art?
You’ll explore the relationship between art movements and various works of art – material and conceptual – with a focus on 20th century modernism, postmodernism and global contemporary art.

Industry focus – writing modes 1: voice
You’ll be introduced to a range of writing modes and practices to widen your sense of how interpretation, criticism and curation intersect with publication. In the practice of art history, a writer may assume a neutral voice to describe an objective reality. You’ll consider and critique models of writing that not only describe works of art but also show the writer’s views.

Independent project 2: partnerships, interdisciplinarity
You’ll have the opportunity to focus on and research the range of work opportunities in the global contemporary art world. A wide range of institutions and businesses comprise the art world - museums, galleries, art centres, commissioning agencies, auction houses, archives, magazines and journals - and in this unit, you will begin to map and analyse this field.

 

Launch
As you return to campus, you’ll make an impactful and meaningful collaborative project following themes developed alongside your tutors.

From the local to the global
You’ll be introduced to the ways in which art today is connected to a structure of art fairs, biennials and globally oriented museums. You’ll also consider how art and theory are bound to a history of migration and international cross-cultural influences.

The Conscious Practitioner
Building on your Equality, Diversity and Inclusion unit from Year 1, this unit progresses your understanding of these issues in a contemporary arena, and explores the issues around the ethics of diversity in the contexts of sustainability and current environmental concerns.

Independent project 3: interdisciplinary elective
Collaborate, experiment and realise creative responses to briefs alongside students from other courses on campus in this elective unit – with the aim of building on your experiences within your chosen sphere of focus.

Opportunity
For Opportunity Week, you’ll go on visits to locations, attend a range of events both course-specific and independently led, and respond to a Call Out – where creative responses are asked for around a given theme, before being presented and celebrated across campus.

Human nature
You’ll explore the art and the theory that explores the human, and the relationship of humans within the environment. You’ll also explore how art and theory have addressed issues of the environment and the non-human. You will examine the impact of art on its environment, from industrial modernism in the 20th century to contemporary thought on the agency of the non-human (such as plant and animal life).

Industry linking – writing modes 2 – contemporary art publication
You’ll examine the profession of writing within art history, theory, and contemporary culture and learn about innovations within critical and creative writing in the context of art.

Independent project 4: placement
You’ll enhance your awareness of organisations whose work relates to your subject of study – from regional arts organisations, galleries, publishers, and education providers. This will give you an essential insight into the global art world working environment.

 

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Launch
This is your introduction to the Campus and to the Course. As well as to the contexts and forms relevant for the Fine Art programme. You will be asked to make an impactful and meaningful collaborative project.

Artistic futures
You, the students, will lead this unit, with the help of your tutors, with seminars and reading groups discussing and unpacking ideas that will lead to a final resolution in the following unit. You will have the opportunity for prolonged research, peer discussion and exploration of emerging themes. This is your opportunity to explore and work through ideas and theories that will prepare you for the final phase of your course.

Themes and theories
You’ll explore, through lectures and seminars, several key themes to help orient and guide your thinking about relevant issues for your final project. You’ll develop your own approach and position in regard to some of the issues raised over the previous two years, while also returning to some of those issues in greater depth.

Opportunity
For Opportunity Week, you’ll go on visits to locations, attend a range of events both course-specific and independently led, and respond to a Call Out – where creative responses are asked for around a given theme, before being presented and celebrated across campus.

Final independent project
For the culmination of your studies at UCA, you’ll be supported in completing a major final independent project on a subject of your choice within the field of art history, theory and contemporary culture. You’ll be encouraged to be ambitious and intellectually creative in your approach.

 

This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your course. To find out more about studying abroad please see the Study Abroad section:

Tuition fees
2022 course fees for Year 1 entry and Integrated Foundation Year:

  • UK students - £9,250 
  • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • International students - £16,950

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2022 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850 (UK students) and £3,390 (International students). You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Details for these will be available here in due course.

Further information
For more detailed information about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to please see our fees and finance pages.

The fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course will be offered an industry placement anywhere between two weeks and a year in length, depending on their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to ensure you’re offered opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

 

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Facilities

Our Fine Art facilities include large purpose-built studios, a 3D workshop with machines for working in wood, metals, plastics and ceramics, workshops for plaster and rubber casting, glass casting, slumping, fusing and enamelling (kiln), ceramic bisque and gloss firing, low melt metal casting, and carving (wood, stone and polystyrene). Printmaking studios for relief and block printing, intaglio and screen-printing are also available, alongside PC and Mac suites and an extensive library containing books, journals, recordings and archival materials.

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Fine Art studio, UCA Canterbury

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Print studios, UCA Canterbury

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Herbert Read Gallery, UCA Canterbury

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Library, UCA Canterbury

Course connections

Course connections

As a long-established course, we have a developed Kent-wide network that gives our students access to some of the most respected names in the creative industries, including:

  • Turner Contemporary Margate
  • Folkestone Triennial
  • Dover Arts Development
  • Stour Valley Creative Partnership
  • Crate
  • Whitstable Biennale
  • Canterbury Cathedral

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.  

 


  

BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements for these courses are one of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply. 

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

For these courses you need to have completed 12 years* of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree.

 


 

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Pre-sessional English courses

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio of written or visual work for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. If you would prefer to upload a portfolio digitally, there is also the option to submit it online via your UCA Applicant Portal. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

 


 

More portfolio advice

Apply Now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:
  • UCAS Institution

    C93

  • UCAS Code for 3 year/standard

    W105

  • UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice

    W106

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year

    W10A

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year

    W10C

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W10B

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W10D

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