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.
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.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: AAB not including General Studies or Critical Thinking.
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.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's 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.
Study abroad and work placements
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.
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.