Art History

BA (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) OR BSc (Hons) NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

Art History is the subject for you if you are interested in any or all of the diverse aspects of visual culture, artistic creativity and the role of imagery within society. Since prehistoric times, the beliefs, aspirations and fears of mankind have been expressed through the production of objects. Art History interrogates these objects, situating them within historical, stylistic and aesthetic frameworks and contexts. The inherent interdisciplinary nature of Art History enables dynamic connections with a broad range of subjects across the Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences.


Course Pathways
What Will I Study

Our teaching programme offers a dynamic curriculum that enables students to examine the art, architecture and visual culture of different ages, from ancient times to the present day, whether traditional or new, nontraditional media. Students are encouraged to develop a range of critical, historical and historiographical modes of inquiry so as to comprehend our visual and artistic cultures.

First Year

First year modules introduce students to the key periods, artists and movements of European art and architecture from Antiquity through to the birth of modern art in the early 20th century.

  • The Art of the Ancient and Medieval World
  • The Art of the Renaissance: Reform and Rebirth
  • The Baroque to Romanticism
  • The Modern World 1848-1914

Second & Final Years

Students have the opportunity to develop an increasingly in-depth visual and critical understanding of the history of art, crossing over boundaries of media, chronology and geography. Typical modules include:

  • The Modern to the Contemporary
  • European Architecture
  • Perspectives on Irish Art: From Medieval to Modern
  • History of Photography
  • Early Islamic Art & Architecture
  • Art/Resistance/Activism
  • Georgian Dublin
  • Genre Painting in the Age of Vermeer
  • Women & Modern Architecture
  • From Constantinople to Istanbul: Art, Faith, Politics.

Students attend lectures, tutorials and seminars, and undertake independent study. We have a strong commitment to small group learning and gallery, museum and site visits are integrated into the curriculum.

A combination of end-of-semester examinations and continuous assessment are used. In your final year, you may also prepare a minor dissertation.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

How Will I Study
Study Art History
Study Art History (BSc Social Sciences) as a minor with one of the following:
Archaeology Sociology
International Study Opportunities

Opportunities to study abroad may include:

  • Universität Wien, Austria
  • Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  • Università degli Studi di Roma III, Italy
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • University of Lund, Sweden
  • University of Nottingham, UK
  • University of California, USA
  • University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Waseda University, Japan
Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Graduates develop key skills from critical thinking and writing to effective visual analysis, that have diverse applications and can lead to employment opportunities in: Museums and Galleries, Cultural and Heritage Sector, Education and Academia, Digital Media, Journalism, Publishing, Auction Houses, Archives.

Art History has multiple applications. We equip graduates with the skills needed to reflect on the role of the visual arts within society and to evaluate the images and environments surrounding them. Graduates are prepared to undertake graduate study in a range of areas, including two taught master’s degrees at UCD: MA Art History, Collections & Curating and MA Cultural Policy & Arts Management. Graduates are also prepared to pursue doctoral research.

Other Entry Routes

“I knew I wanted to study History, however my love for the arts prompted me to look for something which also satiated my curiosity and interest in visual culture which made this the perfect course for me. The multitude of field trips to art galleries and museums constantly encourage us to genuinely experience the art we learn about in lecture halls and tutorials. In addition, the abundance of guest speakers, such as artists, expose us to the different views and opinions in the art world as well as introduce us to the contemporary artists working in Ireland today. I firmly believe that anyone who enjoys not only art and architecture, but also the story behind the artist and their creations, will definitely enjoy this course.”

Justyna Kaczorowska, Student

Contact Information

UCD School of Art History & Cultural Policy
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 716 8162

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