Art History

Course Information

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

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN520 BA Joint Honours
CAO Points Range 2020: 310
Length of Course: 3 Years (4 years BA International)
Average Intake: 420

CAO Code: DN700 BSc Social Sciences
CAO Points Range 2020: 418
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 500

Leaving Certificate:

DN520 – O6/H7 in English, Irish, a third language and three other recognised subjects

DN700 – O6/H7 in English, Irish, Mathematics and three other recognised subjects

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

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.


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:

  • Museum Curator
  • Gallery Manager
  • Art Buyer
  • Professor/Lecturer
  • Arts Manager
  • Archivist
  • Community Editor
  • Events Manager
  • Outreach/Education
  • Operations Assistant
  • Content Creator
  • Film Editor

UCD offers two taught master’s degrees for suitably qualified graduates: the Master’s in Art History and the Master’s in Cultural Policy & Arts Administration, as well as the opportunity to pursue doctoral research, all of which provides further possibilities for careers in the arts.

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 1300-1900
  • Perspectives on Irish Art: From Medieval to Modern
  • History and Theory of Photography
  • Islamic and Indian Art
  • Rome: Caput Mundi
  • Art & Death in Early Modern Europe
  • Georgian Dublin
  • Genre Painting in the Age of Vermeer
  • Courts and Court Culture

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.

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


“My time as an undergraduate of Art History in UCD was one of the most enlightening I can remember. Every lecture and seminar served to whet our appetite further in learning about the history of art and visual culture. There were many field trips to art galleries and museums and around the heart of Georgian Dublin. The School of Art History is a small and friendly place to study and there is plenty of support for students. If you have a love for art, architecture and visual culture, this course is for you.”

Brian Coffey, Student

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