Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

History of Art and Architecture

This intensive 1-year programme offers you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the history of art and architecture. You will learn to critically analyse and interpret art objects and buildings, and will engage with the concepts, values and debates that inform the study and practice of the history of art. If you want to study history of art, or a similar course, at Master's level (either at Birkbeck or elsewhere) but have a first degree in another subject, then this programme can be used as a conversion course. You will acquire and develop skills and knowledge of the discipline up to final-year undergraduate level. If you are not intending to progress to an MA, the programme will allow you to continue your exploration of the history of art and architecture at a higher level.

Course modules

You take the Graduate Certificate core course, History of Art and Architecture: Skills and Approaches. This is taught, 1 evening per week, over 5 weeks in the autumn term and 5 weeks in the spring term. The course introduces you to the core skills of analysing images, objects and buildings and some of the different theoretical approaches that are used in this subject area. You also take a BA History of Art option module, alongside third- and fourth-year BA students. This runs over the autumn and spring terms, 1 evening a week. You will have a choice of different art historical subject areas to focus on from a range of courses available; those listed below are indicative of the areas covered but the specific topics are not guaranteed. Over the summer term you have an opportunity to consolidate your learning in the form of an extended essay. This is based on research into an art work or building of your own choosing. The essay will be supported by research workshops. Compulsory module: History of Art and Architecture: Skills and Approaches . Option modules: Art and Architecture at the Early Stuart Courts; Art and Architecture in Rome c 1500 - 1527; Art and the Sacred in the Middle Ages; Art in America Since 1945; Art of the British Empire; Electronic Visions: Video, Animation, Kinetic and Computer Art since the 1950s; English Portraiture in the Long Eighteenth Century; Fin De Siecle Vienna; Modernism in Scandinavian Art and Design; Seventeenth-Century Painting in the Netherlands; Spaces of Modernity: City, Suburb and Countryside in the Nineteenth Century; Strategies of Display: Avant-Garde Exhibitions, The White Cube and Beyond .

Assessment methods

Assessment is based entirely around coursework (no examinations). It develops incrementally from a 2000-word essay, on to two 2500-word essays and a 2500-word visual research exercise. It culminates in a 5000-word extended essay based on your own research. At each stage of the programme you receive written feedback on your coursework, so you can use the feedback to improve the next piece of work.

Sponsorship information

The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Graduate Certificate Part-time October 2018 GBP 4,950 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
Graduate Certificate Part-time October 2018 GBP 2,725 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 1 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Department of History of Art and Screen Media
Telephone number: