Art reaches wider audiences than ever before, both in museums and galleries and via digital media. This course will teach you to understand the crucial role of art in society both in the past and today.
Designed to appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds, including those who haven't previously studied the discipline, this course combines first-hand research and analysis into why art is produced, when, where, by whom and for whom. You’ll question the ways in which art has been written about and examined over time from various critical perspectives, and you'll address how political, cultural and gendered narratives shape our understanding of it.
The curation and circulation of art are two key themes that make this degree distinctive. There’s a particular focus on how art is displayed and interpreted (in museums, galleries, printed material and digital formats) and how art relates to other fields like business, fashion, politics and international relations.
Learn in London – the UK's creative hub
You’ll be offered exciting opportunities including curating your own exhibition, going on a placement, exploring London and taking annual trips – and you’ll be supported in developing your own entrepreneurial ideas. You'll develop a specialised knowledge, and build a valuable network of contacts.
Recently, students have had the chance to:
- Study works of art at the British Museum, V&A, National Gallery, Tate Modern, The Photographers’ Gallery and many more
- Speak to experts at commercial galleries
- Visit historic houses: Strawberry Hill House, Leighton House and Eltham Palace
- Experience Frieze Masters and Frieze London
- Tour private collections such as at the Deutsche Bank
- Enjoy immersive experiences at Superblue London and Frameless
- Visit Claridge's ArtSpace where art can be bought in cryptocurrency
- Produce their own photograms with experts at Darkroom London
Thanks to our contacts and location in central London, our students have enjoyed numerous guest lectures and workshops including with:
- Rose Lejeune, Founder and Director of Performance Exchange
- Philippa Abrahams – BBC expert on artists' materials
- Anna Gordon – photojournalist for The Guardian, Financial Times, Reuters
- Priyesh Mistry – Associate Curator at the National Gallery
- Ali MacGilp – Artist Liaison and Director at Frith Street Gallery
- Linda Tori – development and strategy consultant for startups within the art market
Students have curated several exhibitions at our own Knapp Gallery including:
- Sarah Lightman – Drawing from Life and Literature (2020)
- Marenka Gabeler – Because, Before, Why (2022)
- Sleeping Visions (2022)
- On Femininity: Past and Present Perceptions (2023)
You'll graduate as a critical and culturally-aware thinker, with verbal and visual skills and a network of contacts – ready to work in the competitive art field, or related businesses around the world.
In the integrated foundation year, you'll gain a solid grounding in academic principles and skills. Building upon this foundation, you'll be well prepared to go on to develop specialist knowledge in your chosen course.
It's structured around discipline knowledge, with extra modules that introduce you to the transferable skills you'll need at degree level and beyond – giving you a solid grounding in liberal arts principles and skills.
Once you've successfully completed your Foundation year, you'll be able to progress to any of our business, social sciences, humanities or media undergraduate courses.
Building on this foundation, you’ll develop specialist knowledge in your chosen course.
Download course specification