History of Art
Where better to enjoy an illuminating introduction to the history and criticism of the art and architecture of Western Europe and beyond… than Cambridge? This city is home to a rich architectural heritage and many internationally renowned museums and galleries to enhance your studies.
- Why Study History of Art at Christ's College?
- Course structure and content
- What do our students think?
- How to apply
- Helpful resources
- Open Days and Online Events
- Want to know more ?
Christ’s very central location puts you within easy walking distance of the Department of History of Art, several museums and the university library – not to mention the vast range of clubs and societies Cambridge has on offer. Following study here, our graduates go on to work in areas including further education and museums.
Course structure and content
Please visit the University website for full details of the History of Art course content and structure.
Your lectures and seminars take place in the Department of History of Art (10 mins walk from Christ’s) and – especially in first year – on site in colleges, chapels, libraries, museums and conservation studios around Cambridge.
You discuss your written work at weekly supervisions (small group teaching sessions with 2 to 3 students) and have regular term-time meetings with Christ’s Director of Studies Dr Lucia Tantardini, whose research centres on the Italian Renaissance and Early Modern period.
What do our students think?
Arianna and Ruby are History of Art students here at Christ's. They have written about their experiences in their student profiles:
"It’s worth remembering when considering this course that art can, of course, be very broadly defined"
Visit How to Apply for full details and a timeline of the application process. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and school types, all over the world. If you're applying from outside the UK, please read our international students section.
If you are applying this year for October 2022 (or deferred Oct 23) please go to the information in the current applicants section.
Subjects: what do you need?
This is an academic course, so although practical artistic skills may help your understanding of media and technique, they’re not essential. There are no required subjects. We recommend you study subjects such as the following to A-level (or equivalent):
You don’t need any previous knowledge of History of Art, but we do expect you to have a basic understanding of the subject and to show enthusiasm for, and visual sensitivity to, works of art.
After we receive your application, we ask you to send us one essay you feel accurately reflects your abilities and interests. This should be work written during the normal course of your studies and already marked by a teacher. We recommend you keep a copy for your own reference as we may discuss it at interview.
We publish full guidelines on written work in the Current Applicants section on 20 September each year.
If we invite you for interviews, these usually take place in early December. Those invited for Cambridge interviews are normally interviewed for 35-50 minutes in total. At Christ’s, we usually split the time into two interviews with academics in History of Art. As part of the interviews, we usually show you one or more images/works of art and ask for your comments.
Read the information and watch the short films on Cambridge admissions interviews for an idea of what to expect when you come. In the case of History of Art, international applicants are advised to apply for interview in Cambridge rather than an overseas interview (please check the eligibility criteria for any overseas interview location you are considering).
If we invite you for interview in Cambridge we ask you to take a written assessment, usually on the same day. We arrange this automatically so you don’t need to register, and you do the same assessment regardless of which college you apply to. This assessment forms part of our holistic admissions process and examines your academic abilities, knowledge-base and potential.
Read more about the assessment, including sample papers and subject content, on the University Admissions website.
Our typical offer for History of Art is
- A*AA at A-level (with the A* in a subject other than Art and Design)
- 42 points overall in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with 7,7,6 at Higher Level
- If you're taking another qualification, we expect you to be working at or close to the top of the mark range i.e.
- Option Internationale du Baccalaureat: at least 17/20 overall, with 17 or 18 in relevant subjects
- European Baccalaureate: at least 85% overall, with 9/10 in relevant subjects
If you will have finished school when you apply, read about post-qualification applications.
|Suggested reading||Advice from the History of Art department|
|The University of Cambridge's arts and antiquities museum|
|Kettle's Yard||The University of Cambridge's contemporary art collection|
|Museums, exhibitions and buildings near you or in places you are visiting.||
Visit when you can, taking descriptive notes / sketches / photographs of what you see. If you're looking for suggestions try museums.co.uk or Google for art galleries and museums in your area
|Art UK||A showcase of the UK's national art collection|
|Art History Journal||The journal of the Association of Art History|
|Google Arts & Culture||Explore collections of museums and galleries around the world/|
|Slade Art lectures||David Ekserdjian on Drawing in Italy before 1500; Michelangelo; Raphael; Correggio; Parmigianino; and Barocci.
Dawn Ades on Surrealism and Art History (lecture 1; lecture 2; lecture 3; lecture 4; lecture 5; lecture 6; lecture 7; lecture 8)
|ARTiculation||A public speaking initiative designed to promote the appreciation and discussion of visual culture.|
|HE+ History of Art||Website for secondary school students who would like to explore History of Art.|
|CamGuides||Introducing the academic and information skills that you will need during your studies, as well as how and where you would be working.|
Online events: Our open days and events page advertises online opportunities as well as events you can attend in Cambridge.
If you can come along to a College Open Day, we‘ll be glad to tell you more about the College and what it’s like to study History of Art here.
Need more information?
If you have any questions, please get in touch at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help.
"For History of Art you want a place with galleries nearby, because it’s important to be able to look at art first hand. For me Cambridge was the right balance of city to art."