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Why Study History of Art at Christ's?

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

The History of Art course (or ‘tripos’) is a three-year degree which focuses on direct contact with, and analysis of, works of art and architecture right from the start.

Please visit the University website for full details of the History of Art course content and structure, including the course film. You will also find information on the Department of History of Art page for prospective applicants. If you have further questions about course content, please contact


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 Kareem Estefan, whose research interests include film, video, and digital media, particularly Arab moving-image practices, documentary and Global South cinema, and activist engagements with colonialism and its legacies in contemporary art and film.

What do our students think?

Student Q&A film
  Watch the Christ's student Q&A film

Arianna and Ruby are History of Art students here at Christ's. They have written about their experiences in their student profiles:

If you’d like to hear from other Christ’s students, please watch the Christ's student Q&A film, and visit our Student Profiles page.

"It’s worth remembering when considering this course that art can, of course, be very broadly defined"


How to apply

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 considering an application in October 2024 for October 2025 (or deferred Oct 26) entry, we recommend that you sign up for the next College Open Day, which will include a History of Art subject meeting.
  • We no longer require applicants for History of Art to upload written work as part of the application process.
  • There is no written assessment for History of Art.

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, IB Higher Level, Scottish Advanced Higher or equivalent:

  • History
  • English
  • A foreign language (especially Italian, French or German)
  • Greek or Latin

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.

We encourage students to attend one of our regular Subject Matters webinars for help with choosing Post-16 subjects for competitive university applications. This webinar is pitched for students aged 14-16 though it is also possible to attend when you have started sixth form. 


If we invite you for interviews, these usually take place in early December. At Christ's we continue do all of our interviews online, as we have done for the last three years. You can have your interviews either at home (most applicants do this) or at school (if easier). 
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.

Further, more general information about interviews (including two useful films) is available in the Cambridge interviews section, and it's worth also having a look at supervisions (short film here), as interviews are similar to what you do every week as a Cambridge student.


We define the terms of each offer individually but 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 with 7,7,6 at Higher Level
  • A1, A2, A2 in three Scottish Advanced Highers
  • If you're taking another qualification, we expect you to be working at or close to the top of the mark range i.e.

You can look up other qualifications in the offer levels for other exam systems and international entry requirements, and if you are applying from outside the UK please read the Christ's international students section for further information and check the country pages.

If you will have finished school when you apply, please also read about post-qualification applications, taking a gap year, and, if relevant, applying from a university.


Helpful resources

Would you like to receive these resources in an email? Please complete this brief form.

Suggested readingAdvice from the History of Art department
The Fitzwilliam MuseumThe University of Cambridge's arts and antiquities museum
Kettle's YardThe 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 or Google for art galleries and museums in your area
Art UKA showcase of the UK's national art collection
Art History JournalThe journal of the Association of Art History
Google Arts & CultureExplore collections of museums and galleries around the world
Slade Art lecturesDavid 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 ArtWebsite for secondary school students who would like to explore History of Art.
CamGuidesIntroducing the academic and information skills that you will need during your studies, as well as how and where you would be working.

Events (online / in person)

Our open days and events page advertises regular online opportunities as well as events you can attend in Cambridge. If you can, sign up for a College Open Day (our October, February and September events normally include a meeting with a subject specialist). Between February and August we run regular webinars:

  • Subject Matters: The importance of post-16 subject choices (this one is also run Sept - Nov)
  • Cambridge for Beginners
  • Christ's College: A look at the Grounds and Facilities
  • Personal Statements and preparing for an application

Further subject-specific opportunities you might wish to consider include Subject Masterclasses organised by Cambridge Admissions Office, and subject-specific talks in the July Cambridge Open Days. If you are a UK student from a background where there is little tradition of entry to Higher Education, you can apply to attend a Sutton Trust Summer School in History of Art or to shadow a current undergraduate studying History of Art via the Cambridge SU Shadowing Scheme (do be aware that there's a high proportion of applicants to places for both of these last two opportunities so please don't be discouraged if you don't get a place).

Need more information?

For more detail of what the course involves, please read Undergraduate History of Art admissions on the University website and visit the Department of History of Art site too.

If you have any questions, please get in touch at 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."