October Open Day poster
Online Open Day for students considering an application to Cambridge in Oct 2024 for Oct 25 or deferred Oct 26 entry. This includes a subject meeting for History of Art. Booking is open

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 undergrad.enquiries@aha.cam.ac.uk.


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.

  • For Oct 2023 applicants, note that if you are selected for interview, the History of Art Written Assessment will take place on Tuesday 28 November 2023 (no registration required). Please keep that date free.
  • 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. If you are applying this year, please see 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):

  • 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.


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.

Written Assessment (College registered)

Assessment details are confirmed by July each year, but note that applicants for History of Art who are selected for interview are normally asked to take the History of Art Admissions Assessment at the end of November (this year's date is Tuesday 28 November 2023). We arrange your assessment automatically so you don’t need to register. You complete the assessment remotely and upload your work - you will not need to travel for it. Details of how the assessment will work are given to students selected for interview by email.

Information about the format and content of the History of Art Admissions Assessment is available in the Undergraduate History of Art course information. See the entrance requirements tab. There are sometimes changes to assessments from year to year - any changes are confirmed by the July before you apply.


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 reading Advice from the History of Art department

The Fitzwilliam Museum

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.

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 admissions@christs.cam.ac.uk 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."