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BA (Hons) Art and Design History tells the history of culture and society through art and design objects, processes and ideas.
The course explores and examines works of art including painting and sculpture, everyday and rare items of design, as well as issues of criticism, consumerism, collecting and exhibition.
The course takes you on a journey through the modern era, from the industrial revolution of the eighteenth century right up to the present day. Students will gain a firm grounding in the visual and material histories that inform our present moment.
Immersed in our creative community at AUB, you’ll study the rich histories of art and design attitudes, materials and practices. We’ll introduce you to art and design from around the world, from Europe, the USA, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Exploring histories and theories of visual and material culture from the 1750s to the present, you’ll learn how to analyse images and objects within their social and cultural contexts. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge needed to analyse and communicate histories and theories of art and design. You’ll explore how art and design can be narrated through art collections, exhibitions, curation and criticism. Our course will help you to become a successful communicator who is able to make historical cultures relevant in contemporary terms.
Giving you both knowledge and skills, this course will be a springboard for a future career in the creative industries.
Level 4 (First Year)
The first year introduces the disciplines of art and design history, as well as the newer fields of visual and material cultures.
You will be introduced to a range of skills required to study BA (Hons) Art and Design History, including the first-hand study of art works and designed objects.
You will gain insights into current debates in the subject, and be introduced to theoretical positions that are of importance throughout the course.
In this year, you will focus on art and design from the eighteenth-century Industrial Revolution to the end of the nineteenth century.
As well as studying key historical movements within social, cultural, historical and economic contexts, you will examine how new materials and technologies have influenced art and design.
This includes the impact of photography on fine art, and uses of early plastics in designed objects. You’ll consider how art and design have responded to diverse issues at a global level, from colonisation to international commerce.
You will also begin to develop your individual areas of research, and to hone your own skills within a chosen area of study. You’ll keep an online journal of your research, applying knowledge developed in a series of group writing workshops.
Your blog will be your first public-facing project, culminating in Years 2 and 3 in collaboratively produced exhibitions and print publications.
The first year will develop your communication, critical and analytical skills and your ability to be inquisitive and to think creatively. It will also introduce you to key transferable skills for employment and further academic study.
Level 5 (Second Year)
In your second year you’ll continue to explore your own interests in greater depth. You’ll examine key cultural movements of art and design from the early twentieth century to today.
A focus on contemporary issues of visual and material culture, including screen cultures and issues of collecting and curatorship, display and exhibition, will lead you right up to current practices.
You’ll investigate recent art and design in terms of critical writing, and explore histories of exhibition and display.
You’ll undertake a practical project to apply your academic knowledge to a public-facing outcome, such as an exhibition, event, film screening or publication. Materials for this project will come from individual and group research activities in museums, galleries, collections and archives.
Level 6 (Third Year)
In your third year, you’ll focus on your own research and undertake a collaborative project.
You’ll work towards a final essay of your own, and an exhibition or published text made in collaboration with other students on the BA (Hons) Art and Design History course and other students at AUB.
Your dissertation will be an extended reflection on a subject of your choice related to the disciplines of BA (Hons) Art and Design History.
Your final exhibition will be a public-facing presentation, and a culmination of your research and practical skills built up since Year 1.
* Please note that the individual units are indicative and subject to change based on our tutors’ ongoing research interests.