Oxford History of Art: Overview and Entrance Requirements

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The Oxford History of Art course delves into the distinctive visual characteristics that encapsulate the essence of human-designed creations within their historical and cultural contexts. With a global perspective, this course also uncovers the origins, meanings, and purposes behind artworks and artefacts. 

It explores the creators and the conditions under which these creations were crafted. It also explores the materials, the intended functions, the reception by society, and their subsequent trajectories.

Beyond historical interpretation, the programme also equips students with skills to critically analyse objects, fostering visual literacy. These acquired skills have versatile applications across various professional domains while catering to personal enrichment. 

The University’s remarkable collections, including the renowned Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers museums, provides opportunities for hands-on study under the guidance of custodians. Moreover, the city’s architectural heritage offers an additional dimension for exploration.

The Oxford History of Art degree stands out for its innovative approach, drawing expertise from multiple university faculties, staff of university collections, and the department itself. 

The curriculum also places a strong emphasis on diverse methods of analysing primary visual and written sources from different time periods and geographic locations. Students are asked questions on the nature of responses to what society labels as ‘art,’ further fostering a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between creativity, culture, and human expression.

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UCAS CodeV350
Minimum Entrance Requirements A-levels – AAA
Advanced Highers – AA/AAB
IB –  38 (including core points) with 666 at HL
Admission Test for History of Art at OxfordNo
Subject Requirements for History of Art at OxfordSubject knowledge in essay writing is Essential.
History of Art, Fine Art, History, English, and a language would also be helpful.
Extras things admission tutors look forWritten work: Two Pieces
One marked essay of up to 2,000 words written for an A-level or equivalent course, demonstrating the ability to construct a sustained written argument 
There is also a personal response. This is written in no more than 750 words, to a piece of art, architecture or design.
Deadline: 10 November 2023
Duration3 years (BA)
Admissions StatisticsInterviewed: 41%
Successful: 14%
What is History of Artat Oxford?History of Art at Oxford is a comprehensive study of art and artifacts from various cultures and periods. This course also investigates the origins, meanings, makers, materials, functions, and reception of visual creations. 
It fosters skills in historical analysis, critical object examination, and visual literacy. This further enables students to excel in diverse professions while pursuing personal enrichment. 
Through hands-on study in prestigious museums and engagement with primary sources, students also gain innovative insights into the diverse world of art.
Oxford Colleges that offer History of Art Christ Church
Harris Manchester College
Lincoln College
St Catherine’s College
St John’s College
St Peter’s College
Wadham College
Structure of the History of Art Course at OxfordYear 1 
Four elements are taken – Three written papers and one extended essay.
Students also have the opportunity to undertake a French, German or Italian for Art Historians course through the University’s Language Centre.
Year 2 & 3
Seven elements are taken, including:
Core subjects
Two Year 2 Options
Special subject and extended essay in art history
Undergraduate thesis.
Four to five written papers, one or two extended essay(s) and one thesis.
Common Careers after History of Art at OxfordGraduates of History of Art at Oxford secure opportunities in various sectors. This includes museums, galleries and governmental and non-governmental agencies that work to conserve, research and promote cultural heritage and to further the production of art.
Furthermore, Graduates of the History of Art at Oxford will be exceptionally competitive for posts in any area that requires combinations of visual and verbal skills.

These include:
Web-based media
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