UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - History of Art

Course Fact File
CodeSubject available through multiple programmes
Subject TitleHistory of Art
Duration3 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.

Course Outline

History of Art, with its emphasis on visual analysis and critical thinking, is a vital discipline in a world dominated by images, where the primary vehicle of culture is visual. Despite this, many people feel ill at ease with visual information and do not understand the way in which images make an impact and produce meaning. The study of History of Art will enable you to:

  • think analytically and write persuasively
  • build your own criteria for making value judgements
  • understand the art intervenes in the social, political, psychological, and philosophical contexts from which it emerges

The course will provide you with a firm foundation on which to build an understanding of the visual culture and physical environment of modern-day Ireland, set within both its European and wider global contexts.

In Year 1 you will cover the history and theory associated with the major phases of western art and architecture – from classical antiquity to the present – and examine the critical concepts that underpin the culture of the visual arts in the west. It is an exciting and stimulating course that teaches you to use your eyes, to ask questions, and to have confidence in your critical judgments.

In Years 2 and 3 you will build on that knowledge with a series of historically and thematically specific classes, allowing you to consider material in more detail and to perfect your skills in visual literacy.


Year 1

HA1001 Introduction to Art History (15 credits)

Year 2

  • Modernism in Europe, 1860-1940
  • The History and Theory of Photography
  • Portraiture
  • Art and Patronage in the Renaissance
  • Modernism and Postmodernism
  • The Art of Daily Life, 1600-1900, and
  • Art and its Histories and Theories

Year 3

  • Historiography and Current Methodologies
  • The Art of 18th-Century Ireland
  • The Art and Culture of Renaissance Rome
  • The Art of the Academy in the 19th Century
  • The Visual Culture of the Weimar Republic
  • Photography and Post Modernism
  • The History and Theory of Drawing
  • The History and Theory of Italian Baroque Art, and
  • The Role of the Artist after 1945.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours

The lectures are supplemented by tutorials, which are student-centred, supportive learning environments in which particular issues can be discussed in more detail.

Field trips

Study trips to Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Florence, London, New York, and Rome are a crucial part of the learning process.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment.  See the College Calender for further information on course content.

Why Choose This Course

It gave me the opportunity to study an array of topics, ranging from classical sculpture to digital art...

Sarah Mcauliffe

Click & Read more

History of Art offers the chance for students to view original work of art in cities such as Paris, Berlin, Florence, London, Rome and New York. A series of study trips provide the exciting opportunity to travel abroad to study artworks, together with your fellow students and lecturers, and constitute a crucial part of the learning process.

Key facts

  • We organise study trips to such cities as Amsterdam, Berlin, Florence, London, Paris and Rome, giving you the chance to experience some extraordinary art collections, and to enjoy a few days away together as a group
  • UCC is an ideal place to study history of art because it is supported by the award-winning facilities of the Glucksman Gallery on campus, by institutions such as the Crawford Art Gallery and the National Sculpture Factory in Cork City, and by the energetic artistic community that sustains them.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad

If you study through the BA International, you will spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities abroad.  We currently have links with universities in the following countries: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden Mexico, and the USA.

Work placement

If you study through the BA or the BA International, you will have the opportunity to avail of a work placement in Year 2. You can find out more here.

Skills and Careers Information

A BA in History of Art guarantees visual literacy combined with fluent verbal and written skills, may lead to an international career in:

  • journalism, media and film
  • design and fashion
  • advertising and public relations
  • heritage industry and cultural tourism
  • information technology and web design
  • arts administration
  • art market, auction houses and antiques consultancy work
  • museum and gallery work
  • teaching and research


Refer to CK101 and CK108.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact