UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - History of Art

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code

    Subject available through multiple programmes

  • Subject Title

    History of Art

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    3 Years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BA (Hons)

  • Fees

    Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements 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 Modules

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.

See the College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on 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 appicants 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

Course fees include a tuition fee, student contribution fee and capitation fee. 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. In 2021/22 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €130.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108. First year students choose Arts subjects when registering.

EU Applicants

The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the CAO page for further information.

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over)

All interested mature applicants must make an application through the Central Applications Office (CAO). See the CAO Mature Applicants and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) pages. Visit our Mature Student Entry page for more information.


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

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information.

All Applicants

Please note that the modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course and are subject to change from year to year. Check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact