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You will study a modern language – French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish – to a high level of fluency and also learn about the history and culture of your chosen language-speaking area. You can study all kinds of artworks, from painting and sculpture to digital art and installations, and choose from a range of history of art modules, covering artists and art movements from the medieval period through to contemporary art. You will learn how to place artworks within their historical and cultural contexts and how to think more broadly about the role of images within society. You will also study a number of cross-cultural modules, exploring specific themes across a variety of cultures.
If you are contemplating a career in the arts, this degree will give you the chance to develop a range of key skills, from critical thinking and writing to effective visual analysis.
The third year is usually spent abroad at a partner institution, to allow you to develop your language skills and your knowledge of the culture of the language-speaking area you are studying.
You can also apply for a three-year version of the degree without a year abroad, and you can usually transfer to this version of the degree during your first or second year of study if you decide you do not wish to study outside of the UK. This degree is also available for part-time evening study over four years or six years.
- Arts and humanities at Birkbeck are ranked fifth best in London, 18th in the UK and 87th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject.
- You will be studying close to some of the world’s most renowned museums and galleries, including the British Museum and the National Gallery. We also have our own state-of-the-art cinema and exhibition space, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell.
- Our Department of Cultures and Languages brings together research and teaching in French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish, and institutionalises long-standing links between these disciplines. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality.
- Established almost half a century ago, our Department of History of Art is an internationally respected centre for research and teaching. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Art and Design at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading or internationally excellent research.
- You can participate in events organised by our lively research centres: Birkbeck Research in the Aesthetics of Kinship and Community; the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Cultures; the Centre for Comparative Research in European Cultures and Identities; the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre; the Architecture Space and Society Centre; and the Vasari Research Centre, which has pioneered the field of digital art history.
- The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members’ screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists’ Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.