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Art History at The Open University

The Art History department specializes in high quality research and teaching relating to several areas of art and architectural history. These include Byzantine art; the Renaissance (both in Italy and in Northern Europe); art and art theory from the seventeenth through to the twentieth century; recent and contemporary art practice; a cross-period interest in gender studies; eighteenth and twentieth-century architecture; and Heritage Studies. Our fully illustrated teaching books (co-published with Yale University and Tate) have attracted international recognition and many are best sellers. We run a popular MA in Art History and supervise PhD students.

A particular feature of our Art History provision is that we provide both specialist courses in the discipline and interdisciplinary courses where art is studied in conjunction with History, Literature, Philosophy, Classical Studies, Music and Religious Studies. Our undergraduate courses span the whole range from access or starter level to advanced or Honours degree standard.

In the REF 2014 results for Art and Design History, Practice and Theory, OU research in Art and Design ranked 6th in the UK for its proportion of 4* and 3* research, with a high proportion assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent. We are particularly proud of our collaborations with museums and galleries, including the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Walker and Milton Keynes Galleries. You can find out more if you explore our website.

Art History A-level is saved!

We are delighted that Pearson will now be offering a new A-Level Art History exam from 2017. Read the response from the Art Historians at the Open University.

Why study Art History with The Open University?

Follow this link for our 10 top reasons to study Art History with us.

Art History and Heritage blog

Our department blog is our way of reflecting on art and heritage today, whether it is something in the news, caught on the media or experienced. Visit our blog now ...


The Barcelona Pavilion