Art

Art History

By Aedín Dunne - Last update


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Have you an interest in the history of art? Do you want to learn more about the world of art and look at historic periods, techniques, artists and more? There are plenty of courses available for you to choose from is that the area you’re looking to pursue a career. 

What is Art History?

Art history is the study of aesthetic objects and visual expression in historical and stylistic context. It is the development and stylistic changes of art over a course of time. Objects of art are considered within their time period. 

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and college in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • History/History of Art and Architecture
  • History of Art and Architecture/Philosophy
  • History of Art and Architecture/Modern Language
  • Ancient History and Archaeology/History of Art and Architecture
  • Classics, Art History & Archaeology
  • Classical Languages, History of Art and Architecture 
  • Classical Civilisation/History of Art and Architecture
  • Arts  – History of Art 

Studying Art History in college

The majority of courses in the area of Art History will be 4 years long. While Art History is often a subject that is studied alongside other subject areas such as architecture, sociology or religion, for example, your particular course content will differ overall. However, you will gain the same understanding and foundation in art history in nearly all courses. There are many options to take Art History in a subject as part of an Art degree. 

Like most courses, the first year of Art History/History of Art courses is the foundation year. You will be provided with a broad knowledge of the developments of art and architecture from the classical era to present day. You will also look at different techniques that were used by artists in certain periods and prepare you to continue on with your study. 

In your second and third year you will deepen your knowledge of the history of art and explore different areas such as cultural intersections in art, Irish Art History and more. In some courses you may also have the option to add to your degree and choose from a range of optional modules that you might want to look at. 

In your final year you will normally write a dissertation or thesis in your chosen area as well as study the History of Art in a more in depth and wider knowledge than before. Overall, you will gain all the relevant skills and knowledge needed to develop a career in this area such as some of the job options listed below. 

Career options

There are quite a few career options you can take in this area. One of the most popular areas is teaching at secondary level. A degree in art history also opens doors to work in art galleries, museums and exhibitions. 

There is also the option to go forward and lecture in colleges in universities in relevant courses or continue your study at a postgraduate level and specialise in a particular area of your interest such as a particular era. 

When working and studying in the area of art history there are a few skills and qualities that are both helpful and important to have. These include and interest in reading, good research skills , good writing skills, analysing and interpreting information, a critical thinker, ability to work with others and alone, strong communication and verbal skills, good presentation skills and good time management.

Related Jobs

  • Teacher
  • Art gallery manager
  • Conservator
  • Museum/Gallery curator
  • Museum/Gallery exhibitions officer
  • Arts administrator

Further Study

Visit postgrad.ie for more information. 

FAQ

Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

There are a few PLC courses available which require your Leaving Certificate results. 

There are a number of courses which all require different points. They range from 300 points to 529. The highest points required is 529 points to study History/History of Art and Architecture in Trinity College Dublin. The lowest number is 334 points to study History of Art and Architecture/Modern Language. 

Where can I study?

You can explore your options here

Did you know?

  • Leonardo da Vinci was an animal rights activist who would buy caged birds and set them free.
  • Pablo Picasso produced 1,800 paintings and 1,200 sculptures.
  • Michelangelo was also a poet and wrote over 300 poems. 

 


Aedín Dunne

Archaeology
English Language


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