BA Art History / French

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

Aberystwyth University offers a wide range of Joint Honours schemes that allow you to study two subjects that best suit your interests and requirements. As a student of the BA French and Art History program you will gain a sound knowledge of each subject. The degree is a four-year scheme.

France is one of Britain’s main economic partners and is Europe’s foremost investor abroad. Language skills are vital to the UK’s economic, political and strategic interests and languages graduates are in demand by employers. Whilst you will acquire the same skills as other Arts graduates, you will have one major advantage compared to other students: you will have lived independently in at least one foreign country, and have learnt the important social skill of intercultural communication. Employers value the independence, the social confidence and the high level of linguistic skill acquired during this time.

The Department of Modern Languages offers a range of attractive degree schemes which will equip you not only with a high level of linguistic competence but also provide you with a sound knowledge of the culture within which the language or languages you are studying is/are used. During your time as a student you will be able to choose from a range of modules which appeal to a variety of interests. The Department is relatively small and this means that staff and students form a close-knit and friendly community. Many of the modules relate to staff research interests and you will benefit from being taught by staff who are experts in their fields and who are active members of national and international research communities.

On this scheme, a half of your time will be spent in the School of Art where you have the rare opportunity to combine the historical and curatorial study of art as a professional, practical and intellectual pursuit, one that requires the disciplined acquisition of an historical, critical, theoretical and contemporary awareness of art. All our staff members are active in Fine Art or Art Historical research; their experience as exhibiting artists, publishing art historians and practicing curators actively informs the teaching at Aberystwyth. We offer you a training that connects traditional skills with contemporary practice and theory. Core Art History modules that cover a period from the Renaissance to present day provide a general survey of Art History, while optional specialised modules offer in-depth study of specific subjects. Further vocation-oriented modules are dedicated to the historical study of particular Fine Art mediums, exhibition curation, artefact interpretation, and the management of art. You will additionally benefit from access to the School’s Museum and its internationally renowned collection of artworks.
As versatile and articulate graduates with a command of the French language, you will be able to pursue careers as art historians, educators and curators, or continue to postgraduate studies. Our degree scheme is particularly appropriate for considering work in museums, private galleries and auction houses, in public art organisations, or in art gallery administration.

As an Aberystwyth graduate you will emerge with real world capabilities, enabling you to shape your future and develop the career you deserve.

Overview

Apart from being intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding, the study of French and Art History at Aberystwyth University has many practical benefits. It fosters a hands-on approach to the challenges of everyday life, encourages creative problem solving, improves the ability to adapt in a changing world, and enhances interpersonal liaison skills. These assets, sought after in today’s job market as transferable skills, are actively promoted during your course of study at Aberystwyth. Art History modules promote the sort of critical thinking that has many practical applications today. To be involved in the practice, research, interpretation and display of the visual arts opens you to exciting and rewarding careers.

The Department of European Languages and the School of Art sit within the Institute of Literature, Languages and the Creative Arts (ILLCA). The Institute comprises three other academic departments: Theatre, Film and Television Studies, English and Creative Writing, and the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies. This collaboration of academic partners and arts providers forms a unique centre of excellence in Wales with international importance and impact as shown in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment. It found that 100% of research impact is world-leading and internationally excellent.

91% of our 2014 Art graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating (DLHE 2014). This reflects our investment in innovative and strategic, student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.

The 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results also show a significant improvement in many areas of our Art students' satisfaction. Our students reported 90% satisfaction with the quality of the teaching they received and our staff commended for their enthusiasm (95% satisfaction).

92% of our 2014 European Languages graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating. 78% were found to be working in 'professional' level work or in 'graduate' level education, 9 percentage points more than the overall national average (DLHE 2014).

Why study French and Art History at Aberystwyth? 

The Department of European Languages and the School of Art are more than academic departments. They are a caring community of staff and students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. Our objective is to introduce you to the best scholarship in the languages and the arts, to assist you in developing your learning potential, to apply your knowledge, and to become an active, confident, and well-educated member of society.

Aberystwyth is a friendly, cosmopolitan community with considerable cultural resources: five art galleries, four theatres, cinemas and film festivals. It has the largest Arts Centre in Wales, a major venue for theatre, concerts, events and exhibitions by contemporary artists and designers. Aberystwyth is also home to the National Library of Wales, one of only five copyright libraries in Britain, which provides excellent facilities for academic study. Originally a medieval walled-town, Aberystwyth nestles between countryside and sea, an area of mid-Wales renowned as an environmental haven and for its spectacular scenery. The vestiges of the Iron Age and thirteenth-century fortifications, together with an eclectic mixture of Victorian, Gothic, and Classical revival architecture, make up the rich historical flavour of the town. A visit is recommended. Those who come usually find that it is a great help in making up their minds about coming to study with us!

Our Staff

Through their active involvement with the practice, history and curation of art, staff members of the School of Art seek to provide a rich learning environment for the student. Their experience as exhibiting artists, publishing art historians and practising curators actively informs the teaching.

All of the lecturers in the Dept of Modern Languages are qualified to PhD level and are research active. We also employ language tutors, some of whom have a PhD, and all of whom are experienced teachers. We occasionally employ native-speakers from our partner universities abroad (lectors) who come to us highly recommended on the basis of their academic achievement at the home university, and many of whom have trained as teachers. The fourth group is part-time staff who are employed on the basis of their expertise in a particular specialist area.  

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) Art history joint honours students must take the following:

Semester 1

Art In Europe 1: From Rococo To Romanticism, 1700-1800 AH11320

Semester 2

Art In Europe 2: From Romanticism To Early Modernism, 1800-1900 AH11420

Year 1 Options FRENCH ADVANCED: you must take:

Semester 1

French Language Advanced FR19900

Semester 2

French Language Advanced FR19930

Year 1 Options FRENCH BEGINNERS: you must take:

Semester 1

French Language (beginners) FR10700

Semester 2

French Language (beginners) FR10740

Year 1 Options FRENCH ADVANCED: you must take FR12910 and must also choose an additional 20 credits of the following or other Level 1 content modules:

Semester 1

Introduction To European Film EL10500

Language, Culture, And Identity In Europe EL10800

Introduction To French Studies FR11100

Semester 2

Introduction To European Film EL10520

Language, Culture, And Identity In Europe EL10820

Introduction To French Studies FR11120

Images Of France: The French Family FR12910

Hanes A Diwylliant Ewropeaidd IE10420

Year 1 Options FRENCH BEGINNERS: you must choose 20 credits of the following or other Level 1 content modules:

Semester 1

Introduction To European Film EL10500

Language, Culture, And Identity In Europe EL10800

Introduction To French Studies FR11100

Semester 2

Introduction To European Film EL10520

Language, Culture, And Identity In Europe EL10820

Introduction To French Studies FR11120

Hanes A Diwylliant Ewropeaidd IE10420

Year 1 Options Students may take

Semester 1

Exploring The School Of Art Collections AH11220

Looking Into Landscape: Reading, Researching, Responding AH11520

Semester 2

Representing The Body AH10610

Aspects Of British Painting 1951-1966 AH10810

Dark Materials: Race, Magic, Deception And The Photographic Trace AH11010

Year 2 Core (30 Credits) You must take:

Semester 1

French Language FR20100

Semester 2

French Language FR20130

Year 2 Core (40 Credits) Art History Joint Honours students must take the following core modules:

Semester 1

Art In Europe And America: Modernism 1900-1950 AH20520

Semester 2

Practices And Theories Of Art Since 1960 AH20620

Year 2 Options You must choose 30 credits of the following FR, EL, IC or IE modules but note that you cannot take both EL20500/10 and IC31920 in combination:

Semester 1

Romance Linguistics EL20220

Extended Essay Module EL20500

Semantics And Lexicography FR25020

Ecriture De Soi En France, 18e-19e / Self-writing In France 18th-19th Centuries FR27020

Rhyfel Algeria 1952-1964 IE20420

Semester 2

Extended Essay Module EL20510

Language Of Business 1 FR20310

Litterature Fantastique En France, 17e-19e / Fantastic Literature In France FR27220

"...ismes" Cultural And Artistic Movements In 20th C. France FR29110

La France De Toujours FR29920

Both Semesters

Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages IC31920

Year 2 Options Art History Joint Honours students (except WV13 art history + fine art) who wish to pursue the final year dissertation module must take the following module:

Semester 2

Professional Practice For Students Of Art History AH20820

Year 2 Options Art History Joint Honours students may take up to 20 elective credits from the part 2 AH modules on offer:

Semester 1

Materials And Methods AH20320

History Of Photography 1 - Themes And Processes 1840-1940 AH32520

Art/sound: Practice, Theory, And History (1800-2010) AH32920

Adaptation: Versions, Revisions And Cultural Renewal AH33120

Semester 2

The Image Multiplied: European Printmaking Since 1400 AH30620

Staging An Exhibition: Researching, Writing And Displaying AH32720

Pre-raphaelitism And Its Contexts AH33020

Year 3 Core (60 Credits) During your Year Abroad your registration will be as follows:

Semester 1

Year Abroad Assessment FRS0000

Semester 2

Year Abroad Assessment FRS0060

Year 3 Core (60 Credits) Your compulsory year Abroad modules for Art

Semester 1

Abroad Year Dummy ARS0000

Semester 2

Abroad Year Dummy ARS0060

Final Year Core (30 Credits) You must take:

Semester 1

French Language FR30100

Semester 2

French Language FR30130

Final Year Options Final year students should select at least 50 credits of AH modules. Students who wish to register for the Dissertation module must have successfully completed AH20820:

Semester 1

Materials And Methods AH20320

Dissertation AH32000

History Of Photography 1 - Themes And Processes 1840-1940 AH32520

Art/sound: Practice, Theory, And History (1800-2010) AH32920

Adaptation: Versions, Revisions And Cultural Renewal AH33120

Semester 2

The Image Multiplied: European Printmaking Since 1400 AH30620

Dissertation AH32020

Staging An Exhibition: Researching, Writing And Displaying AH32720

Pre-raphaelitism And Its Contexts AH33020

Final Year Options You must choose 30 credits of the following FR, EL or IC modules but note that you cannot take both EL30500/10 and IC31920 in combination:

Semester 1

Dissertation EL30100

Romance Linguistics EL30320

Extended Essay Module EL30500

The Language Of Business And Current Affairs FR30310

Semantics And Lexicography FR35020

Écritures De Soi, 18ème-19ème Siècles FR37020

The Nature Of The Beast: Animal, Human, Monster FR39020

Semester 2

Dissertation EL30120

Extended Essay Module EL30510

Litterature Fantastique En France 17e-19e / Fantastic Literature In France FR37220

"...ismes" Cultural And Artistic Movements In 20th C. France FR39110

Both Semesters

Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages IC31920

Employability

Your BA in French and Art History opens up a range of exciting opportunities for employment and further training. Modern linguists are statistically amongst the most employable graduates. Many of our students go on to teach the languages they themselves have learned and a high proportion of our graduates go into administrative and managerial posts. A degree from the European Languages Department is a qualification which opens the door to many professions in Britain, such as the civil service, tourism, social work, librarianship, publishing and broadcasting, and our degrees also take our students across the world.

Your year abroad will set you apart from the majority of graduates, demonstrating your ability to live in a foreign environment, and immerse yourself in a different culture. Alongside this, the university will offer you a range of initiatives to help improve your employability skills. Paid work and work experience opportunities are available in the University and the town, and the Careers Advisory Service are able to assist you in planning your future, putting together a CV, and looking for work during and after your studies. Furthermore, the University’s Personal Development Portfolio, in which you record and reflect on your academic studies, the development of your skills and your plans for the future is a useful way of tracking your progress through your studies, and can help you to decide what career might be suitable for you.

Mindful of the career prospects of its graduates, the School of Art maintains a close relationship with the University Careers Service. Throughout the three years of the degree scheme, it advises and encourages you in your career options and identifies viable, practical skills to ensure that you are well prepared for the job market.
Meanwhile, the School of Art offers you vocation-oriented, hands-on Art History modules that have been designed to enhance your employability. At the School, students also benefit from visiting art historians, artists and curators, from guidance in CV writing, preparing for interviews, and from the numerous volunteer employment opportunities that we organise. Our graduates enter high-profile careers in a variety of subjects both within and outside the arts, craft and design. Recent School of Art graduates have moved on to become secondary school teachers, higher education lecturers, art gallery managers and curators, children’s book illustrators, photographers and graphic designers, art directors in publishing, medical illustrators and employees with the Design Council, Arts Council, Tate Gallery, Royal Academy, Carlton Television, The Observer, Saachi Gallery, Damien Hirst, BBC, and the Universities of St Andrews, Lancaster, Leeds, Brighton, Kingston and Oxford.

Transferable Skills
In addition to the acquisition of knowledge and critical facility, studying for a French and Art History degree will equip you with a range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers. These include the ability to:
- conceive creative solutions for specific problems;
- research, evaluate and organise information;
- clearly communicate ideas and information, both orally and in writing;
- work independently and with others, discussing concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement;
- effectively organise your time and deploy your skills;
- be self-motivated and self-disciplined.

GO Wales
GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

French is available both for beginners and advanced students. Beginners follow an intensive course in the first year including guided and independent work in the Language Resource Centre. In the second year beginners and advanced students are taught together. In French language classes you will consolidate your knowledge of French grammar and will also practise putting that grammar to use in a range of oral and written styles. Our excellent laboratory facilities offer access to live French television programmes as well as a wealth of computer-assisted language-learning exercises, most of which you can access at any time of day for self-study to support your classroom–based learning. Translation is another important skill you will practise regularly, as well as essay- and report-writing. As a student of French at Aberystwyth you have a wide range of modules from which to choose. All of them have been designed to consolidate your knowledge of the culture, language and society of France and the French-speaking world. Modules in French linguistics, contemporary French politics and Business French are available as well as French literature. Currently we offer courses on, for example, Images of France through Childhood Memory, The Myth of Paris, Écritures de soi, and Regional Languages and Dialects of France. Staff have published widely on all of these topics.

Within the Erasmus framework we currently enjoy special links with the universities of Rennes, Paris-Sorbonne, Toulouse, Besançon, Nantes, Perpignan and La Rochelle. Your year abroad, which forms your third year of study, may well be the most exciting, enjoyable and rewarding feature of a degree in European Languages. Having to spend a year living independently in a foreign country gives you an edge when it comes to impressing employers, as well as providing you with a memorable experience. The Department believes in giving you a relatively free choice about the year abroad, although we do of course give you plenty of advice. Many students study at university. Or, if you prefer, you can work as an English assistant in a school. Being an assistant has the important benefits of a regular salary every month and daily contact with a large number of people, which means many opportunities for communicating in the foreign language. You could also choose to be in other employment, and a good proportion of our students use their own initiative to find themselves employment for a year. There are also various EU-funded schemes which offer work placements abroad, e.g. Comenius or Leonardo. Full details will be made available to you in your second year. You can also choose a combination of these possibilities, for example studying for one semester and working for one; assistantships are also available for some countries for half-years.

The study of Art History requires a thorough knowledge of history, theory and practice both present and past. The first year programme is designed to bridge the gap between school and university study. Core modules in Art History such as Landscape, Nature and Art and Art in Europe: from Rococco to Neo-Classicism 1700-1800 and Representing the Body, and Art in Europe: from Romanticism to Early Modernism 1800-1900 provide a broad overview of Western Art structured around a number of important themes. Optional modules such as Prints and Drawings: An Introduction to Graphic History and Traditional Painting Techniques and Cultures of Collecting and Dark Materials: Race, Magic, Deception and the Photographic Trace allow for early specialism and in-depth study. Extra-curricular classes on Effective Academic Writing about Art are offered with additional tutorial support for those identified with particular needs.

Second year students are expected to take more responsibility for their learning and show greater evidence of a capacity for self-directed study, self- and peer-evaluation, as well as determining their own agendas and projects. Optional Art History modules allow students to tailor their degree to suit their needs and interests. These Art History modules include: Art in Europe and America: Modernism 1900-1950; Art/Sound: Practice, Theory, and History 1800-2010; History of Photography; The Gothic Imagination; Syntax and Symbolism in European Printmaking; Pre-Raphaelitism and Its Contexts; Drawn to Order - The Illustrated Book in Britain since 1800; and Italian Art. Some of the more vocation-oriented Art History modules include: Materials and Methods for Art Historians; Professional Practice for Students of Art History; Art Gallery Education; and Staging An Exhibition - Researching, Writing and Displaying. In the third year of the program you will develop a clear and distinct direction as well as sustain a body of qualitative work.

The third year demands a high level of independent study, professional standards, proficiency in the appropriate subject knowledge and theory, and ability to posit fine art within a critical and conceptual framework. You will be expected to possess historical and contemporary knowledge pertinent of the field of study as well as evidence virtuosity in different modes of art-historical writing. The School of Art uses a wide range of educational delivery including lectures, seminars, workshops, practicals, tutorials and field trips. Our teaching aims to enable you not only to acquire subject knowledge but also to apply it to your own experience as developing art historians. We offer you access to excellent learning support and facilities to enable you to achieve your potential. You will also be assigned a personal tutor to whom you may turn for guidance and help, academic-related or pastoral. Assessment is by essays, projects, presentations, examinations, etc. and takes place periodically throughout the academic year.

The process of assessment is designed to keep you fully informed of your progress throughout the three years of the degree scheme. It is backed by an advisory feedback provision that ensures you choose a study scheme and pathway through the degree scheme that is appropriate to your aptitude and development. As a student at Aberystwyth you will have access to a superb range of visual arts, including an extensive collection of original artworks. The School is also an Accredited Museum that runs its own public galleries and a collection of some 20,000 artworks. Each year the School of Art offers museum and gallery study visits within the UK and cultural tours abroad. Recent destinations have included Madrid, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, New York, Vienna, Barcelona, Venice, Moscow, St Petersburg, Florence, Lisbon and Budapest. The School of Art staff are committed to the implementation of both traditional and innovative methods of teaching. Through their work, the School fosters research links with other institutions and countries as well as contributes to many distinguished arts and cultural organisations. In this way, you are prepared to become artists informed by a thorough grounding in Art History, or historians and scholars enlightened by working in a Fine Art environment. Through its active involvement with the history, curation and practice of art, the School seeks to provide a rich environment for the student.

Key Information Set

Places available in Clearing

0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

Request More Information

Key Facts

UCAS Code: RVC3

Please note that the tariff below may not apply during Clearing. Contact us on 0800 121 40 80 or fill in the form above for more information.

Tariff Required: 280

Entry Requirements: Grade B in relevant A level Modern Language GCSE: Grade C in English or Welsh.

Course Length: 4 Years

Related Courses: