In a new century when visual images increasingly challenge text as a means of communication, the history of art and film provides a bedrock of visual literacy. With strengths in European, American, Asian and Australian art and film, units of study offered by the department provide an understanding of different cultures and times. Studying not only the ‘high art’ of the museums and private collections, the department engages with the vitality of popular culture: design, photography, and the medium of film that so defines contemporary experience.
A degree in Art History and Film Studies has a wide range of real-world applications. Beyond the rigorous training in argument and writing the degree provides, it gives a pathway into several arts industries. Many commercial galleries, public art spaces, public galleries and museums are staffed by our graduates. Many art critics, film critics and programmers working in the print media, radio and television have trained in art history and films studies. The department’s excellence in theoretical as well as historical studies has encouraged young researchers who have gone on to find work at the university level around Australia and overseas
Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts may count up to 72 credit points (12 Junior and 60 Senior) from Art History and Theory toward degree requirements. There is no entry requirement for Art History and Theory 1001 or 1002. Students intending to major in Art History and Theory must complete both ARHT 1001 and ARHT 1002.
To do a major in Art History and Theory, a student must complete a total of 12 junior credit points, and at a Senior level, a minimum of 36 credit points, and a maximum of 48 credit points.
Students can choose a wide range of units of study to create a generalist degree or chose units of study to create a more specialised major (for example, with a focus on Art History before 1900, or Film Studies or Asian Art. Whatever the case, in order to ensure that all students attain the range of knowledge necessary for a depth of understanding of the visual arts, and to maximise opportunities for future employment or research, students are advised to choose units of study from at least three of the six areas available for study, not including ARHT2601.
Students can choose additional units according to whether they wish to achieve a specialist or a generalist degree. For example, those hoping to work in an art museum might choose to specialise in European and Australian art or in Asian art with relevant courses in European art history.
The department offers undergraduate units of study as part of the University of Sydney Summer School. Please check the University's Summer School website for this year's offerings.
The department also runs an Honours program. Please click here for further information.