Introduction

French and History of Art at Aberdeen offers a thorough grounding in a modern European language and culture with a fascinating in-depth study of buildings, sculptures, drawings, paintings, prints, decorative and industrial arts from all periods. You will study at Scotland’s top-rated university for the impact of research in history of art. You will gain great specialist and transferable skills to add to your language and open up a range of exciting career options.

This programme is studied on campus.

French at Aberdeen has an outstanding reputation, gaining the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment. You will add to your growing language skills with courses in contemporary civilisation and culture, Francophone and post-colonial studies, philosophy, history, sociology, linguistics, theatre, and most genres and periods of literature from the Middle Ages to the present day. You will be taught by staff recognised internationally for their research, from Renaissance studies to the politics of culture and difference in contemporary France.

You will complement this with extensive specialised knowledge of the history of painting, sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts in Europe and North America from the Middle Ages to the present day. You will study in buildings centuries old, yet with the most modern teaching and technology, inspired by teachers and researchers whose specialist areas range from Pictish art, medieval architecture, Italian Baroque painting, early modern prints and Scottish and British painting from the 17th to 20th centuries.

As an integral part of your 4-year programme, you will spend half of year three developing your language skills as a Teaching Assistant or visiting student in a French-speaking country.

Your specialist skills make you ideally placed to enter the art gallery and museum sectors, arts education, publishing and journalism, or fine art conservation. Your language skills will open international opportunities and your transferable skills including teamwork, time management, and highly developed enquiry, analytical and presentational skills are ideally suited to a range of careers.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
VR31

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Art History (HA1004) - 15 Credit Points

This introductory course will trace major developments in the history of art in the western world from Classical art and architecture in ancient Greece to the beginnings of photography in the nineteenth century. Aspects of European art to be explored, through painting, prints, sculpture and architecture, will begin with Stone-Age cave painting and then range from Greek Classicism to Medieval Gothic cathedrals, the rebirth of Classicism in the Renaissance to the grandeur of the Baroque, the ornament of the Rococo, and the revolutionary order of Neo-Classicism. Download course guide.

View our course video: (Video) HA1004 - Introduction to Art History

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Modern Art (HA1508) - 30 Credit Points

Beginning with the Romantic period, and the art of Victorian Britain, this course will trace major developments in Western art through to the late twentieth century. Nineteenth-century modernism and modernity in France will be explored through Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the art of fin-de-siècle Paris. Twentieth-century movements will include German Expressionism, the wildness of Fauvism, the analytical eye of Cubism, the anarchy and dreams of Dada and Surrealism, and the rise of American painting with Abstract Expressionism. The move to postmodernism will be traced through Pop Art and beyond.

View our course video: (Video) HA1508 - Modern Art

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

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Optional Courses

Beginner

  • FR1023: Level 1 French Language 1A: Beginners/Near Beginners
  • FR1523: Level 1 French Language 1B : Beginners/Near Beginners
  • FR1021: Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 AND/OR FR1527: Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points

Intermediate/Advanced

  • EITHER FR1024: Level 1 French Language 2A: Intermediate OR FR1025: Level 1 French Language 3A: Proficient
  • FR1524: Level 1 French Language 2B/3B: Intermediate/Proficient
  • FR1022: Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 AND/OR FR1526: Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
Level 1 French Language 1a: Beginners / Near Beginners (Standard Grade / Gcse or Below) (FR1023) - 15 Credit Points

This intensive language course is designed for students who have little or no previous knowledge of French.

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Level 1 French Language 1b: Beginners / Near Beginners (FR1523) - 15 Credit Points

This course builds on the work done in FR1023, providing students with an adequate command of French language to allow them the possibility of continuing their studies into level 2 and Honours.

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Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1021) - 15 Credit Points

This course offers students who are registered for the beginners' course in French language an introduction to twentieth century French culture and society through the study of films, short prose texts and poetry. The course is organised around the broad themes of childhood and adolescence, gender, sexuality and love and marginalisation in contemporary France. The texts will be studied in translation or with subtitles.

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Level 1 French Language 2a: Intermediate (FR1024) - 15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to Higher or equivalent level, but whose knowledge may be rusty. It will enable them to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Level 1 French Language 3a: Proficient (FR1025) - 15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to at least Higher or equivalent level, or beyond to A level or Advanced Higher. It will enable them to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Level 1 French Language 2b / 3b: Intermediate / Proficient (FR1524) - 15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to the equivalent of Scottish Higher or beyond. Building on the work done in the first semester in FR1024 or FR1025, it seeks to enable students to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1022) - 15 Credit Points

This course offers students with intermediate or good knowledge French language an introduction to twentieth century French culture and society through the study of films, short prose texts and poetry. The course is organised around the broad themes of childhood and adolescence, gender, sexuality and love and marginalisation in contemporary France.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Cathedrals to Caravaggio (HA2009) - 30 Credit Points

This course will survey western European art from circa 1100 to 1600. It will cover the styles known as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque. It will examine media including architecture, sculpture, metalwork and painting. The iconography of the Christian church forms the basis much of this art, but classical mythology and vernacular themes are also significant. Major themes include those of pilgrimage and church reform, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. It provides a fundamental understanding of the cultural world in which Aberdeen University began. Download course guide

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In the Flesh: Art on Location (HA2806) - 15 Credit Points

This course is organised around a series of tutor-led class visits to sites of special art historical significance. The class will visit key locations in and around Aberdeen, and there is also a trip to Edinburgh. A range of important works of art and architecture will be studied in situ, and this study will be supported by staff lectures on related topics. The material on the course will be organised in relation to broad themes that will introduce students to major issues in the discipline of art history.

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Making Masterpieces: Six Works in Context (HA2509) - 15 Credit Points

This course focuses on six major artistic masterpieces considered in their original and critical contexts. All the works considered have achieved fame or notoriety and have had a major impact on the history of art and culture. Works discussed may include the Bayeux Tapestry, Leonardo's Mona Lisa, Caravaggio's Calling of St Matthew, Courbet's Stonebreakers and Duchamp's Fountain.

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Optional Courses

Beginner

  • FR2012: Advanced Introductory French Language 1
  • FR2014: Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society
  • FR2512: Advanced Introductory French Language 2
  • FR2514: Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery

Intermediate/Advanced

  • FR2002: Advanced French Language 1
  • FR2502: Advanced French Language 2

Plus, select one of the following:

  • FR2013: French Identities: Individual and Society AND FR2513: French Identities: Centre and Periphery
  • FR2013: French Identities: Individual and Society AND FR2510: Introduction to French Linguistics
  • FR2510: French Identities: Centre and Periphery AND FR2513: Introduction to French Linguistics
Advanced Introductory French Language 1 (FR2012) - 15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the first half-session is only open to students who have passed FR1523. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language courses (along with FR2512) that has to have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

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Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the individual and society in France from the 18th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of novels, a play and a film.

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Advanced Introductory French Language 2 (FR2512) - 15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the second half-session is only open to students who have followed FR2012. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language pre-requisite courses (along with FR2012) that one must have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to French Identities Centre and Periphery (FR2514) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the centre and periphery in France and the Francophone world from the 17th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of a play, poetry, postcolonial theory and a film.

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Advanced French Language 1 (FR2002) - 15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the first half-session is only open to students who have passed FR1524. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language courses (with FR2502) that one has to have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced French Language 2 (FR2502) - 15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the second half-session is only open to students who have followed FR2002. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language pre-requisite courses (along with FR2002) that one must have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course

French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2013) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the individual and society in France from the 18th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of novels, a play and a film.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510) - 15 Credit Points

This course will look at

- the French sound system (with the spin-off of helping you to improve your pronunciation).

- word meaning and also speaker meaning (what a speaker means by, e.g., "were you born in a barn?")

- how new words are formed

- how sentences can be analysed

- how French has developed from the Middle Ages up to the present

- how French spread throughout the world (including French-based creoles)

- how French varies according to the person using the language, and the purpose for which they are using it

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French Identities Centre and Periphery (FR2513) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the centre and periphery in France and the Francophone world from the 17th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of a play, poetry, postcolonial theory and a film.

View detailed information about this course

Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

  • Second half-session spent in a French-speaking country
Junior Honours French Language (FR3089) - 15 Credit Points

This Junior Honours French language course, whose pre-requisites are FR2502 or FR2512, runs over the full session and is only open to Single and Joint Junior Honours degree in French students.

Building on the skills gained during their first two years of study of French, this course will improve the students' French language skills in all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, whilst increasing their grammatical and lexical knowledge, as well as their sensitivity to linguistic variety.

It carries 15 credits and is assessed by way of four equally weighted assignments.

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Level 3 French Language 7 (FR3594) - 30 Credit Points

This course is open only to mode B Junior Honours students of French, fulfilling their residence requirements in a French-speaking country. An intensive programme of written language exercises is designed to develop competence in a variety of different registers.

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Fieldwork 1 (HA3088)

Throughout the honours programme, you will be encouraged to reflect on your developing skills and knowledge as an art historian. Through tutor-led and self-directed visits to various locations, the Fieldwork course will foster a wide appreciation of past and current issues in the art world, beyond the classroom. The course will include not only a study of art and architecture but also a consideration of their context, display, function and interpretation. Download course guide.

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Critical Perspectives in the History of Art (HA3079) - 30 Credit Points

Unlike most other art history courses, this is a text‐based course, which will focus on a number of selected ‘key texts’ by a range of authors from the history of art. In most classes, the chosen texts, which you will read in advance, will be examined in relation to a small number of pre‐chosen images. Discussion will focus on the way in which the issues raised in a prescribed text can usefully illuminate (or otherwise!) the given images. Download course guide.

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Optional Courses

  • Plus 15 further credits of French from level 3 to be taken in half session 1
  • Plus 30 credit points of level 3 History of Art courses to be taken in half session 1
Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Senior Honours French Language (FR4089) - 30 Credit Points

This Senior Honours French language course, whose pre-requsite is the Junior Honours French Language course, is run over the full session and is only open to Single and Joint Senior Honours degree in French students.

Building on the skills gained in their third year of study of French, this course will help the students' French language gain very high skills in all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, whilst increasing their grammatical and lexical knowledge, as well as their sensitivity to linguistic variety.

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Fieldwork 2 (HA408A) - 30 Credit Points

In Fieldwork 2, you will continue your study of works of art and architecture in situ by undertaking a final fieldtrip. This can be as part of a tutor-led group visit, to Paris for example, or as a planned and agreed independent trip. You will complete your Flog with reflections on summer activities and then begin selecting the material for your Fieldwork ePortfolio. Unlike the Flog, this must be written in an academic style and will give you the opportunity to show how your thoughts and ideas as an art historian have been developing throughout the course. Download Course Guide.

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Optional Courses

Option 1

  • Dissertation in French (FR4096)
  • Select 30 credit points from level 4 courses in History of Art

Option 2

  • History of Art Dissertation (HA4588)
  • Select 30 credit points from level4 courses in French
French Dissertation (FR4096)
History of Art Dissertation (HA4588) - 30 Credit Points

Your dissertation is intended to give you the opportunity to carry out a piece of sustained research on a topic of your own choice and to demonstrate to the examiners your ability to present the results of such research in a proper, scholarly manner. Your research may be of various kinds. It may address works of art (or a single work of art) directly, through first-hand study in galleries, museums, or private collections, or it may be of a more literary kind, addressing critical or theoretical problems. Or it might involve both. Download course guide.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study French and History of Art?

Why French

  • French at Aberdeen gained the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Scottish Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • A vibrant international community on campus and across Aberdeen and north-east Scotland, with many French and French-speaking students, staff and activities on campus and across the region.
  • A dynamic French Society, organising social and topical events throughout the year, and a brilliant way to get to know other students studying or speaking French.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with stunning study facilities, state-of-the-art learning technology, and a first-class collection of French books and films for your course.
  • A packed campus programme of events, exhibitions, invited speakers and the popular annual May Festival which welcomes international figures, experts, authors and scientists to campus every spring, with an increasingly European flavour.
  • Your year abroad as a language assistant or visiting student at locations including Lyon, Rennes, Grenoble, Réunion, Brussels, Geneva, Lausanne, the IFP (Institute of French Petroleum) School in Paris and the Club des Langues in Anglet.
  • International recognition as a centre for study and research in French, with research covering not only France, but also French-speaking Africa and the Caribbean.

Why History of Art

  • Ranked the leading university in Scotland for the impact of History of Art research, and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.
  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • Our magnificent art collection, including the generous gifts of alumni through the centuries, and modern artworks by leading Scottish artists making our spaces special, and adding thought-provoking inspiration to our campus.
  • The inspiration of the beautiful King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, a treasure-house of history, showcasing some of the finest work of medieval craftsmen in Europe.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with an excellent modern collection of art history books covering all periods, particularly strong in 18th and 19th century material, including art theory and criticism, archaeology and travel.
  • Home to the Buildings of Scotland Project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the definitive inventory of Scottish Architecture for Aberdeenshire, Moray and Aberdeen.
  • Historic treasures including important medieval manuscripts and estate papers, and the unique George Washington Wilson archive with over 45,000 original glass plate negatives made by this pioneer Victorian photographer.
  • North-east Scotland’s distinguished architectural heritage from the Middle Ages onwards, the Aberdeen Art Gallery collections of French and British art, including one of the best collections of Victorian painting outside London.
  • The National Galleries of Scotland, the Burrell Collection, Glasgow Art Gallery and the Hunterian Museum are within easy reach by train, bus or car.
  • Visits to major galleries and architecture in Edinburgh, London and Paris, as part of your programme, and a final year week-long visit to a city of artistic and cultural significance – most recently Paris.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers, and the annual May Festival which includes tours and talks on our medieval architecture and art treasures.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, changing your subject, offers and advanced entry.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB*
A Levels - BBB*
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL*
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

*No previous qualification in French is required for entry to the French beginners' course. Students who already have a qualification in French sit a placement test to determine the language course appropriate to them. All students, whether beginners or with a qualification such as Higher grade, can proceed to Honours, subject to satisfactory performance at levels 1 and 2.

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen, it is essential that you can speak, understand, read and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX