BA Archaeology, Anthropology and Art History

Engage with a wide range of artefacts and artworks, from the prehistoric to the present day, through this dynamic degree course. Learn about visual and material cultures from around the world, and the ways in which archaeology, anthropology and art history can help us to understand them.

Study the art and archaeology of the Ancient Near-East, Ancient Egypt and pre-Columbian America as well as the art and material culture of contemporary African, South-Asian, Pacific and South American societies. Explore the history of European and North American art too. You will be encouraged to study a wide range of cultures and to consider art as a cross-cultural practice.

You will have many opportunities to study material first-hand, in the world-renowned Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (where you will be based), and on trips in the UK and overseas. You will also be able to develop practical skills of archaeological and anthropological fieldwork through participation in excavations and projects.

Overview

This dynamic degree course examines the ways in which archaeology, anthropology and art history complement each other, especially in relation to visual and material cultures from around the world. It allows you to engage with a wide range of material, from the prehistoric through to the present day, and also equips you to study diverse cultures and societies.

Throughout your degree you will be encouraged to explore a wide range of cultures and to consider art as a cross-cultural practice. This course will familiarise you with the varied yet related ways in which human creativity has been approached by art historians, archaeologists and anthropologists. The degree programme incorporates study of the visual and material cultures of all continents. You are able to study the art and archaeology of the Ancient Near-East, Ancient Egypt, pre-Columbian America, Japan, as well as the art and material culture of contemporary African, South-Asian, Pacific, and South American societies.

The course also allows you to develop the practical skills of archaeological and anthropological fieldwork through participation in excavations and projects. This could be in the UK or overseas, most recently in Cyprus, Cordoba and Peru.

You will have many opportunities to study works of art and artefacts first-hand; we are extremely fortunate to be housed in the world renowned Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts based on the UEA campus. It houses a world-famous collection of artworks from Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Americas, as well as Europe enabling you to learn about the processes of collecting which have led such objects to enter museums.

Course Structure

This three year course combines small seminar group teaching with lecture modules, allowing you to pursue subjects that reflect your own interests in particular periods, regions and cultural issues. You will study various compulsory modules in the first and second years to develop your understanding of the history and art history, alongside exploring the connections between them.

Year 1
The first year of study will equip you with key skills in archaeology, anthropology and art history. Alongside the core lecture modules examining the techniques, materials and identities associated with art around the world, seminar modules introduce you to the university-level study of archaeology and anthropology.

Year 2
The second year of your studies will focus on core lecture modules which encourage you to be critical in your reading, writing and observation by exploring the different methodological approaches to the historical analysis of artefacts, as well as seminar modules exploring different methodological and theoretical approaches to anthropological and archaeological analysis.

Optional modules allow you to pursue your own interests or alternately engage with cultures and art forms which may be new to you.

Year 3
Teaching in your third year will take place entirely through small-group seminars, in which you will carry out in depth study on particular cultures and art forms. As in the first and second years, modules can be chosen according to your own interests.

You will also complete a dissertation on a topic of your own choice, supervised by an academic with relevant expertise. This will introduce you to the skills of academic enquiry, research and writing needed for postgraduate study.

Assessment

Key skills, issues and ideas are introduced in lectures given by all members of faculty, including art historians, anthropologists and archaeologists. More specialist study is undertaken in small group seminars.

In most subject areas, you will be assessed at the end of each year on the basis of coursework and, in some cases, project and examination results. In your final year, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice and with the advice of tutors- there is no final examination. Your final degree result is determined by the marks you receive in years two and three.

Want to know more?

Come along to an Open Day and experience our unique campus for yourself.

Study Abroad

Students who are enrolled on 3-year programmes in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities have the option of applying to study abroad at one of UEA’s Partner Universities, for one semester of the second year.  Please see our Study Abroad website for further information and criteria.

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

FORM AND FUNCTION

Most works of art, whether objects, buildings, or performances, are designed to serve a set of purposes. The interrelationship of their forms and their functions may be straightforward and practical, or complex and elusive. Drawing on a range of case studies presented by ART staff, this lecture module examines the connections between the uses, meanings and appearances of art. We will also consider how form and function may change over time, especially in the context of cross-cultural contact.

AMAA4003B

20

INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY

This module presents an overview of some key anthropological theories and their connections with history and archaeology through the works of classical and contemporary authors. It will examine various anthropological approaches to topics such as nature, human ecology, material culture, art, ritual, religion, globalization and socio-political complexity. This module is compulsory for V0L0 students.

AMAA4024B

20

INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY

This module is intended as a general introduction to archaeology. Seminars will examine the concepts behind the study of archaeology, the way that archaeologists gather and record data and the way in which they interpret those data. The first session is an introduction in which you will be given the tools you need to complete the module. The next eight sessions will focus on how archaeologists collect and analyse data, that is, the practice of archaeology. The following three sessions will introduce some of the major theoretical issues of the last 30 years that have challenged the way in which we interpret the archaeological record.

AMAA4023A

20

INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY

This module provides an introduction to the academic study of art history by looking at how writers primarily in the European tradition have sought to analyse, record and evaluate works of art. We will examine texts from ancient Rome to the 20th century, and consider how accounts of artists' lives, descriptions of art works and attempts to trace a historical development of art have all informed the way that art historians think about their subject. In this seminar, we will also consider the problems of relating texts to visual art and ask what themes are relevant to art historians today.

AMAA4001A

20

LEARNING ON SITE: THE SAINSBURY CENTRE FOR VISUAL ARTS

This module helps equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to study objects from around the world, from prehistory to the present day. Drawing on the collections of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and of the Castle Museum and Art Gallery, as well as the architecture of Norwich, we will explore the ways in which materials, contexts and histories affect how objects have been made and used. Through readings, discussions and object handling, we challenge assumptions and preconceptions about different kinds of art. In the process, students develop their abilities in library research, academic writing and referencing, and oral presentations.

AMAA4007A

20

PORTRAITURE AND IDENTITY

Introducing students to portraiture as it has been practiced by visual artists working in the European tradition between the fifteenth century and the present day, this module considers issues such as 'likeness'; the face; the self-portrait; portraiture as the embodiment of political, social and aesthetic power; the ways in which portraiture has variously reinforced and challenged concepts of class, race and gender; the photographic portrait, and the role of portraiture in contemporary art and culture. We will analyse the works of artists from Antiquity to the Contemporary alongside histories and concepts of the individual self, perhaps the supreme artefact of all.

AMAA4025B

20

Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits

ARCHAEOLOGIES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN WORLD

Using case studies from around the Mediterranean world, this module provides a grounding in the archaeology of the Mediterranean World. Case studies range from Palaeolithic Europe, to the Neolithic of the Aegean, Cyprus, The Near East, or North Africa, depending on the expertise of the module convener. Themes include early artistic endeavour (Palaeolithic Europe), the transition from hunting to farming (Crete, the Aegean, Cyprus the Near East), the emergence of urban societies (Egypt, the Near East), climate and society (the Mediterranean).

AMAA5098B

20

ART IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD

This module addresses contemporary issues in the production and display of art. It explores the status of contemporary art in relation to globalisation but also examines the problems confronting critics, curators and scholars today when they engage with the art of different regions and of all periods, from prehistory to the present.

AMAA5090B

20

MATERIAL WORLDS

Recent research in archaeology and anthropology has begun to reframe questions posed by the study of material culture and art. This module introduces some contemporary archaeological and anthropological perspectives on the study of material culture. Case studies are drawn from around the world.

AMAA5009A

20

THE LIVES OF OBJECTS

The main purpose of this module is to develop your critical skills as they pertain to thinking, reading, writing and looking. To deliver this, the module falls into two main sections. The first focuses on one particular methodology - object biographies - used in archaeology, anthropology, museum studies and art history. We shall examine this methodology in detail, breaking it down into its component sections. We shall then consider its strengths and its weaknesses; that is, we will subject it to a thorough critical evaluation. Then, in the second half of the module we shall focus more broadly on what critical thinking is, both in general and within each of the four disciplines taught in the School of World Art Studies. Building on this, the module ends by focusing on how you can apply critical thinking to your own thinking, reading, writing and looking. The module is taught through a combination of two weekly lectures and one discussion seminar. The lectures offer an introduction to the relevant topic, and end with a question for us to discuss/debate in the final 10 minutes of the lecture period. The discussion seminars will consider key issues in the previous week's lectures and the weekly class readings which accompany them.

AMAA5089A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

RENAISSANCE RECONSIDERED

Fourteenth and fifteenth-century Italy was shaped by the growth of urban centres and the development of new political, social, and sacred institutions. New patrons and uses for artworks prompted a wealth of artistic activity that responded to and also forged contemporary values, beliefs and identities. Bankers, merchants, mercenaries, and religious institutions exploited the power of art and architecture to promote their professional interests, ambitions, and families. This module explores evolving forms and functions of painting, sculpture and architecture made by a range of artists including Giotto, Donatello, and Michelangelo.

AMAA5097A

20

THE AFRICAN PAST: GLOBAL CROSSROADS AND EMPIRES

This module introduces the history and archaeology of Africa in the past 1500 years. It focuses on its art and artefacts, and explores case studies such as the medieval empires of the Sahel, the Indian Ocean trade in cowrie shells and beads, trans-Saharan caravans and the sumptuous graves of Egypt and Congo. Through the discussion of Africa's past and its global links, we can reach a better understanding of the continent past and present, and challenge the false but popular notion that African societies have remained static over centuries and that the continent's role in world history was negligible, an idea underpinned by negative media coverage of Africa today. Archaeology, anthropology, history, and oral tradition all inform this module. And though our subject-matter in this course is African, the questions raised apply much more widely.

AMAA5100A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

CONTEMPORARY GALLERY AND MUSEUM STUDIES

This module examines how contemporary artists have explored the way in which contemporary galleries and museums function. Since the 1960s artists have adopted the museum as both subject and medium in their artworks. These seminars will examine how such projects impact on our idea of what galleries and museums are, how they operate, and what role they have in public life today. Throughout, key ideas regarding aesthetics, politics, memory, and audience participation will be approached by way of specific artworks and exhibitions. These sessions will be supplemented by workshops exploring art criticism, as well as a study trip to London.

AMAA5102B

20

INDIGENOUS ARTS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

This module begins by analysing what is meant by Indigenous arts and peoples. In particular, we shall consider the link between the anthropology of art and Indigenous identity. The module continues by examining issues related to the interpretation of indigenous arts in wide-ranging geographic and cultural contexts from North America, to India and Australia. It then questions Indigenous peoples' engagement with notions of ethnicity and heritage, as well as the formation of an 'Indigenous media' through film-making. The module aims to foster an inter-disciplinary approach.

AMAA5101B

20

Students must study the following modules for 30 credits:

Name Code Credits

DISSERTATION

ART students on this module undertake a research project on a topic related to their specialised interests, in consultation with an appropriate member of ART Faculty, leading to a 9,000 word dissertation.

AMAA6112B

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

ALTERNATIVE MODERNISMS

This module is about the role of modern art in the making of India's national identity. It addresses probing questions, notably 'When was Modernism in Indian Art?' Since the beginning of the 20th century, artists and other cultural producers in India, such as film-makers, educationalists and anthropologists, sought to dismantle the colonial concepts that once framed their histories and identities. The module explores how artists such as Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar Baij and Rabindranath Tagore established cultural exchanges with diverse national and international communities in the early- to mid-twentieth century. It considers the many new artistic and cultural formations that emerged via the Bengal School and related movements, raising important questions concerning the meaning of the relationships between the local and the national, the future and the past, and the visual and the spatial. Including debates on issues as diverse as identity/difference, visual display, internationalism, cultural heritage, and the politics of representation, the module is of potential interests to students in HUM (notably ART) including those with a specific interest in art history, anthropology and museum studies.

AMAA6131A

30

CLEOPATRA'S EGYPT

After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, Egypt became first a Hellenistic Greek kingdom and then, from 30 BC, part of the Roman Empire. These political changes heralded much broader socioeconomic and cultural changes as well. This module examines the art and architecture of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, looking at the development of new styles and technologies and the interaction of Greek and Egyptian visual forms. In the 'multi-cultural' society of Graeco-Roman Egypt, how does artistic change relate to questions of self-presentation and identity?

AMAA6132A

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

MAKERS' MYTHS: THE PERSONA OF THE ARTIST AFTER 1945

The figure of the artist has for centuries been the object of celebration, curiosity and myth-making. Since World War II powerful narratives have developed around some of the most prominent artists: Francis Bacon's dark world of intensity, anxiety and sado-masochism; the blank stare of Andy Warhol's commercial indifference; Joseph Beuys's redemptive shamanism; Louise Bourgeois the child abused using her art to resolve inner conflicts; and Ai Weiwei the great political dissident of contemporary China. This module explores the construction of such "makers' myths" and asks: How is an artist's public persona constructed and what bearing does it have on the interpretation of specific artworks? What idea of art's social role do different personae imply? How do these roles relate to our idea of what art can or should contribute to the contemporary world?

AMAA6127A

30

TURNER: ART, THE ARTIST AND THE ART WORLD IN BRITAIN, 1800-1850

This module will consider the range of artworks produced by Joseph Mallord William Turner, within the context of the world in which he worked. It has long been recognised that those artworks amount to one of the crowning achievements (Turner would probably have preferred 'the crowning achievement') in the history of British art. Some of his contemporaries would see Turner's work in similar terms, describing him as an 'Old Master' even within his own lifetime, in a process of apotheosis which Turner fuelled by buying back his own paintings and then loudly leaving them to the nation. For much of the period since his death in 1851, this has remained the dominant vision of Turner: an isolated and untouchable 'genius' whose works transcend history and full interpretation. Recently however, art historians have started to think again about Turner and the real character of his achievement, situating both within the emergent modern art world of early nineteenth-century Britain. . This module will introduce students to this body of scholarship through a close analysis of Turner's own works - paintings, drawings and prints; landscapes, seascapes and historical/mythological images - read alongside set texts (including both primary sources and recent secondary literature), and within their artistic and historical contexts. We will look closely at a wide range of Turner's output and consider its interpretation, not only by ourselves but also by contemporary commentators including John Ruskin.

AMAA6133A

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

MODERNISM AND GENDER: FRANCE AND GERMANY 1900-1939

This module addresses modernism in the first part of the twentieth century. It explores the work of male and female artists and also considers how gender structures representation and art practice. The module provides an opportunity to reconsider key works by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Suzanne Valadon, Hannah Hoch and Claude Cahun, amongst others.

AMAA6128B

30

PRE-COLUMBIAN WORLDS - ARTS | SUBSTANCES | SENSES

This module examines the importance of substances and materials for peoples of the ancient Americas. By looking at artworks, imagery and archaeological contexts (esp. Mesoamerica and Central Andes), we will explore indigenous understandings of how worlds are fashioned, experienced and acted upon through material things. Among the most important substances are stone, fibre, metals/minerals, earth, water and blood - each with significant physical properties (e.g., colour, rarity, brilliance, durability) and symbolism. The module highlights monuments, mural painting, cloth, weaponry and body ornamentation crucial in the ritual life and worldviews of ancient America's great civilisations, such as Aztec, Maya, Inca and Moche.

AMAA6129B

30

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • A Level ABB
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points
  • Scottish Advanced Highers ABB
  • Irish Leaving Certificate AABBBB or 2 subjects at H1 and 4 at H2
  • Access Course An ARTS/Humanities/Social Science pathway preferred. Pass with Distinction in 30 credtis at Level 3 and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3
  • BTEC DDM
  • European Baccalaureate 75%

Entry Requirement

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE Level.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (with no less than 6.0 in any component)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not meet the academic and or English requirements for direct entry our partner, INTO University of East Anglia offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a preparation programme. Depending on your interests, and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:

International Foundation in Business, Economics, Society and Culture
International Foundation in Humanities and Law

Interviews

The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact admissions@uea.ac.uk directly to discuss this further.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

  • A Level ABB including at least one humanities subject
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points including at least one Higher Level humanities subject at grade 5 or above
  • Scottish Highers At least one Advanced Higher preferred
  • Scottish Advanced Highers ABB including at least one humanities subject
  • Irish Leaving Certificate AABBBB including at least one humanities subject
  • Access Course An ARTS/Humanities/Social Science pathway preferred. Pass with Distinction in 30 credits at Level 3 and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3
  • BTEC DDM (Arts and Humanities subject preferred)
  • European Baccalaureate 75% including at least one humanities subject at 70% or above

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS (SELT): 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in Reading and Writing with no less than 5.5 in any component)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not meet the academic and or English requirements for direct entry our partner, INTO University of East Anglia offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a preparation programme. Depending on your interests, and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:

International Foundation in Business, Economics, Society and Culture
International Foundation in Humanities and Law

Interviews

The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview. However, for some students an interview will be requested. These are normally quite informal and generally cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.

Students will have the opportunity to meet with an academic individually on an Applicant Day in order to gain a deeper insight into the course(s) you have applied for.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.

We also welcome applications for deferred entry, believing that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and may wish to contact the appropriate Admissions Office directly to discuss this further.

Intakes

This course's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above, then please contact university directly for further information.

GCSE Offer

Students are required to have GCSE Mathematics and GCSE English Language at Grade C or above.

Assessment

For the majority of candidates the most important factors in assessing the application will be past and future achievement in examinations, academic interest in the subject being applied for, personal interest and extra-curricular activities and the confidential reference.

We consider applicants as individuals and accept students from a very wide range of educational backgrounds and spend time considering your application in order to reach an informed decision relating your application. Typical offers are indicated above. Please note, there may be additional subject entry requirements specific to individual degree courses.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support: Home and EU Students

Tuition Fees

Please see our webpage for further information on the current amount of tuition fees payable for Home and EU students and for details of the support available.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

Home/EU - The University of East Anglia offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships.  To check if you are eligible please visit the website.

______________________________________________________________________

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support: International Students

Tuition Fees

Please see our webpage for further information on the current amount of tuition fees payable for International Students.

Scholarships

We offer a range of Scholarships for International Students – please see our website for further information.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Office prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Office (World Art Studies and Museology)
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

Please click here to register your details online via our Online Enquiry Form.

International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We already know that your university experience will be life-changing, wherever you decide to go. At UEA, we also want to make that experience brilliant, in every way. Explore these pages to see exactly how we do this…

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515