Art History Major

Major/Minor/Specialisation !105-AA-MAJ+1005 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015


Dr Felicity Harley-McGowan (Email:


Office of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts



This course is no longer taking applications, the course structure below applies to re-enrolling students who commenced their studies prior to 2008. Information for course B-Arts can be found at the following:

Learning Outcomes:

The Art History program is housed in the School of Culture and Communication. The first program of its kind in Australia, it was founded in 1946. The School develops joint projects with many Australian museums including the National Gallery of Victoria and the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. Students of Art History have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork overseas. Alliances with the Centre for Cultural Material Conservation (CCMC) and Ian Potter Museum of Art also bolster the pre-eminent position of the School within the academic community of the Asia-Pacific region. Students benefit directly from these close links with industry and the arts community and are able to develop a wide range of transferable skills. Graduates of the Art History program occupy key academic, curatorial, museum and administrative positions in tertiary education and the arts throughout Australia and overseas. Students have the opportunity to further explore their academic interests and develop specialist knowledge in art history through an articulated structure of higher degree options at the University of Melbourne.

Art History is concerned with the visual and material aspects of culture and how painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, design, photography and museums, may be interpreted. Students of Art History should develop critical and historical skills about the work of art as a physical object and the representation of subject matter. Art History subjects cover a broad spectrum from ancient classical art to the art of the postmodern. The School has particular research and teaching strengths in the study of museums, curatorship, contemporary art, Australian culture and Aboriginal art, the late antique, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Structure & Available Subjects:

A major in art history usually consists of eight 12.5 point subjects, totalling 100 points. It comprises:

  • one first-year subject in art history (12.5 points); and

  • second/third-year subjects in art history (87.5 points).

It is advisable for students to choose subjects from different periods of art history.

Students who commenced their degree before 2007 will need to complete 112.5 points in order to complete the major. For the specific major structure you must follow, refer to the handbook produced in the year you commenced your degree, available online at

If you have any questions about the major structure or subjects, please contact the Arts Student Centre.

Subject Options:

Art history: first year subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Art history: second/third year subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 1
Semester 2
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science

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