History of Art A level and uni applications

(10 Posts)
Brian9600 Mon 25-Nov-19 12:28:09

DD is considering A levels in English, history, history of art and photography, with a view to reading either English or history of art at university.

I'm slightly worried about the balance of subjects. I'd like her to have at least three good academic subjects and am worried that unis and employers might not see history of art as an academic subject. However, I don't actually know much about it or why I fear it's seen as less academic than English lit, say. Just worried about DD closing off options too early (she's an all-rounder so maths and science could also be options, but she's not passionate about those subjects).

I'd love to hear from anyone with first hand experience of history of art at A level and/or how this is likely to be perceived by universities.


OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Mon 25-Nov-19 13:31:10

I know quite a few who did it at DDs school. With History and English it’s just fine. The DDs who did it went to Durham and other very good universities so I wouldn’t worry. However Photography is very time consuming so why do this? No university needs 4 subjects studied in y12. Concentrate on the 3 essay subjects. They go really well together. Do photography as a hobby?

Brian9600 Mon 25-Nov-19 13:58:42

Thanks, that's really helpful. She loves photography and is desperate to do the A level- I completely take your point that it's not necessary though. I'll have a chat to her teachers about the time commitment and whether it's too much.

OP’s posts: |
SirTobyBelch Mon 25-Nov-19 15:20:59

I can't find any history of art courses with specific subject requirements, although some specify at least one essay-based subject. English will be more prescriptive, but as long as she's doing English (literature) A-level there shouldn't be a problem.

I agree with BB re doing four A-levels. This is rarely a good idea.

Fifthtimelucky Mon 25-Nov-19 19:55:58

I agree with others about 4 A levels. I also think history of art would be fine as a third subject and it goes really well with English and history.

Richlyfruited Mon 25-Nov-19 20:01:07

I studied it at A level and then at university. It's a very rigorous academic subject - pretty much a history degree with paintings!

I ended up doing a postgraduate qualification and working at a university in a student services role and am amazed at how many other people I meet in similar roles who have an art history degree!

Piggywaspushed Mon 25-Nov-19 20:54:58

History of Art offers so much more to English and vice versa than sciences or maths!


bathroomideas Fri 29-Nov-19 07:00:15

My DS did it. It is not considered a less academic subject than history English etc. He applied and got places at all the top RG universities he applied too it was his third A level out of three and he was not studying history of art. He obviously has friends who did it and they all got into the unis of their choice including Oxford and only one is studying it at uni.
He loved it and did at one stage think about doing at uni.
They also make great guides when you go around an art gallery grin.

Ellmau Sat 30-Nov-19 18:55:35

History of Art is a perfectly good academic subject. If she wants to drop one make it Photography (which isn't) and just do that as an extracurricular.

BubblesBuddy Sun 01-Dec-19 09:23:33

The reason many (all?) history of Art degrees won’t expect the subject at A level is because it’s not an A level that’s widely available. It’s one more often taught in independent schools. However it’s an academic A level so, as a third A level, doesn’t hold anyone back.

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