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BA Art History and Japanese / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

Art History is known for its strong interdisciplinary character. Students explore subjects, objects and texts from different cultures and different historical periods. Students benefit from our strengths in Renaissance Studies, Romanticism, modern and contemporary art, as well the intersections of art and science. Teaching takes place in a variety of formats, and many course units benefit from unrivalled access to The John Rylands Library and The Whitworth, which contain world-famous works by Bacon, Blake, Gauguin, Munch, Picasso, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh and other major artists. Teaching is supported by cutting-edge research: REF (2014) placed us in the top three Art History Departments in the UK.

On the Modern Languages side of the degree students will study compulsory language units (the number of credits will depend on whether students are ab-initio or post-A-Level and whether they are studying European or non-European languages) and the study of the culture and history of a specific region. Teaching within Modern Languages in these latter areas is characterised particularly by the historically and politically contextualised study of culture and cultural practices, including in literature, visual culture and music, with thematic focus on such issues as the environment, popular culture, gender, immigration and transnationalisms, and religion. Crucial here is the understanding of language skills being informed by intercultural awareness and cultural knowledge being mediated by linguistic skills.

In the first, second and final year students will follow core compulsory and optional introductory modules on both sides of the degree. In their final year students will also have the option of taking a dissertation on either side of the degree alongside their core language units and other optional units. Students will be allocated a dissertation supervisor according to existing procedures for the respective subject areas. Students will also be able to take one free-choice unit at levels 2 and 3, though they will not be required to do so.

In the third year of the degree students will undertake a period of residence abroad according to the School's established residence abroad requirements and provision. It is likely that many students on this degree combination will want to undertake work placements with relevant organisations where possible; but students will also be able to take up the offer of a study placement at one of the existing partner universities in the region of study, or work as a British Council English-language assistant.

Aims

See programme specifications, aims and learning outcomes will differ according to the language combination.

Special features

Societies

Join the Japan Society North West for an exciting range of cultural events such as sushi-making demonstrations, Taiko drumming workshops, food feasts, and an annual Japan Day celebration.

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related  student societies  offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences.

The Manchester Art Group curates events, talks, exhibitions and trips, and aims to link up with contemporary art practice in Manchester and across the North West.

You could also join Arts Emergency, which aims to encourage the production of a new generation of thinkers by highlighting the reversal of decades of social and educational access to arts and humanities, or the Whitworth Young Contemporaries Student Society , which brings together students who have an interest in the arts, culture and creativity to make the Whitworth part of students' academic, cultural and social life.

Course content for year 1

You will split your study time equally between the two sides of your Degree.  

Art History

This is a foundation year that introduces key art historical concepts and methods of analysis and interpretation as well as skills in academic writing. It includes a substantial amount of gallery-based teaching.

Japanese   

The first and second-year language courses include an Independent Language Learning Programme for post-beginners, through which you build up a portfolio of independent work by making linguistic notes on, for example, Japanese videos, satellite TV, or newspapers. This enables you to develop not only your linguistic expertise, but also your skills in independent learning - a vital requirement in today's knowledge-based society. 

The intensive language teaching programme puts a heavy emphasis on thoroughly covering core language structures to provide secure foundations for progression to higher levels in subsequent years. 

Students take core courses introducing them to academic skills and providing essential knowledge of history and society.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Japanese Studies JAPA10030 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 1 JAPA51011 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 2 JAPA51022 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 20 Mandatory
Ice Age to Baroque: Artworks in History SALC10041 20 Mandatory
Rococo to Now: Artworks in History SALC10042 20 Mandatory
Art Spaces AHCP10051 20 Optional
Art History Tutorial 1 AHCP10381 20 Optional
Art History Tutorial 2 AHCP10382 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

In Year 2 you can weigh you credits differently and do a maximum of two-thirds in one subject, and one-third in the other.

Art History

Take a mix of core and optional course units. The objective is to provide you with a deeper understanding of theories and approaches in the study of art history, and a broad-based knowledge of both pre-modern and modern art, architecture and visual culture.

Japanese   

The language courses in year 2 continue to build competence and the Independent Language Learning Portfolio and learning partnerships are central to this process. 

In addition students develop their studies of Japan via a choice of courses in areas such as Japanese history, religion, society and culture, and begin to prepare for residence abroad.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Art in Theory AHCP20431 20 Mandatory
European Art History Fieldtrip AHCP20702 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Mandatory
Art and the Early Modern Body AHCP20132 20 Optional
Art in Britain AHCP20222 20 Optional
Art in South Asia AHCP20802 20 Optional
Surrealism, Gender, Sexuality AHCP23711 20 Optional
Art of Fourteenth Century Italy AHCP23921 20 Optional
Visual Cultures in China and East Asia CHIN22521 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
Religion in Japan JAPA20212 20 Optional
Science and Civilisation in East Asia JAPA23002 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is¿  spent abroad¿  under approved conditions.¿ Find out the full list of our partner universities in the link above.

Course content for year 4

In Year 4 you can balance your credits so as to do a maximum of two-thirds in one subject area, and one-third in the other.

Art History

Take seminar courses that allow you in-depth contact with a wide range of subjects (many of which are the specialist areas of the members of teaching staff). These `Option' courses are focused on an area of study defined by genre, artistic identity, medium or approach. They are taught in small groups and encourage participation and active learning.

Japanese   

Students will select from various Japanese modules in religion, historical, cultural and social science areas.  The language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Japanese, and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills. 

Students also have the option to write a Japanese dissertation and an approved topic of their choice.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Japanese Language 6 JAPA51060 20 Mandatory
History of Art Dissertation AHCP30000 40 Optional
The English Baroque: Architecture and Society 1660-1730 AHCP30012 20 Optional
Art and Ecologies AHCP30052 20 Optional
Art After Modernism: Approaching Contemporary Art AHCP30562 20 Optional
Picasso AHCP33132 20 Optional
Romanticism AHCP33191 20 Optional
Renaissance Florence: Culture, History and Art ITAL30621 20 Optional
Dissertation in Japanese Studies JAPA30000 40 Optional
Bodies, Sex and Gender in Japan JAPA33071 20 Optional
Buddhism in Japan JAPA33082 20 Optional
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 4

Facilities

The rich cultural heritage and attractions of Manchester and the north-west are within easy reach.

The Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery offer unique access to the environment of the working museum and art gallery, as well as to important works of art. The Whitworth is a major resource, and its outstanding collections of paintings, prints, textiles and wallpapers are used extensively in our teaching.

You can also explore original art in the city's famous galleries, such as the Lowry, Manchester Art Gallery and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art.

The main library provision is the University Library, one of the UK's top university libraries with arguably the best access to electronic resources of any library in Europe. This is one of the largest academic libraries in Britain and houses a Special Collections Department on Deansgate which contains a superb and diverse collection of manuscripts, illustrated books and other material relevant to Art History. 

Art History students also enjoy a discipline-specific library in the same building as our department. It provides a pleasant and quiet working environment for students, with access to the most commonly used publications.  A convenient and comfortable study environment, it also houses a very large, well-organised slide, video and computer-based image collection.

Learn more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk