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History of Art joins History in new 'Primary Unit'

1 October 2009

On 1 August 2009, the Department of History of Art and the Department of History became part of a new 'primary unit', called Historical Studies. The purpose of this was to attain administrative efficiencies that would allow more academic staff time to be released for teaching and research.

On 1 August 2009, the Department of History of Art joined the Department of History in a new 'primary unit' called Historical Studies. At the same time, History of Art moved, on an administrative level, from the School of Arts to the School of Humanities in the Faculty of Arts.

The Department would like to reassure both current and prospective students that  this merger does not mean that there is any plan to close down or diminish any of the activities undertaken by either History or History of Art.   Both departments will retain their distinctive identities and will continue to deliver separate degree programmes at BA and MA level. From the point of view of students, the only real short-term change is that the primary unit 'Historical Studies' will be overseen by a single Head of Subject and Head of Education. These are currently Professor Ronald Hutton and Dr Hugh Pemberton.

The merger of the departments was undertaken at the behest of the University and with the support of the majority of academics from the new primary unit, including nearly all the art historians. The intent of the merger was to achieve administrative efficiencies that would free up more staff time for teaching and research.

In practice, current students will notice almost no differences to their lives, other than that they will now have to deliver their essays, obtain extensions etc. at the School Office of Humanities, 11 Woodland Road. In practice, the merger may make it easier for students from History of Art who want to take History units to do so – and vice versa. This though would require the permission of the Head of Education and will be entirely dependent on places being available on a particular unit. It should be stressed, however, that there will be absolutely no expectation,  or requirement, for students to take units outside their registered programme.

The other changes that are anticipated are that, from the summer of 2010, History of Art will move physically  to join the rest of the Humanities departments in 5-13 Woodland Road. Those students starting the History of Art BA in 2010/11 will also be taking a revised programme that will have a very similar structure to the History BA. From this point it will be still easier for new students to undertake units from the 'sister' programme. Once again, however, there will be no requirement for students from either the History BA or the History of Art BA to take units from outside their own degree programme.

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