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Art History
Bachelor of Arts (Minor subject)

Short description

Short description

The two bachelor's degree programs beginning in the winter semester (Art History Core Subject, Art History Supplementary Subject) are designed for 6 semesters and require the study of a further subject (for the optional combinations see above). The study of art history allows students to acquire an extensive basic knowledge in three areas:

1) Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (300-1400)

2) Early Modern Times (1400-1800)

3) Modernity and the Present (from 1800)

With the help of object-based classes, overview lectures on the theory of methods and forms enable to build up a solid knowledge of regional and supra-regional art, especially in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, treasure art, ornamentation, design, urbanism, garden art, performance, video, photography and dance. Thematic basic and advanced seminars guarantee a deepening of the acquired knowledge. In addition, excursions offer the opportunity to get to know works of art in their original and/or contemporary context.

The aim of the study program is to provide a reliable foundation of general knowledge that includes an overview of the epochs of Art History and the ability to critically apply subject-specific methods. In addition, the ability to flexibly apply the acquired knowledge and methodological tools to concrete tasks is to be trained. Thanks to a wide range of courses offered by a wide-ranging, highly-staffed institute, you will receive individual support, encouragement und tutoring at all levels and in all phases of your studies.

Combination options

For this study programme you need a major subject

Art History
English and American Studies
German Languages and Literatures
Historical Studies
Japanese Studies
Jewish Studies
Romance Languages and Literatures

Entry/Admission requirements

The prerequisite for admission to the Bachelor's program in Art History is a general or relevant subject-related university entrance qualification. Applicants without a university entrance qualification but with many years of professional experience can take an aptitude assessment test.

Students can only begin their studies in the winter semester.

Programme content

The Bachelor's program in Art History conveys an extensive and well-founded core knowledge in the field of Art History in historical and systematic terms on a broad basis of units with very different teaching formats. Overview seminars on methods and forms, covering the entire spectrum of epochs from late antiquity to the present, are offered, as are lectures with more in-depth topics, basic seminars and classes in front of originals, particularly through excursions.

The discipline of Art History focuses on work processes, forms of design, meanings, functions, cultural contexts (historical, conceptual, political, social, institutional, individual), materials/techniques of works of art as well as other areas of visual cultures such as contemporary (image) media and the aesthetically designed environment. It is also dedicated to the history of art theory, the history of the reception of works of art, and the history of art history.

Specializations in the field of garden art and urban planning as well as art mediation in museums, exhibitions, art trade etc. are already possible in the Bachelor's program. The respective competences are conveyed in courses in art history, which are participant-oriented and encourage the students' independent participation.

The unusually wide range of subsidized study trips under the guidance of lecturers offered at our institute enables students in both core and supplementary subjects to gain a profound understanding of the historical complexity of art settings in various cities as well as entire art regions or regional art centers, both in the wider surroundings and abroad.


Institute for Art History


The Institute for Art History at Heinrich Heine University is comparatively young. It emerged in 1987 from an endowed professorship by the Gerda Henkel Foundation. Since then, the institute has expanded continuously and successfully, becoming one of the largest art history institutes in Germany. This ensures that all epochs from the Middle Ages to the present are covered by a total of 5 professorships and 2 junior professorships (plus 2 honorary professorships), supported by a highly staffed team of lecturers with doctoral or master degrees.

In addition to a permanent staff of lecturers, the Institute of Art History also has a rotating staff of lecturers, including many curators from renowned museums of the region. The Institute of Art History was one of the first institutes to introduce the bachelor's degree in art history in 2001 and the master's degree in art history three years later, which have since proved successful in teaching and have been positively evaluated and accredited several times.

The Institute of Art History has developed a number of different areas of specialization: The junior professorship for the history of garden art, donated by the state capital Düsseldorf, is unique in German art history. In keeping with the special profile of Düsseldorf and the Rhineland in the field of contemporary art, media culture and arts trade, there is a professorship for Historical Visual Sciences and Contemporary Studies and - in cooperation with the Business Administration Department - a course of studies for art mediation and cultural management that is unique in Germany.

Programme structure

The practical and subject-related study components comprising classes in front of originals (including excursions), hands-on training, an internship of at least 2 months and project seminars are intended to facilitate the transition to professional life. They therefore play an important role in the curriculum. In addition to that, stays abroad are encouraged, and a broad variety of occupational fields are presented (e.g. in lecture series, colloquia, brochures, etc.).

Cooperation with renowned museums and institutions (at home and abroad), symposia, research and exhibition projects as well as lectures and conferences on an international level complete the research and career-oriented offers of the institute. In addition, the Institute cooperates within Düsseldorf with the Academy of Fine Arts Düsseldorf and the Robert Schumann Hochschule.

The "Friends of the Institute of Art History of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf" support many of these projects.

Programme objectives/Career prospects

The professional spectrum for trained art historians is very broad (exhibitions, preservation of historical monuments, municipal public relations, cultural management, arts trade, art education, art mediation, museums, positions in cultural institutions, insurance companies, jobs in analogue and digital mass media, etc.). The aim of the program is therefore to prepare students for these multifaceted, innovative and creative demands in professional life and society. Furthermore, it is our goal to pave the way for individual careers and value-oriented personality development beyond the mere transfer of knowledge.

Programme start:
Winter semester
Programme duration:
6 semesters
Language of instruction:
German (partially: English)
Application procedure:
Open admission
Closing date for enrolment:
16/07/2024 - 04/10/2024
Closing date for re-registration:
01/07/2024 - 15/08/2024
Relevant documents:

Examination regulations

Module guide

Both available in German only.

Study programme contact:

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wiener


Phone: +49 211 81-11327

Fax: +49 211 81-12701




Study programme/Department
SSC contact:

Student Services Center (SSC)
Building: 21.02 / SSC
Phone +49 211 81‐12345


For questions regarding the course of studies and for examination issues:

Student and Examination Administration
Contact Examination Administration

Student Services Center (SSC)

Offers for prospective students

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