Summer University

Art History Summer University – apply now! 

Monday 04 July – Friday 08 July 2022

A free online course, with 1-2 hours live discussion classes everyday and pre-recorded material available one week before.

Calling all Year 12 students from non-selective state schools and colleges across the UK!

Spend five days learning online with The Courtauld Institute of Art, a world-class university specialising in Art History, Conservation, and Curating.

Art History Summer University provides a lively and wide-ranging introduction to the subject of Art History. Over the course of the week you will work closely with world-renowned art historians, curators and museum professionals, as well as current Courtauld students, to find out more about Art History and the possibilities of studying it at degree level. The theme for this year’s course is Art and Identity.

We are excited to announce that by completing Summer University 2022, you will have a chance to work towards an ASDAN Universities Award, and become eligible to take part in a series of free online Courtauld Study Skills workshops in the Autumn term.

Who can apply?

Art History Summer University 

The Courtauld’s Summer University course is funded by a charitable trust to give students who attend a non-selective state school or (non-fee paying) college the opportunity to study art history.

To apply you must meet our eligibility criteria:

  • Are studying in Year 12 in England or Wales, Year 13 in Northern Ireland, or S5 in Scotland
  • Attend, and have always attended, a non-selective UK state school or college (non-fee paying)
  • Have a broad interest in visual culture
  • Be interested in subjects such as History, English Literature, Art, Classics, Languages and Politics (or other subjects that involve essay writing, research and presentations)
  • Be considering applying to Higher Education Institutions in Year 13

Students who are currently in Year 12 and meet this widening participation criteria can apply by completing our online application form.

Additional Criteria:

If you meet the above requirements, we will consider the following additional criteria when looking at your application – however, there is no order of priority:

  • Students who would be the first in their family to attend university
  • Students who have been eligible for free school meals at secondary school
  • Students who attend a school or college with a below-average A-level results and/or a low rate of progression to higher education
  • Students who live in an area with a low rate of progression to higher education and/or a high level of socio-economic deprivation
  • Care leavers
  • Carers
  • Students living with a disability
  • Students from a minority ethnic group
  • Students with refugee status
  • Students who have an excellent academic track record, and are studying relevant subjects (for example Fine Art, History, English Language, English Literature, Languages, Politics…)

The more criteria you meet, the more likely you are to be offered a place. You will not be disqualified if you do not meet all of the above criteria.

If you are, or have been, looked after, or in care, you will only need to meet our age, school and academic criteria.

Please note: you are not applying for a place at university at this point. This course will give you an experience of university life and help you make a decision about applying to study Art History or another Humanities subject in future.

Course Content

Art History Summer University provides an in-depth and lively introduction to Art History. It runs online from Monday 04 July – Friday 08 July 2022, with live discussion classes everyday and pre-recorded material available one week before.

The theme for this year’s course is Art and Identity.

Note: Gallery visits and object handling sessions for this year’s course will take place virtually, thanks to the ingenuity of our lecturers and curators!

This course is designed to give you:

  • A better understanding of Art History as a subject, through lectures, seminar discussions and group work online
  • The opportunity to meet university lecturers, museum professionals and current undergraduate students
  • The opportunity to find out about The Courtauld from current students and alumni, and what it’s like to study in London
  • Space to think about whether this might be the right option for you
  • The confidence and support to apply to The Courtauld Institute of Art for your BA should you wish to do so

Students who participate will be eligible to attend a series of online Study Skills Workshops delivered by The Courtauld during Autumn Term 2022.

Read this blog to find out more about last year’s course.

Watch this video to hear what three students have to say about their experience of attending The Courtauld’s Art History Summer University:

How To Apply

Please follow this link to complete our online application before Friday 6 May, 5pm.

For any queries please contact Helen Higgins, Young People’s Programme Manager, at

Information for Teachers, Parents and Guardians

The Courtauld’s Summer University aims to encourage Year 12 students from under-represented Higher Education backgrounds to consider the opportunities available to them for undergraduate study and experience what university life is like.

We welcome applications from students who are interested in applying to a selective university and we provide academic support to course participants during, and after Summer University.

In assessing which of your students would most benefit from attending, you may wish to consider the following:

  • Does the student meet our eligibility criteria (as outlined above) and would they benefit from the opportunity?
  • Do they have a good academic track record?
  • Are they taking any subjects that are relevant to the study of Art History (for example Fine Art, History, English Literature, Languages, Politics…)
  • Would they take advantage of the range of opportunities offered by the course, attending all sessions and engaging with information / discussions / activities?

As the course will be running online again this year, we aim to support students with limited/no access to wifi/an electronic device, where possible. Please let us know how we can best support your student.

The course is always over-subscribed and requires full commitment so please discuss the Summer University with any student who might be interested before encouraging them to submit an application. You will need to sign the application form. We will also need to know if your student meets our widening participation criteria, so please add any information you think is relevant.

As this course is oversubscribed, we may not be able to accept your student. If this is the case, we may be able to organise a free online Insights into Art History Workshops for you and your students during the academic year.

Need more information?

For more information please contact Helen Higgins, Head of Learning (interim) & Oak Foundation Young People’s Programme Manager:

The Art History Summer University is part of The Courtauld Institute of Art’s Access Agreement.

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