FIN1013 : Art Histories I

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module introduces the students to a range of core approaches, concepts and skills involved in studying art and its histories. Students will be introduced to the diversity of methodological approaches to art history and its relationship to art practice. Throughout the module, students will develop skills of visual analysis, interpretation and methodology which will prepare them for further study in the degree programme.

The module will focus upon the ways in which stories of art have been constructed, in conjunction with key artworks which exemplify those histories and debates. Students will be introduced to, and engage with: the autonomy of art; interpretation and meaning; art’s social and political context. The assessment will require students to undertake their own independent investigation and analysis of works of art as well as related theories and contexts.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus is designed to harmonise with issues around painting and printmaking which Fine Art students undertake in studio practice during Stage 1, but the range of topics is also designed to introduce Combined Honours students to the key approaches to the discipline. The first week will introduce students to the study of art history and its debates. The module will go on to cover the emergence of Western perspective, iconography and interpretation, and the legacies of realism. The module then moves on to cover approaches to art history: the social history of art, Modernism/Formalism, and the ‘Primitive.’ Finally, the syllabus will cover narrative, photography, and the issue of originality, and art’s relationship to politics and protest.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Preparation for assignment/essay
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00Preparation for seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00Library Workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Office Hour
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork13:003:00Museum visits
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study175:0075:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures: to allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and
modeling of the level and nature of the analysis required.

2. Seminars: to encourage interaction and the development of cognitive and key skills; to allow preparation and
presentation of directed research on specific issues and case studies.

3. Tutorials: to provide feedback and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of submitted work, and increase awareness of the potential for individual development.

4. Workshops: to encourage development of key skills in a supportive environment. Workshops allow for more innovative and cross-curricular teaching

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M40Visual Analysis Assignment, 1500 words
Essay1A602000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The course work affords students the opportunity to conduct research with seminar and peer support into particular areas of interest, to develop their organizational and presentation skills, and then to demonstrate their ability to think independently in using their group-work to inform their individual essay. The visual analysis assignment and essay demonstrate the student’s ability to absorb and critique information and then present an argument in relation to a specific topic using appropriate academic writing skills.

Reading Lists