FIN3097 : Art History Dissertation

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0


This module enables the student to apply rigorous analytical thought in a sustained piece of writing on an art historical topic defined by them in discussion with tutors. Through structured tutorial supervision and discussion a clear understanding is developed. Knowledge of what others have said about it and critical arguments lead to independent judgment of the primary evidence and related material.

The module offers students the opportunity for in-depth engagement with a specialised topic of their choice. Fine Art students may choose a subject that relates directly to their practical work, and which helps define and develop this, or select a topic of broader interest - Combined Honours students might want to select a subject related to their other disciplines. Interdisciplinary topics are also welcomed.

Regardless of the subject chosen, the intensive critical and analytical skills involved in researching and writing the dissertation supports studio work through developing intellectual maturity and an increased awareness of historical, theoretical and critical issues.
For the purposes of the dissertation, 'Art History' is understood to embrace a wide range of possible approaches and subject areas decided in consultation with your supervisor. Some possible areas include: examining a particular facet of an artist's work; critical analysis of relevant text(s); iconographic studies; primary research involving interviews and questionnaires; gallery, museum and exhibition issues, etc.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course begins with introductory lectures and workshops on selecting your dissertation topic and beginning your research. You then complete a form indicating the subject or subject area you have chosen. You will then be allocated a supervisor who will work closely with you and give advice and feedback on researching and writing the dissertation. The syllabus, included in the Dissertation Guide, requires that plans, bibliographies and draft chapters are submitted to your supervisor on the due dates. During this period there will also be supportive library and academic writing workshops and lectures. You will attend one-to-one tutorials with your supervisor to discuss the development of ideas and to get feedback on submitted work.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Writing Development Lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1382:00382:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision61:006:00Tutorials
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures: to allow definition of key dissertation stages, expectations and processes to the full cohort of students. Also modeling of the level and nature of the analysis required.
2. Small group teaching brings students together to build core skills.
3. Tutorials encourage students to articulate their aims, define their subject area and demonstrate their grasp of the material involved. They provide advice to the student on all aspects of the research, content, structure and presentation of the dissertation and critical feedback on strengths and weaknesses of submitted work.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2M1008000 words. 10% allowance either way.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The dissertation format provides the student with the most appropriate mode of demonstrating sustained scholarly research, understanding, critical independence and ability in academic writing.

Reading Lists