History of Art modules - Second year

Compulsory modules

Art History in the Field: Study Trip Abroad

An essential component of art historical enquiry is the study of works of art and architecture in situ. This provides experience of images, artefacts and buildings that reproductions cannot convey, such as scale, size, texture, context, interrelationship of parts, lighting and environment. Accordingly, this module consists of a study trip to a designated location of major art historical importance. Destinations are usually in mainland Europe, and have in recent years included: Rome, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Bruges, and Vienna.

Prior to the trip, students identify a work of art or architecture in the chosen city that will be their focus of study. Whilst there, they have the opportunity to examine the object in situ and to visit comparable works of art and relevant collections. Students are then assessed by a 20-minute presentation on their chosen object during the exam period. The module also includes visits to major architectural projects art collections in the specified location. These will be viewed according to a programme devised and organised by staff. Works of art and architecture are studied at first-hand in staff-led tours as well as prescribed independent visits.

Research Techniques in the History of Art

The aim of this module is to enable students to define and pursue the sustained programmes of research required for Level 2 essays, presentations and undergraduate dissertations.

Continuing the study skills introduced in classes in the first year, this module puts particular emphasis on critical thinking and evaluation, and will examine topics such as: defining and crafting a research topic; writing a literature review; identifying, analysing and evaluating relevant textual and visual source materials; use of the internet as a research source. The module will also examine how to cite written and visual material accurately, as well as crafting an argument.

Students are assessed on the basis of a literature review relating to a chosen research topic which would normally be related to the study trip undertaken in the second semester.

Optional modules may include:

  • Renaissance Art in Italy and the Netherlands 1400-1460

  • Engaging Art History

  • Art, Architecture and Design in Fin de Siècle Vienna

  • Real and Ideal: Art and Society in Mid Nineteenth-Century France 

  • Prague, Budapest, Cracow. Art, Architecture and Politics in Central Europe 1867 - 1918

  • Political Art

  • Inside the Gallery. Histories, Theories and Practices of Museums and Galleries

  • A Century of Change: British Art and Design, 1840-1940

  • American Art in the 1960s

  • Impressionism and after: Art and society in late Nineteenth-Century France