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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: History of Art 1 (HIAR08009)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryHistory of Art 1 provides an introduction to Art History at university level. All our teaching considers the visual arts as a part of a wider culture. Many of our students have never taken a course in History of Art before, and those that have may find that university-level teaching offers an entirely new approach to the subject.
History of Art 1 is not a chronological survey course and does not pretend to provide comprehensive coverage of this vast and complex subject. Instead the work of prominent artists and important types and periods of art are selected to provide representative examples for study. Students begin the course with very different levels of knowledge, and our intention is that, by the end, all will have acquired an overview of certain specific areas in the history of art, and an understanding of the crucial issues raised by the subject and of the methods used to deal with them. They will also have a command of the appropriate specialized vocabulary. Students are expected to read widely from the bibliographies provided by the lecturers and tutors in order to extend and deepen their knowledge of the topics addressed in lectures and tutorials and also to fill in the gaps in their knowledge of the continuous history of art. Because even high-quality digital reproductions offer at best only a limited sense of the physical nature, impact and presence of works of art, whenever possible and appropriate the weekly tutorials are conducted in the museums, galleries and public spaces of Edinburgh, which has world-renowned art collections.
The lectures in History of Art 1 cover almost 1400 years of the history of art, from c. 300 to c. 1700, from the Early Medieval period to the Early Modern. Under the collective title Art at the Crossroads of World Cultures (300-1300), the lectures in semester 1 introduce you to art in Rome, Byzantium, the great courts of Europe, China and the Islamic world during the millennium that spanned the broad period 300-1300. By combining a far-reaching cultural scope with this long time span, you will gain a broad perspective on extraordinary artistic revolutions and expressions of human creativity. The art of the period will be analysed in terms of iconography, materials, practices of patronage and artistic interactions.
Under the collective title Church and Courts (1300-1700), the lectures in Semester 2 address developments in art in Europe from the later Middle Ages to the end of the 17th century. Students may be more familiar with the material in the second semester but we will place it in a context that may seem unexpected. We look at the work of artists of this period such as Jan van Eyck, Durer, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Rembrandt within its social milieu. We consider art and sexuality, patronage, power relationships, religious crisis, the role of women and many other major social issues.


Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  255
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 66, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 305 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One Essay per semester (30%), presentation and contribution to seminars(20%) and a three-hour degree examination in the May diet (50%).
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)History of Art 13:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)History of Art 13:00
Learning Outcomes
History of Art 1 consists of two semester units but each semester unit is also designed so that it can be taken as an independent course for visiting students who are in Edinburgh for only one semester. Students who take this course come with very different levels of knowledge of art history. Our intention is that by the end all will have acquired an understanding of the important issues raised by the subject and of the methods used to deal with them; they will also have a command of the basic concepts and vocabulary of the discipline. In the lecture units and seminar courses students will learn the methods of art history through the study of the work of selected artists, types of objects, and periods of art. Emphasis will be placed on the critical analysis and interpretation of visual and historical materials, both in the lectures and in seminars. Seminars will make use of material in museums and galleries in Edinburgh. Essay writing and making verbal contributions in class will develop the students' communication skills.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Plus one seminar per week at a time to be arranged.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jill Burke
Tel: (0131 6)51 3120
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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