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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Creative Arts

Undergraduate Course: Introduction to Art History (LLLA07260)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThrough a survey of Western art from 650 BCE to the present, this course will guide students in looking, thinking and discussing, introducing the essential skills required to analyse a range of works of art.
Course description This course provides an introduction to art history as an academic discipline. The first half of the course introduces students to key elements of art historical study: formal and comparative analysis, materials, historical and social context, and theory. The second half of the course applies these elements to a survey of western art from Classicism to Post-Modernism.

Each session includes an illustrated talk and discussion. Students may be required to participate in assignments such as appraising primary and secondary source material and giving short, informal presentations. Practical advice on critical reading and essay-writing skills will be given, with hand-outs provided.

1: Formal Analysis
Colour, tone, line, space and mass

2: Comparative Analysis
Identifying similarities and differences

3: Material Analysis
Pigment and paint, marble and bronze, print and multimedia

4: Contextual Analysis
Historical, cultural and social influences

5: Theory and Methodology
Introducing Marxism, Feminism, Post-Colonialism and Post-Structuralism

6: Classicism and the Late Antique

7: The Middle Ages and Renaissance

8: The Baroque and Neoclassicism
Visit to the Scottish National Gallery

9: Romanticism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

10: Modernism and Post-Modernism

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  16
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment (2,000-word essay worth 100% of the final mark) will be due after the end of the taught course. The formative assessment (essay plan) will be due mid-way through the course.
Feedback Students will receive written feedback for their formative assessment (essay plan), submitted mid-way through the course. They may discuss this with the tutor; students may contact the tutor for an informal discussion of progress at any time in the term. Students will receive written feedback on their coursework and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an ability to analyse material, form and content in works of art produced in western Europe between 650 BCE and the present
  2. demonstrate an understanding and ability to analyse and interpret secondary material
  3. demonstrate an ability to present arguments and visual analysis in coherent, balanced form
Reading List
D'Alleva, Anne, 2012. How To Write Art History. London: Laurence King.

Fleming, J. and Honour, H., 2009. A World History of Art. London: Laurence King.

Fernie, E. 1995. Art History and its Methods. London: Phaidon.

Gombrich, E. H. 2000. The Story of Art. 4th ed. London: Phaidon.

Web sources
Artstor: (University of Edinburgh Library Databases)
National Galleries of Scotland:
Oxford Art Online: (University of Edinburgh Library Databases)
Tate Glossary of Art Terms:

Tate. The Tate Glossary. [Online]. Available at:
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Analysing and engaging critically with a wide range of material
Reading independently
Discussing within a group, listening and communicating orally
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sally Crumplin
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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