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Art History 1: Western Art

Course Level: 1 (HE4) | HE Credits: 40 | Approx. Duration: 12 months at 8 hrs/week


There will be a withdrawal of ‘History of Art 1: Understanding Western Art’. This unit will no longer be available from 1 June 2018 (6 months’ notice as per the Academic Regulatory Framework). Please note, students currently studying to this unit will be able to continue it to completion and assessment.

This course aims to help you understand the cultural and historical context of art and develop your observational skills using drawing, annotation and photography. Once you have completed the course you’ll be able to work with a systematic structure for analysing, researching and recording information that can be applied to any art form. The course enables you to observe acutely, appreciate and analyse works of art through the study of a written text. The course is broad in its coverage of Western Art right through to 21st century but it also encourages you to look at works of art in depth and in detail. You will also keep a learning log or blog while you are studying this course.


The course aims to:

  • A1 develop a basic understanding of the history of western art in chronological order from classical to modern times;
  • A2 develop skills in analysing works of art;
  • A3 help you acquire a structured approach to observation, research and recording information about works of art.
  • A4 develop reflective and critical skills


On successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • LO1 Demonstrate a basic understanding of the history of Western art in chronological order, from classical to modern times (A1)
  • LO2 Analyse and research a work of art (A2)
  • LO3 Investigate art in a methodical way and research and record key points (A3)
  • LO4 Reflect upon your own learning experience (A4)

Course content

  • The Classical tradition
  • Gothic and Renaissance
  • Baroque
  • Romanticism to Impressionism
  • The twentieth century
  • Still-life, portraits, the figure, interiors and landscapes.

This course also includes a key text, included in the cost of the course: A World History of Art – Seventh Edition by Hugh Honour & John Fleming

Course sample

Click here to download the Western Art course sample