Modern and contemporary art ADED1098E

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

Modern and contemporary art can be both exhilarating and daunting. This course is all about demystifying the art of this period. It provides a focussed analysis of some of the major movements, artists and ideas on art from the 20th century to the present day and also introduces students to the important debates and controversies which surround such a wide variety of art.


Blocks 1 and 2

2 hours per week for 20 weeks

Tuesdays, 13.00-15.00 

Requirements of Entry

None. Some previous knowledge of art history is desirable but not essential.

Excluded Courses

The Art of the 20th century (ADED1098E)




Short essay (approximately 800-1000 words) from a choice of titles (20%); oral presentation in class, 5-10 minutes (20%); essay, (approximately 1500-2000 words) from a choice of titles (40%); visual test in class: identification and discussion of slides (20%). Alternative assessment can be arranged for students whose disabilities would prevent them performing satisfactorily in the visual test.

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Extend and develop students' basic knowledge of art history through the focussed analysis of modern and contemporary art.

■ Develop students' critical awareness of the subject by identifying the wide variety of stylistic and cultural components of modern and contemporary art, examining its place within the broader context from the later 19th century to the current day.

■ Introduce students to some of the issues of methodology, historiography and context which are associated with this area of study.

■ Foster further transferable skills such as visual skills, independent learning and written presentation skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students should be able to:

■ Articulate, verbally and in writing, a comprehensive knowledge of modern and contemporary art, including the major art movements from the early 20th century to the present day.

■ Critically analyse and interpret major works of modern and contemporary art in terms of its imagery, function, methods of production and stylistic and cultural components.

■ Articulate an understanding of the stylistic and cultural components of modern and contemporary art, and the key debates surrounding it.

■ Identify and evaluate art historical approaches and interpretations of modern and contemporary art.

■ Demonstrate personal study skills in art-historical research and the ability to pursue investigation of a work of art or a theme using library, museum and gallery resources.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.