Methodology of Art History with Placement HISTART4058

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course provides a theoretical, classroom-based introduction to key methodologies of Art History, complemented by a work placement in a relevant arts/heritage organisation. It is intended to promote employability through opportunity for practical experience of applying knowledge and understanding of art historical methodologies in a work context.


1 x 1hr lecture; 1 x 1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus in Semester 1. This is one of the Honours options for History of Art and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are scheduled in MyCampus.


The placement part of the course will normally consist of weekly or bi-weekly sessions of 30 hours in total within the Semester 2 teaching period, according to a schedule mutually agreed between the College Creative Placement Officer, the placement provider, and the student.  The course may be taken both full and part-time.

Requirements of Entry

Available to students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History of Art.


Admission to the course will be competitive, on the basis of a 300-word application statement, a brief CV, and (if required) an interview with History of Art tutor/s and Placement Provider supervisor.

Excluded Courses

HISTART4031 Methodology of Art History




Essay (2,500-3,000 words) - 50%

Placement Report (3,000-4,000 words) - 50%


Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course will provide the opportunity to:


■ foster awareness of a range of art-historical methodologies and their role both in the writing of art history, and in the conservation, management, interpretation, or other relevant curatorial/archival work associated with the historical collections of a creative arts organisation;

■ provide an opportunity for practical application of art-historical knowledge and skills by means of a relevant work placement.

■ acquire a range of transferrable academic skills of relevance both to further study in the discipline, and to employability (teamwork, time-management, problem-solving, project-planning, communication, etc.).

■ develop a richer understanding by students of graduate attributes of relevance to employability.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ understand and comment critically on key art historical methodologies and their practical significance in the work of museums, galleries, libraries and other organisations concerned with the preservation, display and documentation of art, artefacts, and other historical and cultural material.

■ recognise and critically evaluate some of the key assumptions which inform recent/contemporary writing of art history, and the preservation/use/display of art, artefacts or archives by the organisation providing the placement;

■ apply knowledge of the discipline and its methodologies to a given practical project in an art-historically relevant work-situation, and evaluate critically the outcomes of this process.

■ identify and reflect critically on the role of key generic skills (problem-solving, project-planning, individual or team-work etc.) exercised in the placement undertaken.

■ present in clear, accessible language the knowledge and understanding developed through study of art-historical methodologies and through their application in the placement project.

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.