Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

The Authentic Art Work: Interpretation, Conservation, Presentation. HISTART5064

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course addresses issues around authenticity in art which is increasingly considered to be a concept in flux. Authenticity or rather authenticities will be approached from various points of view: material, conceptual, and contextual, based on case studies and various theoretical approaches concerning the interpretation and preservation of the authentic artwork.


Lecture/seminar combined 2.5 hours per week for 9 weeks.

One-day on site seminar visit : 6.5 hours

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College Level

Excluded Courses





Essay 80% 4,000 words

Presentation 20% 15 minutes 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Examine approaches to the concept of the authentic artwork using theories from the philosophy of art, aesthetics, technical art history and material culture.

■ Critically examine the debate surrounding the themes of the course.

■ Develop students' understanding of the concept of authenticity as applied in real life situations.

■ Develop students' analytical and discussion skills in relation to the application of theories from the philosophy of art, aesthetics, technical art history and material culture to works of art, with the aim of holistically exploring the concept of the authentic artwork.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Thoroughly understand the historical approaches to the concept of authenticity (including theories from the philosophy of art, aesthetics, technical art history and material culture).

■ Identify key issues concerning the definition of 'the authentic artwork' and be able to critically reflect and analyse the debates surrounding authenticity in art production, conservation and presentation, both in oral presentations/ class debates and in written argument.

■ Evaluate and select appropriate approaches in order to produce reasoned and informed arguments on the topic of the authenticity of specific existing artworks in the context of interpretation, conservation and presentation.

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.