History of Art MA

History Of Art 2B HISTART2005

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course investigates important artistic and art historical debates that drive the relationship between the individual artist and the tradition(s) in which they find themselves and with art's wider sense of the past, culminating in the emergence of modernism in the nineteenth century and contemporary art from the 1950s to the present.


Lectures: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 13.00 over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus; weekly one hour seminar (choice of times) over 9 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





1 essay of 2,500 words - 50%

1 examination at 90 minutes - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The course aims to: 

■ extend and develop the basic knowledge of the discipline gained in the Level-1 course [or equivalent] by introducing them to a number of themes and areas not previously encountered.

■ develop a critical awareness of the discipline by introducing students to some of the issues of methodology, historiography and context which are particularly associated with these areas of study.

■ foster further transferable skills such as time-management, problem-identification & problem-solving, visual skills, independent learning, written presentation.

■ prepare students intending to take the Honours Degree by introducing them to the kind of closely focussed analysis which they may be expected to encounter in their 3rd and 4th years of study.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ analyse art works from the modern and contemporary periods in terms of their function, imagery, formal properties and content.

■ identify and critically engage with key questions and debates concerning the role of art across the institutional, historiographic, social and political contexts of the modern and contemporary periods.

■ evaluate art historical approaches and interpretations of originality, tradition and the individual imagination in a range of periods, including modern/contemporary art.

■ deliver a well-structured and academically sound argument in response to the questions set in the research essay and examination, employing correct art-historical terminology and vocabulary as well as illustrations.

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.