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HA1065/HA1066 Introduction to the Practice of Art History 1 and 2

Module Organisers: Dr Rachel Moss
Duration of the Module: Michaelmas and Hilary Semesters (all year)
Contact Hours: 1 lecture pw, and 1 x 2-hour seminar per fortnight
Weighting: 5 + 5 ECTS

The purpose of this module is to provide students with relevant terminology and methodology for analysing visual images, objects and structures and to introduce them to some of the methodologies pertinent to the study of the discipline. This module takes advantage of the collections, arrangements and streetscapes in, and in the vicinity of the College in order to engage directly with the art objects wherever feasible. Thus seminars take place in galleries, museums and in public spaces, as well as in the classroom.

In addition to a weekly lecture, IPAH supplements the other JF modules by working in slightly smaller, less formal groups. These sessions provide opportunities to engage with artifacts at first hand and in depth, to explore questions of display, materials and techniques, observation and interpretation.

Attendance is compulsory; it is the student's responsibility to sign the attendance sheet on each occasion. Details of seminars will be provided at the outset of the module, posted on the website and on the notice board. Students should consult this for the locations of each seminar, and the required preparatory reading or study for each seminar.


This module is assessed entirely on coursework. A number of exercises and essays must be submitted during the year. Full details of topics and submission dates will posted on the notice board, or proivided on the relevant web pages. In addition, there will be a series of slide tests, and terminology tests, related to material covered in the module.

It is a requirement to submit all coursework, to do so by the specified deadlines, and to attend the tests, in order to be eligible for module credits.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • identify and suggest dates for works of art and architecture they have studied
  • provide definitions for artistic and architectural terms
  • analyse the materials and techniques used in the production of works of art and architecture, using appropriate vocabulary
  • undertake informed and critical analysis of works of art, and communicate their conclusions clearly in written and oral forms
  • explain the typology and functions of visual art and architecture with reference to appropriate examples
  • explain the main principles involved in the display of objects in museums, galleries and other settings

Last updated 10 September 2018