Skip to main content

Doing Art History


There are no classes currently available for registration.


Our Doing Art History short course revolves around eight art historical case studies, using well-known and less familiar objects in a variety of media, from the Middle Ages to now. Seminar discussions focus on visual appearances, materials and techniques and how they contribute to our understanding of a work, to learn how to visually analyse works and the difference between description and analysis.

These skills will be developed during workshops, in which we also read a range of art historical texts to begin to learn the conventions of art historical writing and how to use them in our own writing.

Case studies typically include celebrated works from national collections available in London, such as the National Gallery and Tate Modern, and elsewhere. Examples include:

  • Jan van Eyck Arnolfini, Double Portrait of a young man and woman, 1434, National Gallery, London
  • Bernini, Apollo and Daphne, 1622-5, Galleria Borghese, Rome
  • St Pancras station, George Gilbert Scott and William Henry Barlow, 1865-1876
  • Liz Arthur Johnson, Time Don’t Run Here, at Tate Modern, made during the Black Lives Matter protests throughout summer 2020 in London

Assessment of this course is via two visual analyses of 500 and 1000 words (10% and 50%) and a 1000-word article/chapter summary (40%).

This can be taken as a standalone short course or as a part of:

30 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.