Name of Programme: ba honours in Art History

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Name of Programme:

BA Honours in Art History

Final award (BSc, MA etc):

Bachelor of Arts with Honors

Awarding institution/body:

University of Buckingham

Teaching institution:

University of Buckingham

School of Study:


Parent Department: (the department responsible for the administration of the programme)

History of Art and Heritage Management

Length of the programme:

(please note any periods spent away from Buckingham, e.g placements)

Method of study: Full-time/Part-time/Other


Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) Level
(see Guidance notes, section D – External Reference Points)

Relevant subject benchmark statement (SBS) (see Guidance notes, section D – External Reference Points)

  1. : History of Art, Architecture and Design [2008 Revised]; History [2010]

  2. Does the Programme comply with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ)? Yes

Professional body accreditation

(if applicable):

Criteria for admission to the programme:

Cohort(s) to which this programme specification is applicable:(e.g.from 2012 intake onwards)




Summary of Programme

Educational Aims of the Programme

In Art History this programme is designed to provide students with an historical knowledge of western art and architecture (mainly European and British, with some American in the modern periods) from classical antiquity to the contemporary from which to progress to specialised studies which focus on subjects investigated in detail and in depth to develop understanding of art historical methods and materials, complemented by studying aspects of the histories of collecting, design and the decorative arts, and also combined with heritage studies to engage with applied and professional areas to which the academic study of art and architecture in their cultural contexts is directly relevant. In the history of art the programme builds on the knowledge acquired through period survey course concentrating on the main developments in the fine arts and architecture by developing awareness of the critical approaches involved in analysing the visual evidence of style, subject, form and content to situate works of art and monuments in their cultural, intellectual and creative contexts through concentrating on selected themes or topics which exemplify critical, methodological and interpretational concepts relevant to art historians. Visual analysis and historical understanding are developed through period surveys and specialist topics; critical studies courses contribute an informed awareness of different approaches to interpreting art and architecture culturally and contextually. Period surveys are supported and supplemented by studying selected topics through which an understanding of critical concepts and their intellectual applications to interpreting the visual and material cultures of different periods will be developed so that students are familiar with art historical methods and discourses and can utilise them effectively as appropriate in a research or practice based project at the conclusion of their studies. A distinctive feature of the programme content is the inclusion of aspects of design and decorative arts and collecting history, extending the core curriculum to areas often omitted from a first degree syllabus in art history but intrinsically relevant to appreciating the relationship of the visual arts and architecture to their wider cultural contexts, and by enlarging students’ awareness of their historical significance expanding their visual and intellectual comprehension of the subject. For all elements of the programme classes will include study visits through which acquired academic knowledge is reinforced by direct contact with works of art and architecture in the original.

The programme aims to develop through the distinctively multidisciplinary nature of the history of art, architecture and design a range of visual, historical and critical skills for analysing primary evidence through works of art or architecture and their documentation to understand their original creative and cultural context or their significance beyond the particular time or place of their production, and to assess different approaches to interpreting the aesthetic properties or content of images, objects, buildings or other forms of artistic expression. Assignments encourage learning through visual analysis and historical research presented in exercises, essays and class presentations to develop skills in selecting and organising information

to construct arguments using a range of sources supported by appropriate use of illustrative material. Visits to museums, monuments and sites supplement lectures and seminar classes with experiential learning designed to contribute to the art historical curriculum and to relate academic study to practical observation.

The programme aims to equip graduates to enter professional employment in the wide range of careers for which the information management, organisational and communications skills commensurate with a humanities degrees prepares them, as well as a suitable qualification for further academic study, graduate training or employment at an appropriate level in areas for which the subjects studied are particularly relevant.
In HISTORY the programme is designed to provide students with an understanding of historical methods and interpretations of evidence through the study of selected topics which afford an awareness of the shaping of the modern world and engage with fundamental areas of knowledge. Exposure to historical discourses and the analysis of major aspects of national and international history in the modern period will contribute to students’ abilities to process evidence and information critically, to form judgements based on assessing sources, and to develop arguments and draw considered conclusions from the evidence, as well as approaching differing interpretations with awareness of alternative viewpoints. Historical rigour and method complement and reinforce comparable academic processes applied to the study of art and cultural history in the Major Subject, developing skills which are applicable to both subjects studied.

Programme Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding of:

1.Broad historical knowledge of western art and architecture from the classical to modern periods.

2.Ability to characterise visual evidence and analyse it historically and culturally.

3.Awareness of critical concepts informing the interpretation of content and context in art and architectural history.

4.Understanding the significance to the history of art and architecture of related areas of study concerned with material culture.

5.HISTORY: through study of selected topics the ability to identify salient historical evidence and analyse events and historical interpretations in a critically informed manner.

6.HISTORY: detailed understanding of topics studied providing comprehension and understanding of the principles of historical method, analysis and interpretation of evidence, ability to evaluate and use primary and secondary sources.

Teaching/Learning Strategy

Explain the teaching and learning methods and strategies used to help students achieve each part of the knowledge and understanding

Lectures and seminars with study visits to sites and collections for direct observation and learning from original works .

1.Survey courses: lectures on historical developments and seminar classes to study key works, topics, and monuments.

2.Introduction to visual analysis; survey and specialist courses using visual imagery develop skills throughout programme.

3.Specialist subject courses develop methods and interpretations; advanced concepts course for dissertation/project.

4. Dedicated courses for design and decorative arts and history of collecting.

5.HISTORY: Lectures and seminars to develop knowledge of areas studied and to provide understanding of approaches to historical analysis.

6.HISTORY: Directed independent study and class discussion to develop analytical approaches.

Assessment Strategy:

Explain the strategies used to assess the achievement of each part of the knowledge and understanding

Formative Assessment

ART HISTORY Essays, Visual Analysis Exercises, Critical Reviews, Seminar Presentations to develop approaches to observation and interpretation.

HISTORY Essays and class discussion develop historical comprehension.
Summative Assessment

ART HISTORY Essays to demonstrate historical understanding, development of critical concepts, heritage studies.

Examinations to test historical knowledge and specialist studies..

Comparative visual exercises from identified images.

Dissertation/Project Report to assess integration of research and interpretational understanding.

HISTORY Examinations and assessed assignments evaluate progression in knowledge and analysis.

Cognitive (thinking) skills:

1.Sourcing,selecting and applying information to construct arguments and contextualise topics from appropriate evidence.

2.Synthesise, summarise and analyse critical interpretations.

3.Identify relevant approaches to presenting and discussing ideas, evidence and critical concepts relevant to the subject area.

4.Plan and complete an independent research project, managing, appraising and organising information tosuppor tconclusions, communicate ideas and demonstrate critical judgement using primary observation and secondary sources.

Teaching/Learning Strategy:

Explain the teaching and learning methods and strategies used to help students achieve each part of the cognitive skills

lectures and seminar classes in which methods, approaches and interpretational techniques are introduced and discussed.

1.Course bibliographies and advice for formative exercises, essays, presentations.

2.Directed reading for methods and interpretations; developed through special studies courses in different subject areas.

3.Use of evidence in classes and assignments.

4.Research undertaken with an assigned adviser to provide guidance in identifying sources and developing a project or dissertation.

Assessment Strategy:

Explain the strategies used to assess the achievement of each part of the cognitive skills


Formative Assessment

All assignments involve applying cognitive skills in using relevant information to develop ideas and interpret a range of visual and other evidence.

Summative Assessment

Essays demonstrate appropriate use of research and observation to construct and communicate concepts and arguments from relevant sources.

Dissertation/Project Report demonstrates research and analytical skills, presentation demonstrates conformity to academic conventions.

Practical/Transferable skills (able to):

1.Ability to collate and communicate relevant information in a clear and structured form in writing and orally using selected visual or other forms of evidence to illustrate and support the topic discussed.

2.Ability to articulate ideas and interpretations clearly to develop arguments and draw conclusions from the sources consulted and information cited.

3.Ability to make informed critical judgements of sources consulted in different media and contexts.

4.Ability to engage constructively and creatively in seminars and contribute ideas and observations to class discussions and study visits.

5.Ability to draw on a variety of sources to inform understanding and interpret artefacts and arguments.

1.Time and project management for undertaking research and completing assignments.

2.Using IT skills to exploit and evaluate sources of information available electronically, research and use visual databases, process text, use illustrations in assignments and class presentations.

3.Bibliographical and information retrieval.

4.Professional presentation of referenced papers and extended discussion of researched topic.

Teaching/Learning Strategy:

Explain the teaching and learning methods and strategies used to help students achieve each part of the practical/transferable skills

1.Essays and Dissertation develop independent learning, information management and selection,

appropriate organisation of material and illustrations. Seminar presentations and participation, study visits engaging with observation and discussion of original works, develop oral presentation skills.

2.Essays, Dissertation develop writing skills.

3.Essays, Dissertation demonstrating selection of referenced sources and assessment of views and opinions where appropriate.

4.Participation in seminar classes and study visits.

5.Written work develops academic analysis of sources and personal observation.

1.Tutorial advice and guidance in preparing and presenting assignments.

2.IT training as necessary available from central University IT Services.

3.Tutorial guidance preparing assignments, Library training as necessary, course bibliographies.

4.Essays and assignments develop appropriate skills for presenting material according to accepted conventions and academic practice in the subject.

Assessment Strategy:

Explain the strategies used to assess the achievement of each part of the practical/transferable skills

Formative Assessment

Essays, Seminar Class Presentations and Participation develop and demonstrate appropriate use of information and ability to communicate ideas.
Summative Assessment

Essays and assignments demonstrate acquisition of skills and competencies in sourcing and using information relevantly to develop ideas and present arguments clearly.

Dissertation/Project Report demonstrates organisation of information and effective use of sources, presentation of material and engagement with ideas and arguments.

Formative Assessment

Practical and academic skills are continuously monitored through tutorial advice, guidance in preparing and feedback from assignments.
Summative Assessment

Acquired practical and academic skills appropriate to particular subjects, exercises and levels of study contribute to the appraisal of quality demonstrated through assessed assignments contributing in whole or in part to the assessment of individual courses and to the award of the degree, culminating in the Dissertation/Project Report.

External Reference Points

The following reference points were used in designing the programme

  • Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (;

  • Relevant Subject Benchmark Statement(s) (;

  • Other (list)

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the departmental or programme handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Programme Director(s) Name(s):

Date of Production:

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee

Date approved by School Board of Study

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee

Date of Annual Review:

Art History [BA Hons] Final Year for Art History Level 6 Transfer Students: September Entry Full Time (3 Terms)
All modules are 15 units unless otherwise indicated.




Critical Concepts and Developments in Art History (6)

Art, Culture, Context (Study Tour Course) (5)

Secession Vienna 1880-1920
[or other approved course]



Design and the Decorative Arts,

Special Study 1:

Renaissance to Industrialisation (6)
[or other approved course]

History of Collecting, Special Study 1:

Connoisseurs, Collectors, Art Dealers (6)
[or other approved course]

Dissertation (Term 1) (6)



Design and the Decorative Arts,

Special Study 2:

Arts and Crafts to Bauhaus and Beyond (6)
[or other approved course]

History of Collecting, Special Study 2:

Museums and Art History

[or other approved course]

Dissertation (Term 2 Completion) (30 credits) (6)


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