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									The University of Edinburgh
College of Humanities and Social Science

History of Art and Fine Art

                                                                                                                            In third and fourth years, History of Art students
What are History of Art and                                “This course has been perfect
                                                                                                                            may choose from a very wide range of one-
Fine Art?                                                  for me. The combined nature of                                   semester, specialised option courses, including
History of Art centres on the study of works of art.       the History of Art and Fine Art                                  Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern
These range from the traditional arts - painting,          programme allows for a stimulating                               subjects in Europe, the Islamic world and China.
drawing, sculpture, architecture and print-making                                                                           It is also possible to take some courses from
- to a wide spectrum of other media: photography,
                                                           fusion of the academic and the                                   other subject areas. Project work is undertaken,
video art, installation or the poster. History of Art      creative. Access to the outstanding                              including the option of gaining work experience
explores the relationship between art and society.         facilities and dynamic staff provides                            through a Work Placement. In the final year all
This can take many forms. How was a work of                                                                                 students write a dissertation of 10,000 words.
                                                           a diverse yet supportive framework,
art made, who was it made for, and why? How
did people understand it originally, and how have          encouraging a personal development                               MA Honours Fine Art
interpretations of the work changed over time?             of what I believe is a truly                                     Throughout the five-year Fine Art degree students
How did abstract ideas, social structures, historical                                                                       spend half their time studying academic subjects
                                                           stimulating, well-rounded degree
processes, or religious beliefs cause works of                                                                              and the other half of their time working in studios.
art to look how they do? These questions apply             programme”
as much to a medieval cathedral, an altarpiece             Georgina Bolton,                                                 Over the first two years, students take introductory
by Raphael, an Impressionist landscape, or a               5th year, Fine Art student                                       courses in the history of art plus some additional
portrait by Warhol. History of Art requires us to                                                                           elements. By the end of second year they will
think adventurously about creativity and society.
Knowing how to look enormously enhances                    What do the degrees actually                                     be acquainted with the art of a very wide range
                                                                                                                            of periods and cultures: from ancient Greece
both our understanding of history and of the               involve?                                                         and Rome through to the present day, including
contemporary world. At Edinburgh, the Fine Art                                                                              significant elements of Islamic and Chinese art.
degree enables students to combine history with
                                                           MA Honours History of Art
                                                                                                                            They will also have a grounding in issues of
                                                           The History of Art programme at Edinburgh falls
practical art.                                                                                                              methodology and theory relevant to the study of
                                                           into two parts. Over the first two years, students
                                                                                                                            the history of art. In the first year, for example,
                                                           take introductory courses in the history of art
                                                                                                                            a student is required to take History of Art 1,
Why study History of Art or                                and in the history of architecture, plus one or two
                                                                                                                            covering aspects of the history of art in the post-
                                                           freely-chosen outside subjects. By the end of
Fine Art at Edinburgh?                                     second year they will be acquainted with the art
                                                                                                                            medieval period, and also to take a freely-chosen
Edinburgh, with all the facilities of a capital city                                                                        outside subject.
                                                           and architecture of a very wide range of periods
combined with a spectacular natural and built              and cultures: from ancient Greece and Rome
environment, is an excellent place to study art                                                                             All the courses taken in first and second year will
                                                           through to the present day, including significant
and the history of art. In UK terms, the University                                                                         normally consist of two hours of lectures and a
                                                           elements of Islamic and Chinese art. They will
offers a particularly wide range of expertise, not                                                                          one-hour tutorial each week. In third and fourth
                                                           also have a grounding in issues of methodology
just in Western art, but also in Middle Eastern                                                                             years, students choose four courses from a range
                                                           and theory relevant to the study of the history of
and Oriental art. The outstanding international                                                                             of specialised one-semester topics, including
                                                           art. In the first year a student is required to take
holdings of the National Galleries and the                                                                                  Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern
                                                           History of Art 1, Architectural History 1, and a
National Museums of Scotland provide direct                                                                                 subjects in Europe, the Islamic world and China.
                                                           freely-chosen outside subject. All the courses
access to major masterpieces of all the periods                                                                             All students are required to undertake project
                                                           taken in first and second year will normally consist
and cultures studied. For the study of Scottish                                                                             work of different kinds in their third and fourth
                                                           of two hours of lectures and a one-hour tutorial
art, the collections of the National Galleries                                                                              years. In the final (5th) year, all students write a
                                                           each week.
are unrivalled. Superb book and manuscript                                                                                  dissertation of 10,000 words.
collections are housed in the 400-year old
University Library, and in the National Library of                                                                          The practical curriculum involves a first,
Scotland. Edinburgh College of Art is one of the                                                                            introductory year, which includes the study of
best-equipped art colleges in Europe.                                                                                       painting, sculpture, photography and intermedia.
                                                                                                                            After which the student decides on their
                                                                                                                            specialism and thereafter concentrates his/
                                                                                                                            her work on that. Throughout the course great
                                                                                                                            emphasis is placed on drawing.
  Degrees in Humanities and Social Science

  MA Honours in:                                                                                                            What can I study History of
  Fine Art
  History of Art
                                                              French and History of Art
                                                              German and History of Art
                                                                                                                            Art with?
                                                                                                                            A range of joint honours degrees are available.
  History of Art and Architectural History                    History and History of Art
                                                                                                                            Many of them combine History of Art with a
  History of Art and Chinese Studies                          Italian and History of Art
                                                              Russian Studies and History of Art                            modern language: Arabic, Chinese, French,
  History of Art and English or Scottish Literature
                                                              Spanish and History of Art                                    German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish. There are
  History of Art and History of Music
  Arabic and History of Art                                                                                                 also degrees with Architectural History, English or
                                                                                                                            Scottish Literature, History, and History of Music.

                                    The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336
History of Art and Fine Art

What sorts of teaching and                              Courses are taught and examined in the language
                                                        of the host institution, so applicants for exchange
                                                                                                                     Museum and Gallery curators: John Leighton,
                                                                                                                     Director General, National Galleries
assessment methods are used?                            places must develop their language skills in                 of Scotland; Homan Potterton, former Director
In History of Art 1 and History of Art 2 (the           advance. While abroad students prepare essays                of National Gallery of Ireland; Lorne
courses in history of art taken in the first and        and begin work on a dissertation in History of               Campbell, National Gallery, London; Michael
second years of study), students are taught             Art. There are also exchange opportunities for               Taylor, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
through lectures (two per week) and tutorials (one      study in North American universities. Exchanges          •   Higher Education: Ian Howard, Principal,
per week). Lectures may be attended by very             always take place in the third year of study and             Edinburgh College of Art and Treasurer of the
large numbers of students; tutorial classes on the      normally need to be arranged in the first semester           Royal Scottish Academy; Gavin Robson,
other hand, are made up of small groups. Some           of second year.                                              Professor of Fine Art, Newcastle University.
tutorials take place in galleries and museums                                                                    •   Commercial Galleries: Jay Jopling, White
in Edinburgh. Assessment is on the basis of             Are there any links with                                 •
                                                                                                                     Cube Gallery.
                                                                                                                     Arts administration: Isobel Johnstone, Arts
a combination of course work, attendance /
contribution, and examination. In the specialised       industry and commerce?                                       Council; Stuart Macdonald, Head of Scottish
courses taken in the third and fourth years,            A work placement (in a gallery, museum, heritage             Arts Council.
students are generally taught in small groups with      organisation etc.) is one of the options available to
emphasis on discussion and student participation.       students in the third year of the History of Art MA.
The work placement requires students to attend                                                                   How do I find out more?
art-related institutions within the city for one day    Are there any bursaries or                               Enquiries and requests for further information
                                                                                                                 about our courses are welcomed and should be
per week for the first half of the year, followed
by a period for writing-up a report. Students who       scholarships available?                                  addressed to:
choose to present a critical portfolio write a series   A substantial award is made to the best male
                                                                                                                 History of Art
of critical reviews of exhibitions they have seen.      and to the best female student in History of
                                                                                                                 The University of Edinburgh
Most students write dissertations during their          Art 1 (at the end of the first year). In following

                                                                                                                                                                      PDF version available at: www.ed.ac.uk/studying/undergraduate/information-sheets
                                                                                                                 Minto House
final year of study, extended pieces of work on         years there are several generous scholarships,
                                                                                                                 20 Chambers Street
topics of their own choice researched under the         awarded on merit, including the ‘Baldwin Brown
                                                                                                                 Edinburgh, EH1 1JZ
guidance of a supervisor with expertise in the          Travelling Scholarship’ and the ‘Carnegie Vacation
field.                                                  Scholarship’. There is also the Barnson Bequest
                                                                                                                 Telephone: 0131 650 4124
                                                        which supports vacation activities such as courses
                                                                                                                 Email: histart@ed.ac.uk
                                                        of a cultural nature, fieldwork or other studies.
Are there any opportunities to                                                                                   Web: www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/
study abroad?                                           What can I do after my degree?
All the joint degrees with History of Art and           Students graduating with History of Art and Fine         For more information on Edinburgh College
languages involve a period of study abroad in the       Art degrees have gone on to occupy distinguished         of Art, please visit: www.ed.ac.uk/schools-
appropriate country, usually lasting one year. In       and influential positions in many areas of the art       departments/edinburgh-college-art
addition, History of Art has a well-established and     world, as museum curators and conservators,
highly successful programme of exchanges with           research and teaching staff in higher education,         For more detailed information on degree
universities in European capital cities, including      and as artists and art administrators, in Scotland,      structure and content, please see:
Brussels, Dublin, Madrid, Paris, Rome and               Britain and beyond. For example:                         www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/student-
Vienna. Exchanges are also possible with Berlin,                                                                 recruitment/publications-resources/degree-
Montpelier, Bologna and Siena.                                                                                   programmes

                                                                                                                                                       (April 2012)
Typical degree curriculum: MA Honours in History of Art
  1st Year                                   2nd Year                           3rd Year                                        4th Year

                                                                                                                                                                      Printed on recycled paper for Student Recruitment and Admissions – www.ed.ac.uk/student-recruitment
  History of Art 1                           History of Art 2                   Two History of Art 3 Honours options            Two History of Art 4 Honours
  Architectural History 1                    Classical Art 2                     e.g Sexual Politics and the Image, and          options e.g. The
   (or alternative outside subject)          Architectural History 2B            Modern Art in Shanghai (or                      Renaissance Body, and
  History of Music 1 (or alternative          (or alternative outside            alternative honours options)                    Art after Photography (or
   outside subject)                           subject)                          Further courses                                  alternative honours options)
                                                                                Project work: Either work placement or          History of Art Dissertation
                                                                                 Critical Portfolio                             Further courses

Typical degree curriculum: MA Honours in Fine Art
  1st Year                          2nd Year                         3rd Year                         4th Year                        5th Year
  History of Art 1                  History of Art 2            Velazquez in Context and              Persian Painting and            Dissertation
  Architectural History 1           Classical Art 2A             Dada and Surrealism                   Myth and History in            Practice based work in
   (or alternative outside          Practical work in Art:       (or alternative honours               Scottish Modern and             Art leading to
   subject)                          students take specialised   options)                              Contemporary Art                exhibition of work in
  Practical work in Art:             courses in Intermedia Art, Analytical Report                      (or alternative honours         Edinburgh College of
   preliminary course of              Painting, Photography     Practice based work in Art             options)                        Art’s degree show
   study in Intermedia Art,           and Sculpture                                                   Analytical Report
   Painting, Photography                                                                              Practice based work in Art
   and Sculpture

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this leaflet at the time of going to press. However, it will not form part of a contract between the
University and a student or applicant and must be read in conjunction with the Terms and Conditions of Admission set out in the Undergraduate Prospectus.

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