This programme specification is aimed at prospective students and represents the most current course structure.
SECTION A: DETAILS OF THE COURSE AND AWARD
|Programme:||ART HISTORY AND THEORY|
|Awarding body:||University of Essex|
|Teaching institution:||University of Essex|
|Department:||Art History and Theory|
|NQF Level of Qualification:||Master|
|Full / Part Time||Full-time or part-time or by credit accumulation|
|QAA Benchmark Group:||History of Art, Architecture and Design|
| Admission criteria:
if the applicant does not meet the specified criteria, he or she may discuss the application with the Head of Undergraduate or Head of Postgraduate admissions.
|BA degree of Upper Second class standard or above in Art History or other Humanities subject, or an equivalent qualification. BA in Fine Art should contain Art History as a significant component. Applicants with other qualifications may be asked to enrol for the Graduate Diploma (see separate Programme Specification) before proceeding to the MA. Language requirements: IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL 250 (600) or comparable.|
SECTION B: PROGRAMME AIMS, OUTCOMES, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT METHODS
This section provides a concise overview of the programme of study, identifying the aims, learning outcomes and the corresponding methods of learning, teaching and assessment.
Programme: MA ART HISTORY AND THEORY
To offer a varied, flexible and distinctive postgraduate curriculum across the field of Art History and Theory. To provide the opportunity for an in-depth understanding of aspects of art history from Early Renaissance art and architecture to the present day, including systematic knowledge informed by advanced work in the field, and for some original work either by developing new material or in the application of ideas to existing material. To develop in students the research skills appropriate to the study of visual artefacts, and to art history as a field of study, and to provide the basis for them to develop the necessary levels of skill and knowledge required to progress to research degree level. To develop sound understanding of interpretative methods and forms of questioning appropriate to visual artefacts; including historical inquiry, theory of representation, aesthetic approaches to the value and function of visual art, and critical approaches to the conditions of the production, consumption, interpretation or reinterpretation of visual artefacts. To encourage both critical engagement with and enjoyment of the visual arts, particularly through first-hand observation. To provide the knowledge and skills (critical inquiry and argument, imaginative understanding, written, spoken and visual interpretation, communication and presentation) that will not only stand students in good stead for more specialised academic careers, but will also enhance their opportunities for employment in a wide range of other careers. Note: The outcomes listed below represent the minimum that might be expected of an MA graduate from the Department of Art History and Theory of the University of Essex. It is the intention of the Department that the vast majority of graduates will achieve significantly more.
Programme Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A1 : A range of visual art from the Early Renaissance to the present day, including theoretical issues that have been central to the Western European tradition in visual art.|
A2 : The relationships of works of visual art to the broader cultural context.
A3 : (in greater depth) one or more artists, exhibitions, places, theoretical texts and/or forms of European visual art, or of Latin America
A4 : Some substantive areas of current research in the field of study including an awareness of the development of these areas of research
A5 : The methods of critical analysis and argument appropriate to visual artefacts
A6 : The concepts, values and debates that inform study and practice in the field
B1 : Analyse a complex body of material, which may be incomplete, breaking it down into component points or parts and highlighting the most significant among them|
B2 : Reason critically and offer judgements based on argument that can be communicated effectively to a specialist or non-specialist audience
B3 : Think independently and with an open-mind, sometimes making connections between familiar and new ideas or material
B4 : Solve problems using knowledge and experience
C1 : Visual Skills; including observation (including recognition of materials and techniques but also other aspects of works of visual art such as formal organisation or narrative structure), description (using ordinary as well as specialised language) and interpretation (recognising necesary differences between different forms of art, between language and visual art, making appropriate use of personal responses, relating works of visual art to historical and contemporary cultural context)|
C2 : Research Skills: including use of appropriate methods to locate primary and secondary sources, and works of visual art, but also forming research questions and pursuing them autonomously
C3 : Critical Skills: including selection of relevant material, and appraisal of other people's arguments on the basis of familiarity with source materials and current literature
C4 : Writing Skills: including use of proper academic conventions, creating logical and structured narratives, and effective use of language to convey particular and general responses of readers or viewers to works of visual art, and to articulate complex conceptual issues and create frameworks for understanding them
Communication: D1 : The ability to communicate information, arguments and ideas cogently and effectively in a range of different contexts using a range of different aids or resources; special ability to deploy visual material in a variety of media in the context of presentations or written work.
IT Skills: D2 : Students should be able to make use of IT for research purposes (including searchable databases such as library catalogues and internet sources). Word-processing is essential.
Problem Solving: D4 : Management of projects and timetables. Students should be able to apply knowledge and understanding in order to make judgements and offer solutions in a range of contexts.
Self Learning: D6 : Students should have the ability to: work to briefs and deadlines; take responsibility for their own work; reflect on their own learning and performance and make constructive use of feedback; develop their work independently of guidance for extended periods.
Learning, Teaching & Assessment Methods or Strategies for the following:
A.1-6 are acquired through module seminars and related coursework (with regular feedback, both oral and written, from tutors), and through the development of the dissertation in close consultation with a supervisor.
Students are fully expected to extend and enhance the knowledge and understanding they acquire from seminars by regularly consulting library or archival materials related to the course, or in order to provide wider context. This independent research is consolidated in essay work.
Assessment of students' knowledge and understanding takes place through coursework essays (1 4-5000 word essay or equivalent per module) and a dissertation of not more than 15-20,000 words.
The core modules 'Researching Art History I & II' provides specialist training in critical analysis and in the concepts, values and debates relevant to art history.
Intellectual and cognitive skills are practised in module seminars, either in responding to or giving presentations on agreed topics. The seminar work encourages critical discussion arising from the analysis and interpretation of texts or visual artefacts with an emphasis on being able to reason cogently, argue coherently, present one's own viewpoint persuasively, and learn from others. The seminars are intended as practice sessions for cognitive skills. Supervision of dissertations cultivates these skills through written commentary and discussion concerning the development of the research and on drafts of chapters.
Students translate the skills acquired collectively into individually assessed essays and the dissertation.
All MA teaching takes the form of seminars directed by a member of staff, but often developed in consultation with the students according to specific research interests in the group. The core modules 'Researching Art History I & II' provide training in research methods. Personal supervision is available to students in order to allow them to develop the topic for the essay in the relevant module. Considerable autonomy is encouraged in researching essays, the staff member aiming to assist in the formulation of research questions and in developing a strategy for answering them. All students are encouraged to attend the weekly Staff-Student Research Seminar, and to participate in debate on the topic presented.
There are detailed guidelines on the writing of MA dissertations in the Departmental handbook to supplement guidance given by the supervisor.
All four skills will be assessed via the essays and dissertation.
Communication is developed through seminar discussion. Visual media skills are developed through personal instruction to students using slide projectors or DVDs/VCRs in class, and through drawing attention to the media whereby visual images are presented to us, both in terms of informing students but also developing a critical appreciation of the relationship between image and context in any medium. Students are expected to acquire IT skills based on some initial guidance. Students will be given the opportunity to work constructively and productively in groups, and be able to participate effectively in seminars. All students present their plans for MA dissertations to their peers and to staff, using slides etc. as appropriate. Most seminars require students to present theories or historical material to the group, and to answer questions on the topic.
These skills are assessed through the essays and dissertation. The core module 'Researching Art History' provides training in IT and in developing and managing research projects.
SECTION C: COURSE STRUCTURE
Please refer to your option list as issued by the department where necessary,
and view module details in the module directory.
|Component No.||Module Code||Module Title||Status in Award||Status in PG Diploma||Status in PG Certificate|
|01||AR981-7-FY||DISSERTATION - MA SCHEMES||Core||Compulsory|
|02||AR932-7-AU||RESEARCHING ART HISTORY I||Core||Core||Core|
|03||AR933-7-SP||RESEARCHING ART HISTORY II||Core||Core||Compulsory|
|04||ONE COURSE FROM OPTION LIST (20 CREDITS)||Compulsory with Options||Compulsory||Compulsory|
|05||ONE COURSE FROM OPTION LIST (20 CREDITS)||Compulsory with Options||Compulsory||Compulsory|
|06||ONE COURSE FROM OPTION LIST (20 CREDITS)||Compulsory with Options||Compulsory||Compulsory|
SECTION D: RULES OF ASSESSMENT
Rules of assessment are here: http://www2.essex.ac.uk/academic/students/pgt/pgrules.htm
Assessment information for individual modules can be found on the Module Directory at http://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/
External Examiner Information
- Name: Dr Martin Hammer
- Institution: THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
- Academic Role: Reader
The University of Essex Programme Specifications Catalogue is updated annually in April/May. The specifications represent the most current course structures and may be subject to review and change. Should you have any queries about the Catalogue's pages, please contact the Course Records Team, Systems Administration Office, Academic Section; email: crt (non Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk)