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The Art of Describing - HOA00008C

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Information currently unavailable
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19 to Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

This module has two interrelated aims: it introduces students to the study of objects at first hand, and it teaches them how to describe these experiences in words. The teaching is therefore divided between field visits and the seminar room.

Module learning outcomes

  • To have visited works of art and architecture in local museums, galleries and other public spaces.
  • An ability to analyse works of art in the original, and an understanding of its potential application.
  • An ability to describe works of art and architecture in written prose.


Task Length % of module mark
1500 word essay
N/A 90
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral contribution
N/A 10

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
1500 word essay
N/A 90

Module feedback

Feedback on summative exams within six weeks.

Indicative reading

  • Baxandall, Michael, Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures (1985).
  • Jordanova, Ludmilla, The Look of the Past: Visual and Material Evidence in Historical Practice (2012).
  • Nelson, Robert S. and Richard Shiff, Critical Terms for Art History (2nd ed., 2003).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students