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BA Dissertation (History of Art) - HOA00030H

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Jeanne Nuechterlein
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

The Dissertation is a sustained piece of work on a topic of the student’s own choice. It enables students to undertake extensive independent research, engage critically with existing scholarship, identify an original contribution to the chosen field, and develop and sustain an extended argument.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25 to Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The Dissertation is designed to allow students to practice and develop the art-historical skills they have learnt during their time in York. Students produce a piece of extended written work that is the result of extensive research on their chosen subject, and that shows they have engaged in independent investigation and thinking. It offers the opportunity to make original contributions to the understanding of a specific topic in the history of art.

The Dissertation is an inquiry, not a report of facts, or a mere statement of opinion. The topic should produce a question, or a set of questions, that the student pursues in their writing. It is essential to make a coherent argument that emerges out of, and is backed up by, the material researched. The subject may arise out of, or be generally related to a module which the student has already studied, but should not duplicate topics which have been specifically covered in taught modules.

This module will further enhance students’ core skills in research and writing, the analysis of visual and textual sources, library and IT use, and transferable skills in communication, time management, and organisation.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:

  • Undertake independent research on a focused art historical topic

  • Identify and engage with an appropriate range of visual and textual sources

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with relevant contextual materials and critical approaches

  • Evaluate key debates within the relevant critical fields dealing with the chosen research topic

  • Produce independent arguments and ideas which demonstrate an advanced proficiency in critical thinking, research, and writing skills


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

You will receive feedback on assessed work within the timeframes set out by the University - please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

The purpose of feedback is to help you to improve your future work. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further, you are warmly encouraged to meet your Supervisor during their Office Hours.

Indicative reading

The relevant texts vary according to the individual topic

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.