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History of Art

Existing Examination board: Edexcel/Pearson
Existing History of Art A level last examination in June 2018
New History of Art A level first examination June 2019.

History of Art is a very popular subject at Fine Arts College. A-level History of Art assumes no prior knowledge of this area of study and is suitable for a range of students who wish to develop their interest in, and enjoyment of, the subject.

The subject examines the relationships between society and art, exploring how historical and social contexts contribute to the interpretation and meaning of painting, sculpture and architecture. Students develop a historical and critical awareness of great works from Ancient Greece and Rome to present day.

Students also acquire an understanding of key techniques, colour, styles, composition and the use of visual signs. Teaching is centred on class discussions and presentations using slides and online materials. Students acquire a sophisticated grasp of research skills through regular essay writing, the analysis of works of art and architecture and critiquing art-historical texts. For this reason students develop strong critical thinking skills and the ability to analyse and interpret information from a range of sources, skills that are highly valued by employers and universities alike.

What will I learn?

The History of Art A level consists of two externally-examined papers:

Paper One: Virtual analysis and themes

Section A – Virtual analysis:

  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Architecture

Section B – Themes:

  • Identities in art and architecture
  • War in art and architecture
Paper Two: Periods

  •  Invention and Illusion: The Renaissance in Italy (1420-1520)
  • Brave new world: Modernism in Europe (1900-1939)

Department successes and trips

Over the past twenty years students have followed degree and post-graduate courses at leading universities including the Courtauld Institute, UCL, Bristol University, Nottingham University, Leeds University, Manchester University, and Sussex University. Many graduates have gone on to pursue careers as curators in museums and galleries, in journalism (including working at the BBC), and as academics.

We regularly visit art collections and buildings of interest in London, including the National Gallery, the Courtauld Institute, and the Tate Galleries. The College organises two European study trips annually, visiting art historical centres in Florence, Siena, Padua, Pisa, Madrid, and Paris.


About Fine Arts College

Hampstead Fine Arts College is one of the foremost Arts colleges in London. learn more about us, our staff and where our students fit in.

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