A Level

History of Art is one of the most interesting, interdisciplinary and influential subjects on offer in the Sixth Form. Students who like learning about the historical, socio-political and cultural contexts behind works of art and architecture will love this course. History of Art is a very reputable A Level only subject that crosses with other academic disciplines such as philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, classics and, of course, history and art – to name but a few. It allows for personal interpretation alongside the discovery of fascinating facts regarding how and why the style of art and architecture changes over the centuries.

This course provides students with the skills to understand and confidently evaluate important global works of art from the ancient world to the present day. Students learn about the fascinating lives and personalities of artists and how specific historic events affected their output as well as the importance of history of art to today’s society. This course can lead to a wealth of career opportunities and university courses. Many top universities offer History of Art degree courses, (including Cambridge, UCL, SOAS, Bristol, Reading, Leeds, York, Edinburgh and St. Andrews). If you want to become an art advisor or investor; gallery curator; architect; journalist; film or television stylist or even get into advertising, fashion, travel or teaching, this course is for you!

Classes have a relaxed approach. In addition to class seminars, students visit London galleries and, in some years, trips abroad are also organised. The course is designed for students with no prior art historical knowledge but who are willing to gain plenty. Students’ progress and enjoyment is assessed and monitored carefully so that individual needs and interests are catered for. The new Edexcel specification is exciting, wholly complementary to other A Level subjects  and offers a wide choice of topics. It is examined in written papers and there is no coursework.

Course Content

Year 12: students are taken on a visual journey across the spectrum of History of Art in order to develop their understanding of art historical themes such as war and nature. This will be in relation to teacher selected examples of both Western and non-Western works of art and architecture drawn from classical Greece to the present day. Students will also be introduced to the artistic vocabulary and architectural terminology needed to evaluate works of art effectively.

Year 13: this year focuses entirely on 16th and 19th century European art and architecture. There will be plenty of opportunity for students to put forward opinions as well as utilise knowledge acquired during their first year. Concentrating on two particular centuries ensures an in-depth understanding of the periods in which works were made. The 16th and 19th centuries are fascinating as they encompass some of the pivotal periods and movements in the History of Art, such as the Renaissance, Revivalism and Impressionism respectively.

Please click here for the new specification