banner

Art History


The study of art gives students valuable knowledge of world civilisations and helps them develop analytical skills that can be applied to understand how paintings, sculpture and architecture work to shape our social identities. This course allows students to develop particular interests and provides access to higher education courses in art history and related subjects. Students will be encouraged to research and investigate art through first-hand experience.

The subject content is divided into three areas:
  1. Visual analysis
  2. Themes
  3. Periods

Paper 1: Visual Analysis and Themes


Section A

Students answer a single question that requires them to comment on an unseen photograph of:
  • a painting
  • a sculpture
  • a building

Section B

Choose two themes from a choice of three:
  • B1 Nature in art and architecture
  • B2 Identities in art and architecture
  • B3 War in art and architecture

Paper 2: Periods


Choose two Periods from a choice of five:
  • C1 Invention and illusion: the Renaissance in Italy (1420-1520)
  • C2 Power and persuasion: the Baroque in Catholic Europe (1597-1685)
  • C3 Rebellion and revival: the British and French Avant-Garde (1848-99)
  • C4 Brave new world: Modernism in Europe (1900-39)
  • C5 Pop life: British and American contemporary art and architecture (1960-2015)

For each Period, students answer a single compulsory question in four parts.

Course Essentials

Courses Available
A Level
Entry Requirements
How The Course is Assessed
100% Exam
Career Pathways
Students can progress to Art History and related courses at university, as well as a wide range of other courses.
Transferable Skills
Research; self-confidence; oral and written presentations; reasoning; critical analysis; organisational skills; communication in teams; development of empathy.
Enquiries To
Lisa Wardle-Sharp: lww@varndean.ac.uk