Teaching, learning and assessment methods
Knowledge and understanding are gained and developed through the study of online materials in both Part I (A843) and Part II (A844) of the MA. Teaching materials supporting the modules include online study guides, set online readings, and access to a large number of online resources through the Art History MA website. There are also guest seminars and online forums that allow you to discuss the module materials with fellow students and faculty members. Learning outcomes are assessed primarily by means of tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). A843 has an end of module assessment (EMA), which allows you to develop knowledge and understanding of an object of your choosing related to the themes of Block 4 and prepares you for the dissertation (A844). For the dissertation you will choose a topic relating to a theme studied earlier in the programme and write this up in 10,000–12,000 words. Tutors provide feedback on a proposal and a draft chapter, but the dissertation itself forms the assessed component of this final module.
The case studies in both A843 and A844 are designed to provide you with opportunities to learn through the analysis, evaluation and comparison of primary and secondary sources including a wide range of visual material. They will progressively encourage independence in research as you explore strategies for framing your own questions to investigate, and develop confidence in your ability to process and apply art historical knowledge and understanding. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your own learning progress at specified points in your studies.
Practical and/or professional skills and attributes
Studying art history at postgraduate level will deepen your understanding of art, architecture and visual culture. Through a critical engagement with some of the key theories and approaches developed to interpret and explain works of art from the Renaissance to the present day you will learn to study independently and undertake appropriate research. An MA in Art History will provide you with a range of skills, including visual and textual analysis and critical thinking and writing, which can be successfully transferred to a variety of careers in the professional and educational sectors.
There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
This MA degree will build on your existing knowledge of art history to equip you with the critical skills necessary for independent research in the field. You begin your studies by exploring core concepts and current issues in art history (A843). You will then examine critical debates both within the academic discipline of art history and in the 'real world' contexts of heritage, curating and museums (A844). The taught component of the degree provides you with research training, which will enable you to carry out a more substantial piece of independent research on a topic of your choice for the final dissertation module.