Postgraduate taught 

Art History: Technical Art History, Making & Meaning MLitt

Art in the Making: Historical Techniques HISTART5094

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The aim of this course is to present students with an in-depth and sophisticated understanding of the interrelation of materials, techniques, processes and context across a historical range of artworks up until the 20th century. The course introduces the students to a range of technical examination techniques and traditional paintings methods through lectures, guided reading and practical workshops.


■ Lectures/seminars - 10 x weekly for 2 hours.

■ 5 sessions of workshops/reconstructions of techniques: supervised sessions for 4 hours.

■ 1 tutorial session relating to the workshop on reconstructions of techniques for 2 hours.

■ 6 supervised laboratory/studio sessions of 3 hours each.

Excluded Courses





Essay 80% 4,000 words

Presentation 20% 15 minutes 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Provide detailed knowledge of artistic techniques and materials across a wide historical range and a theoretical and historical context for understanding such techniques, materials and modes of making

■ Provide students with sophisticated knowledge of key interpretative approaches to the material, technical and phenomenological particularities of artworks.

■ Provide students with the skills to critically address the ways in which traditional notions of artistic practice can participate in art historical analysis.

■ Interpret primary source material and develop students' abilities in dealing with such source.

■ Encourage self-reflexive 'deep' learning through engagement with artistic materials, and with critical texts, as well as through participation in seminar discussions, and use of Moodle web-forums.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:


■ Critically describe and discuss a range of techniques and materials used by artists across the full historical range covered by the course.

■ Discuss and analyse the work of relevant artists in detailed and apposite terms .

■ Apply knowledge of historical changes in artistic practice to the question of the ontology of the artwork, and related ideas of material and semiotic 'authenticity'.

■ Utilise key theoretical concepts to elucidate the relationship between style and technique.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.