Ways of Seeing

The details
Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
10 April 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA V314 Art History,
BA V315 Art History (Including Placement Year),
BA V31B Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA V350 Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA V35A Art History (Including Year Abroad),
MARTV399 Art History,
MARTVB98 Art History (Including Placement Year),
MARTVB99 Art History (Including Year Abroad),
BA VV40 Art History, Heritage and Museum Studies,
BA VV41 Art History, Heritage and Museum Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV42 Art History, Heritage and Museum Studies (including Placement Year),
BA VV43 Art History, Heritage and Museum Studies (including Year Abroad)

Module description

This introductory module examines the relationship between visual culture and social life through case studies spanning more than two millennia of history.

The module focuses on a select number of major developments in a range of media and cultures, emphasising the ways that works of art function both as aesthetic and material objects and as cultural artefacts and forces.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce students to a wide range of methods, research materials, scholarly approaches and relevant terminology associated with a study of art history and the visual.

  • To stimulate students to develop skills in oral and written communication through essays, debate in seminars and written exercises.

  • To introduce students to original works of art and architecture in galleries, museums and in situ as appropriate, in addition to their classroom studies.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Define the task in which they are engaged and exclude what is irrelevant.

  2. Seek and organise the most relevant discussions and sources of information.

  3. Process a large volume of diverse and sometimes conflicting arguments.

  4. Compare and evaluate different arguments and assess the limitations of their own position or procedure.

  5. Write and present verbally a succinct and precise account of positions, arguments, and their presuppositions and implications.

  6. Be sensitive to the positions of others and communicate their own views in ways that are accessible to them.

  7. Think 'laterally' and creatively (i.e., to explore interesting connections and possibilities, and to present these clearly rather than as vague hunches).

  8. Maintain intellectual flexibility and revise their own position based on feedback.

  9. Think critically and constructively.

  10. Utilise their skills in visual memory.

Module information

From sculptures of ancient Roman politicians and Renaissance Florentine narrative paintings, to virtuoso engravings and feats of Baroque illusionism, if you have an interest in the visual and would like to know more about `why` and `how` art and society interrelate, then this module will be of interest to you.

Designed to foster the skill of visual analysis, which will enable you to engage with a broad range of art works, this module is intended to develop your understanding of why images and things appear as they do.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture/seminar per week.

There will also be a Reading Week.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   1500 word essay     50% 
Coursework   In-class Slide Quizzes Total    20% 
Coursework   In-class slide test: week 11    30% 
Coursework   In-class Quiz Week 3    0% 
Coursework   In-class Quiz Week 6    0% 
Coursework   In-class Quiz Week 9    0% 
Coursework   500-word Formative Assignment    0% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Diana Presciutti, email:
Professor Diana Bullen Presciutti
PHAIS General Office - 6.130;



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 18 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.