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The University of Southampton

ARTD1111 Exploring the Discipline

Module Overview

A fluid and dynamic approach to mapping new terrain. The module introduces the basic nature of art and the relationship between historical antecedents and current practices. It highlights the need for critical evaluation of the work of others and approaches to it, and the role of reflection in creative practice. It covers ethical considerations. It introduces a range of study skills.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the nature of contemporary art practice;
  • key aspects of the historical and theoretical contexts of contemporary art;
  • ethical issues in contemporary art practice.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • retrieve relevant written and visual research material from library, digital and exhibition sources;
  • apply critical analysis to written and visual material;
  • apply evaluative thinking in the development of your ideas.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • effectively communicate your ideas in writing;
  • articulate evidence-based conclusions .


The module introduces the fundamental mechanisms of art, and identifies landmarks of art history. It examines key aspects of art theory and the nature of contemporary art practice. It introduces a range of study skills including the ability to locate research material, visual analysis and critical evaluation. It highlights the importance of academic integrity - not misrepresenting the work of others as your own - and raises issues of ethical awareness.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures • Tutorials Learning activities include: • Lectures • Tutorials • Peer Group Learning • Study Skills Hub Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes The module is directed by lectures which provide the intellectual and skills framework necessary to enable you to apply critical, evaluative, reflective skills to the context for your practice. Case studies drawn from current debates will present methods and approaches necessary to formulate your ideas and communicate your thinking effectively. Through lectures you will become familiar with the fundamental mechanisms of art, aspects of art history and theory, the nature of contemporary art practice and issues of ethics. This module focuses on developing the different facets of studying and communicating effectively at Undergraduate level; and the importance of self-initiated study.

Wider reading or practice100
Completion of assessment task30
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

learn with us.

Panopto - via Blackboard.

Study Skills.

D’Alleva, A. (2005). Methods and Theories of Art History.. 

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design.. 

Dumbadze, A. & Hudson, S. (2013). Contemporary Art: 1989 to the Present.. 

Hatt, M. and Klonk, C. (2005). Art History: A Critical Introduction to its Methods.. 

Gombrich, E. (1996). The Story of Art. 

Taylor, B (1995). Art Today. 

Blackboard (E:learning).

The Library • The library provides comprehensive advice on researching and referencing material;.

Hughes, R. (1991). The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change.. 

Benjamin, W. (1936). The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. 

Williams, G. (2014). How to Write About Contemporary Art. 

Cottrell, S. (2013). The Study Skills Handbook. 

Barthes, R. (1957). Mythologies.. 

Berger, J. (2008). Ways of Seeing.. 

Walliman, N. (2010). Research Methods: The Basics.. 

Academic Skills - The link below will help you develop your academic skills;.

Frascina, F. and Harrison, C. eds. (1982). Modern Art and Modernism: A Critical Anthology.. 



Blog Post


MethodPercentage contribution
Blog Post  () 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Blog Post  () 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Blog Post  () 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional text as appropriate

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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