top of page

Welcome to History of Art!

About the course...

The History of Art specification is an exciting, modern, relevant course which will interest all those who have an interest in our culture and that of other eras and peoples. The course has been designed to offer students the opportunity to explore the Art and Architecture of the world across different Themes and Periods.


Studying this subject you will have the opportunity to look in-depth at paintings, sculptures and buildings from the Classical era to the present day.


In your first year we help you to develop the skills necessary to visually analyse art and architecture. You will see how materials and techniques can affect the appearance of a painting or sculpture, understand how the formal features of art including colour, composition, light and tone, have been used to convey a potential message or meaning to the viewer. We will look at how the function of a building might be evident from its appearance. This visual literacy is combined with analysis and debate to offer valuable learning and key transferable skills for today’s visual world. 


Also in your first year we will study two themes in art and architecture; these are Identities and War.


Your second year will consider two important periods in art history; 19th French and British art, and European Modernism. We will look at a number of key works in these two innovative eras by male and female artists and architects.


We feel that seeing works of art in person are a crucial part of your development and the department makes frequent trips to London galleries and one overseas trip each year.


You do not need to be ‘good’ at art or have practical art skills. Instead we examine the contextual and historical background to works of art and buildings and explore what factors might have influenced an artist or architect in the decisions they made.


Each week we mail out a newsletter to History of Art students with ‘Look, listen, learn update’ with suggestions for further reading, good new exhibitions and specific programmes to watch.


The History of Art department is a friendly, welcoming environment and many of our students go on to study the subject at university.


IMG_4498 copy.JPG

Sarah Phillips is a graduate of the Courtauld Institute and the Head of Art History at Godalming Sixth Form College. She is the author of the current Art History A Level which introduced art from beyond the European tradition. She is Pearson’s ‘Ask the Expert’ subject adviser. She took a prominent role in the campaign to save the A Level and presented at the Courtauld’s The Future of Art History debate. She is a council member for NSEAD; Advisory Board member for Art UK as well as a lead contributor on the PG Diploma course at the University of Leeds presenting and advising on the implementation of art history across the curriculum. Sarah has worked as an outreach advisor to the Universities of Sussex and Brighton and works closely with the Association for Art History alongside working as a teacher and writer for Art History in Schools. She writes regularly for AD Magazine. Sarah is a newly appointed Fellow of the Association for Art History 2020.


Daniel Greaney initially trained in Fine Art, receiving a BA in Painting from Limerick College of Art & Design, Ireland before gaining an MA in Fine Art from Central St Martins London. He then completed an MA in History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London and a PGCE from Greenwich University. Daniel also teaches art history enrichment programmes through ‘Art History in Schools’ for Art and Photography A level students, evening classes with the Art Academy London and continues to make his own art.

bottom of page