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History of Art (Art of the Western World) AS/A2 Level at Aylesbury High School

Course description


Why Study History of Art?

Art is all around us. This course allows you to analyse and interpret great works of art.

Course content


At AS, candidates will work within an established framework to develop a strong foundation knowledge of History of Art. The specification concentrates on developing the ability to analyse and interpret a variety of works of architecture, painting and sculpture, alongside an understanding of some of the major themes.


The AS specification has two units:

Unit 1: Visual Analysis and Interpretation

This unit requires knowledge and understanding of formal characteristics, terminology and general knowledge of historical, social and cultural contexts for painting, sculpture and architecture.

Topic list: Formal analysis and interpretation of works of painting, sculpture and architecture.

Unit 2: Themes in History of Art

Requires candidates to develop an understanding of art historical themes in relation to teacher-selected examples of western art and architecture, artists and architects drawn from classical Greece to the end of the twentieth century. Study of particular themes, such as patronage, form and style, historical and social contexts, and materials, techniques and processes, should be made.

Topic list: Provides candidates with an appreciation of some significant art historical themes from classical Greece to the art of the twentieth century.

At Aylesbury High School, we use the Italian Renaissance to explore these themes. Major works of art and architecture from that period are analysed and compared with those from other periods. There may be an opportunity of a trip to Florence and Tuscany.

Entry requirements


You need to be passionate about art and architecture. If you regularly visit galleries and like looking at buildings, paintings and sculpture, then this is the course for you.

History of Art has close links to both history and art but if you are interested in visual culture and can be critical about what you see around you, you will do well.



Unit 1: Written paper: 1 hour (60 marks)

Weighting: 40% of total AS marks, 20% of total A

Level marks

Questions on images provided in the paper assess knowledge and understanding of formal aspects and how they contribute to meaning.


Unit 2: Written paper: 1 hour 30 mins (90 marks)

Weighting: 60% of total AS marks, 30% of total A

Level marks

Questions test knowledge and understanding of significant art historical themes.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Aylesbury High School directly.

Last updated date: 25 August 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September