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History of Art *FEES PAYABLE* at Clifton College

Course description

History of Art is available at both AS and A2 levels. Access to the course is dependent on the acquisition of the minimum GCSE grades required for entry to the Sixth Form, but skills used in History, Art, English and Modern Languages are particularly relevant.

The History of Art curriculum encourages pupils to gain a broad awareness of the rich variety of paintings, sculptures and architecture which typify the achievements and traditions of Western civilisation from Classical Antiquity to present day. By sharpening pupils’ ability to interpret and to respond to critical texts as well as art objects, the course will hone their capacity to organise relevant, coherent and well-documented arguments about complex (and appealing) subject matters. Whilst not requiring practical art skills, the course seeks to introduce pupils to the techniques of painters, printmakers, sculptors and architects, encouraging an understanding and use of specialist vocabulary, whilst maintaining lucidity in their written expression.

The study of the artefacts of our shared cultural heritage contributes not only to pupils’ understanding of the morality, ethics and aesthetics of the society in which they live, but also serves to help them gain a critical awareness of the forces of history and creativity from which that society emerged over the centuries. 

Course content

The History of Art AS and A2 courses are imparted through class discussion, independent research projects, visits to architectural sites, current exhibitions and permanent displays in museums and galleries, and films and lectures from professionals in the field. Normally assignments take the form of written essays, but also include creative projects such as Surrealist games, creating exhibition installations and materials, writing press reviews or a manifesto for an art movement.

Entry requirements

AS Modules

1. Visual Analysis and Interpretation

Analysis and interpretation of works of painting, sculpture and architecture.

Examination 1 hour, 40% of AS, 20% of A Level

2. Themes in History of Art

Written examination, 1 hour 30 minutes, 60% of AS, 40% of A Level


A2 Modules

4. Investigation and interpretation (1)

Written examination from choice of four topics.

1 hour 30 minutes, 25% of A Level

5. Investigation and interpretation (2)

Written examination from choice of four topics.

1 hour 30 minutes, 25% of A Level


The AS and A2 History of Art Curriculum follows the AQA specification codes 1251 and 2251 respectively. The course seeks to provide pupils with a grasp of the canon of art history and as such follows a largely chronological sweep in the AS year, which then will be broadened through in-depth thematic and period-specific topics of research in the A2 year.

Financial information


Please ensure that you understand that course fees will be payable before submitting your application.

Future opportunities

This course encourages pupils to explore a wide range of visual culture through the analysis of objects and texts, thus synthesising a variety of key skills, vital to most fields of university study.

It complements disciplines such as Historical and Literary Studies, Classics and Modern Languages, European and Political Studies and provides a broad cultural awareness as well as developing literacy and analytical skills for future scientists and mathematicians.

History of Art graduates are ideally prepared for a multitude of professions within the art market, heritage sites, museums and galleries, architecture, the media (journalism, film, TV and advertising), publishing and design, and many others.

Further information

The Art Department consists of three full-time members of staff, one Artist-in-Residence/Technician and a part-time Art Historian. Visiting artists exhibit here as often as possible, providing workshops and discussion groups for pupils.

The Art History classroom has an excellent selection of resources, a wide range of books and a large selection of slides, videos and computer software.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Clifton College directly.

Last updated date: 02 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 or 2 years


  • More information
    • ATTENTION: Please ensure that you understand that course fees will be payable before submitting your application.