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Student and tutor module reviews

Exploring art and visual culture

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: A226
  • Level: 2
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Student reviews

When the course books first arrived, I was slightly overwhelmed. There are 3, A4 books, spanning 1000 years of art history. This was not my best year in terms of marks but I still managed to come out with a pass 2.

There is a lot of reading, and I mean a lot. The 3 books are already alot, then there is a lot of online reading, plus DVDs to watch.

I think the longest essay was 2500 words, so not too big.

The exam is 3 hours long and you answer 3 questions out of 12. One for each book.

My advice would be select 2 artists from each chapter and memorise their work, why they did it etc. Then keep them all in your revision notes. There is also a lot of great stuff on YouTube about each artist.

Good luck.

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: March 2020

This module was rich, diverse and wholly fascinating with textbooks that are beautifully presented and containing plenty of high quality illustrations.
Incorporated into the module are cultural, political and religious themes looking at their effect on art and architecture through the centuries and this I particularly enjoyed.
However, with a bewildering amount of material to cover it does require a lot of work and I found it best to start making preparations for each TMA almost as soon the previous one had been handed in. I do wish the module could have been studied over a longer period as there was no time for really engaging with or delving deeper into material of particular interest before having to move on to the next chapter or assignment. The main benefit to be derived from there being an exam at the end of the module was the sheer amount of revision needed, including memorising works of art, which regardless of exam performance imprints the study materials onto one's brain indelibly. At 40% of the total mark, though, I thought the three hour exam performance was given too much weight against the work involved in producing six assignments over the module and maybe an end-of-module assignment would be more appropriate. Despite the amount of work involved I would very much recommend this highly enjoyable module to anyone with an interest in art history - so long as they have plenty of time on their hands.

L Vaughan

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: July 2019

Very diverse course. There is a lot of material to cover and I did struggle with the last book on modern art. The exam can seem daunting, past papers are available but it was difficult to gauge how well I was doing as no sample answers were available. Overall a very informative course that provides a good foundation for level 3.

Course starting: September 2016

Review posted: March 2017

This was an eye-opening course, which despite much hard work was enjoyable. The period covering the 20th century was the most challenging and not to everyone's liking, because totally new ideas and concepts had to be confronted (no bad thing!).

The materials supplied were first class productions and helped with studying such a broad spectrum. My only criticism is that the period covered was too broad. However, I would recommend it for anyone interested in art history.

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: February 2016

I really enjoyed the content of this course and the module books were absolutely brilliant with beautiful images throughout. There was a huge amount of work needed for this course which came as a bit of shock and seemed much more reading required than other level 2 modules.

The online content was really good and enjoyed this however it did mean further reading, which sometimes took me as long as it did to read through the module book.

I thought the gallery visits that were arranged by the tutors alongside this course was brilliant and it really boosted the understanding and appreciation of what I was studying.

Similarly the tutorials were vital for me to engage with others and share ideas. The range of topics was great and gave a great scope of art through the years but there was very little time in between assignments to really appreciate it - sometimes I found myself just reading the parts I needed for the assignment as it was so complex.

I think the time for revision before the exam seemed really minimal considering the huge amount of information that was needed to revise. If this could be narrowed down for students even slightly I think the course would be much more enjoyable all round.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: May 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed this module and its range of art and visual culture covering c.1100 through to present day. It will really get you thinking about what you categorise as art and why. The course materials are clear, detailed and follow a chronological order from Medieval through to Renaissance. The TMAs are well spaced out, manageable and interesting in subject matter and theme. I took this course as my final year module towards my BA Honours in Humanities with Art History and finished my Open University experience in a very positive way. I would highly recommend the module to other students.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: September 2014

I chose this module with trepidation having studied none of the Arts and Humanities modules in my first year. Despite initially feeling like a fish out of water, I soon got used to the assignment format and textbook wording - finally enjoying the subject! A226 was very interesting and I feel I learned a significant amount about each period in the relatively short time given for each section of study. I found it very helpful having a tutor who answered any queries - no matter how small - about the assignments and prepped us all thoroughly for our final exam. Really enjoyed this course.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: September 2014

I found this course very interesting and particularly enjoyed the last section on Modern Art.

I thought most of the material was well written, but occasionally some of the material had slightly clunky language which I found myself reading two or three times to make sense of. Apart from this slight annoyance, the online materials, the DVD and the ability to download the books into a mobile format (Kobo/Kindle etc) were very helpful.

The tutorials and online tutorials were invaluable for helping underpin the studies, being able to ask questions and get to know fellow students who have similar interests is always a bonus.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: September 2014

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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