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Study information

Visual Media

Module titleVisual Media
Module codeAHV1006
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Mr James Anthony-Edwards (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module offers an introduction to the history of specific media and the materials, techniques and processes used by artists to produce works of various types. The module is organised in a broadly chronological way, beginning with ‘traditional’ media, such as drawing and painting (egg tempera and oil), with a focus on late Medieval and Early Modern artists and their techniques, before then moving through innovations in modern art up to and including the nineteenth century (e.g. French Impressionism), and culminating with contemporary art and practice. Each week addresses a specific media or ‘type’ of artwork, and you will be introduced to the different properties and capabilities of each media and learn to examine and understand the visual effects achieved.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to provide you with knowledge about how different media are composed and used and how different media and their techniques engender specific and recognisable visual effects in art and visual culture. It aims to equip you with an in-depth understanding of how different media have been utilised, over a long time period; how materials and processes contribute to the meanings and significances of works of art/visual culture; and it also aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to compare and contrast different types of object/work and their materials. An underlying aim of the module is to prepare you to analyse works of art and visual culture in theoretical and methodological ways by developing key foundational skills in visual analysis and understanding the materiality of art objects.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. critically evaluate the dominant concepts, methods and debates informing the study of art and visual culture
  • 2. analyse the form and content of particular works of art/visual culture
  • 3. apply a variety of approaches to the interpretation of works of art/visual culture and their materials/physical properties
  • 4. demonstrate an awareness of the uses and visual properties/capabilities of different media

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. research, present and evaluate relevant visual materials
  • 6. interrogate a range of visual artefacts and their materials and situate these in the wider context of visual and cultural history

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. through written and oral assessments, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills and construct coherent arguments
  • 8. through research for projects and essays, demonstrate basic proficiency in information retrieval and analysis
  • 9. explain and discuss conclusions and ideas with other members of the group

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year,  topics can include:


  • Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Early Painting (up to c.1650)
  • Late Painting (after c.1650)
  • Design
  • Sculpture
  • Architecture
  • Fashion/textiles
  • Installation
  • Video
  • Performance
  • Digital media

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching11Lectures (11 x 1 hour)
Scheduled learning and teaching10Seminars (5 x 2 hours)
Scheduled learning and teaching11:1 tutorials
Guided independent study128To include reading and research in preparation for lectures, seminars and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Mini-essay750 words1-8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Oral presentation of group project5-10 minutes1-9Oral (in-class discussion)

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1002,500 words1-8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-8Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to redo the assessment(s) as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • J.D. Bolter and R. Grusin, Remediation, 2000
  • J. Crary, Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity, 1992
  • G. Giannachi and N. Kaye, Performing Presence, 2011
  • O. Grau, Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion, 2004
  • M. Hansen, Bodies in Code, 2006;
    • New Philosophy for New Media, 2006
  • J. Lyons and J. Plunkett, (eds) Multimedia Histories: from Magic Lantern to the Internet, 2007
  • L. Mulvey, Visual Culture and Other Pleasures, 1989
  • G. Pollock, Vision and Difference, 2003

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Visual culture, media, art history

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date