A Level History of Art

 

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

Students are given work sheets and overviews of the key ideas for every topic and then through class discussion, note-making and personal research they compile detailed information, which they consolidate through regular tests and essays.

AS Specification Number
AQA 1251

 

Unit 1: Visual analysis and interpretation

20% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour (60 marks)
This unit requires knowledge and understanding of formal characteristics and terminology and a general knowledge of historical, social and cultural contexts of painting, sculpture and architecture. Questions are based on photographic images of works of art. The unit assesses visual skills and measures how a student can interpret works of art. There are three images to analyse.

Unit 2: Themes in History of Art

30% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour 30 minutes (90 marks)
This unit requires knowledge and understanding of art’s historical themes such as: subjects and genres, materials and techniques, form and style, functions of works of art, historical and social contexts and patronage. The student answers two questions from a choice of six.

Reading List

Author
TitleISBN
E. H. Gombrich The Story of Art ISBN 9780714832470
Honour & Fleming  A World History of Art  ISBN 9781856695848
Tansey & Kleiner Gardner’s Art through the Ages ISBN 9780155011410

A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

The A2 modules build on the knowledge and skills that have been acquired through AS study; a more intensive approach is required at this level. Specific historical periods and artistic styles will be studied.

A sophisticated understanding of how works of art may be interpreted and how art is affected by historical contexts as well as social and economic conditions, will form the basis of the A2 course. Students learn through research, analysis of visual evidence, discussion in class, note-taking and regular testing.

A2 Specification Number
AQA 2251

 

Unit 3: Investigation and interpretation

25% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour 30 minutes (60 marks)
Art and architecture in Fifteenth Century Europe

This unit examines the beginning of the Renaissance in Europe, primarily through its foundation in the artists and practices of Florence. Comparison is made with Northern artists’ work so as more fully to understand the different contributions of different traditions. The student answers two questions from a choice of four, comparing three works in each.

Unit 4: Investigation and interpretation

25% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour 30 minutes (60 marks)
Art and Architecture in Sixteenth Century Europe

This unit looks at the continuation of the Renaissance tradition and at the Mannerist style. Examples are primarily drawn from the major artists of Italy, but the work of artists working in the Northern tradition is included too. The student answers two questions, comparing three works of art or architecture in each, from a choice of four.

Reading list

Author
TitleISBN
Paolettii & Radke Art in Renaissance Italy  ISBN 9780205010479
P. Humfrey  Painting in Renaissance Venice ISBN 9780300067156
Hartt & Wilkins  History of Italian Renaissance Art  ISBN 9780205705818
Snyder Northern Renaissance Art ISBN 9780131895645

 

Anastasia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
University College London (Economics) 

“Honestly, I could not imagine when I joined MPW that, due to language and adaptation barriers, I would achieve top grades in my first A-level exam sittings. This view changed completely after only a few weeks in the college’s supportive and motivational environment; with teachers who aimed at finding a personal touch with each student and with my Personal Tutor who made my adjustment to the UK education system not only an easy step in my life but, more importantly, an enjoyable one.”

Julia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AABB

Progressed to
King's College London (International Relations)

 “The teachers really helped me overcome any difficulties I came across; they always seemed willing to offer support be it inside or outside of the classroom. I could safely say my teachers inspired me to work hard and aim for the best, sometimes simply by being passionate about what they do.”

Andrew

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of York (Law) 

“Having a Personal Tutor to discuss ANYTHING with, from my UCAS application to organising my life in general, really did make life at the college more streamlined and in general less stressful.”

Cynthia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
University College London (Economics)

“My subject teachers and Personal Tutor have been very patient and helpful in supporting my studies and university application.”

Akmaral

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
University College London (Mathematics and Statistics)

“International students have many aspects to think about, such as accommodation and guardians, but MPW surprised me by having a highly organised and supportive administration. Also, because most MPW Cambridge students are local, as an ‘international’ student, I found this very useful in both improving my English and in giving me a taste of a genuinely ‘English’ college.”