Short Course Online

Learning to Look at Modern Art

University of Oxford

3 months
300 GBP/full
300 GBP/full
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Many people feel that Learning to Look at Modern Art, from 1900 to the present day at University of Oxford, is more difficult to understand than art of the past. By looking at and discussing a wide range of works, this course will aim to provide guidelines about how to understand and appreciate Modern Art better and how to discover continuity between the art of earlier periods and our own.


This Learning to Look at Modern Art course at University of Oxford will seek to provide guidelines about how to look at modern art, from 1900 to the present day, in an open-minded, critical and analytical way. We shall aim to provide answers to some of the questions most commonly asked about Modern Art of both the earlier and later periods. Why does it appear so different from the art of the past? How should we approach it? What were the changing ideas, which were intended to alter our view of what a work of art could be? Why is craftsmanship apparently a thing of the past? And what are the main issues to be considered in contemporary art?

We shall try to understand why Modern Art happened and some of the cultural, philosophical and historical reasons for it. We shall become more familiar with concepts like Collage and Installation, and discuss why divisions between painting, sculpture, architecture and design have become blurred, making many works hard to categorise. We shall also see that some artists have continued with traditional subject matter, techniques and methods, thus making continuity between art of the past and our own time.

Course aims

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  •  show you understand what to look for in Modern Art
  • use the vocabulary or language of looking at Modern Art
And you will have developed the following:
  • the ability to be an active and questioning spectators
  •  critical and analytical skills in relation to Modern Art


FHEQ level 4, 10 CATS points

Programme Structure

Programme details

  • Introduction to Learning Look at Modern Art and Picasso
  • Modernism
  • The Dynamic View
  •  Duchamp and conceptual art
  • Expressionism and Self Expression
  • New Concepts of Composition
  • Space and Form
  •  Light and Colour
  • Traditional subjects
  •  Epilogue and conclusion

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 3 months
    • Flexible

Start dates & application deadlines


10 alternative credits



Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. 
  • If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Technological requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    300 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 300 GBP for the full programme during 3 months.
  • EU/EEA

    300 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 300 GBP for the full programme during 3 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Learning to Look at Modern Art
University of Oxford


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