History Of Art Diploma Course (D4)

Tutored by Stewart Roberts

Distance Learning Diploma Course Overview

Travel back in time and discover fascinating new insight into some of the world’s most famous works of art. If you’ve ever wanted to say more than “I like it” when you’re walking through a gallery then the History of Art Diploma is for you.

With the History of Art Diploma, you’ll learn to see art in a whole new light. Carefully designed to enhance your understanding of art in all its forms, this Diploma course will help you to explore the symbolism and meanings that lie beneath the surface of what you see. With this new skill, you’ll be able to explore the art around you and see the work in a whole new light.

From paintings to sculpture, the course covers a wide variety of art forms and broad stretch of history. The course focuses on Western art and the important connections that exist between Western art and the art of other cultures.

You’ll learn about many of the most important movements in art and reference contemporary events. What were the influences affecting the artist? How did the work produced in one age impact on and influence the artists who followed?

Whether you’re enjoying it in a book or seeing it face-to-face, you’ll be amazed at what a little knowledge can bring to your appreciation of art. The course might even inspire you to try out new styles and techniques of your own, and it’s a great introductory course for those considering further education.

Why would somebody do that, like that? Is a question often asked. This question leads to others. What was life like when and where the artist lived? What did people value? Who looked at art and how has that changed? What materials have artists used through the ages? These and many other questions are answered in our comprehensive History of Art

The history of art is a vast subject, but with our course it becomes accessible to everyone. The course is written in a simple no nonsense style and is supported with a beautiful text book that produces first class images of paintings, drawings, sculptures and architecture through the ages.

Potential students will be anyone interested in art, whether they want to be artists themselves, or simply want to understand art better when they are confronted by it in its many forms. Our course has been developed by Stewart Roberts who acts as the course guide providing clarification, advice and encouragement. Stewart is genuine enthusiast for the subject with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Our course focuses on Western art, that of Europe and America, but it also looks at the important connections that exist between Western art and the art of other cultures. The student is provided with an overview of many of the most important movements in art with reference to what else was happening at the time the art was being produced. What were the influences affecting the artist. How did the work produced in one age impact on and influence the artists who followed. Key artists in history are identified and students are guided to ways of understanding better the life and times of the artist - in an attempt to better understand the importance of their work.

The Diploma course comprises a series of exercises which the student works through in their own time which are not submitted to the college together with eight assignments which can be submitted to Stewart for comment and which form the basis of the award of the College Diploma. Students will be encouraged and guided to extend their reading and interest in the arts in various ways as appropriate to the individual student.

The course is stimulating, colourful and challenges the student to explore the history of art in many of its forms. We are confident that students who complete the programme will have gained a broad based and comprehensive understanding of the subject.

Flaming June by Lord Leighton

Flaming June (detail) by Lord Leighton

Course Prices

Please visit our 'Prices and Buy Now' page to view the course prices and to purchase your course. UK residents can purchase courses on this page via instalments, please scroll down to the relevant section to pay a deposit.


Critiques online or via Regular Mail

Students are able to upload their artwork to the 'The Art Room' on our website. Each student is given a unique username and password on enrolment for their own private section in The Art Room. Students can upload their artwork for the tutor to collect and critique. The tutor will then upload feedback for the student to download. If you do not have facilities to upload your artwork, you can mail your artwork to the tutors centre and receive your artwork back with your critique. It is essential you label all packages/artwork with your student number.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

Tutor Support

All our courses are written to be complete in themselves. However we realise that students may appreciate being able to get clarification about various things as they work through their programme as well wanting reassurance that they are putting techniques into practice effectively. The tutors provide the technical support to deal with relevant queries.

Most courses have their own dedicated Tutor. The tutor keeps the course up to date and relevant to today's students. They are available to the individual student for advice and encouragement. Each course has regular exercises and assignments that are constructed in such a way as to give the student the opportunity to practice the techniques learnt on the course and to test themselves as they go along. The student is encouraged to submit the assignment work to the college for the tutor to critique. The student's work will be returned together with the tutor's personal critique. On many courses the assignment work may be suitable for inclusion in a student's Portfolio of Work that could be very useful later. The college will use the assignments submitted as the basis for any award of a letter, certificate or diploma.

The Girl With The Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer

The Girl With The Pearl Earring (detail) by Johannes Vermeer

Duration and Experience

The expected duration of this course is approximately 1 year although the college allows students up to two years to complete their studies. You do not need any personal skills as an artist to take this course.

Course Content

The following is an overview of some of the areas that are covered in the course. We also have a follow on course to our history of Art Diploma Course called - Understanding 20th to 21st Century Art Course (F2). Once students have completed this course, they are able to take the follow on course to further their understanding of art history.

Techniques: Skills developed

What is Art?

Samples pages from this course

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Sample Images from the course

Below are a few images from the course itself.

Course ArtworkCourse ArtworkCourse Artwork

Art - A World History

 This is an introductory course that is offered to students from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. The learning objectives are focussed on developing the student’s own interest and potential for further understanding.

 Learning Objectives

 1.   To provide a concise but meaningful oversight of the range and diversity of (Western) art with examples of some of the major developments that have taken place.

 2.   To help understand how artistic techniques, styles and media have been employed in this activity

 3.   To help understand the significance of context in the production and interpretation of artworks

 4.   To assist in developing  broader methodological approaches that will further increase understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of art of all kinds.

Testimonials from students

Thankyou so much for my Diploma , the best Valentine post I have ever received! I did enjoy the course,I looked forward to reading Stewarts assessment of each assignment I really felt I was receiving individual attention, here was someone who listened. I am encouraged to do the follow-up course "Understanding 20th and 21st Century Art,which I feel will be feel will be equally stimulating! Yours sincerely.

Dorothie Rees

I very much enjoyed this course and would like to particularly thank Stewart for his engaging feedback and encouragement throughout. The course has exceeded my expectations in helping me to understand art history. The course was pitched at the right level for a person such as myself that has no formal training in this field but who has a personal interest as well as a professional interest (I work in the insurance industry and with clients who are increasingly investing in art). Thank you again.

Kylie Hargreaves

Dear All I would like to send my sincere thanks to the College for sending me my certificate. I cannot express just how great the course was due mostly to the excellence of the tutor, Stewart Roberts. He was a never ending source of encouragement and sage wisdom. At the age of 75 I can only say that I wish I'd done it years ago and would recommend the course to anyone of any age. If, like me you're getting long in the tooth, revive your interests in the arts by taking the course. Many thanks to all concerned at the College and may I take this opportunity to wish everyone the compliments of the season. Haud 'er gyan

Les Wheeler

I loved the course, it was very interesting, stimulating and gave me a great start and the desire to go further! Stu is a very good tutor, very interesting/helpful/enthusiastic feedbacks. I will definitely sign up for the 20th/21st century art diploma once I have completed my Impressionists one that I am now taking. It is much more exhilarating to go and see exhibitions now!

Stephanie Christ

I really enjoyed the course. My tutor, Mr Roberts, has helped me look at art differently. I also understand better why I like (or not) a work of art. I'm also enjoying other art forms like sculpture which I wasn't interested in before. Thank you.

Kiran Sachdev

I was very happy with the whole course. It was easy to understand and to follow. The comments from my tutor were the best part as they were always very interesting. I think I will never look at an art piece the same way again thanks to this course. Thank you! I am looking forward to taking another course,

Laura Figueroa

Wow, thank you Stu.And thank you for being an awesome teacher!!

Kaye Tuckerman

Thank you so much for your interest and support over the last few months as I have worked through this interesting course. I have learnt a lot and had the time and your prompting to think about all sorts of things that I have never really thought about before, starting with “What is art, and why is it?” The course work also encouraged me to go out to the many galleries in Hungary and look at what is there, which also has been fascinating and challenging. Best regards.


I have enjoyed the course a lot and most of all it has taught me a way of looking at things. In fact it has taught me to look at things that would not previously have received a second glance. This is a good discipline to take into retirement. Very many thanks for your help and encouragement and also for your very prompt and detailed responses and 'pointers'. Kind regards.


Dear Sirs, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be able to participate in the course. I have to admit, i did hesitate before i signed up, knowing from previous experience that most of the distance learning educations are less personal, mostly the tutors just copy and paste the standard reply to everyone. To my great surprise, this wasn't the case with Stewart! He managed to respond not only in record time with very informative content, but with a very personal touch! He is definitely the best tutor I have ever had and I am happy to recommend your course further! with kindest regards.

Melinda Kallinger

I have absolutely loved this course! It has just been brilliant! Thank you so much for everything. I am now in the process of applying to study History of Art/ History and Philosophy of Art next year at University and I cannot wait!! Thanks again.


Christine Irons commented on London Art College's Wall post. "I have done the art history course and have found it very enjoyable. It`s helped me to look at pictures in a new way and broadened my interest. I think it works very successfully and the cost is not out of reach. All the best if you decide to do it.

It has been a very enjoyable experience and I have certainly gained immense knowledge from it.

Susie Knight

.....by the way Stu Roberts is not only a great tutor but a very funny man, thanks team....

Amanda Melhuish

This whole course has been a tremendous source of delight although I have always been interested in art it has made me look beyond just visiting a few galleries. The research and investigation work has really been very enjoyable and I would like to feel I could continue to have contact with some-one who could suggest further work of this sort.

Lorna Marshall

Hello, I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and was sad to finish it! The textbook is great and something I still dip into, and the chosen pieces to study were fascinating. Above all, Stewart's guidance and support made the course such a pleasure. He was encouraging and so knowledgeable and I learnt so much. This is the perfect course for someone who is interested in art without being an artist themselves. I would like to offer my thanks to Stewart, and I would wholeheartedly recommend the course to others. Kind regards.


Hi Stewart, I have really enjoyed the course and have learnt so much from it. I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help and support throughout. Thanks again. Regards.


Dear Stu My Diploma arrived on Tuesday. I was really thrilled to see that it had been awarded "with distinction". Thank you so much for that. It now hangs in pride of place on my wall. In fact, the Diploma hangs alongside my original degree certificate (in History) from the University of Wales. Interestingly, they are almost exactly 35 years apart in time... 13 July 1971 and 10 July 2006! With thanks once again for all your help and kind comments throughout the course, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Kindest regards.


Hi all, I just finished following the History of Art Course and I really enjoyed it and I am going to miss it. I will also miss all the emails from Stu and all the feedback on my assignments which was so helpful. Many thanks Stu for all your advise and help and all the best for the future. Should you decide to do a follow up to this course I would certainly be interested. Best wishes Kate.

Katie Douma

See Art in a Whole New Light with the History of Art Diploma.

Purchase Your History of Art Online Art Course

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Purchase Your History of Art Online Art Course