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Flaming June by Lord Leighton

Course Prices

Inside UK


Outside UK


Instalments UK & International

£400.00 in 4 instalments at £100.00 each

International students will not be supplied with a paper copy

History Of Western Art Diploma Online Course

Tutored by Stewart Roberts

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.

Travel back in time and discover fascinating new insight into some of the world’s most famous works of art. If you want a greater depth of understanding when you’re walking through a gallery, or whilst considering the intricacies of the art around you, then the History of Art Diploma is for you.

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? This question can open the door to further lines of questioning: 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 Course.

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 textbook 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 the relevant historical context at the time which 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 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.

This is an introductory course that is offered to students from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. The learning objectives are focused 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.
On average, this course typically takes one year for completion, depending on the amount of extra reading done around the subject, but we provide a generous timeframe of up to two years, ensuring a relaxed and stress-free learning experience with no time constraints.

You do not need any personal skills as an artist to take this course as all the coursework is written. 

There is tutor feedback on all the assignments.

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 area 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

All our courses are written to be your comprehensive guide into each of their subject matters. We understand that students appreciate clarification about various aspects of their work from a course tutor, whom provide reassurance that techniques are put into practice effectively. 

Each courses has its 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. Students are encouraged to submit the assignment work to the college for the tutor to critique.

Coursework can be submitted online in your individual art room account and the tutor will upload their critique for you to download and retain forever. The college will use the assignments submitted as the basis for your award of a diploma.

On successful completion of this course you will have studied new skills and gained knowledge for your own enjoyment and development.

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

The following is an overview of some of the areas that are covered in the course. We also have a companion course to our history of Art Diploma Course called - Understanding 20th to 21st Century Art Course

Techniques: Skills developed
  • What is Art?
  • Aesthetics
  • History
  • Production
  • Criticism

Click the download button below to view a pdf sample course page which will open in a new tab. Alternatively right click and save the file. Please be patient for it to load.

Download Sample

Below are a few images from the course itself.

I really enjoyed this course. The pace was perfect and not stressful at all which added to the enjoyment of the material. Stu Roberts was always very kind, and his feedback enriching and useful. Thank you for a wonderful course!

P Barrera Wey

A first class course with a first class tutor, which I greatly enjoyed and benefited from.

P Barwell

I have loved every minute of this course. My tutor Stu has been so helpful and his feedback has helped me to move onto the next task with a clearer understanding. Will definitely look at doing another one.

K Hayton

I'm sorry this is the last assignment. I have greatly enjoyed the projects, reading & your comments. I seem to have come a long way & it certainly has enriched my appreciation of art. 

A Ruff

Stewart has been a most patient and uplifting tutor, constructively critiquing my work with further suggestions that I might be interested in.  That has set me up well, so that I now have a list of Art that I wish to see and galleries and museums that I want to visit again, even more reason to be excited about coming out of lockdown!   I looked at my expectations when I started the course and studying has certainly renewed my relationship with art. The History of Art course has given me a new fascination for greater understanding of the subject.  My next step is to take another online course as soon as possible.”

M Cooper

I just found your feedback for my final assignment and just wanted to say a quick thank you for what has been a really enjoyable course. I've found the format to be just right for my learning style and I've surprised myself by finding my attitudes towards certain types of art changing and liking them as I've come to understand them and the artists. Believe it or not I didn't have much time for Constable (it was just landscapes, surely), thought the Futurists were horrible artists and could only admit to liking a small selection of Impressionists. Now I understand the lives and ideals of some of the painters I now find all of these things fascinating. I think that only piece of art that I didn't come to really appreciate by the end was Kandinsky's but maybe that's because I couldn't hear the colours :)

R Williams

I just wanted to say how much I have loved working with you Stu. I am really going to miss researching and writing these essays and reading your wonderful comments. What has surprised me, is just how much I’ve loved the modern works. I would go as far as to say that this is where my newfound passion lies! That was definitely unexpected.


Really enjoyed the course. It is very difficult to cover the History of Art from Cave paintings to 20th century in just 10 modules, but the structure of the course meant that one could research the overlaps between eras to put the modules in context, and thereby cover a wider historical setting than just the main subject, thus for instance 'Impressionism' took me to a range of other ideas. I enjoyed this approach. I also liked being able to work at my own pace, some weeks one is busy, others less so and being able to fit learning into to my schedule was good. Stuart was a great tutor. I researched my assignments diligently but he was always able to come up with interesting information I had missed, or that he thought would interest me further. I have printed out all his notes and added them to the file, and together with my own notes I now have a fairly comprehensive document, which I will enjoy browsing through in the months to come. Stuart's manner was always friendly and supportive, and I also enjoyed his sense of humour.
J Cantrell

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I knew nothing about art/artists before the course and now feel that a whole new area has opened up to me, and I now thoroughly enjoy going to galleries etc. Stu was great in that he encouraged and praised when appropriate and guided when help was needed.
J Harrison