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Woman in White Shirt by Lucian Freud

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

Understanding 20th to 21st Century Art Course

Tutored by Stewart Roberts

Understanding the 20th to the 21st Century Course is a Diploma Course.  

Delve into the dynamic world of contemporary art with our Understanding 20th to 21st Century Art Course. This course is your gateway to exploring the ever-evolving landscape of artistic expression. Discover the techniques, concepts, and innovative ideas that have shaped the art world in recent decades.   Whether you're an aspiring artist, an art enthusiast, or simply seeking to understand the art of our times, this course offers a rich and engaging journey into the heart of modern art. The course includes feedback on your coursework from the tutor. 

If you've enjoyed our History of Art Diploma Course and you're hungry for more, or if you've a keen interest in modern art but you're not sure where to begin, our Understanding 20th to 21st Century Art Diploma is the perfect course for you.

Discover something of the fantastic diversity of 20th and 21st century art and learn about the artists who made it come alive. Find out what inspired and influenced them.

Full to the brim with outstanding examples and fascinating insights, this distance learning course will give you a broad understanding of everything from pop art to conceptual art; from graffiti to environmental art; from the 'birth of modernism' to the 'shock of the new'.

Subjects include:

  • Identity 
  • Pop art 
  • The object 
  • Modernism 
  • Installation art 
  • Conceptual art
  • Postmodernism 
  • Exploring themes 
  • Deconstruction 
  • Graffiti and street art 
  • Land and environmental art

Compared to the more traditional work that preceded it, the 20th century saw a dizzying explosion of styles, themes and media. The sheer breadth and diversity of the age has meant that there's something for just about everybody to enjoy - and some things that you're just not meant to enjoy!

It's not just about the big names and headline-grabbing artworks; there's a whole world of fascinating and complex art that many people never get to hear about.

This course addresses that balance by offering up lesser-known artists and artworks for study, alongside the more obvious examples. As an online introduction to this topic, it's a deeper and richer study than you'll find just about anywhere else.

The course is typically designed to be completed in approximately one year, though the college offers a two-year timeframe for students to finish their studies.

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.

Above Nantlle (detail) by Kyffin Williams

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.

The student's work will be returned together with your personal critique. 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.

Cyfarfod ar y mynydd by Aneurin Jones

 This course focusses on more contemporary developments in Art History and seeks to create a broad understanding of the diversity and directions in contemporary art.

 Learning Objectives

  1. Providing students with examples of the diversity of forms that contemporary art might take
  2. Identifying common themes and differences in approach within the works of selected contemporary artists
  3. Understanding how such artworks might reflect the social context in which they are produced
  4. Equipping students with the means to approach, understand and appreciate the intentions of contemporary artists and related artworks

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 have learned so much overall from this course. Well done on setting a varied and thought-provoking range of 20/21st century artwork for me to consider. I haven't necessarily liked all the works but that is part of the exercise too, and some of them I came to like after learning more about them. Thanks for all your insightful comments and responses

C Briggs

Thank you for a really interesting, absorbing course. I have loved it, and it has been a godsend throughout the last year of lockdowns and restrictions. I have had something fascinating and enriching to fill my time, thank you, and Stu's responses were always interesting and helpful too. I will genuinely miss it.

L Owen

I absolutely loved this course! I am so pleased with all the general art knowledge I have acquired upon completing this course. When I began, my aim was to achieve a greater understanding of the more theoretical side behind art, such as, learning about new artists and their impact on the art world, artistic terminology, and how the course of history has impacted how art has developed. I am starting college in September, and this course has been a great foundation for me to ensure I start the academic year with a decent amount of knowledge on the art world. A big thankyou to my tutor Stewart Roberts and the rest of the London art college team!

Y Squire

Very happy I did the two courses I did. Stewart was always very helpful and made interesting comments that never failed to expand my awareness. Thanks a lot to him.

J Stranks

Loved this course as the subject matter of some of the works was so unusual and diverse and the artists lived such interesting lives ; I enjoyed delving into their story and finding out what they were trying to say in their art installations. This course kept me enthralled during lockdown and did wonders for my mental health by giving me something positive to focus on.

J Livelsey

One of the best online courses ever..

A Watts

Thank you for a really interesting, absorbing course. I have loved it, and it has been a godsend throughout the last year of lockdowns and restrictions.  I have had something fascinating and enriching to fill my time, thank you, and Stu's responses were always interesting and helpful too.  I will genuinely miss it.

L Owen