NEC student Sarah has always loved studying and education, having taken 3 A levels at school and gone on to study history at University before completing an MPhil. She went on to use her history qualifications in her career, working in history, media and heritage. Sarah now works as an editor for a history website in a role that includes writing, editing and commissioning articles. 

With a background in history, Sarah decided to undertake A level History of Art as a way of progressing her career: 

“I wanted to have a decent foundation re History of Art as it crops up regularly and I also love art!”

History of art is a complementary subject for someone with a background in history as there are many similarities between the academic fields. A level History of Art students look at historical interpretations of the art that they study, and the ways that artwork has been shaped by its cultural contexts – looking at the circumstances of an artwork’s creation, its creator, its audience and how it was historically received. In our A level History of Art course there is much more of a focus on critically analysing pieces of art, architecture and sculpture with a focus on art techniques used. As a result, history of art is in many ways similar to cultural history as students are taught how to understand the meaning and purpose of art from different world cultures. This overlap between the subjects makes A level History and A level History of Art the perfect combination to study. 

For Sarah, studying with NEC was the perfect choice: 

“Flexibility to study in my own time has been massive. I work in fits and starts around a full time job and busy schedule so being able to do as much or as little as suited me at certain points was a blessing. My tutor Diane was also really lovely and helpful.”

Sarah’s advice to anyone else thinking about taking a course via distance learning is to be organised and self-motivated, and also recommends bringing the course to life by getting out to galleries and museums to see what she was learning about in real life. 

Our A level History of Art course has been one of our most popular courses since the pandemic began in 2020. More blog posts on History of Art can be found here:

  • Dr Leah Clark, Senior Lecturer in Art History at the Open University, explores the importance of studying Art History and the transferable skills that it teaches
  • Daisy’s case study demonstrates the importance of studying to expand her own contextual knowledge as a newly qualified Arts and Design teacher. 
  • Aasha found that studying History of Art A level as a teacher helped to both improve her teaching and benefit her students. 

Interested in studying A level History and History of Art? Take a look at our bundle deals on A levels here.

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