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How The World Makes Art


Admission requirements

Same as admission requirements for the BA Art History/BA Arts, Media and Society.


Art and architecture are forms of universal human expression. Across the world, through the ages, human cultures have produced buildings, paintings, sculptures, drawings and all kinds of artefacts to give visible form to their beliefs, dreams, fears or desires. They have also used art to affect its viewers: to inspire fear, love or admiration; or to express social, political or religious values and identities. In this introductory course to the study of art across the world we look at three major themes and functions of art: the power of art works to affect their viewers; art, religion and the cult of the dead; art and identity. In a series of lectures we will show how these themes and functions occur across the world and through the ages. The lecture course will thus offer a panorama of the vast range of art and cultural practices worldwide and through time.

Course objectives

This course aims to create awareness that art is an integral part of human life. In all cultures across time and space, the visual arts and the built environment appear interwoven with crucial dimensions of being human – how we think of ourselves, what we believe, what we value, what we hope. Visual art both expresses and communicates such views, as this course sets out to demonstrate by means of in-depth case studies presenting examples drawn from a variety of cultures worldwide and through time.

  • Students acquire insight in and learn to value the richness, varieties and development of art across the world.

  • Students become familiar with major forms and technical and physical aspects of the visual and applied arts and architecture from prehistory to the present.

  • Students get acquainted with and learn to make use of the main sources and handbooks on world art studies.

  • Students acquire insight into some scholarly approaches to world art studies.

  • Students practice various 21st -century skills such as creative thinking and expressing themselves in other than solely verbal ways.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Written examination with essay questions

  • Paper


  • Written examination with essay questions (40%)

  • Paper (60%)
    The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). BOTH parts of the examinations need to be a pass.


A resit/ rewrite can be done for constituent examinations which are failed. As far as applicable, all resits/ rewrites take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

See Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies. All other students need to contact the coordinator of studies to be enrolled for this course.

Registration Studeren à la Carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs