Visual Culture and Critical Studies 1


VCCS1 introduces key skills in visual and critical analysis as they are applied to a wide variety of cultural artifacts and visual media. Examples will be chosen that harmonise with the new Leaving Certificate Art curriculum within the three main content areas from Europe and the wider world; Ireland and its place in the wider world and Today’s world. In VCCS1 historic examples of Irish culture from Pre-Christian to the Georgian era and European from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque up to the twentieth century will be explored, drawing upon contemporary case studies that bear relevance where appropriate.

Participants will not only gain a familiarity with specialist terminology, concepts and ideas but will engage with aesthetic, social and cultural issues within an ethical framework rooted in questions of diversity and difference.

The idea is that visual analysis is a form of critical and creative enquiry in tune with holistic philosophies of education. VCCS1 will prepare students to align with the focus of the Leaving Certificate curriculum that focuses on four sections: ‘Artists: Theory and Thinking, Artists: Processes and Media, Art as Social Commentary or Commentator and Art and the Environment’. In Year 2 students will continue with VCCS2 with a focus on 20th century Modernism and Post-Modernism from Ireland, Europe and beyond.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire critical skills in describing, interpreting, contextualizing and evaluating cultural artefacts and visual media, using relevant terminology and specialist insight.

  2. Recognise and describe key perspectives and ethical frameworks characterizing an understanding of visual culture.

  3. Present an analysis of selected cultural material through the seminar format and engage with confidence through peer/group discussion with competing arguments and perspectives.

  4. Develop core skills in critical analysis through a range of research methods and an understanding of the demands of the academic essay format.

  5. Introduce skills in visual analysis to students undertaking the subject of junior cycle Visual Art in a stimulating and insightful manner.

  6. Develop a critical awareness of their own creative role as teacher in the field of Art, Design and Graphics.

% Coursework 100%