from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Canals: The Making of a Nation: HeritageTuesday, 6th October 2015 20:00 - BBC FourEpisode 1 of 6 investigates the heritage of our canal network and how the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal is still... Read more: Canals: The Making of a Nation: Heritage
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Wednesday, 7th October 2015 00:45 - BBC Two
Canals: The Making of a Nation: HeritageWednesday, 7th October 2015 00:55 - BBC Four
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Wednesday, 7th October 2015 01:15 - BBC Two
The Great British Year: WinterAvailable until Friday, 6th November 2015 22:00A frozen nation, but not a wasteland... Read more: The Great British Year: Winter
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of TasteAvailable for over a year
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Available until Friday, 6th November 2015 01:15
BBC Inside Science: Preserving global diversity: Kew specialAvailable for over a year
Strange coloured teeth; strange coloured bonesAre bones and teeth always white? Not always... Read more: Strange coloured teeth; strange coloured bones
OpenLearn Live: 6th October 2015Celebrating a small village with a role in two explosive events in history - then more free... Read more: OpenLearn Live: 6th October 2015
Innovation through representationInnovations are realised through design, and some of the most useful tools in the designers’... Try: Innovation through representation now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning now
Processes of study in the arts and humanities
This unit is essential reading if you want to look at, and think about, people's ideas,...
This unit is essential reading if you want to look at, and think about, people's ideas, practices and products to try to understand what they mean. Developing your skill in analysis–interpretation–evaluation and communication is a good and worthwhile investment. Aimed at learners of arts and humanities subjects, you will find this unit invaluable whether you are new to study or more experienced.
After studying this unit you should be able to:
- understand aspects of human culture, past and present;
- analyse various ‘objects’, interpret their meaning and evaluate them.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The processes of study
- 2 Becoming familiar with the text
- 3 Approaching analysis
- 4 Interpreting meanings
- 5 Evaluation
- 6 Commmunicating your ideas
- 7 Beliefs and theories
- 8 Making your own enquiries
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
Processes of study in the arts and humanities
In this unit we turn to the nature of the arts and humanities themselves, and look at the main processes involved in studying them.
Broadly, when you study the arts and humanities you study aspects of culture. You explore people's ideas and beliefs, their cultural practices and the objects they have made. Human history is criss-crossed with the traces of people who did, said and made things and these people were to some extent aware of what they were doing. So all these things mean something. Your task is to look carefully at people's ideas, practices and products to try to understand what they mean. You achieve this understanding by:
This unit is an adapted extract from the
analysing the various ‘objects’ of your study (for example, plays, music, paintings, historical or legal documents, philosophical treatises, maps, buildings, religious ceremonies);
interpreting the meanings of these objects;
making judgements of their value;
communicating your interpretations and judgements.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 18th July 2011
Last updated on: Friday, 24th August 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.