Short Courses 2024

On campus and online

A bronze sculpture of a dancer looking at the sole of her right foot i Edgar Degas (1834–1917), Dancer Looking at the Sole of her Right Foot, Bronze cast by A.A. Hébrard Foundry, Paris, Around 1919–20, from a wax model made around 1895–1900, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

The Courtauld shares its scholarly expertise with everyone interested in art and art history through the Short Courses. Our courses present up-to-date art-historical thinking, often including our lecturers’ current research, and are led by experts in their field who are chosen for their academic excellence, enthusiasm, and the ability to communicate with diverse audiences.

Covering a global range of historical periods and art-historical themes, the Short Courses programme has much to offer to both newcomers to the subject and to participants with existing knowledge and interests.

Our on campus courses combine teaching in the classroom with visits to galleries and museums across London. If you are stretched for time or too far away from The Courtauld, you can also study with us online! You will receive expert lectures and reading material between 2-4 weeks before the start of an online programme so that you can immerse yourself in the content at your own time, in preparation for the lively online seminars during the course delivery week.

You can find our courses and their full descriptions on this website.  Our frequently asked questions may answer any queries, but if not, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Download our Short Courses calendar for 2024, listing all our courses and tours per month, here:

Short Courses Calendar 2024
Giacomo Guardi, Saint Mark’s Square, Venice ,n.d., graphite, brown ink, watercolour, and bodycolour on blue wove paper, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

In the spotlight: Eighteenth-century visual cultures

In their Summer School courses, Camilla Pietrabissa and Harvey Shepherd investigate the important roles played by the arts in two very different eighteenth-century societies: Venice, and France.

The once mighty Republic of Venice, whose political and mercantile significance had long since faded, remained culturally important as a magnet for Grand Tourists.  By the 1700s, it had created a beguiling visual culture:  spectacular masquerades and balls, civic and religious processions; widely disseminated views and capricci featuring its major sites, along with a stream of artists who exported the dynamic compositions, charm, and bright colouring of Venetian art to centres around Europe.

By contrast, France was a leading player on the eighteenth-century world stage, with colonial reach and ambitions, and provided style leadership for European elites.  The arts, tightly state-controlled under Louis XIV, adapted to important external and internal events over the course of the eighteenth century:   warfare and colonial expansion, the need to respond to the interests of an increasingly public audience, and growing conflict at home, which culminated in the outbreak of the French revolution and the demise of the ancien régime. 

Join our lecturers as they engage with the cultures, and contexts – spectacle and celebrity, the rise of ‘mass media’, Empire and globalisation – of a foundational period in the making of modern life.

Find out more about Rococo to Revolution: French Art and its Geographical Contexts, 1700-1789 here and A Society of Spectacle: Seeing and Being Seen in Eighteenth-Century Venice here.

Book now: Summer School online

Our Summer School online this year includes courses on topics ranging from Renaissance Venice to abstract expressionism.

Our online courses consist of pre-recorded lectures which you can watch at a time that suits you, along with live seminar discussions which allow you to dig deeper into the subject with the lecturer and your fellow students.

As in all our programmes, we aim to combine a high level of scholarly expertise with an engaging delivery and a friendly atmosphere. Small-group teaching facilitates discussion and ensures each student is given the lecturer’s attention.

Find out more
i Francis Towne, Landscape with stream and footbridge, Holly Street, Chagford, 28 August 1815, graphite, pen and ink (grey), watercolour on wove paper, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld.

Book now: Summer School on campus

Summer School on campus offers 20 courses over four weeks, exploring topics ranging from spectacle in eighteenth-century Venice to ancient Mayan art.

Morning or afternoon classroom sessions are complemented by object-focused study in London’s museums, galleries, printrooms, churches, and other sites.  The Courtauld Gallery will host post-graduate talks introducing aspects of the collections, features as a teaching resource in many of our courses and will be the splendid venue of one of our evening Summer School parties.

Summer School on campus includes a framework programme to which all students across the month are invited and which consists of a plenary lecture, a music recital, a film screening and an ‘in conversation with’ debate.

Find out more
i Franz Wiegele, Young Woman in a Landscape (Carinthia), c. 1930 – 1938, oil on canvas, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld.

Our programmes

Summer School

On campus and online. Summer School 2024 features 25 intensive five-day courses on a global range of topics from late classical to contemporary art. ...

Autumn Courses

Our Autumn Courses go considerably beyond introductory surveys. Organised thematically, they provide a solid basis for further studies of areas of Western art from classical antiquity to the twentieth century. ...

Spring Courses

Online and on campus options. Our Spring Courses go considerably beyond introductory surveys. Organised thematically, they provide a solid basis for further study in Western art from classical antiquity to the twentieth century. ...

Three figures looking at a drawing

Showcasing Art History

On campus and online. As the programme name implies, the series aims to share the latest art-historical thinking, and The Courtauld’s excellence in teaching and research, with the wider public....

Study Tours

Join our expert lecturers for one of our sought-after Study Tours in person, which are celebrated for their scholarly excellence, conviviality and small group size. ...

Giovanni Antonio Canaletto (1697 - 1768), View from Somerset Gardens looking towards London Bridge, 1746 - 1755 (circa)

Saturday Study

Saturday Study delivers short, intensive and, we hope, enjoyable events that help to give further context to our temporary exhibitions, or use selected works from our permanent collections as starting points for the investigation of significant art-h...