Art and Architecture of Andalucía, c.750-1550


A comprehensive introduction and historical framework to the rich, diverse artistic and architectural legacy of Andalucía, Spain's most southerly region, produced between about 750 and 1550 CE, but with reference to its more ancient history. Andalucía's complex cultural past, with its periods of religious conflict and co-existence of the three Abrahamic religions and multiple artistic influences (including from the Maghreb and the Eastern Mediterranean), have left its major cities with many iconic, beguilingly beautiful buildings and artefacts.

The course will study the great Mesquita in Córdoba, the palatine cities of Madinat al-Zahra' and the Alhambra in Granada, and the Real Alcázar and Casa de Pilatos in Seville, as well as highlighting lesser known sites, such as Baeza, Úbeda, and La Calahorra.

Programme details

Course begins: 3rd March 2022

Week 1: Introducing Andalucía: Arts, Architecture, and Ancient History

Week 2: Córdoba: the Umayyad, the Mesquita, and Madinat al-Zahra

Week 3: Granada: the Nasrids, the Alhambra, the Albaicín, and the [Re]Conquista

Week 4: Berber Dynasties, Christian Conquest, Mudéjar, and Convivencia

Week 5: Andalucía and the Renaissance to c.1550   



Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course fee £125.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Dr Philippa Joseph

Dr Philippa Joseph is an art, architectural, and design historian, a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research (School of Advanced Studies, University of London), and a lecturer for Martin Randall Travel in Italy and Spain. Her broad academic interests cover the cross-cultural exchange and artistic and architectural output, principally around the Mediterranean Basin, from the Phoenicians to the present day, that have given us such a rich and diverse artistic legacy for study and interpretation. 

Course aims

To provide a comprehensive introduction to the major works of art and architecture of Andalucía produced between about 750 and 1550 CE.

Course Objectives

1. Study the key works of art and architecture of Andalucía, from about 750 to 1550 CE.

2. Outline what is distinct and most important about the cultural production of each city and period in Andalucía's history within this time frame.

3. Provide an intellectual framework and historical context for understanding the artistic and architectural legacy of Andalucía.

Teaching methods

Classroom-based: Each week there will be two or three illustrated lectures, on related topics, each of between 20 to 40 minutes' duration, followed by group discussion and questions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • Understand and distinguish the key factors and period's of Andalucía's cultural history.
  • Recognize and be able to interpret some of Andalucía's most famous buildings and artefacts.
  • Have developed an appreciation of what makes Andalucía's artistic and architectural legacy particularly important and its influence on the artistic development of other cultures.

Assessment methods

A short formative piece (250 words), followed by a book review, critical visual analysis of a building or work of art, or an ekphrasis (750 words).

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

This will be an introductory course, for which no prior knowledge of the subject will be required.

This course has five CATS points assigned to it.  Five CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of five two-hour sessions.  It is expected that, for every two hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)