Scientific Methodology
Cod: 32012
Department: DCSG
ECTS: 7.5
Scientific area: Heritage Studies
Total working hours: 195
Total contact time: 25

This course unit studies the models and theories of art history, and the phenomenon of artistic creation and the mission of the Art Historian and the Heritage Technician.

This curricular unit takes into account the issues concerning the work of art as a living document in history, the value of cultural heritage and the processes of preservation and cultural exploration.

The second part of the course unit addresses issues on history as art-science, the relationship between humanities and auxiliaries sciences of art history, the heuristic and hermeneutic processes in Art History.

This course unit also intends to support the preparation and drafting of a scientific work (from choosing the subject to its writing and presentation).

Philosophy of Science
History of Science
Scientific Work

Capacity of correct communication and fluently in portuguese language;
Ability to work autonomously;
Research capacity, and solution of problems with the investigation;
Innovation capacity;
Understand that there are several methods of work in Art History and Heritage Studies;
Acquire knowledge about the role of art historian and technical heritage;
Knowing that a work of art is always a response to one or more questions;
Knowing how to read a work of art;
Discerning the value, utility and wealth of human science;
Understand and handle  to interdisciplinarity and the multiple sources of Art History;
Ability to read, interpret, reflect and summarize texts specialty;
Learn to handle and assess the degree of truth of the various sources of information and research;
Ability to plan, investigate, perform, and write a scientific and academic work.

The concept of Science
The contemporary scientific thought
The questions of method
• the inductive method
• the deductive method
• the hypothetical-deductive
Karl Popper
Imre Lakatos
The social sciences
• the historical knowledge
• the historical source
The Art History
The concept of work of art and the lecture of a work of art in the context of art history
• the two major levels approach the work of art
• interdisciplinarity of art history as a human and social science

Part II
The completion of a scientific work
The choice of theme and the first steps to understanding their feasibility
Scientific research
• how should we take the readings
• summaries and personal notes
• bibliographic sources, or printed sources
• the manuscript sources
• the ordering of the material
• the importance of the work plans
• fieldwork
• what do we find in loco?
The ordination and treatment of the research

Part III
The writing and the format of a dissertation
The formal elements that embody the scientific text
• the title
• architecture text
• the Introduction
• chapters and subchapters
• completion
• bibliographic files
• citations, references and footnotes
General structure of the presentation.

Argan, Giulio Carlo, FAGIOLO, Maurizio, Guia de História da Arte. Lisboa: Editorial Estampa, 1992;


Calabrese, Omar, Como se lê uma obra de arte. Lisboa: Edições 70, 1997;


Ceia, Carlos, Normas para a apresentação de um trabalho científico. Lisboa: Editorial Presença, 1995;


Eco, Umberto, A definição da Arte. Lisboa: Edições 70, 1981;


─, Como se faz uma tese em Ciências Humanas, Lisboa, Editorial Presença, 1984.


Gonçalves, Carla Alexandra, Metodologia do Trabalho Científico, Universidade Aberta, 2012 (PDF inédito publicado na sala de aula).


The procedures and tools used in this course are consistent with the Pedagogical Model of UAB, expecting mechanisms of continuous assessment, using short and varied works, appropriately pointed to students (60%), as well as a summative evaluation in the form of a final paper (40%).

Students are required to have access to a computer with Internet broadband connection and an e-mail account.