Anja, BA History of Art
The Courtauld has offered me a full and well-rounded education, letting me experience a range of courses and helping me to understand what I truly enjoy. From courses covering the Global Contemporary to 17th Century Graphic Satire, my three years at The Courtauld have allowed me to understand a range of topics across Art History, helping me to narrow down my personal interests. I have discovered time periods and objects that I did not expect to study when entering my first year, and would never have guessed that my final Assessed Essay would cover a 14th century Italian ostensory, used in Christian ritual.
As someone who did not study Art History prior to beginning my first year at The Courtauld, I can confidently say that the courses here are not intimidating to newcomers, but still remain challenging to those who already have a foundational understanding of the subject. Extracurricular activities such as writing and editing for The Courtauldian, the student publication, helped me to make close friends at The Courtauld and gain experience at the same time. I have also enjoyed smaller social events held by the Student Union, such as pub quizzes and hand-in parties. Research Forum events help students to get to know the staff and broaden their research interests, and there are a number of lectures that I have attended that have sparked interests I didn’t realise I had. I also attended Masters and PhD presentations at The Courtauld, giving an insight into what it would be like to continue in an academic environment.
Morgan, BA History of Art
For me, the primary benefits of studying at The Courtauld are the opportunities offered by being in the middle of one of the world’s cultural centres. When studying the History of Art, the advantages of being able to see great works on your doorstep are immeasurable – I can’t imagine doing it another way. With its collection of world-class galleries and museums, London allows you to see art from around the world through a vibrant programme of exhibitions and shows throughout the year. But London offers so much more for a student than just galleries and museums. Great institutions like the British Library and the University of London’s own Senate House Library allow you access to some of the best research resources in the country.
Outside academic work, there is always something interesting and exciting happening in London. No matter your interests there will be something for you, from the London Jazz Festival to the Lord Mayor’s Show, the BFI Film Festival to the Royal Opera House. The city is home to hundreds of different musical venues offering world-class performances of every genre and type. Even just walking the city itself can be entertainment enough, from its winding Victorian passages and grand Georgian streets to the enchanting medieval corners seemingly untouched by the advancing years – to explore London is to explore history. And, if you want to escape the urban sprawl, London has excellent transport connections to help you escape to green spaces, whether that’s as nearby as Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park or further afield like Brighton or St Albans.
Studying in London is an education in itself.
Flora, MA History of Art
The intensive approach of the MA History of Art course has rewarded me with a far deeper understanding of my specialist subject, German Modernism, and enabled me to pursue fields of inquiry that I had previously touched on in my undergraduate dissertation in English and German. The balanced MA programme at The Courtauld offers invaluable hands-on experience and independent study, with its courses driven by current research trends. I have attended conferences and seminars at the Research Forum and benefitted from an invaluable study trip to Berlin, where I visited Bauhaus Centenary exhibitions and participated in private gallery tours led by experts in Modernist design.
The MA course has challenged me to persevere with lines of research in specific topics, and given me the experience to make a more practical, visual response to themes and artworks studied in the Special Option through the Virtual Exhibition project. With its focus on inventive design and audience engagement techniques, the project enabled me to develop new curatorial skills and respond directly to the vibrant collections I visited throughout the year at London’s Tate Britain, V&A and Design Museums.
I have enjoyed becoming part of the Courtauld community and working closely with students across year groups whilst writing and editing articles for The Courtauldian. As well as compiling reviews for the bi-annual publication, I have been able to liaise with institutions such as the Migration Museum and Tate Britain to conduct interviews and write exhibition reviews. The Academic Writing and Careers services at The Courtauld have been invaluable in supporting my studies and helping me shape my future career path in the art world. I have appreciated the ‘buzz’, unique to a small institute, and look forward to remaining part of The Courtauld’s close network of students and academics through the Alumni programme.
Guillaume, MA Curating the Art Museum
Studying at The Courtauld was an exceptional opportunity and the 12-months course was beyond my expectations. It started with theory, research and writing, and slowly shifted to one of the most important experience in my life, creating an exhibition with my class. This group project was the opportunity to apply everything I had learned in my prior higher education and work experiences, with the most important aspect being the teamwork. Moreover, every other aspect of this course – writing essays, meeting artists and curators, discovering the backstage of national museums – were all incredible opportunities and challenges. The Courtauld is demanding and very formative, and I cannot think of a better place to learn and practice. As a Frenchman who studied Art History in Paris before moving to London, the British academic system felt unfamiliar. But everyone at The Courtauld, including classmates, teachers, librarians, even the administrative staff, helped and supported me to ensure that everything went smoothly.
London is an astounding and exciting city, full of inspiring cultural institutions. Twelve months in London were not enough to do everything I wanted, because so many things are happening, everywhere and everyday – but do not be overwhelmed and enjoy this ever-moving capital as much as you can.