BA (Hons) History of Art - The Courtauld Institute of Art

BA (Hons) History of Art

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BA (Hons) History of Art

Course Overview

The Courtauld offers one undergraduate degree programme, the BA (Hons) History of Art. This seeks to attract students of the highest calibre, who are driven by an insatiable curiosity to learn about the visual arts and their histories.

The education we offer equips students with a critical understanding of art from antiquity to the present, providing an ideal foundation for further academic study. Our BA also teaches a broad range of transferable skills that qualify our graduates to pursue a wide variety of careers. Our undergraduates learn to think for themselves, and how to communicate their thoughts to others in a lucid, disciplined and professional manner.

The undergraduate student who comes to The Courtauld becomes part of a vibrant intellectual community, united by a passion for investigating visual culture in all its forms. The BA aims to give our students access to the best available research-led teaching, and to world-class learning resources, starting with our own specialist libraries and encompassing many of the relevant materials that are on offer in London. Most students will also experience at least one study trip abroad during the course of their degree.

Key Facts

Award: BA (Hons) History of Art

UCAS Code: V350

Location: Vernon Square Kings Cross, London WC1X 9EP   (and Somerset House, Strand, London WC2 0RN)

Awarding Body: University of London

Students who complete the course successfully will receive a degree from the University of London.

Intake: c.75 students

Duration: 3 years (full-time)

Academic Year: Full time course: October – June

Timetables: Finalised student timetables will be available at enrolment (late Sept/early Oct) each year. Whilst we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week, though Wednesday afternoons are normally free from teaching.

Term Dates: Term dates up until the 2019/20 course intake can be seen here

As of September 2018, thanks to the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and other major donors, The Courtauld will embark on a transformational ‘Courtauld Connects’ project, which involves full refurbishment of both the Gallery and the Institute at Somerset House. We will be relocating all teaching and learning, to our new campus at Vernon Square from January 2019. The refurbishment work at Somerset House will be carried out in two phases, and it is expected that the Courtauld Gallery will be completed by 2020, and the Courtauld Institute completed by 2022.

The Courtauld is fully committed to maintaining the very highest standards of teaching and learning, as well as student facilities and resources during this time. Therefore, we have invested £1.2 million funding to refurbish our new campus at Vernon Square, to ensure it is fit for the purpose of delivering an excellent student experience.

The Courtauld is also keen to ensure that works from The Courtauld Gallery remain on public view as much as possible during the two-year refurbishment, and we have therefore formed several partnerships with various institutions including National Gallery, London, and Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, to exhibit some of our key works throughout this time.

Admissions Policy

At every stage of the selection process, Institute staff use the following criteria for assessing applicants. Successful applicants will demonstrate:

  • Potential for developing the skills used in humanities subjects, (such as History, English Literature, and Religious Studies). Skills required in the study of Art History include critical thinking, and the ability to analyse texts, debate ideas, and write with clarity.
  • Potential aptitude for visual analysis. The ability to translate what one sees into words, and ultimately into coherent discussion as well as into succinct verbal and written presentations. Successful applicants will demonstrate the desire to develop these skills, and be willing to extend and diversify their approaches to objects and images under the guidance of their tutors.
  • Potential to thrive in the environment offered by a specialist teaching institute. Their level of maturity should be such that they can negotiate both large lecture courses and small seminar groups, managing tasks such as oral presentations and group discussions. A potential for teamwork as well as individual contributions to the community is desirable.
  • Openness to new ideas, and a tolerance for the ideas of others. Successful applicants will demonstrate both a desire to learn and the potential to be ‘teachable’, in terms of that openness and tolerance.

 

 Admissions Policy 2016-7

Policy on Admission of Students Under the Age of 18 years

 Undergraduate Selections Criteria

How to Apply

To apply to the BA History of Art degree course at The Courtauld, you will need to submit through UCAS . We would advise that you write your personal statement in relation to the key criteria highlighted in the admissions policy. You must apply by the 15 January UCAS deadline. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

If your application is successful, you will be made an offer based on both the quality of your personal statement, your existing grades for AS Level and GCSE (or equivalent), and your predicted final results. 

You should expect to hear if your application has been successful by early March. If successful, you will be invited to attend one of our ‘Offer Holder Days’ at The Courtauld, where you will be invited to participate in a seminar class and discussion group, as well as meet current students and engage in a careers planning and Alumni discussion, in order to experience first-hand what life will be like at The Courtauld. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any further questions you might have about studying here at The Courtauld, or life in London more broadly.

UCAS Course Details:

Institution code name: CRT
Institution code: C80
Course code: V350
Campus code: Leave Blank
Short form of the course title: BA/HoA
Further details: None required
Defer Entry: Enter ‘N’ if you wish to apply for the 2019/20 intake or ‘Y’ if you wish to defer your entry to 2020/21. (Applications for deferred entry will be decided the year the application is made.)

As part of your UCAS application you will be asked to write a personal statement. Advice on writing your personal statement.

The Courtauld receives over 300 applications at undergraduate level, with around 70 of these typically being admitted.

If your first language is not English, you should send a scanned copy of your English proficiency certificate (IELTS or Cambridge Advanced English) to the Admissions team via ugadmissions@courtauld.ac.uk. Likewise, if your school results are not automatically reported to UCAS (i.e., if you have studied outside the United Kingdom), you should send scanned copies of your school certificates.

Unfortunately, we are unable to consider applicants for transfer into the second or third year of the course at this time.

Find out more

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirement Grades 2019/20:

  • A-levels: Grades AAA-ABB (excluding General Studies).
  • Admissions tutors are flexible on subjects studied, (however if you are completing two A-Levels in practical art subjects, a fourth A-Level is preferred).
  • International A-levels are typically accepted on a grade-per-grade basis.
  • GCSE: A grade A-C in a European language is desirable but not required.
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAB or AAABB, (usually supplemented by two or more Advanced Highers).
  • If you are studying the Advanced Higher subjects, you are likely to be set AA for two subjects, and AAB for three subjects.
  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Advanced Diploma with two A grades at A-Level alongside the Core Certificate at Level 3.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): a minimum 35 points overall, including a score of at least 6 in Group 1 (Language A1), Group 3 (Individuals and Societies) and Group 6 (Arts).
  • European Baccalaureate: 80% overall.
  • Cambridge Pre-U: D3, D3, M2 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects.
  • BTEC: DDM.
  • Access: Access to Humanities Diploma at Level 3 with 39 Level 3 credits from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining credits at Merit.

International applicants

The Courtauld has a long tradition of welcoming international students. If you are an international applicant, you will be required to apply through UCAS, and you should also send a transcript of your final secondary school results to Student and Academic Services if they are not visible in the UCAS portal.

Entry requirements for many EU and International qualifications can be found here.

For further advice on entrance requirements, including international equivalencies not included on the Guidance page, or if you hold a combination of qualifications, please contact Student and Academic Services at ugadmissions@courtauld.ac.uk  

English Language proficiency: You will be expected to have an effective knowledge of English, both spoken and written in order to apply. If your first language is not English, we will require proof of English proficiency – for details, please see the English Language Requirements page.

Mature Students

We welcome applications from mature candidates, (defined as those at least 21 years old at the time of application) . If you are a mature applicant, please forward a copy of your CV and any transcripts of results from recent study to our admissions team via email (ugadmissions@courtauld.ac.uk) in addition to completing the UCAS application form.

Widening Participation

We warmly encourage widening participation students with a passion for Art History to apply to the Institute, and we want to enable every candidate to have the opportunity to demonstrate their passion and potential. If you are applying as a candidate from socio-economic groups that are under-represented in Higher Education, we do reserve the right to make you a lower offer than our typical entry requirement, if we are convinced of your potential and the passion to thrive on this course. For more information about our widening participation activities at The Courtauld, please click here

Course Outline: Year One

Year One

The Year One Art History courses are designed to offer you a broad coverage of periods, regions, materials and approaches to art and architecture from antiquity to the present. The key objectives of the year are for you to acquire a basic knowledge of objects and materials across a wide span of Art History, and for you to begin mastering the skills necessary to acquire this knowledge and to think, speak, and write critically about it. Year One comprises three main components:

  • A Foundation lecture series, (which runs throughout Autumn and Spring term).
  • Two Topic courses (one in the Autumn and one in the Spring Term) 
  • Language course.

Full details of these components, and their weighting towards your overall Year One grade, are outlined below:

Please note, you are expected to allocate a minimum of 34 hours per week to study in Year One (inclusive of pre-assigned contact hours, class preparation, and essay and presentation research and writing) during the Autumn and Spring terms. Study hours in the Summer term will vary.

Foundations Lecture Series: Overview

A series of lectures called ‘Foundations’ runs throughout the Autumn and Spring terms and into the early part of the Summer term. A full reading list is shared with you at the start of each term, which contains all compulsory texts which you are expected to read before each lecture, as well as suggestions for recommended reading. You should estimate 3.5 hours of reading time per lecture. Each lecture is 1 hour, and they are scheduled three times per week (54 lectures in total)

The Foundations lecture series is supported by weekly discussion classes. Discussion classes are 1.5 hours long, and they are scheduled once per week. The purpose of these classes is for you to consolidate your learning and understanding from the lectures and core readings that have taken place each week, through actively participating in dynamic and lively exchanges led by a Teaching Assistant. For this reason, we ensure class sizes are limited to 20 students or fewer.

(Please note that the exact content of the Foundations series varies on an annual basis based on which members of faculty will be lecturing, and their specialisms).

An indicative timetable and lecture titles can be found here, based on 2017/18. The timetables and lecture lists will be finalised and distributed to you during your first week post-enrolment.

Foundations Lecture Series: Assessment

  • Informal assessment: As part of the Foundations series, you are also expected to complete 5 x 1,500 word essays over the course of the year, in response to topics covered in the Foundation lectures. Their titles and deadlines will be shared with you along with your reading lists at the start of each term. These essays will be marked by the same Teaching Assistant who facilitates your discussion class, and she or he will offer written feedback on them.

(These essays do not contribute towards your final Year One grade, but completion of them is a compulsory element of the module, as they are used to consolidate and embed key learnings from the Foundation lectures which will aid your revision for the examinations in the Summer Term).

  • Formal assessment: 2 x 3-hour examinations are the formal assessment for this module, and contribute towards your final Year One grade.

Topic Courses: Overview

Alongside the Foundations lectures, you will also take two Topic Courses, one in the Autumn and one in the Spring term. These Topic courses operate in small classes of 10 students or less, and offer focused study on various kinds of art, monuments, and object types available for first-hand study in  in London. Topic classes are each 2 hours long, and are scheduled once per week. As with the Foundation Lectures, a full reading list is shared with you at the start of each term, which contains all compulsory texts which students are expected to read before each Topic class, as well as suggestions for recommended reading. You should estimate about 4 hours of reading time per class.

(Please note that Topic courses are taught by both permanent members of Faculty and Associate Lecturers. Courses on offer vary on an annual basis based on which Faculty and Associate Lecturers will be teaching, and their specialisms).

In Year One, you will be pre-assigned to these courses at enrolment. An indicative list of Topic course titles , based on those which ran in 2017/18, can be found here.

Topic Courses: Assessment

  • Informal assessment: You will complete various presentations, short written exercises and other assignments throughout the Autumn and Spring terms as part of the informal assessment in this module.
  • Formal assessment: You also complete 2 x 2,500 word assessed essays per Topic course, and these essays are marked by your course tutor. The titles and deadlines of these essays will be shared with you along with your reading list at the start of each term. The 2,500 word assessed essays are the formal assessment method for Topic courses and contribute towards your final Year One grade.

Academic Skills sessions: Overview

You will also have 0.5 hours of study skills sessions per week, in order to help supplement your research and writing methods for the academic tasks you will be working on throughout term time. These will directly follow on from one of the lectures in your schedule. Full details will be available when you receive your timetable at the beginning of term.

Language Course: Overview

Finally, as Art History is an international discipline, the ability to read a foreign language is highly beneficial, and so you are encouraged to develop and improve your language skills in Year One. You will therefore follow a weekly Language Course throughout Year One, starting in October. These classes are 2 hours long and are scheduled once per week during the Autumn and Spring terms, continuing into the early part of the Summer term. You should expect homework to be assigned on a weekly basis, and should set aside roughly 1.5 hours of study time for this.

Language teaching is provided by the  of the London School of Economics (Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE). You may choose any language provided by the LSE; however, only certain courses will be tailored to our students. If you have a post-GCSE qualification in a language, then you should choose a different one. 

You must complete the language coursework assignments throughout the year, which will take the form of reading, writing and oral tasks of roughly 20 minutes each. You will be set 7 of these tasks throughout the year, of which the best 5 will contribute towards your final mark. You will also be expected to complete an oral examination at the end of the year which will also be approximately 20 minutes. Traditionally our students have studied French, German or Italian.

Language Course: Assessment

  • Formal assessment: The Language Course is assessed by approximately 5 x 20-minute reading/writing/oral coursework assignments throughout the year (70%), and a 20-minute oral presentation and Q&A at the end of the year (30%).

Year One – Course Unit Breakdown

Although Year One assessment does not contribute towards your overall degree grade, you will still need to pass the year (obtain a grade of 35% or above in each of the modules) in order to progress to Year Two.

Year One modules are weighted and assessed in the following ways:

Year

Module

Module

Module

Module

Total credits

Total % contribution to final degree grade

BA1

Foundations

Topic Course Autumn

Topic Course Spring

Language Course

 

 

Assessment method

Examination essays (2 x 3-hour exams)

Coursework essays (2 x 2,500 words)

Coursework essays (2 x 2,500 words)

Coursework assignments (70%) & Oral examination (30%)

 

 

Credits

60 (50%)

15 (12.5%)

15 (12.5%)

30 (25%)

120 (100%)

0%

TOTAL 120 credits = 100% of BA1/ 0% of final grade

 

Course Outline: Year Two

Year Two

During the second year you will be introduced to more specialised investigations and encouraged to further develop your critical thinking. You will start to take increasing responsibility for your own independent learning.  Year Two comprises three main components:

  • A Frameworks for Interpretation lecture series, which runs throughout Autumn and Spring term.
  • Two Constellation Courses (one in the Autumn and one in the Spring Term).
  • 4,000 word assessed essay on a topic of the student’s choice.

Full details of these components, and their weighting towards your overall Year Two grade, are outlined below.

Please note: You will be expected to allocate a minimum of 34 hours per week to study in Year Two (inclusive of pre-assigned contact hours, class preparation, and informally-assessed essay and presentation research and writing) during the Autumn and Spring terms. Study hours in the Summer term will vary.

Frameworks for Interpretation: Overview

Frameworks for Interpretation offers a critical introduction to some of the key methodologies (such as biography, taxonomy, formalism, iconology, psychoanalysis, etc.) that inform art-historical interpretation.

Because the methodologies are quite complex, teaching delivery of this course alternates each week between a lecture and a seminar class, the latter helping you deepen your understanding and embed the learning. This means that for each key methodology, 2 x 1 hour lectures are given in the first week, to introduce you to the key concepts and debates, followed by one 2 hour seminar in the following week, which allows you the opportunity for thorough examinations of the key texts and objects of study. There are 18 lectures in total, and 8 seminars in total for this course.

A full reading list is shared with you at the start of each term, which contains all compulsory texts which you are expected to read before each lecture and seminar, as well as suggestions for recommended reading. You should estimate about 3-4 hours of reading time for each lecture and seminar class.

Please note that Frameworks for Interpretation seminar classes are led by Teaching Assistants, while lectures are delivered by members of Faculty. The course’s content tends to remain quite consistent each year, but might be subject to change based on a lecturer’s specialisms. 

An indicative timetable and list of lecture titles can be found here, based on 2017/18. The timetable and list of lecture titles will be finalised and distributed to you during your first week post-enrolment.

Frameworks for Interpretation: Assessment

  • Informal assessment: You will complete various presentations, essays and other assignments throughout the Autumn and Spring terms as part of the informal assessment in this module. The titles and deadlines of all tasks will be shared with you along with your reading list at the start of each term.

(All assignments will be reviewed by the same Teaching Assistant who has led your seminar classes, and she or he will offer written and or verbal feedback on them. These assignments do not contribute directly towards your final Year Two grade, but completion of this is a compulsory element of the module, used to help consolidate and embed key learnings, improve critical writing technique and aid your revision for the examination in the Summer term).

  • Formal assessment: One 3-hour examination comprises 50% of the formal assessment for this module. The other 50% comprises a 2,500-word essay, which is an assessed essay not written under timed conditions, but submitted in term time to a pre-agreed deadline.

Constellation Courses: Overview                                 

You will take two Constellation Courses (one in the Autumn term and one in the Spring term). These courses are designed to investigate Art History through examination of a specific historical moment, a geographic region and/or an artistic medium. They will offer you both rich explorations of individual artists, art works and spaces, and opportunities to question art-historical tropes and trajectories.

Each course comprises, in turn, two elements: a lecture course and a seminar course.

  • The Constellation lecture courses are normally taught by members of Courtauld Faculty in the form of two 1.5-hour sessions per week in a combined lecture and discussion format.
  • The Constellation seminar courses take the form of 2-hour weekly seminars normally led by Associate Lecturers. These courses cover material which is related to the theme of the lecture courses.

The Courtauld is currently offering three Constellation course options in each of the Autumn and Spring terms, covering a broad range of chronological periods, geographical regions, and as far as possible a spread of media (painting, architecture, etc.). An indicative list of Constellation course titles, based on those which ran in 2017/18, can be found here.

A full reading list is shared with you at the start of each term, which contains all compulsory texts which you are expected to read before each lecture and each seminar class, as well as suggestions for recommended reading. You should estimate a total of about 6 hours of reading time per week to cover the reading  for both the lecture and the seminar courses.

Please note: the specific content which makes up the Constellation courses varies year on year. You will be invited to state your preferences for which Constellation courses you would like to study. We do our best to accommodate your preferences, whilst ensuring that seminar-class sizes remain small, and that the courses you select are in a different art historical period from those studied in your Year One Topic courses, to ensure that you are continuing to build a broad knowledge of History of Art at large.

An indicative timetable and list of lecture/seminar titles can be found here, based on 2017/18. The timetables and lecture lists for 2018/19 will be finalised and distributed to you during your first week post-enrolment.

Constellation Courses: Assessment

  • Informal assessment: You should expect each Constellation seminar to be informally assessed by 4 pieces of written and oral work.
  • Formal assessment: Each Constellation course will be formally assessed by one 3-hour examination in January (to assess the Autumn-term Constellation course) and one 3-hour examination in June (the Spring-term Constellation course).

Assessed Essay (4,000 words): Overview

The assessed essay is an opportunity for you to identify and focus on a topic of particular interest to them, and write a 4,000-word essay with the support of a supervisor who is either a Faculty member or an Associate Lecturer. The purpose is to prepare you with the independent research and writing skills required for your assessed essay in Year Three. As this is likely to be the first time you are embarking on an independent piece of research of this nature, we restrict potential supervisors to tutors involved with the delivery of Year Two teaching.

With guidance from your personal tutor and Head of Department (in a special meeting convened in the Autumn term), you will seek out their own supervisor. Note: this should be done early as tutors may only supervise a certain number of students, and will often approve final topics on a first-come first-serve basis. Together with the supervisor, you negotiate a meeting schedule with a view to the deadlines for registering an essay topic and submitting the essay itself. Both deadlines are shared with you at the start of the academic year.

You are allowed one introductory meeting with your supervisor to talk through the scope and proposed structure/contents of your essay, and receive advice. You will then submit a draft of the essay to your supervisor, and receive both written and verbal feedback in another one-to-one session.

Assessed Essay (4,000 words): Assessment

  • Formal assessment: Assessment will be in the form of the submitted 4,000-word essay.

Academic Skills sessions: Overview

You will have 0.5 hours of study skills sessions per week which will directly follow on from one of the lectures in your schedule. Full details of this will be available to them when you receive your timetable at the beginning of term.

Year Two – Course Unit Breakdown

Year Two assessment contributes 25% towards your overall degree grade and classification. You will need to pass the year (obtain a grade of 35% or above in each of the modules) in order to progress to Year Three. Year Two modules are weighted and assessed in the following ways:

Year

Module

Module

Module

Module

Total credits

Total % contribution to final degree grade

BA2

Frameworks

Constellation Course Autumn

Constellation Course Spring

Assessed Essay

 

 

Assessment method

Examination essays (1 x 3-hour) (50%) & Coursework essay 1 x 2,500 words (50%) 

Examination essays (1 x 3-hour exam)

Examination essays (1 x 3-hour exam)

Coursework essay (1 x 4,000 words)

 

 

Credits

40 (33.3%)

30 (25%)

30 (25%)

20 (16.6%)

120 (100%)

25%

TOTAL = 120 Credits = 100% of BA2/ 25% of overall grade

 

Course Outline: Year Three

Year Three

In the final year of the degree, the courses are designed to enable you to engage with materials and methods at an advanced level and to equip you for further study or research. You will take three courses, all of which will develop your familiarity with current methods and research techniques in Art History.

Year Three comprises three main components:

  • Two Special Options, (one in the Autumn and one in the Spring Term)
  • A Lessons in Critical Interpretation lecture and seminar series, (which runs throughout the Autumn and Spring term). 
  • A 5,000-word BA Dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Full details of these components, and their weighting towards your overall Year Three grade, are outlined in the table at the end of this section.

Please note, you are expected to allocate a minimum of 34 hours per week to study in Year Three (inclusive of pre-assigned contact hours, class preparation, and informally-assessed essay and presentation research and writing) during the Autumn and Spring terms. Study hours in the Summer term will vary.

Special Options: Overview

In Year Three, you will complete two Special Options: one in the Autumn term and one in the Spring term, chosen from a list of approximately eight Special Options per term. These courses are taught in small groups of 10 or less. They encourage in-depth study and challenge you to explore and engage fully with current issues and literature in focused but open-ended subjects which are related to their teachers’ current research.

A full reading list is shared with you at the start of each term, which contains all compulsory texts which students are expected to read before each lecture, as well as suggestions for recommended reading. You should estimate about 4.5 hours of reading time per class.

Please note that Special Options are taught by both permanent members of Faculty and Associate Lecturers. The specific Special Option courses vary each year dependent on which Faculty and Associate Lecturers will be teaching, and their specialisms. You will be invited to state your preferences for which Special Options you would like to study in June of Year Two. As with the Constellation courses, we do our best to accommodate your preferences, whilst ensuring that class sizes remain small, and ensure that you are continuing to build a broad knowledge of History of Art at large.

An indicative list of Special Options can be found here, based on 2017/18.  

Special Options: Assessment 

  • Informal assessment: You will complete various presentations, essays and other assignments throughout the Autumn and Spring terms as part of the informal assessment in this module. Topics and deadlines will be shared with you at the beginning of term.

(The marks you receive for these assignments do not form part of formal assessment, but completion of them is a mandatory part of the course, as they are used as aids to embed the learning and allow you to continue to develop your critical writing techniques with the support of feedback from your course tutor).

  • Formal assessment: Each Special Option will be assessed with two 3-hour examinations which will take place in January (to assess the Autumn-term Special Option) and in June (to assess the Spring-term Special Option).

Lessons in Critical Interpretation: Overview

As its name suggests, Lessons in Critical Interpretation builds on the critical knowledge you have acquired in Frameworks for Interpretation, through an intense engagement with individual case studies: together, the two courses create a methodological ‘spine’ to the degree course. Like Frameworks, Lessons is taught over the course of the Autumn and Spring terms and it will combine lectures and seminars.

This means that for each key ‘Lesson’, two 1-hour lectures are given in the first week, to introduce you to the key concepts and debates, followed by one 2-hour seminar in the next week, which allows you the opportunity for thorough examinations of the key texts and objects of study. There are 17 lectures in total, and 9 seminars in total for this course.

As part of the Lessons in Critical Interpretation series, you are also expected to complete compulsory readings before each lecture/seminar, and the reading lists for these will be shared with you at the beginning of each term. You should expect to assign 3.5 hours to reading and preparation for each lecture/seminar.

Seminar classes are led by Associate Lecturers; members of Faculty deliver the lecture pairs. Please note that the specific content which makes up the Lessons for Critical Interpretation lecture series changes year on year based on lecturers’ specialisms. 

An indicative timetable and list of lecture titles can be found here, based on 2017/18. The timetable and list of lecture titles will be finalised and distributed to you during your first week post-enrolment.

Lessons in Critical Interpretation: Assessment

  • Informal assessment: You will complete various presentations, essays and other assignments throughout the Autumn and Spring terms as part of the informal assessment in this module. Guidelines and deadlines for these assignments will be shared with you along with your reading list at the start of each term.

(These essays and presentations will be marked by the same Associate Lecturer who has led the student’s seminar classes, and she or he will provide written and/or verbal feedback on them. The essay and the presentation do not contribute directly towards your final Year Three grade, but completion of them are a compulsory element of the module, used to help you consolidate and embed key learnings and improve your critical writing technique).

  • Formal assessment: This module is formally assessed by a written submission comprising two  illustrated lecture texts, totalling 5,000 words.

BA Dissertation: Overview

The BA Dissertation is an opportunity for you to specialise in a key topic of interest, and write an extended 5,000-word essay with the support of a supervisor who is either a faculty member or an Associate Lecturer. This allows you to immerse yourself in independent research, independent thinking, and hone your critical writing skills into a significant body of work. Students often find that they have identified a topic of interest from one of the modules throughout their three years of study, but if they wish to focus on a completely new area that ignites a particular passion we will always do our best to encourage and support this.

With guidance from your personal tutors and Head of Department (in a special meeting convened in the Autumn term), you will seek out their own supervisor. Note: this should be done early as tutors may only supervise a certain number of students, and will often approve final topics on a first-come first-serve basis.

You are allowed one introductory meeting with your supervisor to talk through the scope and proposed structure/contents of their essay, and receive advice. You then submit a draft of the essay to your supervisor, and receive both written and verbal feedback in another one-to-one session.

BA Dissertation: Assessment 

  • Formal assessment: Assessment will be in the form of the submitted 5,000-word essay.

Academic Skills sessions: Overview

You will have 0.5 hours of study skills sessions per week which will directly follow on from one of the lectures in your schedule. Full details of this will be available to them when you receive your timetable at the beginning of term.

Year Three – Course Unit Breakdown

Year Three assessment contributes 75% towards the overall degree grade. Year Three modules are weighted and assessed in the following ways:

Year

Module

Module

Module

Module

Total credits

Total % contribution to final degree grade

BA3

Special Option 1

Special Option 2

Lessons in Critical Interpretation

Dissertation

 

 

Assessment method

Examination essays (2 x 3-hour exams)

Examination essays (2 x 3-hour exams)

Coursework essay (totalling 5,000 words)

Coursework essay (1 x 5,000 words)

 

 

Credits

30 (25%)

30 (25%)

30 (25%)

30 (25%)

120 (100%)

75%

TOTAL 120 Credits = 100% of BA3 / 75% of final grade.

 

Module Information

Year One – Course Unit Breakdown

Although Year One assessment does not contribute to your overall degree grade, you will still need to pass the year (obtain a grade of 35% or above) in order to progress to Year Two. The mark you will receive for Year One is weighted and assessed in the following way:

Year

Module

Module

Module

Module

Total Credits

Total % contribution to final degree grade.

BA1

Foundations

Topic Course Autumn

Topic Course Spring

Language Course

 

 

Assessment method

Examination essays (2 x 3-hour exams)

Coursework essay (2 x 2,500 words)

Coursework essay (2 x 2,500 words)

Coursework assignments (70%) & oral examination (30%)

 

 

Credits

60 (50%)

15 (12.5%)

15 (12.5%)

30 (25%)

120 (100%)

0%

 

Year Two – Course Unit Breakdown

Year Two assessment contributes 25% towards your overall degree grade. You will need to pass the year (obtaining a grade of 35% or above) in order to move into Year Three. The mark you will receive for Year Two is weighted and assessed in the following way:

Year

Module

Module

Module

Module

Total Credits

Total % contribution to final degree grade.

BA2

Frameworks

Constellation Course Autumn

Constellation Course Spring

Assessed Essay

 

 

Assessment method

Examination essays (1 x 3-hour) (50%) & Coursework essay 1 x 2,500 words (50%) 

Examination essays (1 x 3-hour exam)

Examination essays (1 x 3-hour exam)

Coursework essay (1 x 4,000 words)

 

 

Credits

40 (33.3%)

30 (25%)

30 (25%)

20 (16.6%)

120 (100%)

25%

Year Three – Course Unit Breakdown

Year Three assessment contributes 75% towards your overall degree grade. The mark you will receive for Year Three is weighted and assessed in the following way:

Year

Module

Module

Module

Module

Total Credits

Total % contribution to final degree grade.

BA3

Special Option 1

Special Option 2

Lessons in Critical Interpretation

Dissertation

 

 

Assessment method

Examination essays (2 x 3-hour exams)

Examination essays (2 x 3-hour exams)

Coursework essay (totalling 5,000 words)

Coursework essay (1 x 5,000 words)

 

 

Credits

30 (25%)

30 (25%)

30 (25%)

30 (25%)

120 (100%)

75%

 

Teaching and Learning

The BA course is taught through a combination of lectures, seminar and discussion classes, site visits and one-to-one tutorial meetings.

Lectures are delivered and taught to the full student cohort, but the discussion classes which support lectures are held in smaller groups of up to 20 students. The discussion classes enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in a setting where you are invited to actively participate in debates and discussion.

Seminar classes are held in classes of 10 students or less in order to facilitate an intimate environment in which to study and engage with subjects in depth with your teacher and your classmates.

In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least once per term. You can always request further meetings with your personal tutor should you wish.

You have access to all Courtauld Library resources, and University of London Library resources during your study, and computer laboratory facilities throughout your course.

In Year One you typically have around 9 contact hours per week in the Autumn/Spring Terms. A typical week in these terms would consist of:

  • 3 hours of lectures
  • 1.5 hours of discussion class
  • 2 hours of seminar classes
  • 2 hours of Language classes
  • 0.5 hours of Study skills classes

In Year Two you typically have around 7.5 contact hours per week in the Autumn/Spring Terms. A typical week would consist of:

  • 4 hours of lectures
  • 1 hour of discussion class
  • 2 hours of seminar classes
  • 0.5 hours of Study skills classes

In Year Three you typically have around 6.5 contact hours per week. in the Autumn/Spring terms. A typical week would consist of:

  • 1 hour of lectures
  • 5 hours of seminar classes
  • 0.5 hours of study skills classes

Independent learning 

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study.

Typically, this will involve reading from the core texts outlined on the reading lists, which support both the lecture and seminar courses that you will undertake, as well as any wider reading you can do around the subjects to enhance learning.

Another key component of self-study will be researching and preparing the informal and the formally assessed essays and other written assignments which you will need to submit throughout the duration of the course.

You are also likely to be asked to prepare presentations to deliver at your seminar classes throughout the course. Finally, you will need to allocate sufficient time to preparing for examinations.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of facilities, including the Courtauld Book Library, computer laboratories, your study skills tutor and your personal tutor.

We also have two Royal Literary Fellows who are on campus Monday – Wednesday every week, who are a free resource available to review your written work, and offer advice to improve structure, flow and content, to help you develop your skills. Please note that it is wise to book appointments early, as they are a popular resource.

Overall workload

Across the three years of the degree, your overall weekly workload will consist of an average of 7.6 class contact hours and around 26.4 hours’ of independent learning, (including completion of assessment activity).

In Year Three, many Special Options will include a field trip lasting 2–4 days within the UK or in Europe, in line with the subject matter being studied.

The following information gives an indication of approximately how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course:

Year One: 26.5 per cent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 207 hours
  • Independent learning: 575 hours

Year Two: 22 per cent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 173 hours
  • Independent learning: 610 hours

Year Three: 19 per cent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 150 hours
  • Independent learning: 633 hours

Academic support

Our study skills tutors provides help in the following areas:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills (in conjunction with the Book Librarians)
  • Critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • Revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management.

Our Disability Advice and Support Service helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Teaching Staff

Courtauld tutors’ expertise and experience are closely matched to module content and delivery. They include permanent members of teaching staff (‘Faculty’), independent scholars, or, in some cases advanced postgraduate research students with particular subject expertise: ‘Associate Lecturers’ and ‘Teaching Assistants’. The difference between Associate Lecturers and Teaching Assistants is that the latter work under the supervision of the module leader, and do not undertake in the marking of formal assessments and extended essay or dissertation supervision.

You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles

Assessment and Feedback

Assessment and Feedback

Assessment

The course involves the three following methods of assessment:

1.Informal assessments: These may come in the form of essays, presentations or short written tasks which are used to help you develop your critical thinking and embed your knowledge, to aid preparation for formal assessments.

The ‘Course Outline’ sections provide an overview as to which modules will require this type of assessment. While this type of assessment does not contribute towards the final mark in any year, completing these assignments is a mandatory part of this degree course.

2. Examination essays: For these, students will be required to revise the contents of the relevant module, and complete a series of essays under timed conditions, without being able to consult any of their notes or other materials.

The ‘Module Information’ section clearly outlines which modules are assessed through this method, and what the percentage weighting is towards the final mark for that year.

3. Coursework essays: For these, students will be required to research, plan, and write an essay of a pre-set length, and ensure it is submitted on or before a pre-agreed deadline.

The ‘Module Information’ section clearly outlines which modules are assessed through this method, and what the percentage weighting is towards the final mark for that year.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework vs exams:

  • Year 1*  – 42.5 per cent coursework and 57.5 per cent exams
  • Year 2 – 33.3 per cent coursework and 66.6 per cent exams 
  • Year 3 – 50 per cent coursework and 50 per cent exams

Feedback 

All the feedback you receive is directed towards helping you recognise what is good about a particular piece of work, and what needs improvement, with a view to helping you improve your future work on the course as a whole. It is for this reason that you will receive written feedback on your written submissions, whether formally assessed or not, with the exception of the final written submissions for the course. Module tutors may assume that this written feedback is sufficient for your developmental purposes, but you are always encouraged to ask for clarification or amplification if necessary.

Written feedback on examination performance is also supplied for Year Two and the first set of Year Three examinations.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in for informally assessed work, first-draft coursework, and the 2,500 word assessed essays in Year One. For the formal exams and coursework in Year Two, the feedback from the exams sat in June will be available the following October after the Summer break.

Please note that it is not just module tutors who can give you constructive feedback. Personal Tutors, writing advisors, careers advisors and others can offer useful advice when it comes to how you are approaching your work in general, for example: time management and diary organisation.

Fees & Finance

Fees

For the academic year 2018-19 the tuition fees for this course are:

UK Full time: £9,250

EU Overseas Full time: £18,180

It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years, as these are dependent on Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes, but the maximum increase in each year will not exceed the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Course-related costs 

Printing: Students asked to submit written work in a printed format. Students have access to printing facilities on campus, and the costs for printing are outlined below:

Print A4

£       0.05

Print A4 Color

£       0.20

Print A3

£       0.10

Print A3 Color

£       0.40

Photocopying : Students have access to photocopy machines in the Book Library and the costs for photocopying are outlined below:

Copy A4

£       0.05

Copy A4 Color

£       0.20

Copy A3

£       0.10

Copy A3 Color

£       0.40

Scanning: Scanning documents/photographs etc. is free for students.

PC/ Laptops: Students are strongly advised to have their own PC or laptop, to aid their study, however there are a limited number of desktop PCs available and free to all to use, within the computer laboratory, situated within the library.

Books and other resources: a wide range of resources, including core texts, are available from The Courtauld Book Library, including in the form of e-books. Students also have free access to other libraries in London, such as Senate House, and the V&A and British Library, provided they register.

Travel: Overnight travel, (which forms part of some Year Three modules), is subsidised (in 2018-19, the subsidies were £150 for each UK trip; and £300 for trips to mainland Europe). Trips are planned with the subsidies in mind, in order to minimise any additional costs for students. However, it is possible that subsidies will not cover all travel and accommodation costs, as well as entry fees to various museums/ galleries. Students will be given notice of the planned Study Trips and the expected costs at the beginning of Year Three, and are encouraged to speak to student and academic services, should they have any financial worries about the trip.

Accommodation and living costs not included in the fees: An overview of The Courtauld and University of London accommodation can be obtained from our Accommodation page https://courtauld.ac.uk/study/student-life/accommodation. Alternatively, some students prefer to seek private accommodation through London estate agents to fit their budget and desired specifications.

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional financial support.

Bursaries

The Courtauld Bursary provides financial support on a sliding scale for Home undergraduates registered as students at The Courtauld Institute of Art who meet set Widening Participation criteria. The Bursary is aimed at supporting students to study at The Courtauld who come from under-represented groups in higher education.

Details can be obtained from the Financial Support for Undergraduate page

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BA History of Art

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