Teaching and Learning - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Teaching and Learning

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BA (Hons) History of Art

Teaching and Learning

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Undergraduate

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

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