Course Outline: Year One - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Course Outline: Year One

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BA (Hons) History of Art

Course Outline: Year One

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Undergraduate

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

 

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