Studying History of Art and Flexible Honours
Written by Jing Wang – History of Art Student
Hi everyone, I am Jing Wang, a final year student form the History of Art programme. I love my course since it allows me to explore artworks from different ages, such as Baroque, Northern Renaissance, Medieval Art, Neo-Avant-Garde, Art in South Asia etc. The teaching methods are diverse. It is usually delivered through a combination of lectures, small group seminars, art studio/ gallery visits and guest lectures. There is research seminar in each semester as well, which allows both lecturers and students discuss their findings and thoughts together. I find this quite attractive to me as it is always inspiring to think from different perspectives. I still remember that in a year 2 seminar, I learned a simple and rational style of architecture was popular in Milan between 1922 and 1943, which was influenced by the fascist ideologies.
The learning module options are substantial and flexible in the second and third year, though most of modules in the first year are compulsory. What makes me more excited is that we have free choice to choose from other disciplines, for instance, film studies. As for myself, I also study Digital Humanities as a minor degree, which is a program of Flexible Honours. This joint degree, History of Art with Digital Humanities, really makes me to explore artworks from some new digital tools, such as Tableau and GIS Map. Apart from that, I also took a French class in the student union, which is just next to the main campus. So it is quite convenient for me to take it after a whole day study.
Besides, there is wide range of opportunities to each student. The Art History administrator sends intern opportunities from time to time. This usually includes areas for art galleries, museums and curatorial studios. For me, I took a role as student ambassador at the beginning of year 1. And I found being an ambassador gives me practice with working with peers, communication skills and self-management. The events are diverse, such as leading a visit team on open day, online talk etc. I also try to participate in several training workshops as well. For instance, I took part in a marketing workshops for two days. In this opportunity, I knew new people and worked with them as a team, endeavouring to promote a new brand. We conducted lots of research, had intense discussions, and efficiently came up with the promotion plan. Finally we won the first place.
What also contributes to my amazing experience in the Uni is the generous and kindly help from my lectures and tutors. In fact, I was a science student before I went to university. So I was a bit worried that whether I would fit this course. I often went to my tutor’s office in the first year to discuss my worries and thoughts. It turns out this one to one tutorial really helps me overcome fears. Besides, each lecturer has office hours. Thus, we can just go to have a talk with them if we find some points difficult to understand.