Why I selected History of Art at the University of Manchester

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Arts, Undergraduate | 0 comments

Written by Riana Shah, a 2nd year History of Art student

Hi there, my name is Riana and I am currently a second year student perusing History of Art. In this blog I will write about why I chose to study here at the University of Manchester and provide some of the many highlights of my degree.

History of Art is a three year course, divided into a range of interesting modules which are based upon the lecturers and what they specialize in. In my first year I was introduced to a broad span of arts and their developments throughout history via two compulsory modules, which ran throughout the whole year, titled Ice Age to Baroque and Rococo to Now.

I particularly enjoy the range of teaching methods here at Manchester. Throughout my two years here, I have found that Art History modules are commonly taught in smaller classes, called tutorials. I enjoy these more intimate working environments as they prompt more conversation between peers and the lecturer. In my first year of Art History we were enrolled onto short-term, five week, tutorial sessions where we covered a further two modules per semester. Some of the modules I was enrolled onto were titled, images in European medieval manuscript and inside British art.

Entering second year, we receive more freedom in choosing modules. Four out of a minimum of six modules are options, with choices ranging from more canonical themes such as, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, to more modern themes such as, Neo-Avant Garde and the crisis of medium, to non-European themes such as Japanese Film Studies.

One reason I chose to study Art History at Manchester was due to the amazing opportunities we are offered. Notably, in second year one of the compulsory modules involves a five day field trip to a culturally rich European city chosen by staff, I am going to Amsterdam! It is significant to mention that the majority of expenses are paid for by the University, ensuring all students are able to participate. Another important reason why I chose to study here was the staff support. Each member of staff has a number of office hours per week where we are welcome, and encouraged, to attend and discuss anything – Art History related or just life related!

What is more, being able to study Art in an incredibly cultural city such as Manchester is a massive bonus. The departments connections within the city mean we have first-hand access to museums and libraries with impressive collections.

All in all, my experience studying Art History at Manchester has been extremely positive and I would recommend it to anyone.