My First Term as an Art History Undergraduate
With a wonderful group of course mates and teachers the first term at Warwick couldn’t have been any more positive than it has been.
Art has always been my passion, from going to galleries at a young age and from practicing art during my spare time I knew that this degree would be the one for me. History of Art was my favourite a-level at sixth form and after visiting Warwick’s open day I knew I wanted to study it here. The department were friendly and welcoming, and the chance to study a term in Venice and practice art sounded like a dream.
The first week I arrived, I was able to meet my personal tutor who was wonderful at letting me know that if I ever needed help she would be just an email away. Because the course itself is quite niche, I have been able to meet most of the lecturers and seminar teachers in the department. With around 35 people doing the course, I have been lucky enough to get to speak to most of my course mates both in person and online. Everyone is so passionate about what they do and it’s such a supportive environment to be in.
With two core modules and two optional modules in the first term I had a variety of choices to choose from, and could study a wide range of sections in art history. Study skills is a module which helps with the transition from college to university; teaching you skills such as referencing and the dangers of plagiarism. It has definitely been an important module, vital in helping me understand my way around the library and how to cite sources correctly. Classicism and the arts of Christianity is the other Autumn core module which introduces the periods from Antiquity to the Renaissance in Western Europe. This topic has been so insightful with helping me learn both religious and mythological iconography.
In regards to optional modules, the department introduced a new short module this year; fakes and forgeries. Exploring the idea of authenticity and forgers who have fooled the most educated art critics; it has taught me a side of art history I hadn’t known previously. The last module I chose this term was definitely my favourite. Painting techniques delves into the physicality of artworks, placing an emphasis on science and pigments . As someone who enjoyed chemistry, it was nice to find out the chemical processes which take place in the binding of different mediums like oil and tempera.
Within the first term, there are two slide tests in which we are asked to identify the iconography from a series of artworks. One 400 word assignment and two 1,500 word assignments are due at the end of the first term in total for the modules. I definitely struggled with these assignments, as someone new to writing university styled essays it felt like I was thrown in the deep end. However, this was probably for the best because I have been able to develop my own writing style. The workload itself isn’t overwhelming when you keep on top of things, and the few times I have felt worried I’ve been able to confide with course mates.
Overall, as an art history undergraduate my experience has been incredible and I’m so excited for next term to start!