How will I be taught?
As a Birmingham student, you are joining the academic elite and have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts in their fields. During your programme we will encourage and support you to engage with complex and challenging problems, and to reflect critically on what you experience. This will involve weighing up evidence and the opinions of others to reach your own conclusions. Independent study will develop your skills through the use of available resources and in addressing problems, constructions solutions, identifying new questions and creating new knowledge.
In addition to academic tutors and lecturers, you will also be assigned a personal tutor. Their role is to provide general support and guidance to you during your degree programme, and help you monitor your own academic progress. They will be your first port of call if you are having problems of any kind whether academic or personal. Your personal tutor will receive reports from your academic tutors on your attendance, interim assessments and general involvement in the programme, and ensure you receive feedback on your progress.
Student Mentor Scheme
Our enthusiastic established students act as mentors to our new History of Art students. This provides you with a friendly face to help you settle in.
Academic Writing Advisory Service
The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) will provide you with individual support from an academic writing advisor and postgraduate subject-specialist writing tutors. You?ll receive guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level which can be quite different from your previous experiences of writing. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, feedback through email and tutorials.
Lectures provide a framework for presenting the themes and ideas that are central to individual modules. Their main purpose is to challenge and stimulate, encouraging you to come to your own conclusions based on further reading and seminar debates.
Small-group seminars run alongside the lecture course, providing the opportunity for you to discuss and explore the ideas presented in lectures and for more informal interactions between tutors and students. They take a variety of forms, including group discussion and student presentations.
Study trips play an important part in the teaching on the programme. These include visits to galleries and museums in Birmingham and the West Midlands, as well as overseas group trips that are funded by the University. Recent destinations have included Rome, Berlin and Paris, and provide you with the opportunity to examine works of art and architecture in situ.
One-to-one tutorials become increasingly important as you progress through your course. This is particularly the case in your final year, when a major part of your programme will be a dissertation on a topic of your choice. Tutorials enable you to discuss your research with your project supervisor in depth.
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an excellent tool for supporting our academic modules, allowing you to share thoughts on assignments with other students via the discussion group facilities, and even submit your work electronically.
Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) means that learning is driven by the shared enquiry of students and tutors. This places you, the student, at the centre of your own degree: you learn through involvement and ownership, not simply by being a passive recipient of information. We believe that this is the best way of learning while you?re at Birmingham as it?s very effective in enabling you to acquire the key skills and attributes that are valued by employers: creative and independent thinking, self-motivation, self-organisation, team-working, goal-setting and problem-solving.
Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching; you'll be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject, and find things out for yourself. We'll enable you to make the change to this new style of learning, and the way that you're assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time here at Birmingham.
During your first year you will part take in a formal 'transition' review with your personal tutor to see how you are getting on and whether there are particular areas where you need support.
We use a range of assessment methods to enable you to demonstrate how well you've met the objectives of your study, and to allow you and your tutors to monitor your progress, and identify areas of strength and aspects of your performance that can be improved. These include written assignments, group portfolio projects, end-of-year examinations and oral presentations.
At the beginning of each module you'll be given information on how and when you'll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You'll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks. As well as feedback on the formal assessment requirement for each module, we provide interim feedback on other tasks you undertake during the course of each module. This doesn't count towards your final grade, but helps you monitor your progress and helps you identify areas for improvement.