Humanities

News and events from the University of Brighton's Humanities programme areas

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Got questions before you start at Brighton?

We have put together the most frequently asked questions from our recent School of Humanities online Q&A.

General questions

How is the university responding to the Covid crisis?
All our Covid19 information, including questions about the application process and teaching and learning can be found here.

What opportunities are there outside of the courses?
There are over 100 University of Brighton societies to join – you can find them on the Students’ Union website. And we have a great local volunteering service Active Student.

What can I do to prepare before I come?
We send out a recommended reading list before term starts – it isn’t compulsory but is designed to get you in the mindset for your course before you arrive. As one of our Creative Writing BA(Hons) students says “read widely, challenge and surprise yourself – read genres and styles you’re not familiar with and things you love too!”

What support and advice is available during my studies?
Course leaders, seminar tutors and your personal tutor provide advice and guidance and support on developing your academic skills. Study skills related to seminars, essays and coursework are built in modules in all level of studies and you will have group and individual tutorials to guide and support you to develop such skills and to provide feedback on outlines for you to improve. Additionally, you have access to a Student Support and Guidance Tutor who can provide confidential advice and guidance, and direct you to more focused support offered by the university.

How are students assessed?
For each module, we assess students via coursework and essays. There are no exams. The Humanities courses at Pavilion Parade also assess via oral seminar contributions, and around half the grade for these six courses comes from speaking.

History of art and design courses

These courses are based at Pavilion Parade on our Grand Parade campus. They are: Fashion and Dress History BA(Hons); History of Art and Design BA(Hons); Philosophy, Politics, Art BA(Hons); Visual Culture BA(Hons).

What form does teaching and learning take?
Teaching of History of Art and Design Programmes takes in various forms including lectures, seminars, workshops and study visits. We teach in small, participatory groups to foster skills in oral presentation, debating and listening.

How are history of art and design students assessed?
For each module, we assess students on their coursework including a variety of writing forms (essays, proposals, catalogue entries, blogs) and oral and visual presentations. We also assess  seminar engagement. Engagement includes delivering a short presentations, preparing images for sharing and participating as members of a group. Students are offered preliminary and final feedback on each assessment.

What does the first year of the history of art and design courses look like?
Students learn about core ideas and about historical developments in art and design, fashion and visual culture, and enjoy the study of Brighton’s rich art and design history. Our students also learn how to read and interpret images and objects. An option module provides an opportunity to explore specialised degree interests.

Are there placement opportunities?
The placement option module in year 2 provides direct experience and insight into aspects of museum, gallery and archival working practices, deepening your understanding of cultural institutions. You will work closely with professionals on focused tasks including curating, cataloguing, collections management, publications and other areas of cultural practice. It can also enable you to explore career options, make contacts and provide topics for final year research projects. In addition, many of our students become involved in volunteering in museums, galleries and archive. Some are student ambassadors for both the Association of Dress Historians and the Costume Society, others will take on gallery roles at Charleston House, home of the historic Bloomsbury group. Students are also all welcome to contribute the history of Art and Design blog to share their experiences in industry. You can view this at our student blog.

Humanities courses

These courses are based at Pavilion Parade on our Grand Parade campus. They are: Critical History BA; Globalisation BA; History, Literature and Culture BA; Humanities BA; Philosophy, Politics, Ethics BA; War and Conflict BA.

What form does teaching take?
Each week every module you take includes a tutor led session and a small group seminar. Lecturers are usually around 90 minutes and will be interactive with students. In seminars students present, discuss and debate ideas around a specific theme. In your first year you have around 10.5 hours in lectures and seminars and some individual tutorials too. In the second year it’s around 9.5 hours plus tutorials and in the third year you have six hours with increased 1-1 tutorials.

What would I learn in my first year?
In your first term you take three modules (Historical Inquiry, Politics of Representation and Philosophical Inquiry) where you learn some of the key skills that are important for going forward. All Humanities students study the same modules in their first two terms. There are also lots of great guest lecturers and speakers organised by the academics, over 100 per year.

What support do I get for seminars, essays and coursework?
We give lots of support with writing as we know some students struggle with essay writing. During your three years you’ll learn to work with your strengths and weaknesses and you will have a personal tutor who oversees your individual learning path. Before each essay you get a 1-1 tutorial to help you plan and another to go through your grade and comments.

Literature, Language, Linguistics and Creative Writing courses

These courses are based at our Falmer campus. They are: English Literature and Creative Writing BA(Hons); English Literature and Linguistics BA(Hons); English Literature BA(Hons); Media and English Literature BA(Hons);English Language and English Literature BA(Hons); English Language and Linguistics BA(Hons); English Language and Media BA(Hons); English Language BA(Hons); Linguistics BA(Hons); English Language and Creative Writing BA(Hons); Creative Writing BA(Hons).

What form does teaching and learning take?
There are 9-12 contact hours each week. Teaching is a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and peer-to-peer learning – which students find really beneficial – and student-tutor feedback sessions. Classes are kept as small as possible (usually 12-20 students) with lectures typically larger.

Are there placement opportunities?
Yes we have a second year optional module called Literature or Media in Practice where you can undertake a 50-hour placement at a relevant organisation. We have links with publishers, media companies, local activism organisations, marketing departments and more. You will be supported and guided in finding a placement that suits your interests.

Where do you have study abroad links?
We have links with universities in France, Spain, Holland and Germany.

How much freedom is there to tailor the degree?
You get a really solid grounding in your main discipline but in your second year and third year you get increasing freedom to choose from a wide range of modules and plot a path with topics that most interest you.

How close are halls to the campus?
All university buildings – teaching rooms, library and cafe and student union shop are within 5 minutes walk of Halls at Falmer. All university sites, and the city, are connected via a free bus service that runs during term time. Find out more about accommodation at Brighton.

Lizzie Amati • May 7, 2020


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