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Freshman's Class / Academic Skills I seminar: On the Scholarly Study of Art and its History


Admission requirements

Same as admission requirements for the BA Art History.


The course is primarily an introduction to the scholarly study of Art History, and secondly, it aims to ease the transition from pre-education to studying at the univeristy. The course begins with an introduction week in which the students will gain insights into what the field of study entails and will be made aware of the university's digital learning environment. The students acquaint themselves with the visual nature of the discipline of art history through visits to museums and other heritage collections and visiting architectural highlights.

After the introduction week at the beginning of the semester, students will be introduced into the textual nature of the discipline in the first six week week by means of seminar groups on sources, literature and the use of library and documentation facilities. The course aims to introduce students to academic skills by analyzing texts and writing assignments themselves.

In addition, in three lectures of two hours each, provided by the EAV [Expertise Center for Academic Skills] (


  • General study skills: time management, learning strategies, preparation of lectures and notes, examination strategies.

  • Reading strategies: skimming, fast reading techniques.

  • Memory techniques: basic techniques for remembering and reproducing facts and other knowledge.

Course Objectives

  • Understanding the difference between secondary education and higher education by recognizing the scholarly nature of studying Art History.

  • Being able to work at an elementary level according to methods accepted in the field.

  • Knowing how to manage a small scale student research project, as well as planning and preparing your studies.

  • Knowledge of the scholarly approach to the visual attribiutes of various forms of art, based on confrontations with artifacts on site during excursions.

  • Knowledge of different types of scholarly resources and literature and the use of a university library.

  • Being trained in achieving text comprehension, using various reading strategies.

  • Knowing the basics of studying concrete (visual) objects and trace and evaluate the sources and literature relevant for art historical work.

  • Be able to do writing assignments based on art historical (visual and textual) resources.

  • Being experienced in digitally facilitated groupwork; discussion boards; plagiarism detection (Turnitin) and similar tools available on Blackboard.


Please note: for the final schedule refer to Collegeroosters / Timetable BA Art History on the Art History website.

Mode of instruction

  • Excursions

  • Seminar

  • Lectures

Important: attendance in seminar sessions is mandatory! In case of no-show, the tutor should be informed about your absence prior to the actual seminar session. Moreover this course cannot be successfully completed by students that were absent more than twice. Only in exceptional cases, the Examination Committee may consider the possibility of an additional or substitute assignment. See also the Course and Examination Regulations 2017-2018.

Course Load

Course load in summary: 5 ects (140 hrs)

16 hrs: 2 days of excursions (travelling time included)
04 hrs: 2 introductory sessions/lectures in the first week of September
12 hrs: 6 seminar sessions on sources and literature
06: Expertise Center for Academic Skills
38 hrs: studying and analysing the literature and sources, both in analogue and digital format
54 hrs: preparing 3 papers; writing a final paper, based on feedback of the teachers —-
140 hrs

Assessment method

The final grade will be determined by means of the 3 papers mentioned above, as well as active participation during the seminars and excursions. The teacher will provide feedback on the first version of each submitted paper. The version rewritten after feedback will be reviewed.

  • Active participation in the excursions and the seminars organised by the Expertise Center for Academic Skills counts as a practical exercise (and is therefore mandatory).

  • Midterm assignment (2 x 30%): two papers of at least 750 but no more than 1000 words each.

  • Final paper (40%): paper of approximately 2500 words.

Compensation: Grades of at least 5.0 may be compensated by the other grades in order to pass the course. For both the mid-term assignments and the final exam a mark below 5.0 is not allowed.

Re-sit: one re-sit per insufficient mark.

Exam review: How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for announcements, course materials and communication.


  • To be announced.


Via uSis.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la Carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


A.K.C. (Arthur) Crucq MA (coördinator)

Or send an e-mail to the study cooridnator of the BA Arts, Media and Society


Not applicable.