Rachel Crawford is studying History of Art with a term in Rome.
Why did you choose to study at Kent?
I spent a year studying abroad during my undergraduate studies and knew that doing so again would challenge, broaden my perspective, and give me access to a greater variety of primary sources. The MA in History and Philosophy of Art with a term in Rome combined my passion for art as well as for international education so Kent was the perfect choice for me!
What attracted you to this particular course?
It offered the incredible opportunity to study art in the city that inspired great artists such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, and many more. My undergraduate studies were in the Humanities, where the courses I enjoyed the most focused on the study of art. I then studied at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, taking a course in the Prado Museum and it was then that I decided to take my studies in the history of art further. When I discovered the Kent programme, I knew that it would be the perfect way to continue to develop my art history education.
What are you particularly enjoying about your studies?
My favourite part of studying in Rome has been the site visits with our teachers. I don’t think I could ever get tired of walking from site to site, passing ancient monuments and beautiful churches along the way. It is a truly invaluable experience to view an artwork in person and have knowledgeable teachers and researchers with you to highlight the details that you would not see in a textbook.
Do you have a favourite module?
The module that I have most enjoyed is Discovering Rome in Rome. We visited many sites around the city and studied a variety of artists. It clearly demonstrates how much the artistic community has influenced the city.
What about the teaching?
Our teachers are experienced researchers in the field of art history and have published widely on the artists discussed in class. There is a high level of teaching in the classroom and our teachers also accompany us on site visits where they challenge us to develop our ability to visually analyse artworks up close.
How would you describe your fellow students?
I’m glad that I am able to have this amazing experience with people I had met during my time in Canterbury. It has been reassuring to move to a new city, and yet still see familiar faces. I especially enjoy hearing about what my fellow students in the Ancient History programme are studying because not only do I get to learn about art, but I am also gaining a lot of knowledge in other fields. The variety of nationalities represented results in interesting debates during class and also gives you the chance to develop international relationships.
How does postgraduate study differ from undergraduate study?
Postgraduate study is different from undergraduate study in that you have more freedom to study the areas that you find most interesting. There is more time dedicated to independent research as well as more open dialogue with lecturers.
How do you think your studies at Kent will affect your employment prospects?
I am sure that the skills and knowledge that I have gained during my studies at Kent will positively impact my employment prospects. This programme has deepened my understanding of my field as well as provided practical tools for researching and analysing art that will be attractive to future employers.
Any advice for those thinking about taking this course?
For those considering this course, I would encourage you to apply because it provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study masterpieces up close in the Eternal City and to learn from teachers who are actively contributing to the field of art history. You will develop academically, gain first-hand experience in your chosen field and have a personally enriching experience. Be prepared to read a lot and study hard; it will be worth it!