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Academic Skills II (Art History): Searching and Processing Information, Writing and Oral Presentation


Admission requirements

Same as admission requirements for the BA Art History/Arts, Media and Society.


The course is a first step towards conducting independent art historical research and acquiring the skill of presenting/publishing research outcomes. Students explore a research topic assigned to them by the lecturer, that they themselves supplement with new relevant sources found in the literature. The course aims at acquiring academic skills, in both oral and written presentation of research results. All relevant steps in scholarly research are included: searching for literature, managing references, writing a literature review (Status Quaestionis), formulating a research question and sub-questions, organizing relevant resources, presenting in the form of an oral report and writing of an academic text, including footnotes and references to literature according to the Chicago Manual of Style.

Three seminar sessions will be organised by the Expertise Centre for Academic Skills.

Course Objectives

  • Students acquire practical knowledge of conducting art historical research, writing and presenting, as required for studying works of art, architecture and design on an academic level.

  • Students learn to present a critical reading of an art historical case study assigned to them by the lecturer.

  • Students learn to find the primary sources and secondary literature relevant for their case-study and learn to process the information to answer the research question.Students learn to recognise the types of argumentation in speeches and texts.

  • In response to instructions from the lecturer students learn to formulate a research question with regard to their case-study and learn to formulate the appropriate sub-questions.

  • Students learn to present a research plan and research question in an oral presentation for a group of peers for up to 10 minutes, with effective use of presentation techniques (PowerPoint).

  • Students learn to formulate critical questions in response to presentations and writings of their fellow students and learn to give constructive comments.

  • Students learn to support an argument in a 2500-word paper, excluding notes and literature.

  • Students learn to cite their sources and literature according to the academic standards of the Chicago Manual of Style.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Excursion

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 (including the EAV sessions). In case of too much absence the student will be excluded from the assignments. Only in exceptional cases, the Examination Committee may consider the possibility of an additional or substitute assignment.

In case of not turning in assignments students will only have the one rewrite option. In case of not turning in the rewrite the course cannot be successfully completed. See also the Course and Examination Regulations 2020-2021.

Assessment method

The final grade will be determined by means of weighing 3 components:

  • Assignment 1 (15%): literature review (Status Quaestionis) + research question and literature list .

  • Assignment 2 (15%): oral presentation.

  • Assignment 3 (70%): final paper of approximately 2500 words, excluding notes and references.

  • As preparation for assignment 1 students compile a first draft of a literature list.. This counts as a practical exercise and is therefore mandatory.

  • As a preparation for class, students will read some texts about which they have to answer questions. This counts as a practical exercise too and is mandatory.

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

Brightspace will be used for announcements, course materials, communication and turn in of assignment 1 and 3 (the final paper). The practical exercises with regard to the 1st version of the literature listwill also be turned in through Brightspace. Assignments turned in too late will automatically count as a rewrite. Practical exercises turned in too late will not be commented. Rewrites that are too late will not be graded and therefore count as a fail. Students are responsible for turning assignments in on time and need to take care they have access to the required systems.

Compensation: All the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass), which automatically means that the weighted average of all constituent exams needs to be a 6.0 too.

Re-sit: A rewrite can be done for constituent examinations which are failed. The deadline for the rewrite for assignment 1 will be after the mid-term exam week and will be announced on Blackboard. As far as applicable all other rewrites take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination.

Inspection and feedback: 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 be organized.

Reading List

Will be announced on Brightspace.


Via uSis.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la Carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Send an e-mail to the study coordinator of the BA Arts, Media and Society


  • One or two short excursions in the Netherlands are part of the program and mandatory.

  • The excursion requires good conditions.

  • Please note that the cost of the excursion(s) amounts to a total of EURO 100,- (subject to change)

IMPORTANT NOTE: This course is part of the additional requirements regarding components that have to be completed for the first (positive) binding study advice. This means that the student should have passed this course in order to be able to continue in the programme. See the programme-specific part of the Course and Examination Regulations.

Passing this course is also required for admission to the following BA2 courses:

  • BA2 seminars

  • AMS on Site