The Courtauld Institute of Art

(14 Posts)
zazas Mon 18-Sep-17 22:25:09

Just that really - does anyone have any experience re applying and / or studying there? My DH and DS are off to an open day there this Friday and we really don't have any first hand information what is it actually like to study there as an undergraduate?

OP’s posts: |
Moominmammacat Tue 19-Sep-17 15:27:18

Posh! Lowest number of state school students, I think ... excellent in its (rarefied) field.

BookTart Tue 19-Sep-17 15:41:37

I went there a LONG time ago. I was the only student in my year from a state school, and had a very hard time making friends and fitting in (due to the enormous working class chip on my shoulder, I suspect). Once I had graduated, having stayed on for an MA, I realised that there was little chance of making the most of the kudos of having been there, as most entry-level arts jobs paid so badly that some sort of parental support would have been necessary to survive in London.
I visited about five years ago, and the (fabulous) library still used a card catalogue, so it is still a bit old-fashioned.
That said, it has carried some weight in my career, and people are occasionally impressed that I went there. I just wish that I'd been rich enough to make the most of it!

zazas Tue 19-Sep-17 22:19:37

Thanks - yes we figured looking at the statistics of who goes there that it was very much a public school destination. - my DSS is at a comprehensive! He is keen because he figures if he is going to do an Art History degree then he should look it doing it at the best place and that London with its access to art galleries would be a wonderful experience. However we are not sure if 1. the atmosphere would suit him (as he is pretty vocal about being anti Oxbridge due to its 'posh' image) 2. a specialised university at undergraduate is not necessarily the best option and 3. that it is a better place to consider for a masters (which he is keen to do).

OP’s posts: |
Bekabeech Tue 19-Sep-17 22:54:31

I know someone who applied, and was rejected so ended up at their second choice; Cambridge.

zazas Tue 19-Sep-17 23:50:42

Yep I'm under no illusion that he will get in! I think they accept about 35% of applicants...

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MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 19-Sep-17 23:51:53

Is there anything suitable at Goldsmiths? My friend's son went there and had a fantastic time.


windygallows Tue 19-Sep-17 23:54:06

Univ of glasgow has he number 1 art history programme in the country. Great town to study in and proper fun. Not posh! He should look into it.

zazas Wed 20-Sep-17 07:53:19

He's looked at Glasgow and loved it. I'm thinking it's by far the best option for many reasons. I just want to remain open minded about Courtauld in case it's too good an option not too consider...

Thanks, I will suggest Goldsmith too. Maybe while they are there on Friday, they can look around it.

Any other at history courses that are recommended?

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ThatsNeat Wed 20-Sep-17 08:34:24

I'm just about to start an Art History degree as a mature student and because of where I live I looked at Manchester, Nottingham and Liverpool. It was an interesting piece of research because there are some quite different approaches to the subject. For example the degree course at MMU is much more focussed on modern and contemporary practice and the practical application of the subject - i.e. curating rather than a more historical slant. So may be he needs to think about what path he wants to take after graduating and find a course that fits with it. Manchester as a city has good galleries and I think is worth considering.

readsalotgirl63 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:29:51

Can thoroughly recommend Glasgow as a city - great place to live !

windygallows Thu 21-Sep-17 23:15:27

Hi op I work in the arts so know the courtauld has a very snooty old school quality to it. It's just that kind of reputation and isn't cutting edge and may be tricky if he's not a traditionalist.

I can heartily recommend glasgow the university and city. Plus cheaper to live and mor fun for a student than London.

zazas Fri 22-Sep-17 22:13:37

Thanks for the replies. He has returned today and 'loved it' but in my experience open days often evoke that response! He loved it for all the reasons that a year 13 student loves learning in person about a university course - the chance to study a subject in more depth, the passion of the lecturers (especially those ones brought out on open days!) and the intoxication of the possibilities of being independent! There was nothing that sparked him specifically (except their art gallery and living in London!) but I think he realises he needs to compare a few more in depth now to really know what it is what will excite him. We haven't mentioned the 'posh' aspect of it!

Hopefully he will get the chance to look at St Andrews and also Manchester...probably the more the best in his case it seems.

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TigerDad Tue 06-Jul-21 10:16:34

I was reading old threads regarding The Courtauld, and the discussion predominantly focused on it being ‘posh’- whatever that means.
I think they meant that many of the applicants and those whom attend, went to private schools. Well that may be, but that is not an indicator of the quality of the teaching, the depth of the material covered, nor the general school life or application success.
May I ask, as I have a DD who has put The Courtauld as her first choice with UCAS when her A-Levels are published in August, does anyone have more comprehensive comments, observations or experiences of The Courtauld they might be able to pass on to me?
Does anyone know of accommodation, and friendship groups?
All comments and advice most welcome!
Thank you!

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