Alice Dudbridge

History of Art, 2015

Alice Dudbridge

I have found that having an academic advisor is truly beneficial to my whole experience at university. It is comforting to know that a support system is there. The staff at Brookes genuinely care about your well-being and your progress through the course. They take the time to get to know you on a personal level so they can aid you wherever they can

A great art lover from a young age, Alice Dudbridge studied History of Art at A-level and the course reaffirmed her desire to pursue the subject at university.

My mother is a practising artist and so my childhood was filled with arts and crafts as well as trips to museums and art galleries. I prominently remember standing in front of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and feeling almost dumbstruck by its enormity and greatness.

Why did I choose this course? It’s quite simple: I love art. I revel in looking at masterpieces and learning about their origin. An artwork gives you an insight into the time in which it was created, and what was most important to that particular society, and so in a sense looking at artwork is like looking through to a different world.

I thrive on learning and exploring new things. Now that I am in my final year I am grateful for the amount of freedom I am given to learn more about what interests me. For example, I am writing my dissertation on a sculpture by Donatello; it is a subject that hasn’t been fully explored so it is great I have the opportunity to do so. At Brookes we also have the opportunity to pick modules from outside our subject. So in my first year I picked one module from anthropology and another from history. I enjoyed learning about subjects that I previous had no clue about.

I like that the course at Brookes is relatively small. It makes you feel as if you are a part of close-knit community rather than feeling like you are lost in a sea of students.

I have found that having an academic advisor is truly beneficial to my whole experience at university. It is comforting to know that a support system is there. The staff at Brookes genuinely care about your well-being and your progress through the course. They take the time to get to know you on a personal level so they can aid you wherever they can.

Oxford is big enough to keep you entertained, but small enough to not make you feel overwhelmed. It’s a great city for day trips with friends and nights out. Its close proximity to London makes it so easy to enjoy all of the benefits of a big city. From a History of Art perspective, Oxford has a lot to offer. It boasts one the world’s oldest museums, is great for seeing new exhibitions and the architecture of the town centre is beautiful – and particularly enjoyable at sunset from one of the rooftop bars!

The careers centre at Brookes is invaluable in offering help with employment. The History of Art department also hosts many careers evenings, promoting possible paths to explore after university. At our last evening a History of Art alumni came in to tell us about her career as a political whips assistant which was interesting to say the least! Oxford Brookes is becoming increasingly well regarded and I believe that is due to our modern way of learning and teaching. We are taught how to think for ourselves, to believe in our own ability, and how to effectively improve and apply our skills.

The course gives you transferable skills that can be applied to most career paths. As well as learning how to express yourself comprehensively in essays and presentations, you also learn how to critically dissect articles and theories, and construct your own arguments to persuade others.

This year I have taken on the role of President for the History of Art society. It is time consuming and sometimes challenging to balance my studies alongside my commitment to the society and all of our members. However, it is thoroughly rewarding and it is great to get other people from other subjects interested in and excited about art.