Victoria Zicos

History of Art and Fine Art, 2016

Victoria Zicos

Having always loved art, following her initial schooling in Belgium and an Art Foundation course in Canterbury, Victoria started studying History of Art combined with Fine Art here at Oxford Brookes. She will be graduating in 2016 and hopes to continue her studies with an MA in History of Art or in Curating.

I am from Belgium where I studied at the European School of Brussels. I have always loved art so I did a foundation year in Art and Design at UCA Canterbury before applying to Oxford Brookes University for a combined degree in Fine Art and History of Art.

I decided to do this course at Brookes because I saw that Brookes really showed a sense of enthusiasm for learning; that, and they offered a field trip to Paris as part of a second year module!

I really like the approach the History of Art Department takes to teaching. They want us to see works of art first-hand and the modules really take advantage of both the museums and galleries in the city of Oxford and of those around London, such as the National Gallery. The staff are also so helpful – they are always happy for students to contact them or seek them out if they are in need of support.

During my time at Brookes I got involved with the OB GLEE society, a contemporary choir. Going to weekly rehearsals is a great way to take a breather from studying and you can meet new people. I really enjoy singing, and participating in concerts and flash mobs was highly rewarding.

Being in Oxford definitely helps directly with your studies. It has plenty of museums which are a really great source of visual material when studying History of Art, especially as some of the exercises and modules are based around artworks or buildings from Oxford. We also have access to the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University when writing our dissertations which is absolutely fantastic! I also love Oxford for its architecture; wandering in the city centre is always such a pleasure. The size of the city is great: it’s big enough to have lots to do, whether it’s museums, cafes, or nightlife - but small enough to feel quite homely. And if you want bigger, London is just an hour and a half away by coach.

I really recommend Oxford Brookes for international students as the university is quite multicultural. It also offers a great support system for international students, especially in the first year.

My course has definitely given me the opportunity to acquire transferable skills which will help me in the future, such as time management, group work, and research skills. The department also organises careers evenings where Brookes’ alumni come back and talk about their careers after university. The new Curatorial Practice module also invites guest lecturers to come and talk about their experiences of working in museums or within the art world. Opportunities like these are very helpful as they give a real sense of the range of directions you can go after your undergraduate studies finish. I am currently applying for a masters degree in History of Art or in Curating, but later on I would like to work in the arts sector.