I would like to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning students in AHVS.

To those who are new to the department, congratulations on gaining a place to study at the University of Manchester. Competition for places this year was unprecedented. By choosing to come to Manchester, you will have the chance to study (or research) with some of the leading art historians in the discipline. One of the distinctive features of art history at Manchester has always been the breadth of coverage we offer. I am sure you will find much to stimulate and inspire you, and plenty of opportunities to develop and pursue your own interests.  

We are living through a period of tumultuous changes to the university system. To those who are just starting your degree, I am sure you (and your parents) will be glad that you obtained a place at university this year before the new tuition fees are introduced. One consequence of all these changes, however, from which students will stand to benefit is the drive to put student experience at the heart of the university system.

At Manchester, we are always looking for ways to improve student experience. Some of this effort is evident in the building works going on around the campus. In AHVS, your lecturers aren’t just great researchers. They are also dedicated teachers who care about your wellbeing. Every member of the teaching staff has office hours when you can drop in without an appointment. Take advantage of this opportunity for face-to-face contact. If there are things you do not understand or want to discuss further, don’t hesitate to approach your course tutors.  You will find them approachable and willing to help.  In addition, you are assigned an advisor – someone who is responsible for pastoral care and for your overall academic development.  Make sure you know who that person is and take up the invitation to meet with them.

We want you to feel that you belong to a community. A Student-Staff Liaison Committee enables your views to be heard and to play a part in decisions that are made by the department. Our peer-mentoring scheme allows students who already know the ropes to pass on their know-how to newer students. We have an active student society that organizes exciting outings and talks. There are also great opportunities for volunteering at the Whitworth Art Gallery. Whatever your level, we encourage you to get involved and take advantage of these opportunities.

Finally, there is no need I am sure for me to urge you to enjoy the cultural and other delights on offer in the great city of Manchester.

Professor David Lomas

Head of Subject