Student Profiles

Fine Art W100


Jonathan Retallick

Though most of my fellow students came to Aberystwyth University direct from school or foundation course, I was home educated. I experienced some art tuition before university but had primarily explored painting and drawing on my own. Aberystwyth’s unique location has much to offer to those like me who are inspired by nature. I came to Aberystwyth wanting to paint, but I have enjoyed the opportunity to try other disciplines such as printmaking, photography and life drawing. These in turn have fed into my painting.

Since my second year, I have a dedicated studio space that gives me the freedom to create in a stimulating environment surrounded by fellow students. I have been amazed by the generous feedback and encouragement my tutors have given me – even outside scheduled class times. The School of Art staff has enabled me to explore ideas in far more depth than I could have imagined. The lecturers here are really passionate about their subjects and that rubs off on to the students. I came to Aberystwyth with an open mind, and I soaked up everything like a sponge. I am here not just to study art but to continue living it. The School of Art has given a massive boost to my artistic endeavours.


Amelia Jenkinson
The lecturers are really passionate and knowledgeable about art and their own disciplines. I feel like I am always growing and improving as an artist, as my tutors take time to give me good constructive feedback.


Jamie Carpenter-White
I love the variety you get from Fine Art. There are no fixed rules for the work you can produce and you are able to fully express your ideas in whatever way you wish. The tutors are helpful and encouraging and there is always someone on hand to guide you, whether that be staff or other students.


Maria Tilt
Everyone comments on how much I have improved over the last few years and I can see it in myself as well. I've learnt so much over my uni time - in particular how to deal with constructive criticism and use it to actually help me! Throughout my GCSE and A-Level years I never really received much criticism, my teachers were always so impressed with my work that I never really pushed myself to the next level. Their teaching left me used to being complimented, it was a massive shock at first coming to university and going from the top in my class at school to just one amongst so many talented students. And although it was initially frustrating being faced with constructive criticism, I appreciate it so much now, if I wasn’t told the truth and pushed to be the best that I can be then I would never have improved at all. Thank you so much! I hope I will continue improving and achieving things!

Art History V350

Kirsten Jones

For an Art History student such as myself, studying at the School of Art at Aberystwyth University offers many unique opportunities compared to other larger institutions. I’ve learnt about many different aspects of art history, spanning from the Italian Renaissance to contemporary art practice. The modules on offer have also allowed me to question traditional modes of art history and to apply my knowledge and research skills to more practical assignments. A lot of the teaching in the School of Art takes place in quite an informal setting.

For example, seminars are an important part of many modules and generally take place in smaller groups than the lectures. Seminars focus on discussion and collaboration between students and staff, which makes them more engaging than traditional lectures. There is a high level of contact between students and staff. Each student is assigned a personal tutor, with whom we meet on a regular basis. Outside of this, members of staff are always willing to help in any way that they can.

Unlike many other university art schools, Aberystwyth’s School of Art is also an accredited and functioning museum with its own collection and exhibition spaces. Students are afforded the opportunity of regularly working with the collection, which is introduced in the first-year module “Exploring the School of Art Collections.” This is something that made Aberystwyth stand out when I was choosing which university to attend. As a third-year student, I have also had the opportunity to curate an exhibition using works from the collection, which will then be open to the public over the summer. I feel that all this has provided me with a solid basis on which I can build when continuing my studies as a postgraduate. I have been able to cultivate skills that I would not have developed elsewhere.


Amy Barson
I love that Art History is so many courses rolled in to one. It is not just looking at art. It is about social and political history, social anthropology, studying different cultures and learning about how artists communicate their ideas and thoughts through their own mediums. It has helped me to get a much greater grasp of history in general and to understand how to enjoy looking at art and comprehend its messages. Learning about art history has also taught me a lot about how to research and the importance of maintaining and appreciating our shared cultural heritage.


Rebecca Jones
I'm currently in my second year studying for a BA in Art History. I'm glad I chose to study the subject, as it has been highly interesting and has opened my eyes to the vast history of Art, as well as challenging me to consider its growing importance in today's world. I did not previously have a vast knowledge of Art History, but the course has given me a thorough overview of many of the major aspects of the subject. It has also provided me with useful skills in observation, communication and experience with artist's materials.