A Week in Arts One

There are two groups in Arts One, each focused on a particular theme and each with a different teaching team. Please see the themes page for information on current groups and their themes.

Each group as a whole once a week for a two-hour lecture. Groups then divide into seminars, consisting of a faculty member and no more than twenty students. These meet twice a week for an hour and a half to discuss issues arising from the texts. The same faculty member remains with the same seminar group of 20 for the whole year.

Each seminar group then divides into tutorial groups of four, meeting with the instructor once a week for an hour. The same instructor as in the seminar group stays with the tutorial group for the whole year. In tutorials the focus is on the students’ written work. At the tutorial, it’s likely that two of the four students in the group will present papers, which they have distributed to the tutorial group in advance. The remaining two students will respond to these papers with questions, critical observations, and pertinent ideas.

Every week, students will attend as follows (aside from their electives):

  • One large group lecture (2 hours)
  • Two seminars (1-1/2 hours each)
  • One tutorial (1 hour each)


three concentric circles showing that lectures have 100 students, seminars have 20 students, and tutorials have four students

In a typical week, students will read a literary, philosophical, or historical text, attend one lecture, participate in two seminars, and attend a tutorial to exchange feedback on essays. Students write an essay every two weeks, and at the end of the year (in April), they write a final examination.

Students will read each book on the reading list and participate in lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Regular attendance is required.


“Books are only one source of knowledge. In Arts One instead of one source of knowledge there is so much more. Lecture is where context is given to each text. In seminar the perspectives of many students creates diverse illuminations of the text. All this leaves the students with knowledge like they have read ten different stories- or at least like they read the story 10 times.

Everyone in Arts One, teachers and students alike formed a common foundation (the books we read together). This was a resource that allowed us to communicate with a deeper level of imagery, and following that, a deeper respect. I’ve never experienced so much diversity in perspective and not only do I have more panoramic view in literature but more importantly I have a better understanding of others- and a better comprehension of how to understand them.”

Bhaktilata J.
Arts One 2007, ‘Action and Inaction: East + West’