LA01 Liberal Arts BA Undergraduate 2019
|Mode of study||Full Time|
|Duration||3 or 4 years|
|Typical Offers||A Level|
|Please also check Requirements and Admissions.|
|Telephone||+44 (0)191 334 3017|
Liberal Arts offers you the opportunity to design your own programme of study. The Liberal Arts programme complements Durham University’s Single and Joint Honours programmes, enabling you to study modules in up to four subjects in, and beyond, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. If you are looking for the freedom to follow your intellectual interests, wherever these might take you, then Liberal Arts might be the right programme for you.
In Liberal Arts, it is not only possible to study any subject in the Arts and Humanities, but also most subjects in the Social Sciences. It is possible, therefore, for students to combine History and Politics, for example, but also to study subjects in combinations less likely to be available in a Joint Honours programme, such as Theology and Anthropology, or Music and Sociology, or Philosophy and Geography.
If the subject which you regard as your primary interest is in the Social Sciences, you should apply for the Combined Honours in Social Sciences programme (LMV0).
If your principal subjects include one or more modern languages – French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese – then, at the end of your first year, you would transfer to the four-year version of your programme, and spend your third year abroad, either studying at university, or teaching English, or undertaking internships in companies and other organisations. If, however, you do not wish to take any subject other than modern languages, you should apply for the Modern Languages and Cultures programme (R002).
If you are offered a place in one of the University’s international exchange programmes, then, during your second year, you would also transfer to the four-year version of your programme.
Liberal Arts, like its predecessor, Combined Honours in Arts, appeals to highly-qualified, self-motivated, and independent-minded students, who are seeking to make creative connections between their subjects. It offers exceptional flexibility, and the opportunity to study in some of the UK’s most prestigious departments in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
In your first year, you will study six modules, in three or four subjects.
In your second year, you will study six modules, in two, three, or four subjects.
Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a Year Abroad)
In your final year, you will complete a research project in your primary subject, and study four other modules, in two or three subjects.
As a Liberal Arts student, you will be focusing on subjects in the Arts and Humanities, but you will be able to take up to half of your modules each year in subjects in the Social Sciences.
In the Arts and Humanities, the subjects currently available are as follows:
- Classics and Ancient History
- English Literature
- Theology and Religious Studies
- History of Art
In the Social Sciences, the subjects currently available are as follows:
- Politics and International Relations
Arts and Humanities subjects
Department of Classics and Ancient History
Classics and Ancient History offers the opportunity to study, in translation, the history, philosophy, literature and culture of the ancient world, and to study Greek and Latin at several different levels, opening up the literatures of the Greek and Roman worlds in their original languages.
Department of English Studies
English Literature offers the opportunity to study specific literary genres, including poetry, drama, and the novel, and the literatures of specific periods, including Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, Victorian, and Modern Literature, as well as studies in the theory and practice of literary criticism.
Department of History
History offers the opportunity to study medieval, early modern, and late modern history, through a range of modules in economic, social, religious, cultural, political, and diplomatic history, focusing on Britain, continental Europe, Africa, China, and the USA.
School of Modern Languages and Cultures
The principal languages are Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, and each offers core language modules and ‘culture’ modules which cover a broad range of themes in history, politics, literature, film, the media, linguistics, translation, and interpreting.
Students who are not specialising in one or more modern languages can study a number of languages, currently including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, at various levels, from beginners’ to advanced level, in the School’s Centre for Foreign Language Study (CFLS).
Department of Music
Music offers the opportunity to study musicology, including the history of music, music theory and analysis, and ethnomusicology, and, where these are studied alongside musicology, performance, composition, and other practice-based disciplines.
Department of Philosophy
Philosophy offers the opportunity to study many of the principal philosophical disciplines, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, and also the history and philosophy of science and medicine.
Department of Theology and Religion
Theology and Religious Studies offers the opportunity to take modules in biblical studies, Christian theology, including the history of theology, contemporary theology, the philosophy of religion, and ethics, and religious studies, including the sociology and anthropology of religion.
History of Art
The School of Education provides a series of modules in the History of Art, with a particular focus on European art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Social Sciences subjects
Department of Anthropology
Anthropology offers pathways in cultural anthropology and physical anthropology, and a range of modules concerned with material culture, the physical and social evolution of humans, and topics such as medical anthropology and development anthropology.
Department of Archaeology
Archaeology provides the opportunity to focus on particular periods and places, through prehistoric archaeology, Roman archaeology, medieval and post-medieval archaeology, and the archaeology of Britain, Europe, Egypt, India, and the Near East, and also to study the employment of scientific methods in archaeology.
Business offers a series of modules focusing on entrepreneurship, management, and governance, and some students choose to study additional modules, in business, management, and marketing, delivered at Queen’s Campus, in the second and final years of their degrees.
Economics offers the opportunity to study microeconomics and macroeconomics, and topics such as the history of economic thought, environmental economics, development economics, monetary economics, and the economics of social policy.
School of Education
Education offers the opportunity to study central issues in school and higher education, involving the study of the historical, philosophical, psychological, sociological, and political dimensions of educational theory and practice, and the development of the social sciences in the modern and postmodern periods.
Department of Geography
Geography offers pathways in human geography and a range of modules concerned with geographical theory and methods and special topics such as urban transformation, environmental change, development, and hazard and risk.
School of Government and International Affairs
Politics and International Relations offers the opportunity to study politics, in Europe, the USA, the Middle East, and the Far East, the history of political thought, international relations, with a special emphasis on the Middle East and the Far East, and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies.
School of Applied Social Sciences
Sociology offers the opportunity to study modules in sociology, including theories and methods, social structures, social policy, social exclusion, and the sociology of health, the city, and popular music, and in criminology, including theories and methods, crime and deviance, policing, sociology of punishment, and the criminal justice system.
Your choice of modules is subject to their availability, timetable constraints, and the approval of the Director of Liberal Arts. In order to take any modules in some subjects, you will also be required to meet specific A Level or equivalent requirements.
We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2019 entry from September 2018.
Year Abroad (Modern Languages)
If, in the first year, you are studying Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish, and you are planning to continue studying one or more languages throughout your degree, you will include a Year Abroad between the second and final year of your programme of study. The Year Abroad offers you an opportunity to study at a university, or to teach English in a secondary school, or to undertake an internship, in a wide variety of locations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America. You will be transferred from the three-year to the four-year version of your degree programme at the end of your first year, giving you over a year in which to plan the Year Abroad, in consultation with your advisers in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. If, however, you later decide to stop studying a language, at the end of your second year, you will transfer back to the three-year version of the programme.
If you are not studying one or two of these languages and associated literatures and cultures, you might still choose to study a language through the School’s Centre for Foreign Language Study (CFLS). The Centre offers classes in many languages, at beginners’, intermediate, and advanced levels, but these modules do not lead to a Year Abroad.
Other opportunities for Study Abroad
The University has established exchanges with many of its international partner universities, and opportunities for students to spend a year studying abroad are now multiplying as more and more of these exchanges are created. Liberal Arts students are in a particularly strong position to take advantage of these opportunities, since they are studying several subjects, and, therefore, would be ‘at home’ studying in universities throughout much of the English-speaking world. Students must compete for Study Abroad places, and so it is not possible to guarantee that every student who wishes to study in a particular country will be able to do so. Liberal Arts students can apply to study at universities across Europe, through the Erasmus + Programme, or at universities in the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, or New Zealand, through the Overseas Exchange Programme. If successful, you will be transferred from the three-year to the four-year version of your degree programme in your second year.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Course Learning and Teaching
Students on this programme design their own programme of study, so depending on their choices they learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes, workshops, language classes, informal but scheduled one-on-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing.
All of these are supported by a state of the art virtual learning environment, Durham University Online (DUO). Seminars, workshops, and practical classes are much smaller groups than lectures, small enough to allow one-on-one interaction with a professor or lecturer. This emphasis on small-group teaching reflects a conscious choice to enhance the quality of the learning experience rather than the quantity of formal sessions.
The subjects studied in Liberal Arts are designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent research as students move from their first to their final year. Small-group teaching and one-on-one attention from the personal academic advisor (provided for all students when they enter the programme) are part of the learning experience throughout, but by the final year classroom time gives way, to some extent, to independent research, including a capstone dissertation—supported by one-on-one supervision—that makes up a third of final year credits.
In this way the degree programme systematically transforms the student from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life.
These formal teaching arrangements are supported by ‘drop-in’ surgeries with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin in the week before the start of the programme and continue at key times throughout each year of the programme.
Students can also attend an extensive programme of research-focused seminars where staff and visiting scholars in various academic departments present their cutting-edge research.
Subject requirements, level and grade
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
- We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study.
To study English Literature, History or Music a grade A at A Level or equivalent is required in the subject.
• To study French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish at an advanced level a grade A at A Level or equivalent in the language is required.
• To study Arabic, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish ab initio a grade A at A Level or equivalent in a modern foreign language is required.
• To study Chinese or Japanese a grade A at A Level or equivalent in a modern foreign language is desirable but not essential.
• To study Economics a grade A at A Level or equivalent in Mathematics is required.
- We will be reviewing our entry requirements for 2018 entry in the summer of 2017 and will publish finalised entry requirements for 2018 entry on the University’s website and at UCAS before 1 September 2017
- We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer
- Typical IB score 38 to include 666 in higher level subjects. Higher level subject requirements apply, see above
- Please consult the University website for required evidence of English language proficiency
- If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre
- We are happy to consider applications for deferred entry.
Science A Levels
Applicants taking Science A Levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A Levels with an English examination board.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Information relevant to your country
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£19,250.00 per year|
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Combined Honours graduates are highly employable. Employers recognise the value of a degree from a university with an international reputation for academic excellence, and of the broad range of skills which our students develop through their involvement in sport, theatre, music, community service, and many other activities, in their colleges and across the University. Combined Arts and Combined Social Sciences graduates are especially attractive to employers because of the sheer range of their intellectual skills, their adaptability, their capacity to make creative connections, and their independence of mind.
Many of our graduates go on to study for postgraduate degrees, in subjects as diverse as History of Art and International Relations, or go into professional training for careers in the law, teaching, and management. Others go straight into graduate careers, in financial services, publishing, arts administration, marketing, journalism, public relations, consultancy, public sector administration, and many other fields. Some of our graduates postpone the start of their careers in order to take part in voluntary projects, in the UK and overseas, while some of our most enterprising students start their own companies as soon as they finish their degrees – or, in some cases, even sooner!
For further information visit: www.durham.ac.uk/combined.honours/arts/prospects
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.
Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place: www.durham.ac.uk/opendays
Discover Durham Tours
Discover Durham tours offer a brief introduction to the University. The tour begins at one of our undergraduate colleges, where you will receive an introductory talk from a member of college staff, followed by a tour of the college by current students.
Overseas Visit Schedule
Liberal Arts is a flexible, multidisciplinary degree programme for students who want to specialise in two or more principal subjects. It offers students who are interested in several subjects, and in making creative connections between their subjects, the opportunity to construct a distinctive programme of study shaped by their particular interests and aspirations.
Complementing the University’s Single and Joint Honours programmes, the Liberal Arts programme enables its students to work in some of the UK’s most highly rated schools and departments in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Liberal Arts students can specialise in particular subjects to a much greater extent than is often possible in programmes of this kind. Many students increasingly focus on English Literature, or History, or Modern Languages, or Philosophy, for example, but study their major subjects in conjunction with other subjects in the Humanities, such as Classics and Theology, and in the Social Sciences, such as Economics, Politics, and Sociology.
If you are looking for the freedom to follow your interests, wherever they might take you, then Liberal Arts might be the right programme for you.
- 1st for English Literature and Music, 2nd for History, Theology and Religious Studies, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Russian, and
Spanish, and 3rd for Chinese and Japanese, in The Complete University Guide 2018
- In the top 3 for 15 subjects and top 10 for all subjects which can be studied in the Liberal Arts programme, in The Complete University Guide 2018
- In the top 5 universities in the UK in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018
- In the top 30 universities worldwide for the Arts and Humanities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018
- In the top 40 universities worldwide for employer reputation in the QS World University Rankings® 2018.