Welcome to Liberal Arts at Warwick!
Director of Undergraduate Studies (Liberal Arts)
Congratulations on your results and for meeting the conditions of your offer! I'm Bryan, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Head of Liberal Arts. I'm very excited to welcome you to the department and to your new degree course.
In embarking upon a Liberal Arts degree, you are entering a tradition of learning that is over 2,000 years old. Liberal Arts education is about empowering you as independent critical thinkers and future global leaders. This course will enable you to conduct ground-breaking transdisciplinary research on topics that truly matter to you in order to solve the wicked global problems that we face today and those that we will be forced to confront in the future. Some of you might not yet know what you're passionate about or might feel overwhelmed by the many intersecting crises our world faces today. That's perfectly fine. Our course is designed to help you break down complex problems, while giving you room to grow intellectually and to refine and reshape your interests as you go (it's one of the only degree courses at Warwick that allows you to do this!).
In our core modules, we hope to help you further develop key skills that will serve you across a wide variety of disciplines throughout your degree, while fostering your intellectual and personal growth. It's worth underlining that each opportunity we offer on the course—from our Certificates, to the options to do a year of Study Abroad or Work Placement, to the intensive Venice modules we offer in the summer—is designed to enable you to use the course as a springboard into making your dreams a reality—whether those be landing your dream job, solving climate change, finishing a PhD, stopping the apocalypse, brokering world peace, writing the next great novel of the twenty-first century, implementing a new economic system, starting a revolution, or leading the next scientific paradigm shift. Rather than telling you what to think, we try to teach you how to think, and why what you think matters more than you know.
Each of you are arriving to the shores of this degree having sailed through vastly different waters— with a unique combination of interests, experiences, backgrounds, passions, skillsets, and ambitions. Rather than seeking to "mould" or "shape" you within a particular way of thinking, Liberal Arts encourages you to bring all of these aspects of yourself to your studies. In fact, the rich diversity of thought, culture, and perspective among our students is the very thing that makes our in-class sessions so engaging and dynamic! Though Liberal Education may be a tradition with very ancient roots, each new branch, leaf, and flower draws upon it in different ways to produce innovative, unique, one-of-a-kind fruits.
If flowery tree metaphors aren't your thing (...are they anyone's, really?), another way of putting it is that Liberal Arts at Warwick is about bringing your individual strengths and interests together to create unique interventions in a complex world. With each year of new students entering the course, it becomes ever more apparent that the diversity of our community is its key strength. I know that I speak for all of us when I say that we can’t wait to see what new developments this year will bring as we reconvene and move into new areas of critical inquiry and intellectual exploration.
We're so excited to see how you will combine the elements of your degree to create your own disciplinary route or specialist pathway, and how your ideas will grow and take shape over the coming years. We're eager to meet you, to provide you with the tools and skills you need to make the most of your time at Warwick, and most importantly, to learn from each other about what matters to you, and how we can work together to tackle complex problems and to build innovative research-led solutions for the future.
Over the coming weeks, you'll begin to receive a important information from us about how to enrol, guidance on starting to think about module choices, advice, information about Welcome Week, and more. Please keep an eye on your inboxes, and do get in touch with any questions.
Below you will find a number of links and resources that you may find helpful. There's a link to the Student Handbook (accessible to registered students), which provides detailed guidance on your programme. You’ll also find information about modules and your course structure. We've provided links to information about student support and welfare; we take your health and wellbeing (including mental health) very seriously. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with our department or our Student-Staff Liaison Committee members.
We very much look forward to welcoming you to Liberal Arts at Warwick!"
Getting ready for university
Keep an eye on the Welcome to Warwick website.
Read the University's Welcome FAQs.
See our staff profile pages to start getting to know the department.
Look at the Year One core modules to get a feel for the reading lists.
Find out about the co-curricular certificates available to you in your first year.
Take a look through our Student Handbook. (updates for 23/24 coming soon!)
See what Wellbeing Support is available.
If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty, it is important that you contact the Disability Services team within Wellbeing Support Services before starting your studies with us, even if you have already declared this on your UCAS application. Additional support can take time to arrange, so please contact them as early as possible to ensure you get the support you are entitled to. We also encourage you to get in touch with our department's Adjustments and Disability Officer, Dr William Rupp.
Welcome Week and the start of term
Each year we select a book for students to read before the degree starts, for discussion in Welcome Week (25th-30th September 2023) and other sessions in Term 1.
The book we have selected for this year’s incoming cohort is After Work: A History of the Home and the Fight for Free Time by Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek. The book will help us think about our use of time, how this relates to gender, and how this relationship has evolved under capitalism. We have chosen this book as it links nicely with some of the Problem-Based Learning approaches we use in the department, and because it strikes a balance between interdisciplinary learning and engaged citizenship (two pillars of Liberal Arts learning).
While we would encourage you to read the whole book, please begin with a focus on Chapter 1, ‘Introduction’ (pp. 1-9), Chapter 3, ‘Standards’ (pp. 49-78) and Chapter 6, ‘After Work’ (pp. 153-185).
While we would encourage you to purchase the recommended reading mentioned above, you are able to access the book via the Warwick Library.
Advice from Liberal Arts Graduate, Lily Rose
"One of the core things in any interdisciplinary practice is that you can’t know everything about every subject. It's about what you do with the content, not about how much content you know. You’ll very rarely in Liberal Arts be asked to memorise things because it’s much more about how you’re able to work with the information that you are given."
Stepping up from school to university
Transitioning from school or college to university can feel both exciting and daunting. Styles of teaching are different and there will be more opportunities for you to make your own decisions and study independently. This is doubly the case within Liberal Arts, where you will have the freedom to build your own degree course (via your route/pathway) based on your intellectual interests.
To help you prepare for university life, we have created a bespoke Liberal Arts Welcome Week Moodle page that is full of resources and helpful information to ease your transition onto the course. Feel free to start exploring these resources before you arrive at Warwick (once you have enrolled). Indeed, you are warmly encouraged to watch all of the videos on the Liberal Arts Welcome Week Moodle pages and to note down any questions you have about the material. You’ll have many opportunities to ask these questions during Welcome Week.
Your personal tutor
Each student at Warwick is assigned a personal tutor, who you will be required to check in with at regular intervals (these are known as monitoring points). Your personal tutor will help you navigate your university journey and can help you with both module and pathway selection, providing academic and personal support throughout your time here at Warwick. If things get difficult at any point or if things go wrong, your personal tutor can help you navigate the Mitigating Circumstances process, and can also help connect you with university resources, and can signpost you to a wide range of additional help and support. Your personal tutor will be in touch with you in late August/early September and you are encouraged to meet with them during Welcome Week.
Once you have been assigned a tutor, you can book your meeting with them here at this link.
Hello from the Liberal Arts Society
The Warwick Liberal Arts Society is an independent society made up of the Liberal Arts community of students. They often run socials including nights out in Leamington, a day trip to Oxford, and meet-ups on campus. They also run popular study skills sessions that provide a safe space for you to ask fellow Liberal Artists for advice. Make sure to follow them on instagram @warwickliberalartssoc for info about events, group chats and advice for incoming freshers!