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Fair and accessible education

Liberal Arts students at the University of Warwick in a seminar

Our commitment to equitable education

A small department with a strong sense of community, Liberal Arts aims to be an academic "home" where all of our students feel a sense of belonging. We are committed to giving every student the best possible university experience. We do this by creating a rich and inclusive learning environment that reflects our students' diverse backgrounds, experiences, knowledge and interests.

Student-led learning

We believe that every student has the right to see themselves reflected in an inclusive and varied curriculum, a principle which informs the design and delivery of our programme. We encourage students to question "accepted" knowledge, challenge norms, and explore a range of ideas and perspectives.

Through our method of Problem-Based Learning, we ask students to be co-producers of knowledge, and to bring their different life experiences and areas of academic and extracurricular expertise to the question at hand. Our emphasis on undergraduate research opens the curriculum up to possibilities outside individual staff interests and gives students the opportunity to pursue lines of academic inquiry that matter to them.

We encourage respectful but robust debate in classrooms where all students are able to express their views and be heard. Teaching methods such as group work and peer learning proactively involve all students in classroom activity.

We regularly review our course content and teaching methods, and actively welcome suggestions from students. Our curriculum and learning activities frequently change in response to the ideas and enthusiasm of our students.

Varied and flexible assessment

Our core and optional modules use a variety of assessment methods: from essays, exams and presentations to research projects, systems diagrams, video productions, podcasts and creative writing. Not only do different forms of assessment provide opportunities for all students to demonstrate their achievement, but each individual develops an extensive portfolio of varied communication skills. Some assessments allow individual choice, requiring students to think critically about the most appropriate method for conducting and communicating their research while empowering confident delivery.

All of our assessments are designed for learning: rather than simply testing what students have already learned, the assessment process develops knowledge and understanding, alongside academic and professional skills.

Attainment and employability

We have high expectations of every single one of our students, and we provide the support to help them meet them - academically and professionally.

We know our students as individual learners, and are therefore able to provide targeted academic guidance through our seminars, assessment feedback, and personal tutoring system. We support students in areas that need improvement, while encouraging them to showcase their successes and strengths (for example, by presenting at the International Conference of Undergraduate Research, or pursuing publication).

Our students graduate with a strong profile for employment. They are able to articulate the relevance of the knowledge and skills developed through their degree, and our suite of professional certificates clearly evidence their achievements for employers.

Our dedicated Placement Officer provides one-to-one advice, and supports students to undertake work placements of different lengths in different industries - from the creative to the corporate. All students have the opportunity to gain experience in the workplace and to begin to build professional networks before graduation.

We commit to

  • Encourage student feedback about degree content, classroom activities and our community
  • Encourage student leadership in the operation of the department
  • Support students to develop their graduate profile
  • Train staff on issues around inclusive and accessible teaching practices, including curriculum and assessment design
  • Contribute to University access and equality intitaives; e.g. widening participation and outreach events, the anti-racist learning circle, and the MAP project to diversify assessment

 

The University's commitment to diversity and inclusion


"The promotion of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion concerns all of us and is the responsibility of all members of our community. It is expected that we will all contribute to ensuring that the University of Warwick continues to be a safe, welcoming and productive environment, where there is and equality of opportunity, fostered in an environment of mutual respect and dignity" - Vice Chancellor, Stuart Croft

Read about the University's Widening Participation programmes here, to find out more about what's on offer in the wider University.

The wider University


There are a number of student societies which are dedicated to building a more inclusive University experience.

In addition, the University's Widening Participation Student Network connects students from backgrounds where progression to University is low or from groups that are underrepresented.

Liberal Arts are involved in a range of Wider Participation and Outreach activities. See here to find out more about our commitment to improving equality of access to Higher Education.