Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Transcript: What is Liberal Arts?

Dr Gavin Schwartz-Leeper: “Liberal Arts at Warwick is unique, it’s not like any other programme anywhere else in the world. Liberal Arts at Warwick is about a process, not about a discipline. It’s a way of approaching whatever is of most interest to you. What this really means is that what unites Liberal Arts students is a love of learning, a real passion, a real ambition.”

Dr Kirsten Harris: “We make sure that our curriculum has got a wide range of voices, a wide range of knowledges. We get students to question accepted knowledge and assumptions in our society.”

Dr Gavin Schwartz-Leeper: “Our use of pathways is really special. Rather than requiring our students to do a little bit of everything and then specialising in a particular area, we use pathways to identify a specific strategic focus for students right from the beginning of their programme.”

Dr Kirsten Harris: “Which means that as well as having the opportunity to get a breadth of knowledge from taking different modules around the University, students develop real expertise in one particular area. This could be to do with a particular discipline, so students might be interested in taking most of their modules in say Economics, or English Literature, or another subject-specific discipline. But I’d say around two-thirds of our students opt to take a Specialist Interest pathway where they explore a topic and then they can pick all kinds of modules from across the University relating to that topic. Some examples might be Sustainability or Social Justice.

Dr Gavin Schwartz-Leeper: “The teaching at Liberal Arts is completely different from anything else that we use in the University. This is because we use Problem-Based Learning.”

Dr Kirsten Harris: “Problem-Based Learning is a method of teaching that requires students to be active co-constructors of knowledge. So essentially, a Problem-Based Learning classroom is a lively space of discussion where students have gone out, conducted their own independent research, shared their ideas with each other and together worked as part of a team to produce a response which we then unpick collectively and explore further together.”