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Liberal Arts (BA) (Full-Time, 2020 Entry)

Liberal Arts (BA)

Liberal Arts (BA)

  • UCAS Code
  • LA99
  • Qualification
  • BA
  • Duration
  • 3 years full-time
  • Entry Requirements
  • A level: AAA (contextual offers made at AAB)
  • IB: 38
  • (See full entry
  • requirements below)

Liberal Arts (BA) at Warwick is a focused approach to learning what matters to you, unconstrained by the traditional limitations of disciplinary studies. You’ll draw on knowledge and methods from across the humanities and the social and natural sciences to address the specific complex problems of interest to you. The aim of a liberal arts education is to produce well-rounded individuals with a breadth of knowledge, a sophisticated understanding of the most important questions that face society, and a mastery of transferable skills.

Our distinctive course places your unique interests and experiences at the centre of a structured programme, designed to help you get the most from your time in and out of the classroom. With our focus on independent research and transdisciplinary approaches, Liberal Arts at Warwick is designed for the most ambitious, energetic, and self-driven students – the next generation of leaders, creators, and top thinkers.

Our problem-based learning approach means you’ll become an active producer of ideas. You’ll also have opportunities to take part in activities (such as participation in undergraduate conferences) and gain certificates designed to help you to develop and hone relevant professional skills, giving you the edge when it comes to employability. We can also support you to apply for a year’s study abroad at a leading institution. This would extend the duration of your course by one year.

Enabling you to follow your passion in the Arts, we are awarding Scholarships of £1,000 to home/UK students who achieve AAA or above, or equivalent qualifications if you start your course in 2020 and you have applied through UCAS, adjustment or clearing.

Year 1

Two content-focused required core modules worth 60 CATs in total ('Science, Society and the Media' and 'Art and Revolution'), a research training module worth 15 CATs ('Qualitative Methods for Undergraduate Research'), a non-credit bearing introductory module 'Liberal Arts: Principles and Praxis', plus 45 CATs worth of first year optional modules from within the department or across the University. Some of the first-year optional modules you'll choose from are 'required core optional modules', and must be passed in order to proceed on the specified Pathway. You'll usually apply to pursue a disciplinary interest or specialist interest Pathway at the end of the second term of your first year.

In your first year you'll also have the opportunity to take the Certificate of Digital Literacy and the Certificate of Professional Communication with Work Placement.

Year 2

Two core modules in Liberal Arts worth 60 CATs ('Consumption' and 'Sustainability'), constituting half the workload for the year; the remaining half is made up of modules from your chosen disciplinary interest or specialist interest Pathway. There will also be an opportunity to take the Certificate of Coaching Practice and the Certificate of Professional Communication (alongside a work placement).

Final year

Core Liberal Arts component is a dissertation or practical project (worth 25% of your work load); remaining modules are from your chosen disciplinary interest or specialist interest Pathway. An assessment in a public-facing forum is required. A study abroad or placement year between year 2 and final year is available.

All Liberal Arts modules are delivered using Problem-Based Learning workshops, which are defined by student-led research-based inquiry. There are no formal lectures, and students instead spend their time in the classroom debating, framing, and presenting research questions/responses. This is an active learning method that relies on specific student interests, and so content (explored through in-depth case studies) changes depending on the student cohort.

Contact hours
Core Liberal Arts modules in the first and second year consist of one x 2 hour workshop per week. Most modules run over terms 1 and 2 and therefore have around 44 hours of teaching contact time. This is supplemented by regular out-of-classroom activities, including film screenings, skills sessions, discussion groups, reading groups, and field trips. Additionally, second year core modules have 6 hours of research support/revision in addition to scheduled teaching sessions.

Class size
Class sizes range from 4 to 18 students, with an average of 12 students in most core modules.

Liberal Arts assessments are designed to be authentic learning experiences, not barriers to overcome. No single assessment is worth more than 50% of a module’s total mark, and assessment types vary widely to support the development of a range of academic and professional skills.

The Liberal Arts department has exclusive partnerships with a number of specialist Liberal Arts Colleges across Europe (Jacobs University, Bremen; Leiden University College, Leuphana University, Luneburg; University College Freiburg, Concordia University, Montreal Canada ). You are able to spend a full year studying at one of these specialist colleges. The primary language of instruction at all of our partner institutions is English.

In addition to achieving the learning outcomes of the specific modules which you study whilst abroad, you will develop knowledge and understanding of the social, political, economic and historical environment in another country through your experience of studying abroad, in particular gaining an appreciation of the approach taken to Liberal Arts education by another leading European institution and the cultural context in which it is delivered and understood. Although you will be taught in English, it is anticipated that through living and studying in abroad you will acquire some foreign language ability. You may opt to study abroad at one of the University of Warwick's partners (e.g. through the ERASMUS scheme).

An intercalated year is available after Year 2, adding a year to the duration of your course. This can include a work placement defined by the student and supported by the department. Alternatively, an optional supported internship scheme or work placement can be undertaken in the summer of Year 2, connected with our bespoke Certificate of Professional Communication.

A level: AAA plus grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE (contextual offers are made at AAB)

IB: 38 including English and Mathematics

BTEC: We welcome applications from students taking BTECs alongside one or two A levels. You will also need grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE

Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (for Liberal Arts, contextual offers will be made at AAB).

  • Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
    All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
  • We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
  • Taking a gap year
    Applications for deferred entry welcomed.

    We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.

    We also ask applicants who meet, or are predicted to meet, the minimum entry requirements to submit a second personal statement to Warwick which addresses their reasons for applying to the course.

    We’ll contact applicants directly to request the second personal statement and provide guidance at that time.

    Open Days
    All students who have been offered a place are invited to visit. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.

Year One
Liberal Arts: Principles and Praxis

This is your introduction to the history and thinking behind Liberal Arts. It's where you'll begin to think beyond the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines. Through a series of interactive lectures, you'll be introduced to the key intellectual debates that guide Liberal Arts thinking, and the theoretical and practical benefits of a Liberal Arts education.

Science, Society and the Media

By studying philosophy and contemporary issues you'll be able to consider how politics, finance, philosophy and linguistics shape the public's view of science. Through Problem-Based Learning, you'll engage with questions around the public understanding of science, and the role that the media plays in communicating science. Here you'll critically respond to a set of topical issues making headlines in the national and local media, through the close analysis of case studies.

Art and Revolution

In this module you'll generate original approaches to complex historical and contemporary social, political and religious revolutions and related artwork. Your thinking will cross disciplines, as you ask questions from the perspectives of history, economics, religious studies, music, literature, politics, history of art and film studies in order to critically analyse how art—the things we make—has reacted to, anticipated, or prompted revolutionary moments in which established power structures were altered, damaged, or supplanted.

Qualitative Research

This core module will introduce qualitative research methods, which you'll use as interdisciplinary researchers. This will be your opportunity to develop your aptitude in qualitative research methods through a series of practical assignments. You’ll learn about ethics processes, interviewing, focus groups, and qualitative analysis of data.

Quantitative Methods for Undergraduate Research (core for quantitative pathways)

In this optional module, you’ll learn how to perform analyses of quantitative datasets. You’ll be able to blend quantitative and qualitative approaches to highlight trends and outcomes you might otherwise miss. This module will also provide a key foundation for subsequent quantitative training in economics, life sciences, sociology, psychology, and other related areas.

Year Two

This module allows you to develop an informed understanding of sustainability debates, controversies, and policies relevant to the field. Here you'll focus on contemporary ecological, economic, and regulatory challenges and the development of effective evidence-based policy. Through Problem-Based-Learning, you'll explore multiple dimensions of sustainability from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.


This module explores one of the major driving forces of society - through historical, cultural and sociological research, drawing on case studies, theory and artistic inventions. You'll critically examine the role that consumption plays in contemporary society, analysing different theorisations of processes of consumption and cultural works which engage with issues of consumption. Through Problem-Based Learning, you'll interrogate problems at the intersections of the arts, humanities and sciences.

Year Three
Dissertation/Final Project

Your dissertation is a year-long final year project that marks the culmination of your experience at Warwick. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your acquisition of a range of intellectual and practical skills for engaging with a topical issue that you have identified in the course of your studies. By combining Problem-Based Learning and your research skills, the module requires you to bring together the approaches to critical thinking and research that you learned on the Liberal Arts course and to apply them to a problem you have identified from your chosen Disciplinary Interest or Specialist Interest.

Examples of optional modules/options for current students

Problems in Governance: The European Union; The Apocalyptic Imaginary; Introduction to Art History: The Natural World and the Arts of Modernity; Discovering Cinema; North America: Themes and Problems; Economics I; Molecules, Cells and Organisms; Environmental Principles of Global Sustainable Development.

Within the Liberal Arts department there are a number of Liberal Arts optional modules for you to choose from. These modules use Problem-Based Learning to allow students to explore their interests from a range of different methodological and conceptual standpoints. For further information about core and optional modules, please visit our modules page.

Graduate outcomes for liberal arts students worldwide demonstrate a wide range of trajectories: liberal arts graduates tend to gravitate towards research-intensive and/or leadership roles where they can employ their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The Liberal Arts Department has a dedicated Placements' Officer who is able to offer careers guidance, provide information about suitable placement opportunities and support you to secure appropriate work experience. The Placements' Officer gives specialist pre-placement advice, guidance and preparation, and provides on-going support for you whilst on placement. In addition, the Officer delivers the associated Certificate of Professional Communication.

A Liberal Arts degree gives you an opportunity to learn skills that are highly valued in various jobs across many fields. For example in the Media industry many students choose to pursue a career in Journalism (print, radio, TV) and Publishing. Industries such as Sales, Advertising or Public Relations could be appealing to those students who are interested in working in areas related to Marketing. Liberal Arts students may also consider working in Counselling/Psychotherapy, Social Work or as a spiritual leader. In order to become a counsellor or a psychotherapist, students will need to complete a certificate accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy or the UK Council for Psychotherapy. Becoming a social worker requires a postgraduate degree which could be undertaken at Warwick.

Other popular career choices for Liberal Arts graduates are Law and Teaching. Students interested in the fields of climate change or sustainability may be suitable for the roles of policy advisers, campaigners, and administrators in the field and our Global Sustainable Development Pathway would be excelllent preparation for such roles.

A level: AAA plus grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE (contextual offers are made at AAB)

IB: 38 including English and Mathematics

BTEC: We welcome applications from students taking BTECs alongside one or two A levels. You will also need grade B/grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE

Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

Arts Excellence Scholarship 2020
£1,000 to home/UK students who achieve AAA or above for this course.

UCAS code

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

3 years full-time

Start date
28 September 2020

Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry

Tuition fees
Find out more about fees and funding

Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who transfer to the intercalated course and do a year-long work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.

This information is applicable for 2020 entry.

Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.

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