BA Liberal Arts with International Study

Year of entry: 2022

Overview

Degree awarded
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Duration
4 years
Typical A-level offer
A*AA, including at least one subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical.
Typical contextual A-level offer
AAA to include at least one subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical.
Find out more about contextual admissions.
Refugee/care-experienced offer
Applicants who have been in local authority care for more than three months or have refugee status may be eligible for an offer two grades below the standard requirements.
Find out more about contextual admissions.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer
37 points overall. 7,6,6 in Higher Level subjects, to include at least one subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply through UCAS .
Apply through UCAS
UCAS course code
Y101
UCAS institution code
M20

Course overview

  • Gather the concepts of what it means to be a free citizen through interdisciplinary study.
  • Contextualise our responses to contemporary global issues.
  • Pursue your own research with academic support and world-leading facilities.
  • Study at a top 5 UK university for Religions and Theology (Guardian University Guide 2022).

Open days

We are carefully reviewing all our recruitment events in light of the developing coronavirus outbreak.

View the latest updates on measures we are taking .

As we're unable to host on-campus visits, or attend events like UCAS and overseas recruitment fairs at the moment, look at our virtual open day content to help you learn more about the University.

You will be able to watch videos about the University, including accommodation, student finance and course-specific sessions.

We'll update our website once plans for 2021 events are able to be confirmed.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
School/Faculty overview

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

A-level

A*AA to include at least one subject which is primarily assessed on written work, rather than practical.

Contextual offer

AAA to include at least one subject which is primarily assessed on written work, rather than practical.

Subjects welcomed but not normally included as part of the standard offer

General Studies is welcomed, but not normally included as part of the standard offer.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available. Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application. Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.

GCSE

Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade C or 4 in GCSE/iGCSE English Language and Mathematics. GCSE/iGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/iGCSE English Language. 

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

International Baccalaureate

37 points overall. 7,6,6 in Higher Level subjects, to include at least one subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language, see accepted entry qualifications from your country

Scottish requirements

Two Advanced Highers at AA, plus one additional Higher at A in relevant subject (see A-level subject requirements).

English Language and Mathematics not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grade C / Intermediate 2 grade C / Standard Grade Credit level grade 3).

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and usually requires two A Levels or equivalent to be included within this.

The minimum grade required will normally be the same as the lowest grade listed in the A Level entry requirements.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

European Baccalaureate

The University of Manchester welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

We normally require 85% with a mark of at least 8.0 in at least one subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical.

AQA Baccalaureate

The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, the University will focus on the three A Levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students need to check the standard A Level requirements for their chosen course.

The units of broader study, enrichment activities and the Extended Project are considered to be valuable elements of the AQA Baccalaureate and we would therefore strongly encourage students to draw upon these experiences within their personal statement.

Foundation year

The University recognises a number of foundation programmes as suitable for entry to this undergraduate programme:Applicants completing the INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester international foundation programme are required to achieve A*AA in academic subjects and grade A in the EAP with writing, speaking, listening and reading grade B.

Applicants completing the NCUK International Foundation year are required to achieve A*AA in academic subjects and grade A in the EAP with writing, speaking, listening and reading grade B.

Please read this in conjunction with our A-level requirements, noting any pre-requisite subjects.

Pearson BTEC qualifications

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma : we consider the National Extended Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course. Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Diploma with grades Dist, Dist, Dist, in a humanities-related subject such as English Literature, History or Politics. 

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma : we consider the National Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course. Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Diploma with grades Distinction, Distinction, plus one A-level at Grade A in a subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma : we consider the National Foundation Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course. Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Foundation Diploma with a Distinction grade, PLUS one A-level at Grade A in a subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical, PLUS an EPQ or AS at Grade A.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate : we consider the National Extended Certificate for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course. Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Certificate with a Distinction grade, PLUS two A-levels at Grades AA; one of which must be in a subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical.

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy BTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the BTEC Extended Diploma, BTEC Diploma, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, and BTEC Certificate. The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new BTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma (CTEC) : we do not consider the Technical Extended Diploma for entry to this course.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Diploma (CTEC) : we consider the Technical Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to the chosen course. Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Diploma with grades Distinction, Distinction, plus an additional level 3 qualification such as an A Level at grade A in at least one subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical .

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Foundation Diploma (CTEC) : we consider the Technical Foundation Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to the chosen course. Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Foundation Diploma with grades Distinction*, Distinction, plus an additional level 3 qualification such as an A Level/A Level at min. Grade A in at least one subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical, PLUS an EPQ or AS Level at grade B.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Certificate (CTEC): we consider the Technical Extended Certificate for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to the chosen course. Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Extended Certificate with EITHER grade Distinction, plus two additional Level 3 qualifications such as A Levels at grades AA, OR the full Technical Extended Certificate with grade Distinction*, plus two A-levels at grades AB. In either case, one of the A-levels must be in at least one subject which is assessed primarily on written work, rather than practical.

The University of Manchester will consider applications from students who have achieved legacy CTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the CTEC Extended Diploma, CTEC Diploma, CTEC Subsidiary Diploma, and CTEC Certificate. The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new CTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

Access to HE Diploma

We require a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma (a minimum of 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3), with merit or distinction in a subject area relevant to the chosen course.

The specific course requirements are a minimum of 45 credits with a Distinction grade, in a Humanities-related subject. Where possible, at least 15 of the Distinction credits should be in the pre-requisite subject required for A-levels.

Applicants to Languages programmes are also required to have a minimum of GCSE grade B/6 in a modern language or in English Language.

Cambridge Pre-U

We consider applicants offering Pre-U Principal Subjects, or a mix of Pre-U and A Level subjects, provided a minimum of three distinct subjects overall is taken.

Candidates taking Pre-U principal subjects in conjunction with A levels are expected to achieve a combination of D3, D3, D3 in the Pre-U and AAA at A level in three distinct subjects. Please see A-level requirements for details of pre-requisite subject.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. We strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement (and at interview, if relevant). We may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account, should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

For this programme, you will be made the standard offer plus an alternative one, if you are studying for an EPQ. The alternative offer will be one grade below the standard offer but you will also be asked to achieve a Grade A in your EPQ.

Core Maths

The University recognises the value of Level 3 Core Mathematics qualifications. Core Mathematics is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result we will not normally include it in the conditions of any offer we make. However, if a student chooses to undertake a core mathematics qualification this may be taken into account when we consider a student's application, particularly for courses with a distinct mathematical or statistical element that does not require A Level Mathematics. Academic Schools may also choose to take a student's performance in Core Mathematics into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Where a course requires applicants to have at least grade 6/B or higher in GCSE Mathematics we would be likely to consider a pass in Core Mathematics at a minimum grade C or B as an alternative way to fulfil this requirement. Where an A Level in Mathematics is required then Core Mathematics will not be accepted in lieu of an A Level.

A Level and GCSE Mathematics requirements for our courses vary according to subject so we advise students to contact the academic School, who will clarify whether a student's portfolio of qualifications is acceptable for entry onto the chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route and have been, for example, educated at home, your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course to which you applied. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the academic entry requirements as specified for the course. We will also require a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. Please refer to UCAS for further information: UCAS reference guidelines

Non-standard educational routes

Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences. Students come from a whole array of backgrounds, study every kind of course, undertake full-time and part-time learning and are motivated by career intentions as well as personal interest.

There is no such thing as a typical mature student at Manchester and the application process is the same as for other prospective undergraduates. If you require further clarification about the acceptability of the qualifications you hold please contact the academic School(s) to which you plan to apply. Further information for mature students can be found here .

Academic entry qualification overview

A*AA to include at least one subject which is primarily assessed on written work, rather than practical.

English language

All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency. The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE English Language grade C / 4, or;
  • IELTS 7.0, or;
  • An acceptable equivalent qualification.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

Advice to applicants

We are looking for applicants who have a good record of academic performance and an intellectual curiosity, as reflected in achieved/predicted A-level grades (or equivalent qualifications) and personal statement respectively.

As Liberal Arts is about interdisciplinary learning, applicants are not required to have undertaken any particular subjects, but we recommend that applicants have recent experience with humanities subjects. We also encourage applicants to highlight their interest in challenge-led learning and social responsibility, which are both key parts of the Liberal Arts programme.

Students enrolled onto the four-year International Study programme must achieve and maintain an academic attainment of at least 60% in order to stay on the pathway.

Students enrolled on the three-year programme are eligible to apply to transfer onto the four-year International Study programme in the first semester of their second year, subject to achieving and maintaining an academic attainment of at least 60% and subject to capacity and availability of places.

Successful applicants will normally be transferred onto the programme at the end of the second semester of their second year.

How your application is considered

We read the personal statements and references of all applicants and assess in a holistic way, paying particular attention to your achieved grades/predicted grades and your personal interests.

Returning to education

We welcome applicants who are looking to return to study and value their contribution to the departmental culture and social life.

Access courses are acceptable as an entry route to this course - please contact the UG Admissions Team.

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are considered equally to other applications up to the point of confirmation. Deferred entry is granted on the discretion of admissions staff, and is normally granted for one year only and two years at the maximum. Some English Language test results, such as IELTS or TOEFL are only valid for two years from the test date.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

If you have re-sat individual modules to improve your grades, we will consider your application according to the standard selection process. If you are planning to re-sit the final Year 13 examinations, or have already done so, the University will consider your application, but we may require further information in order to make an informed judgment on your application.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course. If you are applying through clearing you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.

Course details

Course description

Liberal Arts are among the earliest intellectual pursuits, and they are associated with the training, development, and empowerment of free citizens.

A BA in Liberal Arts with International Study at The University of Manchester will enable students, through a number of bespoke modules and a wide range of optional courses, to recognise and respond to local and global challenges, as well as to understand and explore key concepts-such as humanness, morality, value, and truth-that underwrite what it is to be a free, active, and engaged citizen in the world today.

Core Liberal Arts modules - which cover topics including the history of humanities, rhetoric, ethics, and social responsibility - deliver these aims through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and research workshops that introduce challenge-led learning and interdisciplinary research methods and theories.

Teaching is enhanced on these modules by links to cultural institutions such as the John Rylands Library, the Science and Industry Museum, and Manchester Museum, where ideas from the arts and humanities are presented to a range of academic and non-academic audiences.

In their final year, students have the opportunity to work with non-academic institutions and organisations in Manchester, drawing on their skills honed in other modules across the programme, to develop their own world-facing research.

In addition to bespoke interdisciplinary Liberal Arts modules, students are able to tailor their interests throughout the Liberal Arts programme, and respond to key issues that affect the flourishing of free citizens from social inequality to cultural diversity, and from AI to climate change.

Students also have the opportunity to complement this knowledge by taking a language, specialising in a Minor subject through Flexible Honours, or distributing their studies across different interdisciplinary thematic clusters.

The Liberal Arts with International Study programme gives students further opportunities to engage with interdisciplinary learning and global challenges through a placement in an overseas university.

Students on this four-year programme will spend a year abroad, during which time they will experience different approaches to teaching and interdisciplinarity, as well as different means of civic engagement and social responsibility, which can enrich independent study options in the final year of the programme back in Manchester.

The year abroad also develops organisational and interpersonal skills that can enhance a student's employability profile.

Aims

  • To highlight the important relationship between research and society (universities and the public).
  • To train students how to critique the research of others effectively, including appropriate source handling and writing skills.
  • To equip students with the skills required to understand and develop interdisciplinary work, including a critical understanding of
  • the challenges that such work presents.
  • To allow students to realise and pursue their own research interests through an emphasis on reflective learning and by providing tailored academic support.
  • To deliver a diverse and inclusive curriculum that appeals to a range of interests and learning styles, and that encourages critical scrutiny of disciplines and approaches.

Special features

Connect with like-minded students

Join one of our student societies to further explore your interests.

Work with Creative Manchester

We're working with organisations in Manchester and developing research that responds to real-world challenges in Manchester.

Additional course information

Liberal Arts are among the earliest intellectual pursuits, and they are associated with the training, development, and empowerment of free citizens. A BA in Liberal Arts with International Study at The University of Manchester will enable students, through a number of bespoke modules and a wide range of optional courses, to recognise and respond to local and global challenges, as well as to understand and explore key concepts-such as humanness, morality, value, and truth-that underwrite what it is to be a free, active, and engaged citizen in the world today.  

Core Liberal Arts modules - which cover topics including the history of humanities, rhetoric, ethics, and social responsibility - deliver these aims through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and research workshops that introduce challenge-led learning and interdisciplinary research methods and theories. Teaching is enhanced on these modules by links to cultural institutions such as the John Rylands Library, the Science and Industry Museum, and Manchester Museum, where ideas from the arts and humanities are presented to a range of academic and non-academic audiences. In their final year, students have the opportunity to work with non-academic institutions and organisations in Manchester, drawing on their skills honed in other modules across the programme, to develop their own world-facing research.

In addition to bespoke interdisciplinary Liberal Arts modules, which provide students with the intellectual foundations required to uncover, contextualise and approach the underpinning ideas that shape our responses to contemporary global issues, students are able to tailor their interests throughout the Liberal Arts programme, and respond to key issues that affect the flourishing of free citizens from social inequality to cultural diversity, and from AI to climate change. Students also have the opportunity to complement this knowledge by taking a language, specialising in a Minor subject through Flexible Honours, or distributing their studies across different interdisciplinary thematic clusters.

The Liberal Arts with International Study programme gives students further opportunities to engage with interdisciplinary learning and global challenges through a placement in an overseas university. Students on this four-year programme will spend a year abroad, during which time they will experience different approaches to teaching and interdisciplinarity, as well as different means of civic engagement and social responsibility, which can enrich independent study options in the final year of the programme back in Manchester. The year abroad also develops organisational and interpersonal skills that can enhance a student's employability profile.

Teaching and learning

The emphasis in Liberal Arts is on becoming an active and engaged citizen and researcher.

Core Liberal Arts course units will deliver this through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and research workshops that link to cultural institutions such as the John Rylands Library, the Science and Industry Museum, and Manchester Museum.

In their final year, students can also work with institutions and organisations in Manchester to develop their own world-facing research.

Students will be trained in reflective learning, which will be assessed through innovative presentation formats, reports, research proposals, and debates, in addition to essays and exams.

Coursework and assessment

Core Liberal Arts course units are assessed through a range of coursework assignments, including research essays that let you delve into the topics that inspire you.

You can also work with more creative forms of assessment, including PechaKucha presentations, posters, debates, and reflections on your experiences.

You'll have the ability to work individually and in groups.

Course units from across the University are assessed using a range of formats, including exams and coursework, which allows you to develop a range of valuable skills.

Course unit details

A series of core Liberal Arts modules covering the history of humanities, rhetoric, ethics, and social responsibility provides students with the intellectual foundations required to uncover, contextualise and approach our responses to contemporary global issues.

Students will have the opportunity to complement this knowledge by taking a language, specialising in a Minor subject through Flexible Honours, or distributing their studies across different interdisciplinary thematic clusters.

Course content for year 1

Core course units in your first year will begin by introducing you to the field of the humanities and the role that the arts have played in shaping cultures from ancient civilisations through to the present day, and even to the future.

You will encounter intellectual 'Giants' from a range of different cultures and contexts, and you will be trained to critically explore what makes someone a key thinker.

You will use cutting-edge research to question how we think about the value of knowledge, and how we communicate it with academic and non-academic audiences.

You will analyse and discuss the relationship between the arts and the sciences in understanding and shaping humans and our environments - a topic at the forefront of current academic research.

This content will give you a foundation - a map, if you like - on which you can locate ideas from different disciplines that you will encounter throughout your course.

Beyond this, you will be able to choose course units from across the arts and beyond and pursue your interests in a range of disciplines.

You'll have the opportunity to take a minor subject through Flexible Honours, including a language, or you can cast your net wider to suit your interests.

You will have an academic advisor to help you as you select your course units.

Course content for year 2

In your second year, core Liberal Arts course units will help you to build on ideas about interdisciplinarity from Year 1 by exploring how interdisciplinary research might be applied to Manchester.

Taking Manchester as a 'laboratory' for thinking about Liberal Arts, you will learn about how research across the arts and humanities connects with issues in urban environments.

You will be able to focus on, and critique, the communication of ideas through an emphasis on 'impact', which is about social engagement, and rhetoric, which is about persuasive speech and writing.

You will work with institutions such as the Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery to explore and evaluate pathways to impact and the role of creativity in communicating research to different audiences.

You'll also hear from a range of experts in fields from classical history to business studies to psychology about strategies for persuading others using ideas, and the ethics of it in a range of political and social contexts.

In addition to core course units, you'll be able to continue to develop your interests in a range of disciplines from across the University, boasting the choice than any other degree course.

Course content for year 3

Students spend their third year following an approved full-time programme of study at one or two of our partner institutions.

Course content for year 4

Course units in your final year will give you a chance to demonstrate and continue to develop your skills from previous years.

The Creative Manchester engagement project will give you an opportunity to work with an organisation in Manchester that helps you to combine internship or volunteering experience with your studies.

You will be trained to write a report that has an agenda for impact and social responsibility, and you will be able to present this work to academic and non-academic audiences.

These outputs directly draw on ideas about communication and impact from Year 2, and ideas about intellectual history from Year 1.

You will also be able to reflect on your studies and synthesise your course units in order to get a better understanding of the personal impact of your Liberal Arts degree.

You can supplement your learning by choosing to write a long essay on a topic of your choice with tailored supervisory support, taking a range of course units in the arts and beyond, and continuing with your minor subject or language if you started them in previous years.

Facilities

Our most distinctive research resource is The John Rylands Library - an internationally renowned resource which holds one of the finest collections of rare books, manuscripts and archives in the world.

Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery, and Museum of Medicine and Health all feature throughout the course, and we also have strong links with the Science and Industry Museum (SIM).

Find out more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Upon completing this degree course, graduates will be equipped with a raft of transferrable skills, equipping them for employability, including:
  • the ability to work independently;
  • time management and planning skills;
  • an ability to work effectively in groups by delegating tasks and collaborating;
  • communications skills to relate to a range of audiences;
  • an ability to develop research that responds to real-world challenges by engaging with organisations and institutions.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate.

At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability.

Find out more on the Careers and employability page.