BA Liberal Arts with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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