Liberal Arts offers you the opportunity to design your own programme of study. The Liberal Arts programme complements Durham University’s Single and Joint Honours programmes, enabling you to study modules in up to four subjects in, and beyond, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. You can focus on two principal subjects from the outset, as you would in a Joint Honours programme, or you can take a broader range of modules in three or four subjects. If you are looking for the freedom to follow your intellectual interests, wherever these might take you, then Liberal Arts might be the right programme for you.
In Liberal Arts, it is not only possible to study any subject in the Arts and Humanities, but also most subjects in the Social Sciences. It is possible, therefore, for students to combine History and Politics, for example, but also to study subjects in combinations less likely to be available in a Joint Honours programme, such as Theology and Anthropology, or Music and Sociology, or Philosophy and Geography.
If the subject which you regard as your primary interest is in the Social Sciences, you should apply for the Combined Honours in Social Sciences programme (LMV0). Correspondingly, if you want to specialise in Mathematics or Psychology, or you want to study any other subject in the Sciences, you should apply for the Natural Sciences programme (CFG0/FCG0).
If your principal subjects include one or more modern languages – French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese – then, at the end of your first year, you would transfer to the four-year version of your programme, and spend your third year abroad, either studying at university, or teaching English, or undertaking internships in companies and other organisations. If, however, you do not wish to take any subject other than modern languages, you should apply for the Modern Languages and Cultures programme (R002).
If you are offered a place in one of the University’s international exchange programmes, then, during your second year, you would also transfer to the four-year version of your programme.
Liberal Arts, like its predecessor, Combined Honours in Arts, appeals to highly-qualified, self-motivated, and independent-minded students, who are seeking to make creative connections between their subjects. It offers exceptional flexibility, and the opportunity to study in some of the UK’s most prestigious departments in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
In your first year, you will study six modules, in up to four subjects.
In your second year, you will study six modules, in up to four subjects.
In your final year, you will complete a research project in your primary subject, and study four other modules, in two or three subjects.
As a Liberal Arts student, you will be focusing on subjects in the Arts and Humanities, but you will be able to take up to half of your modules each year in subjects in the Social Sciences, or, if appropriate, in Mathematics or Psychology.
In the Arts and Humanities, the subjects currently available are as follows:
In the Social Sciences, the subjects currently available are as follows:
Classics and Ancient History offers the opportunity to study, in translation, the history, philosophy, literature and culture of the ancient world, and to study Greek and Latin at several different levels, opening up the literatures of the Greek and Roman worlds in their original languages.
English Literature offers the opportunity to study specific literary genres, including poetry, drama, and the novel, and the literatures of specific periods, including Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, Victorian, and Modern Literature, as well as studies in the theory and practice of literary criticism.
History offers the opportunity to study medieval, early modern, and late modern history, through a range of modules in economic, social, religious, cultural, political, and diplomatic history, focusing on Britain, continental Europe, Africa, China, and the USA.
The principal languages are Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, and each offers core language modules and ‘culture’ modules which cover a broad range of themes in history, politics, literature, film, the media, linguistics, translation, and interpreting.
Students who are not specialising in one or more modern languages can study a number of languages, currently including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, at various levels, from beginners’ to advanced level, in the School’s Centre for Foreign Language Study (CFLS).
Music offers the opportunity to study musicology, including the history of music, music theory and analysis, and ethnomusicology, and, where these are studied alongside musicology, performance, composition, and other practice-based disciplines.
Philosophy offers the opportunity to study many of the principal philosophical disciplines, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, and also the history and philosophy of science and medicine.
Theology and Religious Studies offers the opportunity to take modules in biblical studies, Christian theology, including the history of theology, contemporary theology, the philosophy of religion, and ethics, and religious studies, including the sociology and anthropology of religion.
The School of Education provides a series of modules in the History of Art, with a particular focus on European art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Anthropology offers pathways in cultural anthropology and physical anthropology, and a range of modules concerned with material culture, the physical and social evolution of humans, and topics such as medical anthropology and development anthropology.
Archaeology provides the opportunity to focus on particular periods and places, through prehistoric archaeology, Roman archaeology, medieval and post-medieval archaeology, and the archaeology of Britain, Europe, Egypt, India, and the Near East, and also to study the employment of scientific methods in archaeology.
Business offers a series of modules focusing on entrepreneurship, management, and governance, and some students choose to study additional modules, in business, management, and marketing, delivered at Queen’s Campus, in the second and final years of their degrees.
Economics offers the opportunity to study microeconomics and macroeconomics, and topics such as the history of economic thought, environmental economics, development economics, monetary economics, and the economics of social policy.
Education offers the opportunity to study central issues in school and higher education, involving the study of the historical, philosophical, psychological, sociological, and political dimensions of educational theory and practice, and the development of the social sciences in the modern and postmodern periods.
Geography offers pathways in human geography and physical geography, and a range of modules concerned with geographical theory and methods and special topics such as urban transformation, environmental change, development, and hazard and risk.
Politics and International Relations offers the opportunity to study politics, in Europe, the USA, the Middle East, and the Far East, the history of political thought, international relations, with a special emphasis on the Middle East and the Far East, and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies.
Sociology offers the opportunity to study modules in sociology, including theories and methods, social structures, social policy, social exclusion, and the sociology of health, the city, and popular music, and in criminology, including theories and methods, crime and deviance, policing, sociology of punishment, and the criminal justice system.
Sport offers a series of modules on the sociology of sport and on sport and social policy.
Your choice of modules is subject to their availability, timetable constraints, and the approval of the Director of Liberal Arts. In order to take any modules in some subjects, you will also be required to meet specific A-level or equivalent requirements.
If, in the first year, you are studying Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish, and you are planning to continue studying one or more languages throughout your degree, you will include a Year Abroad between the second and final year of your programme of study. The Year Abroad offers you an opportunity to study at a university, or to teach English in a secondary school, or to undertake an internship, in a wide variety of locations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America. You will be transferred from the three-year to the four-year version of your degree programme at the end of your first year, giving you over a year in which to plan the Year Abroad, in consultation with your advisers in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. If, however, you later decide to stop studying a language, at the end of your second year, you will transfer back to the three-year version of the programme.
If you are not studying one or two of these languages and associated literatures and cultures, you might still choose to study a language through the School’s Centre for Foreign Language Study (CFLS). The Centre offers classes in many languages, at beginners’, intermediate, and advanced levels, but these modules do not lead to a Year Abroad.
The University has established exchanges with many of its international partner universities, and opportunities for students to spend a year studying abroad are now multiplying as more and more of these exchanges are created. Liberal Arts students are in a particularly strong position to take advantage of these opportunities, since they are studying several subjects, and, therefore, would be ‘at home’ studying in universities throughout much of the English-speaking world. Students must compete for Study Abroad places, and so it is not possible to guarantee that every student who wishes to study in a particular country will be able to do so. Liberal Arts students can apply to study at universities across Europe, through the Erasmus + Programme, or at universities in the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, or New Zealand, through the Overseas Exchange Programme. If successful, you will be transferred from the three-year to the four-year version of your degree programme in your second year.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
a. IELTS: 6.5 (no component under 6.0)
b. TOEFL iBT (internet based test): 92 (no component under 23)
c. Cambridge Proficiency (CPE): Grade C
d. Cambridge Advanced (CAE): Grade A
e. Cambridge IGCSE First Language English at Grade C or above [not normally acceptable for students who require a Tier 4 student visa]
f. Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language at Grade B or above [not normally acceptable for students who require a Tier 4 student visa]
g. GCSE English Language at grade C or above
h. Pearson Test of English (overall score 62 (with no score less than 56 in each component))
i. Certificate of Attainment (Edexcel)
j. GCE A-levels (AQA, CIE, Edexcel, CCEA, OCR, WJEC) at grade C or above in an essay based, humanities or social science subject from the following list: History, Philosophy, Government and Politics, English Language, English Literature, Geography, Religious Studies, Economics, Business Studies, Law and Sociology. Modern or Classical Languages are not acceptable in meeting this requirement.
k. International Baccalaureate with a minimum of grade 5 in Standard Level English or a minimum of grade 5 if taken at Higher Level.
l. NEAB (JMB) Test in English (Overseas)
m. Singapore Integrated Programme (SIPCAL) at grade C or above in an essay based, humanities or social science subject from the following list: History, Philosophy, Government and Politics, English Language, English Literature, Geography, Religious Studies, Economics, Business Studies, Law and Sociology. Modern or Classical Languages are not acceptable in meeting this requirement.
n. Singapore Polytechnic Diploma and Advanced Diplomas at GPA 3.0 or above
o. WAEC and NECO Grade B3 or above from Nigeria and Ghana