BA Liberal Arts
BA Liberal Arts is our most flexible course. You can study any combination of
humanities, arts and social science subjects, building your own degree as your
interests develop. Choose from more than 100 modules in:
- film studies
- psychoanalytic studies
- language and linguistics
- art history
- creative writing
Your course will be truly interdisciplinary - you'll
learn and think across subject boundaries, giving you a very
different perspective to students on single honours
courses. Liberal arts is for you if you're intellectually
curious and love exploring ideas and discovering the
connections between them.
Why liberal arts?
Liberal arts is increasingly popular in the UK, having long been the
basis of undergraduate education in North America. We've developed the varied
curriculum enjoyed by students in the US to structure our course and you will:
- be encouraged to think imaginatively and critically about the world
- develop your powers of self-expression and critical thinking
- see the differences in how subjects are written and thought about, and learn to work in multiple fields
- bring a broader perspective to classes thanks to your understanding
of related subjects
- become a well-rounded global citizen, educated in a number of different
In each year you take a core module which gives you a solid grounding in
interdisciplinary study. These modules encourage you to think critically about
the major social, political and cultural issues of our time. You choose your
other modules from a wide range offered by several Essex departments.
introduces you to the foundations of
Western ways of thinking about the world
||Modules in three different subjects
||The World in Question exposes
these ideas to scrutiny and goes on to
examine how prominent concerns around
empire, conceptions of the self, and our
relationships to nature developed in the
20th and 21st centuries
||Modules in two of the subjects you studied in your first year
Dangerous Ideas presents a number of classic, subversive, witty and
politically important essays and manifestos that
encourage you to articulate yourself in
creative and effective ways
||Modules in the same two subjects, and you may add a third subject if you like
The course is designed to give you coherence in the subjects you study throughout, enabling you to build
your expertise in those fields, alongside variety and the chance to understand alternative ideas.
Your classmates in your modules will be
single and joint honours students in those subjects, as
well as your fellow liberal arts students. You'll all
bring different perspectives and ideas to discussions.
With an Essex degree you can study abroad for up to
a year at no additional cost, giving you the chance to immerse yourself in
another culture and develop your independence, adaptability and cultural
awareness. You can:
- study abroad for a term as part of the standard three-year
- take our four-year course with a full year abroad in
your third year
You can also switch between the three and four-year versions after you've
started if you change your mind.
As a liberal arts student we strongly encourage you
to take the opportunity to study abroad as it perfectly
complements an interdisciplinary course. While abroad
you can choose to study different subjects to those
you're focusing on at Essex. Alternatively, if you study
the same subjects, you'll gain new perspectives as
subjects are thought about and taught differently in different
countries. Either way, your experiences will influence
your thinking when you return to complete your course.
Gain new language skills
If you're interested in learning a
language, there are lots of options available. You could choose to study a language as part of
your degree by taking language modules. Alternatively you can join our
award-winning Languages for All
programme, enabling you to learn a language outside your course for no extra cost.
Choose from Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin
Chinese, Russian, or Spanish.
Life after BA Liberal Arts
Liberal arts forms the perfect foundation for progressing to
Masters-level study as you'll have developed the core skills of both
critical and creative thinking. You could take a Masters in any
of the fields you've specialised in during your second and final years. Our
liberal arts students love to learn and many do go on to postgraduate study.
Our students are
optimistic, imaginative and cosmopolitan – liberal arts creates the people that employers want. In a world
in which complex global issues can't be solved by one discipline alone, liberal arts graduates will have
an edge. You'll develop many transferable skills including:
- a flexible mind, able to adapt to new
areas and ways of thinking
- fluid and imaginative communication
- critical thinking
- report writing
- problem solving
A huge range of careers will be open to you. We offer
specific employability modules to help you find
work, apply for jobs and develop a career. Our
Employability and Careers Centre
can help you articulate your skills and wide-ranging
experience to prospective employers.
How to apply
in you as an individual. Applications are judged on a lot more than just scores. We want to learn about
you. We want to understand why you want to study liberal arts and what you want to do with your life.
This is why we’ll look at your entire application, not just your grades.