BA (Hons) Modern Liberal Arts (Philosophy)

Modern Liberal Arts (Philosophy) at Winchester retrieves and updates the oldest university curriculum in European higher education. Liberal arts education (Latin: liberalis, free, and ars, art or principled practice) involves students in thinking philosophically across many subject boundaries in the humanities, the social and natural sciences, and fine arts.

BA (Hons) Modern Liberal Arts (Philosophy) at University of Winchester

UCAS code: V590

Entry Requirements*

Typical offer:

2017 Entry: 104-120 points

*UCAS has changed the way they calculate the tariff for courses starting in September 2017. Find out more about the new tariff.

A GCSE A*- C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

Degree duration:

3 years full-time; 6 years part-time

International Baccalaureate:

26 points

If English is not your first language:

Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 (including 6.0 in writing) or equivalent.

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

2017 Entry Full-time £9,250** p/a
Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,939.
Total Cost: £27,750** (3 years)

International Students

2017 Entry Full-time £11,600** p/a
Total Cost: £34,800** (3 years)

For further details, click here

Additional costs:


  • Reading pack: The reading pack contains the essential readings for each week's seminars and forms the basis for seminar discussions and assessments. Costs maximum £40 per year.

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Other Information

Study abroad (optional):


Field trips:

Students have the opportunity to visit such places as the local observatory, Tate Modern, The National Gallery, London Schools, student conferences, and St-Martin-in-the-Fields.


Taught elements of the course take place on the King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Student Satisfaction:

Students on the course have commented positively on:

  • Tutors' availability, approachability, and support
  • Interesting and well organised content

Pre-approved for a Masters:

University of Winchester students studying Bachelor Honours degrees are pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible students must apply by the end of March in their final year and meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.

Terms and Conditions 

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here.

**Indicative Fees for 2017/18 Home and EU students are £9,250 per year. Whilst the inflationary fee increases in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Minister, they are still subject to formal parliamentary approval and the approval of The University of Winchester Board of Governors. International fees are still subject to approval from the University of Winchester Board of Governors.

Undergraduate fees on the website and in course leaflets
If you are starting your degree in September 2017, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 (Home and EU), £34,800 (International). However, please be aware that this may change. Our fees will be reviewed annually before the academic year begins and in-line with Parliament's approval of inflationary increases or decreases to fees for institutions with high quality teaching. 

Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. You can find out more here.

If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future so make sure you know what is on offer to support you. 

Students explore a range of profound and important ideas and concepts, unrestricted by academic subject boundaries and underpinned by an integrated approach to the curriculum. They read and reflect on many of the most influential texts in the Western tradition, and beyond it, and discuss their own responses both in writing and orally. Study on the programme draws on classical and modern texts, as well as contemporary and popular culture, including film, music and art.

In Year 1, students are introduced to the Liberal Arts of ancient and medieval times, but complemented by modern themes and texts. They explore some of the most profound mysteries surrounding human existence and the science of the cosmos, and the question of freedom and its relation to enlightenment. In addition, students can choose to question the meaning of 'higher' education both present and past, to explore representations of the 'fall' in art and literature, to examine philosophy in cinematic film, to learn about the Renaissance, and to study tragedy in ancient culture.

In Year 2, there are two compulsory modules that deepen our understanding of freedom by reading some of the most influential texts and thinkers within social theory, philosophy, art, and science from the last two and half thousand years of European culture and beyond. In addition, there are a number of optional modules that students can choose from according to their own interests. In the final year, students produce a dissertation on a subject of their choosing.

The core modules undertake an adventure into some of the most profound questions concerning human existence and the idea of freedom. The optional modules look at many aspects of liberal arts education in detail, enabling students to pursue areas they are most interested in, including studies in the Holocaust, nature, the soul, religion(s), art, music, science, literature, and education. All modules share a philosophical approach in exploring their issues and questions.

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Freedom is to Learn 1 and 2
  • Harmonia Mundi
  • Learning from the Renaissance

Optional modules:

  • Models of Higher Education
  • Ancient 'Canonic' Tragedy
  • Film and Philosophy
  • Spirit: Innocence and Experience
  • Creator Texts
  • First Principles: Core Texts
  • Foundations of Modern Medicine

Year 2

Core modules:

  • Freedom is to Learn 3 and 4

Optional modules:

  • Creator Images
  • Disciplining the Soul
  • Music and Philosophy
  • Aesthetics
  • Utopia and Tragedy
  • Theorising the Holocaust (Shoah)
  • Theorising Education and Ecology
  • Power of the Teacher
  • Spirit: In Ruins
  • Atomic Nature
  • First Principles: Core Texts
  • Athens and Jerusalem
  • Volunteering

Year 3

Core modules:

  • Dissertation
  • Freedom is to Learn 5

Optional modules:

  • The Devil: Arts, Literature and Religion
  • Learning from the Holocaust (Shoah)
  • Modern Tragic Lives
  • (Human) Nature
  • Spirit: Life and Death
  • The Natural Universe and Ecology
  • Philosophy of the Teacher
  • Know Thyself
  • First Principles: Core Texts
  • Friendship
  • Straight and Crooked Thinking

For further information about modules, please view the course leaflet (see right hand side).

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above. 

The relationship between the teacher and student was the definitive symbol of the very earliest universities in Europe. We still hold to this belief. A programme such as ours requires strong relationships between tutors and students. We want to push students, even beyond their own expectations of themselves, but are here to ensure students are supported as much as is needed.

Teaching and learning constitute the substance of higher education. We know that strong teacher/student relationships are the key to motivation, enjoyment and success, and to feeling valued as an individual within educational institutions. We work hard to establish and maintain these relationships so that students learn in a friendly, challenging and supportive environment. Educational relationships are the cornerstone of everything we do. 

Our teaching is seminar based. We insist on careful reading of texts to provoke questioning, discussion and dispute. Groups are small, and are able to combine reading with the free exchange of ideas. Our tutors are dedicated to showing the contribution that a Liberal Arts education can make in the life of each individual.

Students experience learning in a number of different ways, including listening and talking to tutors and peers, independent research from books, journals, the web and session handouts, from quiet reflection and questioning, and from the thinking and preparation required for the successful completion of assignments whether they be written or oral. The course gives students increasing freedom in the direction that their work takes over the course of their studies.

Our approach complements well the broader aims of the University to shape 'confident learners' by enabling students to develop the skills needed to excel in their studies here and to transfer these skills to postgraduate studies or to the employment market. The core belief of the Liberal Arts, and of our programme, is that higher education challenges the learner to engage with ways of thinking that change how we think about ourselves, about others, and about the world in general.

Programme Leader

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures library

Assessment in Modern Liberal Arts is designed to let students show us, and themselves, what they are capable of. We want to push students even beyond their own expectations of themselves. Assessments are designed to enable students to show the individual progress they are making. Students work is closely followed by the tutors who will continually raise the bar for each individual. Students work with their tutors to reflect on their progress and plan their academic and skills development accordingly. Assessment is primarily by essay.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Graduates are particularly eligible for all humanities-based graduate-entry jobs.

For more information about graduate employment visit From Freshers to Future - what will yours be?


Our approach to employability and Liberal Arts education is that education can be more than just a training; it can stimulate the intellect and develop character ways that make students more, not less, employable. In their academic work, students will have had to practise problem solving, organisation, time-keeping, project management, taking initiative, interacting with peers and tutors, team-working, critical thinking, adaptability, communication of ideas in debate and on paper, team-work, courage to meet challenges and difficulties, and commitment to the goal of succeeding.

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.

While DLHE provides accurate information about first destinations, this data needs to be viewed with some degree of care. Six months after leaving university is often a time of much uncertainty and change for leavers; many will be unsure of their long-term career plans and may take a temporary job or time out. The destinations of graduates only six months out of university do not necessarily reflect longer term career success and are therefore a crude measure of employability. Therefore, DLHE data should be viewed as merely a 'snapshot' of one particular year's experiences at a specific point in time.

At the University of Winchester, we are committed to ensuring all our students gain employability skills to enable you to enter graduate level jobs and pursue the profession of your choice, for more information please read the Employability Statement.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
UK and EU Students:Send us a message

International Students

International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to or call +44 (0)1962 827023

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