BA (Hons) Modern Liberal Arts

This Modern Liberal Arts course encourages students to think philosophically across many subject boundaries in the humanities, the social and natural sciences, and the fine arts.

BA (Hons) Modern Liberal Arts at University of Winchester

Modern Liberal Arts 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.

Please note for 2016 entry, this programme will be titled BA (Hons) Modern Liberal Arts (Philosophy).

Fact File


UCAS codes: V590

Typical offer: 280-320 points

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

Degree duration: 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time

If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 (including 6.0 in writing) or equivalent.

Course Enquiries and Applications
Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

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

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.

Programme Content

The core modules introduce students to some of the most profound questions concerning human existence from across a range of subject disciplines. The optional modules look at many aspects of liberal arts in detail, enabling students to pursue those they are most interested in, including studies in the Holocaust, ecology, the soul, religion(s), art, music, science, literature, and education. Both the core and the optional modules take a philosophical approach in exploring their issues and questions.

Study on the programme draws on classical and modern texts, and from contemporary and popular culture, including film, music and art. In summary, a graduate in Modern Liberal Arts will have explored philosophically a vast range of profound and important ideas and concepts, unrestricted by academic subject boundaries. They will have read and reflected on many of the most influential texts in the Western tradition, and beyond, and presented their own conclusions both in writing and orally.


Year 1

  • Freedom is to Learn 1
  • First Principles
  • Models of Higher Education
  • Film and Philosophy
  • Ancient Canonic Tragedy
  • Learning from the Renaissance
  • Spirit: Innocence and Experience
  • Athens and Jerusalem

Year 2

  • Freedom is to Learn 2
  • Freedom is to Learn 3
  • Athens and Jerusalem
  • Disciplining the Soul
  • Music and Philosophy
  • Power of the Teacher
  • Spirit: in Ruins
  • Aesthetics
  • Utopia and Tragedy
  • Thinking the Holocaust
  • Independent Study
  • Theorising Education and Ecology
  • Volunteering

Year 3

  • Dissertation
  • Freedom is to Learn 4
  • Athens and Jerusalem
  • The Devil
  • Spirit: Life and Death
  • First Principles: Core Texts
  • Learning from the Holocaust
  • Modern Tragic Lives
  • (Human) Nature
  • Life and Death
  • The Natural Universe and Ecology
  • Philosophy of the Teacher

Learning and Teaching

Modern Liberal Arts has the informal and friendly atmosphere that enables students and tutors to get to know each other and to work together. We hold such educational relationships to be the cornerstone of not just our approach to teaching and learning, but 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 will experience learning in a number of different ways, including listening and talking to and with tutors and peers, independent research 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.


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. They will be practised in the important skills of written and oral communication, critical thinking, problem-solving and project management.

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

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.


Additional Information

Student Satisfaction
Students on the course have commented positively on:

  • tutors' availability, approachability, and support
  • interesting and well organised content
  • 'things fit together rather nicely'

Our students have expressed outstanding levels of satisfaction in the course overall, and in the way staff explain things. Learn more about our programme from our website

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. We Students work is closely followed by the tutors who will continually raise the bar for each individual. Students work with their tutors to, to reflect on their progress and plan their academic and skills development accordingly.

Assessment is exclusively by essay and oral presentations.

Our approach to employability and Liberal Arts education is that education can be more than just a training and preparation for a job in such a way as to make students more, not less, employable. The challenges set by the programme are formative and contribute to the development of each future MLA graduate.

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.

Key Information Sets for this course:

These are the Single Honours Key Information Sets for the combination programmes. Please note combined honours programmes enable you to study two subjects jointly (50% / 50%). Explore the courses pages further for information on the other subject.

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21 February 2015
21 March 2015

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