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  • Combine knowledge and understanding of important historical periods and the contested nature of such knowledge, with an understanding of the philosophical and political principles and ideas 
  • Consider the important philosophical questions surrounding religion, the universe, human freedom and equality
  • Explore historical periods and cultures from Britain and around the globe
Deepen your philosophical curiosity through our Liberal Arts and History degree. You will combine knowledge and understanding of important historical periods and the contested nature of such knowledge, with an understanding of the philosophical and political principles and ideas that have shaped ancient and modern culture.
Enhance your critical thinking skills by considering the important philosophical questions surrounding truth (God), the universe, human freedom and equality. You can also personalise your experience by choosing from a diverse range of modules. These include: literary, artistic, cultural, scientific and political ideas. As well as, and some of the issues surrounding them.
Year 1 you will encounter different aspects of history, both chronologically and geographically, and explore a variety of historical periods and cultures from Britain and around the globe, including Asia, Europe and the Americas. You will explore the nature of history as a discipline, its changing assumptions, methods and definitions, and the current concerns of historians.
In years 2 and 3 study focuses on different approaches, the acquisition of research skills and knowledge that forms the basis of more specialised study.
For students who love to read and talk about ideas and their relevance to history, and find pleasure in the challenge of reading and thinking, then Liberal Arts and History is an ideal pathway.


Liberal Arts provides graduates with critical skills that are desirable to employers. You develop skills in 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, the courage to meet challenges and difficulties, and commitment to the goal of succeeding.
Graduates are particularly eligible for careers in museums and heritage sites, teaching, retailing, the arts, marketing and local, regional and national government.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Study abroad

Our BA (Hons) Liberal Arts and History course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad. For more information see our study abroad section.

Learning and teaching 

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market. You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours
Independent learning: 984 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours
Independent learning: 972 hours
Placement: 12 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 204 hours
Independent learning: 996 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course


Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.

Teaching hours

All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.


Our validated courses 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.

We ensure 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 on the course you are interested in can be found by attending Open Day or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:

71% coursework
20% written exams
9% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

79% coursework
4% written exams
17% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

80% coursework
4% written exams
16% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

This programme is currently being validated. This is an internal process of ensuring our programmes offer students the best learning experience and can result in changes to the content of the course. For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.


2021 Entry: 96-112 points

International Baccalaureate: 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 Higher level IB certificates at grade 4 or above.

A minimum of a grade 5 in one of the following subjects is required: History, Archaeology, Classical Civilisation, Classics, Ancient History, History of Art, Economics, Politics or English.

If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components.

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at International@winchester.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by visiting us at an Open Day.

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Liberal Arts and the Examined Life 15

Our first core module in the Liberal Arts degree takes us to the world of Antiquity. We will read together one of the key texts of the last 2500 years in the western tradition – Plato’s Republic – looking at its analysis of the problem of injustice and its proposals for creating a just city. We will visit Plato’s cave and think about the significance of this as a model for critical education across many different cultural, political and social arenas. The suggestion that the soul and the city should find themselves in each other will also be part of our discussions. We will also read Virgil’s Aeneid together. Here we will reflect on exile, journeys, love affairs, and tears, as well as the representation of the underworld, which will prepare us for returning there with Dante in a later module. The module begins by trying to do justice to the existential experience of beginning your degree, something we will return in three (or six) years' time.

Liberal Arts and the Harmony of the World 15

This module looks at the first principle of harmony in ancient and medieval liberal arts as it was seen to condition and structure the ethical and metaphysical properties of the universe. We will think about this idea of harmony, explored in various ways across modules in year one, in relation to music, astronomy, maths, rhetoric and philosophy and the accompanying ideas of civilisation and barbarism. We will see why music was deemed so dangerous in Plato’s Republic and Laws, how it is related to maths in the teachings of Pythagoras and the influence of these ideas on Plato’s Timeaus. This will form part of an introduction to the Quadrivium and Trivium subjects of Liberal Arts upon which we can begin to think about the nature of a modern liberal arts education.

Renaissance Humanism 15

This module introduces students to the idea of ‘humanism’ in the Liberal Arts tradition with particular reference to the ideas, themes and practices (Christian, Islamic and Judaic) central to the period of Western history called the Renaissance. We will explore the revival of classical learning in the studia humanitatis, some of the key features and figures of artistic, literary and political life as well as the darker and stranger side of the Renaissance as it colluded with or promoted slavery, sexual exploitation and warfare. Most importantly the module will illustrate ways in which the Renaissance holds an ‘educational’ import both within itself and in terms of a legacy. Where appropriate, tutors will relate the material to both ancient and more modern issues and ideas. The module aims to increase student knowledge and understanding of the Renaissance but also to draw out its fundamental import for the notion of education in its widest sense.

Dante and the Inferno 15

In this module we return to the underworld that we last visited with Aeneas. It is still Virgil that acts as our guide, but this time accompanied with Dante The Pilgrim. Before reading the Inferno together we will explore the model of the medieval cosmos that shaped Dante’s imagination. This means looking the Ptolemaic model and in particular at the idea of emanation that explained how the spheres moved truth through the universe. We will read Christian, Islamic and Judaic sources from the period. The bulk of the module will be the journey through the Inferno, looking at various incidents and their significance. We will employ Dorothy L Sayers’ reading of the Inferno as our companion commentary, gaining religious and sociological insight from her work. Having emerged from the Inferno with our guides, we will look at a recent controversy surrounding the question of plagiarism on the part of Dante with regard to earlier Islamic sources.

Case Studies I: Sources and Approaches in History 15

This module introduces students to the core skills required to study history successfully at degree level. History makes sense of the past by analysing surviving evidence. Such evidence is either secondary, which requires in-depth critical reading, or primary or original, which demands critical contextualisation and analysis. All such evidence has uses to the historian, not necessarily obvious, and all contains partiality, which historians are trained to overcome. Working in small groups with one staff member per group, there will be a balance between developing awareness of these overarching core skills (such as conducting research and mastering referencing conventions) and a case study where students work on academic reading connected to a particular topic. This intensive small group environment will help students adjust to the university environment and provide a venue for delivering other transitional and transferrable skills.

Case Studies II: Independent Study Project 15

This module builds upon Sources & Approaches in History, further developing students’ skills as independent researchers, and giving students an opportunity to do research of a critical nature, using both primary and secondary sources. Continuing to work in the same Case Study groups as, and on a related topic to, Sources & Approaches, students undertake an individual research project, on a topic negotiated with a tutor. In addition, there will be an element of group work as students combine their individual findings, presenting on a subtopic of the module’s overarching theme. As this module concentrates upon developing skills there is an emphasis on training for future employment. Students will be expected to engage with careers service activities in semester 2 and to report their activities in a reflective blog.

Optional modules
  • Introductory Study - 15 credits
  • Introductory Study - 15 credits

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

Freedom Nature Truth 15

When we think about inequality in the world at large, and in modern western society in particular, it is often the case that the idea of nature, or natural social relations, acts as a foundation for social and political thinking. In this module we will explore how the concept of nature has shaped many of the most important and significant perspectives on freedom in modernity, and at the competing visions of natural ‘man’ and natural justice that form the major cultural and political conversations. We will try to understand various explanations of the origin of social inequality, using the methodology of problem and solution in assessing their diagnoses of injustice and prescriptions for justice. 

Nature Truth Freedom 15

Nature, truth, and freedom often sound as if they are separate and need to be studied in discreet academic disciplines. But Liberal Arts has always treated them as three aspects of the one understanding of the universe and of life within it. In this module we go back to the beginning of liberal arts to explore the way that the nature of the cosmos was conceived and modelled according to conceptions of truth and freedom, or first principles. This enables us then to study the history of physics and the study of nature, and to follow its development from Aristotle to Newton. We will look at the medieval cosmos from different religious perspectives, and at the revolutions that emerged from several natural scientists. From this work we will be able to see how the modern age came to define itself scientifically, politically and philosophically, a theme we will pick up again in the next mandatory module in year 2.

Reading History 15

Reading History provides an overview of ‘doing History’ from the Classical period onwards. It examines the ideas that have underpinned historical research and writing, from Herodotus to Post-Modernity, as well as recent theories of history (many of which have been drawn from other disciplines and including post-colonialism, gender and identity, spatial theory) as they have been used by historians. It provides students with an opportunity to think reflexively about the nature of the historical enterprise. Students are encouraged to link their studies in Reading History with their other second-year modules. This module principally examines the ways in which British historians have worked from the early medieval period to c.2000.  It investigates the influences which shaped their approaches (including, e.g., the work of foreign scholars such as Leopold von Ranke and the historians of the French Annales School). It also investigates theories of history – e.g. Marxist ideas.  It emphasizes the expansion of historical interests and the methodologies which have permitted fresh areas of study in the last thirty years and looks at the current practice of history.

Practising History 15

This module considers the planning and preparation of research and the methods and skills used, with particular reference to – but not sole consideration of – the dissertation. A wide range of historical approaches and methods are assessed, including use of local and national archives, databases and online sources, media and newspapers, visual images, standing remains, landscape and the material environment, public history, oral sources and scientific data. Ethics in historical research are also examined.

Optional modules

Liberal Arts

  • European Culture and the Holocaust (Shoah) - 15 credits
  • Power of the Teacher - 15 credits
  • Art as Education - 15 credits
  • Liberal Artists in the World - 15 credits
  • Contradictions of Enlightenment - 15 credits
  • Minds, Souls and Bodies - 15 credits
  • The Black Atlantic - 15 credits
  • Learning from the East - 15 credits
  • Core Texts 1 - 15 credits
  • Core Texts 2 - 15 credits
  • Music and Philosophy - 15 credits
  • Independent Study - 15 credits
  • Education & Nature: learning in the Anthropocene - 15 credits
  • Volunteering - 15 credits


  • Option A Module - 15 credits
  • Option B module - 15 credits
  • Work Placement - 15 credits
  • Group Project - 15 credits
  • Field Trip - 15 credits
  • Volunteering Placement - 15 credits

Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Freedom is to Learn 1 15

We live in a time when the very idea of what it is to be a human being is questioned at its most fundamental level. The Western tradition seems to have placed the human being at the top of the hierarchy of life and judged everything else as either the same (and therefore worthy) or different (and therefore unworthy). This module looks at recent developments in the question of identity and at its impact on the idea of the modern rational human being. We then critique this idea of human being through the lenses of relativity in science, including the question of ‘time’ and of ‘the atom, and then through the cultural perspectives of race, feminism, animal studies, art, and by way of an introduction to the idea of posthumanism. In each case we will read some of the primary texts together as the beginning our work. The key here is to explore the relation between nature and truth and its impact on our idea of freedom.

Freedom is to Learn 2 15

As we have seen Liberal Arts began in the time of slavery in Ancient Greece, and many of its most fundamental ideas and concepts were shaped by these social relations. Truth, freedom and nature were all forged in the shadow of this injustice. In this module we explore different philosophical perspectives on the power relations that are embodied in ideas of mastery and slavery. This takes us to Hegel’s famous description of lordship and bondage and its relation to life and death. This dialectical, or perhaps educative relation is then explored in a number of different arenas, including some that are fundamental to liberal arts. The challenge here is to see what ways some of these fundamental liberal arts conceptions might be reworked, even revolutionised, by a changed understanding of the logic of mastery, and by a logic of education in which freedom is to learn.

Optional modules

Liberal Arts

  • Human Nature - 15 credits
  • Philosophy of the Teacher - 15 credits
  • Life and Death - 15 credits
  • Dissertation - 15 credits
  • Education, Ecologies and Ethics - 15 credits
  • Independent Study - 15 credits
  • Core Texts 1 - 15 credits
  • Core Texts 2 - 15 credits
  • Sustainability and Social Justice - 15 credits
  • Disenchantment: modern life and modern living - 15 credits


  • Writing History - 15 credits
  • Depth Study Part 1 - 15 credits
  • Depth Study Part 2 - 15 credits
  • A: Comparative Module - 15 credits
  • B: Comparative Module - 15 credits
  • Work Placement - 15 credits

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 www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.

2021 Course Tuition Fees

 UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland 


Year 1 £9,250 £13,800
Year 2 £9,250 £13,800
Year 3 £9,250 £13,800
Total £27,750 £41,400
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,385 £1,385
Total with Sandwich Year £29,135 £42,785

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2021, 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 for UK students.

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. 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.

UK 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 £77.08 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 £6,935.

International 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 £115 and a 15 credit module is £1,725.

* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year. To find out whether this course offers a sandwich year, please contact the programme leader for further information.

**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.

Additional costs

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:

Liberal Arts optional reading pack

The reading pack contains the essential readings for each week's seminars and forms the basis for seminar discussions and assessments. Indicative cost is £40 per year.

Field trips

Previous students have attended field trips to London and elsewhere. Train travel and ticket costs will vary. Indicative cost is up to £100 per year.

Core texts

Some modules require students to have access to books with an indicative cost of £100 if bought new over the course of a year (but texts can often be purchased at considerably reduced rates second hand). Mandatory modules might also require some core texts. Indicative cost is £150 per year.

Printing and Binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a free printing allowance of £20 each academic year. This will print around 500 A4 mono pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing. Our Reprographics team also offer printing and binding services, including dissertation binding which may be required by your course with an indicative cost of £1.50-£3.

Key course details

UCAS code
3 years full-time
Typical offer
96‐112 points
On campus, Winchester