View content
Jump to:


  • Liberal Arts invites you to bring your philosophical curiosity to a range of subjects
  • This course covers literary, artistic, cultural, scientific and political ideas and the issues surrounding them.
  • We believe important philosophical questions surrounding truth (God), the universe, human freedom and equality cannot be contained within separate academic disciplines.

If you want to enhance your own critical thinking with breadth and depth alongside an academic interest in Sociology, our Liberal Arts and Sociology degree is for you. This course enables you to combine knowledge and understanding of society and global issues with an understanding of the philosophical and political principles that have shaped ancient and modern society and culture.

Sociology is an ideal course if you have an inquiring mind and want to develop and enrich your 'sociological imagination'. It allows you to explore a range of sociological issues such as health, illness and disability, crime and deviance, sexuality, gender, migration, race, ethnicity and religion, youth, terrorism, war and climate change.

This is a great course if you love to read and talk about ideas and their relevance to society and culture, and find pleasure in the challenge of reading and thinking. Liberal Arts has always understood educated individuals to be those people who understand their strengths and talents, who know their passions and aspirations, and who can live true to themselves. We will play our part in developing this sense of humanity in each of our students.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Study Abroad

Our BA (Hons) Liberal Arts course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA).

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.

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 264 hours
  • Independent learning: 936 hours
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 228 hours
  • Independent learning: 960 hours
  • Placement: 12 hours
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours
  • Independent learning: 984 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 on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, 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)*:
  • 82% coursework
  • 5% written exams
  • 13% practical exams
YEAR 2 (LEVEL 5)*:
  • 77% coursework
  • 4% written exams
  • 19% practical exams
YEAR 3 (LEVEL 6)*:
  • 80% coursework
  • 3% written exams
  • 17% 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.

Entry equirements

2022 Entry: 96-112 UCAS tariff points

Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:

  • A-Levels: CCC-BBC from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. CCC is comparable to BCD in terms of tariff points)
  • BTEC/CTEC: MMM-DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4
  • T Level: Pass (C or above on the core) in a T Level

In addition to the above, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32, from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.

In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSE’s are required:

  • GCSE English language at grade 4 or C, or higher

 If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:

  • IELTS Academic at 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components (for year 1 entry)
  • We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT.

If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on the UCAS website which may be of interest.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

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

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our .


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.

Issues and Debates in Social Policy 15

This module explores the topic of social policy. It is a topic that is wide in scope, and you will become familiar with how significant it is to meeting our basic human needs (welfare/wellbeing).

As we progress through the module, you will learn about the welfare state along with some of the key areas of social policy.  We are going to cover areas such as: income maintenance, housing, and crime, justice and punishment.

In addition to developing your knowledge and understanding of important social-policy issues, you will learn how to work in a group effectively as well as becoming familiar with an innovative way of disseminating information that academics use at conferences – the poster presentation. At the end of the module, you will realise how social policies affect all of our lives.        

Understanding Society and The Uses of Sociology 15

This module introduces students to some key sociological issues and how they can achieve impact in society. In this module, students will find out how sociological knowledge is important for society. Students will be introduced to the main ways in which Sociology is practiced in the world and the major debates concerning its social purposes will be explored. Different traditions of sociological thought will be compared and contrasted and modes in which we engaged with the social will be examined. Questions considered include the relevance of sociological knowledge to government, the public sphere, the media and economic life. The module will also discuss related issues, such as whether Sociology is a science or a cultural endeavour, and whether sociological research and analysis can be detached and unbiased.

The Family and Intimate Relationships 15

This module explores the nature of family membership and how this has changed over time. It will examine what families actually do, focusing on emotional intimacy, caring and economic exchange. We will look at the trends in marriage, cohabitation and divorce since the 1970s. You will explore the nature and extent of inequality within families. In addition, we will explore the dark side of the family, looking at domestic abuse, forced marriages and ‘honour’ killings.                       

Identity, Equality and Diversity 15

This module is designed to help you engage with concepts of identity, equality and diversity, which are terms often used within contemporary society. Using different settings and examples the module aims to explore the key issues of diversity within communities. Why do we as a society, feel that issues of equality and diversity matter? This module will explore this subject from a range of theoretical perspectives. The module will also tackle the issue of rights and responsibilities, and confidentiality of information.   

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.

Applied Research Skills 15

This module explores the various ways that social scientists understand and investigate the social world. It offers you an insight into the various ways of conducting research. You will learn about the importance of ethics and how to become an ethically-responsible researcher. As well, you will learn about the various techniques used to collect and analyse information. By the end of the module, you will have the knowledge and skills to produce a research proposal for your third-year dissertation.

Designing Social Research 15

As the study of people, whether individually or as part of groups and organisations, sociology is rooted in an empirical tradition of research that identifies patters and trends in otherwise seemingly random phenomena. In doing so it generates and tests theories that help us to explain how society works. This module introduces students to the key principles of social research as they apply to sociology. It familiarises students with the relationship between sociological theory and sociological research and helps them to understand how the ideas they encounter in academic books and journal articles come into being. Students will learn what makes good social research, how different traditions of research produce different kinds of data, and how to design research projects to answer pressing sociological questions. This module will prepare students for Applied Research Skills.

Optional modules
  • 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
  • The Environment, Climate Change and Globalisation - 15 credits
  • Race, Ethnicity and Migration - 15 credits
  • Gender and Sexualities - 15 credits
  • Race, Ethnicity and Migration - 15 credits
  • Religion and Spirituality in Contemporary Society - 15 credits
  • Youth and Social Change - 15 credits
  • Understanding Urban and Rural Societies - 15 credits
  • Volunteering for Sociology - 15 credits
  • Culture: High and Low - 15 credits
  • Other Animals: Contemporary Moral Frontiers - 15 credits
  • Eating Well: Food and Value in the 21st Century - 15 credits
  • Displaced: Forced Migration and Refugees Today - 15 credits
  • Stories for Children - 15 credits
  • Exploring Teaching as a Career - 15 credits

Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Optional Modules

The Devil: Arts, literature and religion 15 Credits
Learning from the Holocaust (Shoah) 15 Credits
Modern Tragic Lives 15 Credits
(Human) Nature 15 Credits
Spirit: Life and Death 15 Credits
The Natural Universe and Ecology 15 Credits
Philosophy of the Teacher 15 Credits
Education, Ecologies and Ethics 15 Credits
Know Thyself 15 Credits
First Principles: Core Texts 15 Credits
Friendship 15 Credits
Straight and Crooked Thinking 15 Credits
Independent Study 15 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.

Dissertation* 30

This module enables Single Honours or Named pathway students to produce a dissertation solely in Liberal Arts. The subject accepts a very wide definition of what can count as relevant to Liberal Arts. Projects can be a deeper analysis of any aspect of content already covered on the course or a new area building on the skills of theory and critique which is of interest to the student. The dissertation will be a piece of independent research undertaken by the student resulting in an 8,000 – 10,000 word project.

*Students must choose a dissertation in Liberal Arts or Sociology.

Dissertation in Sociology* 30

This module is a natural progression from Applied Social Research in Year 2. It represents an opportunity for you to undertake a research project on your own. You will identify a particular research problem to investigate. Then, you will execute a small-scale piece of research. This may be a primary or secondary (literature-based) piece of research. You will produce a scholarly piece of work in the format of a dissertation, as well as produce a poster presentation. The latter will be displayed at an event for all Sociology students to attend, allowing you to share your research findings with your Sociology peers.

*Students must choose a dissertation in Liberal Arts or Sociology.

Optional modules
  • Human Nature - 15 credits
  • Philosophy of the Teacher - 15 credits
  • Life and Death - 15 credits
  • Education, Ecologies and Ethics - 15 credits
  • Sustainability and Social Justice - 15 credits
  • Disenchantment: modern life and modern living - 15 credits
  • Independent Study - 15 credits
  • Core Texts 1 - 15 credits
  • Core Texts 2 - 15 credits
  • Crime and Deviance - 15 credits
  • Disability and Society - 15 credits
  • Social Movements and Collective Action in the Internet Age - 15 credits
  • Substance Use and Misuse - 15 credits
  • Globalisation, Beauty and the Media - 15 credits
  • Ideology, Conflict and Terrorism - 15 credits
  • Independent Study for Sociology - 15 credits
  • Stories for Children - 15 credits
  • Displaced: Forced Migration and Refugees Today - 15 credits
  • Eating Well: Food and Value in the 21st century - 15 credits
  • Other Animals: Contemporary Moral Frontiers - 15 credits
  • Culture: High and Low - 15 credits
  • Stories for Children - 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
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.

2022 Course Tuition Fees

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


Year 1 £9,250 £14,100
Year 2 £9,250 £14,100
Year 3 £9,250 £14,100
Total £27,750 £42,300
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,385 £1,385
Total with Sandwich Year £29,135 £43,685

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2022, 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 £117.50 and a 15 credit module is £1,763.

* 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.


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 optional cost for this course:


Printing and Binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 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.


Reading pack:

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


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

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