Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts - BA (Hons)

UCAS code LV99

2018

A truly liberal education prepares you to live a productive and creative life in a dramatically changing world. It fosters well-grounded intellectual resilience, a disposition to life-long learning and an acceptance of responsibility for your ideas and actions.

2018

Overview

Kent's Liberal Arts programme teaches you to see the world from a range of perspectives - political, cultural, historical and economic - and develops your understanding of how each impacts on the other. At the heart of the programme is a core set of modules that you follow through the duration of the degree; these provide interdisciplinary means of analysing and understanding how and why we think, and act, the way we do today. Through collective discussion and debate around seminal readings, you get a grasp of the full field of social sciences, physical sciences, arts and humanities. You develop an understanding of the impediments to communication between different academic disciplines; of technological and economic revolutions that configure human cultures; and of the wide range of forces that shape events.

Students choose optional modules from those offered across the three faculties of the University to suit individual interests and career trajectories and develop a high standard of capability in another language (European or non-European).

Kathryn Yatrakis, Dean of New York’s Columbia College, Columbia University writes that "the University of Kent in Canterbury’s new Liberal Arts Programme will be very attractive to those high achieving students who well understand that interdisciplinary study and thinking, combined with disciplinary training, is the way to best prepare for the professional world of the 21st century. I unreservedly endorse this liberal arts initiative which has been carefully developed and organised to provide a strong and coherent program of undergraduate study ... It has all the ingredients to be a ground-breaking initiative in the liberal arts.".

Think Kent video series

In the last few years a BA in ‘Liberal Arts’ has appeared as a degree programme offered by several of the top UK universities. This talk by Dr Glenn Bowman of the University of Kent provides a background to that 21st century re-emergence and demonstrates that the term refers to some very different programmes across those UK, European and US universities which advertise it.

Independent rankings

The BA in Liberal Arts sits within the School of Politics and International Relations. Politics at Kent was ranked 9th in The Guardian University Guide 2018. In the National Student Survey 2017, over 91% of final-year Politics students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

For graduate prospects, Politics at Kent was ranked 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2018. Of Politics students who graduated in 2016, 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

One of the impediments to communication between different academic disciplines is their use of different ways of making, and validating, arguments and proofs. A key element of the programme in Liberal Arts is to develop a genuine inter-disciplinary approach so that students can understand, appreciate and assimilate the findings from diverse academic approaches. This module examines the varying modes of developing scientific, social scientific and humanities discourses to facilitate cross-disciplinary understanding of qualitative and quantitative reasoning. Following an introduction to Modes of Thought, engaging students with concepts of rationality as elaborated in logic and analytical reasoning, it will familiarise students in lectures and readings with quantitative and qualitative methodologies as well as with associated processes of data presentation, validation and conclusion reaching. Seminars will serve both to discuss and assess approaches and to familiarise students with working with techniques of data analysis and representation (quantitatively through statistical methods and software packages such as Excel and SPSS and qualitatively through sessions engaging grounded theory, narratology, actor network theory and image studies). Insofar as an element at the core of reasoning is representation per se, the issue of cognition and its unconscious shaping by both social and psychological forces will be addressed.

Themes introduced here not only intertwine with teaching and practical exercises in the two concurrent first year core modules (for instance the training in research design, statistical methods, and data analysis carried out here will be drawn upon in Understanding the Contemporaries' study of social and historical changes in local communities) but also recur throughout the rest of the programme. The cross-disciplinary debates – and communications – opened in this module will be revisited, and nuanced, over the following three years.

The module Modes of Reasoning is rich in transferable skills training, helping students to develop numeric and analytical skills, engaging them in the formulation and design of research questions and hypotheses, and familiarising them with select software packages.

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30

'Understanding the Contemporary' will enable students to think critically about their own period, and analyse the forces and events shaping contemporary culture and society. Students will consider texts from a range of disciplines and will be selectively introduced to key ideas in contemporary theory and philosophy. They will furthermore apply insights drawn from their readings and discussions to practical analysis of contemporary situations, not only through developing awareness of current events but also through designing and carrying out field analysis of social and historical changes in local communities (linked both to the research plan designed in Modes of Reasoning and to SSPSSR’s quantitative teaching methods programme). The focus of the module will be on the period since 2000, though clearly it will be necessary to reach back before that date to contextualise current issues. Students will be required to think critically about the ways different disciplines are formulating representations of the contemporary period, and to discuss themes and ideas that cross disciplines. Week by week, seminars and lectures will address topics that define the present period, for instance, migration, environmental change, financial crisis, democratic agency, and new media. The module will consider how different disciplines and intellectual traditions are responding to and framing such issues and developments so developing skills of comparative and cross-disciplinary reading. It is in the nature of the module that its study topics will vary from year to year. Overall, the module will develop multi-disciplinary understandings of the contemporary world and will encourage students to consider their role in shaping it.

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15

The module will prepare students to think critically about the forces shaping ways of being in the contemporary world, with attention to how ‘the modern’ has emerged from innovations and continuities in modes of production, reproduction and communication in the past two centuries.

This module examines the technological and economic revolutions that shape human cultures, with a particular focus on the 19th and early 20th century roots of modernity and the impacts of recent and developing technological innovations. Students will be introduced to basic issues in scientific and technological developments impacting upon the contemporary world and will, building on their understanding of these, investigate their ramifications in social practices and ideations, in philosophical discourse and in the fields of aesthetic and literary production.

Students will be required to think critically about the ways different disciplines respond to and are shaped by technological and social developments, and will be encouraged to engage these from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

Overall, the module will develop multi-disciplinary understandings of the history of the contemporary world and will encourage students to become aware of, and to understand, the ‘unseen’ influences which enable and constrain our ways of being so as to both work with them and, where appropriate, seek to shape them.

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15

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

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30

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

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30

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

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30

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

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30

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Read more
30

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Read more
30

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language, as well as vocabulary and cultural insights, while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Read more
30

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

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30

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

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15

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

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15

This module is aims to give students who have never studied Mandarin Chinese before some familiarity, at an introductory level, with everyday life, activities and the culture in China. It is designed to build a solid foundation for students in order to further develop their Mandarin Chinese skills in an easy and systematic approach. Any students who are absolute beginners or have very little knowledge of Mandarin Chinese are welcome to take LA302.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on an introductory level of communication skills used in everyday life. Basic knowledge of some major cities in China and an introductory level of Chinese culture will be covered in seminars.

Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained, practiced through communicative activities in the friendly and stimulating seminars.

In addition to the textbook, there will be plenty of specially designed video and audio materials, flashcards and web based games to assist your self-study.

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15

The module is designed for students who have successfully completed the module LA302, or for students who can use approximately 150 basic Mandarin Chinese Characters in 4 skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) to further develop their language skills.

The curriculum content of LA303 is to build from the beginners' module of LA302. This is intended to give students some familiarity, at an elementary level, with everyday life, activities and the culture in China.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on everyday communication skills, including greetings and introductions, asking and giving simple opinions on familiar topics, such as hobbies, weather, etc.

If you are going to visit China, basic language is useful for ordering food, making very simple enquiries about times, locations and transportations. These topics will be covered in this module.

Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained, practiced through communicative activities in the stimulating and engaging seminars.

In addition to the textbook, there will be plenty of specially designed video and audio materials, flashcards and web based games for self-study.

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15

The module is for students who have never studied Japanese before or have very little knowledge of Japanese. The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity, at an introductory level, with everyday life, activities and the culture in Japan. Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on an introductory level of communication skills used in everyday life. Basic skills useful to people visiting Japan will be taught including describing locations and shopping. An introductory level of Japanese culture will be covered in seminars.

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15

The module is for students who can read and write Japanese letters, Hiragana and Katakana, and have very basic knowledge and skills of Japanese. The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity with everyday life, activities and the culture in Japan. Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on an elementary level of communication skills to explain very simple factual information on personal and very familiar topics. Basic skills useful to people visiting Japan will be taught including ordering food, making very simple enquiries and asking for locations. An introductory level of Japanese culture will be covered in seminars.

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15

This module is intended for students who are complete newcomers to Arabic.

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of a vibrant and diverse culture. Arabic Beginners A1 provides you with an introduction and familiarity with everyday life, activities, and culture of the Arab world. The module is taught in English and 'Standard' Arabic, the dialect common to the entire Arabic-speaking part of the world and not specifically associated with any given country or region. The course provides a balance between understanding the basic concepts of Arabic grammar and vocabulary, in addition to developing the skills to help you understand and speak Arabic.

Key language structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Arabic language course books, video and audio materials. You will learn how to introduce yourself, express simple factual information useful for going to a restaurant and ordering food, in addition to learning about topics related to travelling including the names of the main cities and capitals in the Arab world.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

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15

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of an exciting, vibrant and diverse culture. Arabic Post-Beginners A2.1 builds on the skills you acquired on the Arabic Beginners course (or its equivalent) in order to develop your communicative skills to enable you to engage in interactive activities and everyday situations through using a range of phrase and sentence structures such as ordering food in a restaurant, asking and giving directions. A mixture of Arabic and English is employed to introduce new grammatical topics and class instructions. You are encouraged to practise in pair work and group work.

Key language structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Arabic language course books, video and audio materials.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

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15

This module aims to give students who have never studied Russian before some familiarity, at an introductory level, with everyday life, activities, tourism, history, geography and culture in Russian. It is designed to build a solid foundation for students in order to further develop their Russian language skills in an easy and systematic approach. Any students who are absolute beginners or have very little knowledge of Russian language are welcome to take LA309.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on an introductory level of communication skills used in everyday life, such as: greetings and introductions; numbers; asking for help and directions; describe living rooms; talk about weather; shopping and ordering in restaurants, etc. Students will also be exposed at introductory level to Russian life including major cities, famous places, museums, music, theatre, ballet, etc.

Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained, practiced through communicative activities in the friendly and stimulating seminars.

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15

This module is designed for students who have successfully completed the module LA309 or for students who have the equivalent Russian language knowledge to further develop their language skills.

The curriculum will focus on communication in the immediate environment. The content is intended to give students some familiarity, at lower A2 level on CEFR, on everyday life, activities, tourism, history, geography and culture in Russia.

Topics will include: talking about oneself and getting to know each other in detail; discussions of friends and family; time and days of activities, hobbies, interests, studies and jobs, etc.; discussions of travel, tourism and sightseeing; at the airport; visiting particular cities and places of historical and/or cultural interest; using public transport; using hotels; writing formal and informal letters, etc. Russian culture, geography and the arts including major cities, famous places, literature, museums, music, theatre, ballet, circus, etc.

Students will have chances to discuss topics, at elementary level about Russian history, famous people, etc. through the seminars.

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15
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

Connections is an innovative module that aims to provide a 'diagnosis of the present' informed by an interdisciplinary variety of approaches such as historical narratives, life writings (auto-biography), literature, photography and data analysis. A key question to be discussed is: what are the themes and issues that define our contemporary era, and how are they connected and impact on each other? In previous years, the module explored issues of class, peace(-keeping) and violence, borders and imagination, exile, media and democracy, and others. The module further aims to make connections with current events as they are unfolding, and depending on circumstances may include sessions on topics of particular relevance at the time that the module is being taught.

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30

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

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15

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

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15

The module is designed for students who have successfully completed the module LA303, or for students who can use approximately 350 basic Mandarin Chinese Characters in 4 skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) to further develop their language skills.

The curriculum content of LA502 is to build from the Post-beginners' module of LA303. This is intended to give students some familiarity, at an upper elementary level, with everyday life, activities and the culture in China.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on everyday communication skills including: exchanging personal information; expressing opinions about shopping experiences; asking and giving directions; describing illness, people's appearances and personalities; exchanging currencies; etc.

Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained, practiced through communicative activities in the stimulating and engaging seminars.

In addition to the textbook, there will be plenty of specially designed video and audio materials, flashcards and web based games for self-study.

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15

This module will build on from the Common European Framework of Reference A2.2 level (LA504) where you learned the vocabularies and grammar used in directions, polite requests, hobbies, illness and personal descriptions in complex structures with a full command of Hiragana, Katakana and a basic 100 Kanji. In this module, you will develop the vocabularies, expressions, sentence structures, grammar that are used in university, part-time work and leisure situations and will learn a further 54 new Kanji. You will learn the relevant vocabularies and grammar for seminars prior to each seminar and seminars will focus on you practising these in role play, grammar exercise and writing short compositions in a friendly, stimulating atmosphere. You will also gain the relevant cultural information around the course topics whilst developing speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. You will find example of topics in the 'Learning outcomes' section

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15

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of an exciting, vibrant and diverse culture. The course consolidates and extends the skills you acquired on Arabic Post-Beginners A2.1 (or its equivalent) in order to further develop your communicative skills to enable you to express yourself effectively and confidently in a variety of situations regularly encountered at university and studying. You will be encouraged to exchange information on topics such as friendship, hobbies and travel.

It aims to enable you to use a range of grammatical patterns as well as to use fairly sophisticated vocabulary and expressions. It also aims to develop your ability to process the Arabic writing system accurately and fluently so that you can read and write a range of texts on different topics with ease.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

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15

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of an exciting, vibrant and diverse culture. The course consolidates and extends the skills acquired on Arabic Post-Beginners A2.2 (or its equivalent) in order to further develop your communicative skills to enable you to engage in interactive activities and situations and gain a better understanding of university life and culture in the Arab world, and develop your cultural awareness of the countries and cities around the Arab world.

This module aims to enable you to use a wide range of grammatical patterns as well as to use sophisticated vocabulary and expressions. It also aims to develop your ability to process the Arabic writing system accurately and fluently so that you can read and write a range of texts on different topics with confidence.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

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15

This module is intended for students who have attained the equivalent of an 'A' Level pass in Spanish or who have taken LS302 Intensive Learning Spanish 1 (Beginners). The main aims of the module are to consolidate and expand knowledge of the grammar and structure of the language, and to promote a high level of skill in speaking, listening, reading and writing. A secondary aim is to increase awareness of the history and culture of Spain and Spanish America, through the study of appropriate texts. Regular written work will be required throughout the year.

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30

This module is intended for students who have attained a level of proficiency in Spanish equivalent to at least that of first year undergraduates. The main aim is to develop communicative skills with much of the emphasis being placed on speaking and listening but also involving a fair amount of writing. It will focus on the ability to operate in a variety of registers and respond adequately to different styles of discourse. There are four one-hour contact hours each week: two language seminars, one language lab class and one conversation class.

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30

This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners Italian course such as IT301, and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 way stage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).

IT508 is designed to bring students from A2 level to B1 threshold, turning students into independent users of Italian, in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in Italy as a foreign country. IT508 is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.

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30

IT563 is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in IT308, to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken Italian through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into Italian. IT563 is an intensive course which requires serious commitment.

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30

The module develops proficiency in writing, speaking and comprehending German. It concentrates on translation into German and English and the development of analytical skills in the production of written and spoken German. Translation exercises confront students with a variety of texts in different styles and registers, and encourage accuracy and critical reflection as well as acquisition and consolidation of grammatical structures. The language skills component combines vocabulary development with discursive writing on topics of relevance to the contemporary German-speaking world. Oral classes with a native speaker develop oral competence through discussion, enabling students to speak confidently and effectively at the intermediate level.

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30

This module comprises: translation from German to English, grammar exercises, conversation classes, and the culture and politics of the German-speaking countries ('Landeskunde').

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30

Three topics are covered each week: grammar, oral/aural skills, and written skills. Students will develop the four linguistic skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) to a level where they can confidently understand and convey information about themselves and their environment in all the tenses, and express their feelings and wishes in the conditional and subjunctive moods. They can account for and sustain views clearly by providing relevant explanations and arguments for and against particular points of view.

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30
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

Students on a four-year degree programme spend a year between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities in Europe and Japan. For a full list, please see Go Abroad. Places are subject to availability, language and degree programme.

You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad.  If the requirement is not met, you will be transferred to the equivalent three-year programme. The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.

Modules may include Credits

This module code is used for recording the Liberal Arts Year Abroad.

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120

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

PO679 allows students to do independent, original research under supervision on a political science topic close to their specialist interests. The dissertation module gives them the opportunity to further these interests and acquire a wide range of study and research skills in the process. All dissertation topics have to be approved by the module convenor as well as by an academic supervisor. The module takes students through the entire process of writing a dissertation (8,000 words long): from the original 'problem' to a suitable research 'question', to choosing a method, to designing the research, to conducting the research; from taking notes to drafting the dissertation, to revising and writing the dissertation, and finally to submitting the dissertation. Lectures, supervision and a conference help students along the way. The curriculum includes structured opportunities for students to discuss their research ideas with each other as well as mock panel presentations in preparation for the student conference.

PLEASE NOTE: PO679 is worth 45 credits. If you wish to take PO679, please keep this in mind when choosing your other modules. PO679 is worth 15 credits in autumn term, and 30 in spring. The module is weighted more to the Spring term to enable you to dedicate the time needed to produce your dissertation.

As you can chose the equivalent of 4 x 15 credits in the autumn and 4 x 15 in the Spring, picking PO679 would look like this:

Autumn:

PO679

XX

XX

XX

Spring:

PO679

PO679

XX

XX

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45

This module prepares students both to think about the ways in which the landscapes are evolving and being shaped by contemporary developments in technical, scientific, and theoretical fields; and to think about how they want to take part in these developments in their own lives, through professional activity or further study. It will prepare students to think critically about the opportunities and dangers that come with the future, notably through the changes taking place in production techniques (through three-dimensional printing), ecological change and planning, scientific advancements and their impact on the humanities and social sciences (such as quantum theory's challenge to historical studies). By building on bodies of work that have already discussed the potential impact of new technologies and scientific innovations on our understanding of the human, this module will demand intellectual reflection on the potential for change and transformation, with reference to past events and how transformation has occurred to this day. In additional, the module will provide practical guidance on how to think about the student’s own future, whether professionally or for further studies. It will guide students through the possibilities open to them, and give them practical skills to secure an interview and present themselves successfully.

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15
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching and assessment

Modules are taught by a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. You usually have 10 to 12 hours of contact time with staff each week.

Compulsory Liberal Arts modules are assessed by 100% coursework (essays, projects, dissertation), but optional modules may be assessed by a combination of examination and coursework, usually in the ratio of 50:50, 60:40 or 80:20.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a cross-disciplinary, research-led, inspiring learning environment
  • offer a pioneering educational opportunity within the UK context through which you progress into high-level careers and related postgraduate opportunities
  • develop the following range of aptitudes and skills: communication, language, reasoning, numeracy, information literacy and research methods
  • engage you in a range of disciplines to be able to pursue careers in a range of complex organisational settings
  • promote an understanding of the relations between disciplines and an appreciation of the ways in which cross-disciplinary thinking leads to alternative and approaches to contemporary global challenges.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principles and application of underlying modes of inquiry within different academic disciplines and contexts
  • cross-disciplinary understanding of qualitative and quantitative reasoning
  • the relation between technological and economic development and cultural change in historical context
  • the forces and events shaping contemporary thought and behaviour across a range of practices and disciplines
  • the various ways in which different disciplines and practices – across the arts, the social sciences, history and politics – conceptualise the contemporary
  • how to communicate seminal ideas across the fields of the social sciences, sciences, arts and humanities
  • how multi-disciplinary approaches and inter-disciplinary thinking can address future cultural and political challenges, such as environmental crises, the state and meaning of democracy and the potentialities of scientific development
  • how the study of given historical contexts can inform contemporary policy and practice
  • a selected topic within a given discipline and application of appropriate research methods.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • research skills: how to formulate research questions and hypotheses to address problems across a range of disciplines
  • analytical skills: interpretation of arguments, evidence and data; marshalling information from published sources; critical evaluation of your own research and that of others
  • how to use appropriate IT skills to retrieve, analyse and present information
  • numerical evaluation: the use of appropriate analytical methods in handling statistical evidence and data.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • reasoning: how to construct arguments within different intellectual contexts and disciplines, and how to formulate and address research questions and problems
  • communication: how to communicate across disciplines, how to mediate key ideas between disciplines, and how to speak and write persuasively in discursive contexts
  • language: the functional use of a second language equal to the demands of  professional communication
  • presentation of research: how to write essays and a dissertation in an appropriate style in keeping with the conventions of different subject areas
  • numeracy: how to handle and interpret numerical evidence in differing intellectual contexts
  • careers: recognition of career opportunities available to Liberal Arts graduates.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • communication: the ability to organise information clearly, present information orally and in writing, and adapt presentations for different audiences
  • reflection: make use of constructive informal feedback from staff and peers, and assess your own progress to enhance your performance and personal skills
  • self-motivation and independence: time and workload management to meet personal targets and imposed deadlines
  • team work: the ability to work independently and as part of a research group using peer support, diplomacy and collective responsibility.

Careers

The versatility of Liberal Arts graduates – a result of their interdisciplinary experience, their engagement with qualitative and quantitative data analysis, their linguistic abilities, and their critical acumen - qualifies them for postgraduate study and makes them highly marketable to prospective employers. 

As a Liberal Arts graduate, you have a global perspective and an understanding of different cultures, attitudes and approaches giving you a distinct advantage in the international job market. Through your study, you also develop other key transferable skills considered essential by graduate employers. These include research, analytical and interpersonal skills, high facility in a foreign language, and the ability to write succinctly, speak clearly and present ideas effectively.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB

GCSE

Grade B in Mathematics and in a modern foreign language other than English

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.

If an offer is made, candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma achieving 60 credits in total, with 45 credits at level three including 30 at distinction and 15 at merit. Access candidates may also be invited to attend an interview and provide an additional academic reference/written work in support of their application.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL, including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL (Mathematics Studies 5 at SL)

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15200

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

For 2018/19 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2018/19 academic year pay £1,385 for that year. 

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs associated with this course. All textbooks are available from the library, although some students prefer to purchase their own.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

The different careers I could choose from after studying Liberal Arts was inspiring.

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.