BA (Hons) Liberal Arts
Why choose this course?
Offering limitless potential to the ambitious and inquisitive student, our Liberal Arts degree provides an exciting combination of arts, humanities and social sciences.
- Broaden your perspective with an innovative degree where you won’t be limited by traditional subject boundaries
- Tailor your studies to suit your personal interests, with a fascinating mix of arts, humanities and social sciences modules
- Be motivated to succeed by our highly experienced team of engaging, passionate and inspiring subject experts
- Choose to study part of your degree in the United States, where you can immerse yourself in American life, experience a different academic culture and acquire a new set of skills
- Prepare for a career that could take you around the world in fields ranging from business to journalism, culture and heritage to teaching
- Shape your future at the No.1 university for graduate employment in the East Midlands (HESA 2015 - universities with a graduating class over 2000).
UCAS code: L900
Start date: September
Course length: Full-time: three years. Part-time: four to six years
Campus: Kedleston Road site, Derby Campus
College: College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences
This course is available to international students
About this course
Studying Liberal Arts will help you to develop intellectual flexibility, confidence and skills for success both at university and in your future career.
Why Liberal Arts?
Liberal Arts degrees are well-established and hugely popular in the USA, where eminent graduates include Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners, heads of state and business pioneers as well as leading figures from the arts world.
Derby is one of the first UK universities to offer this highly regarded 21st century qualification. Ours is a stimulating and challenging course, ideal for students with wide-ranging interests who are seeking a structured degree but do not want to be restricted to traditional disciplinary boundaries.
Working alongside like-minded students within a friendly and supportive academic culture, you will cover a wide range of arts, humanities and social sciences themes. You could be introduced to topics you may never have considered before - discovering new interests, broadening your outlook and opening up exciting career prospects.
Breadth of knowledge, depth of learning
We give you the opportunity - and set you the challenge - to think and work both within and across disciplines and genres. Your studies will span historical debates, cultural theories, political ideas and artistic works. You will explore global issues as well as topics and themes specific to our region.
The core modules will introduce you to key methodologies and approaches, drawing on our considerable staff expertise in critical theories and the history of ideas. Building on this knowledge, the wide range of optional modules available will enable you to pursue specialist study areas of your own choosing.
A dynamic learning experience
Liberal Arts at Derby can be experienced both inside and outside the classroom. In a region which played a significant role in the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, and so helped shape the world we live in, we make the most of the rich cultural and heritage resources on our doorstep.
You will take part in study visits, hear from influential guest speakers and enjoy plenty of extra-curricular events and activities to bring a new dimension to your learning.
Study abroad opportunities
You can choose to study in America or Europe for a single semester in your second year. This will enhance your academic experience, boost your confidence, increase your global awareness, and make a substantial contribution to your employability.
Set yourself apart
While you build a real breadth and depth of knowledge, this course will equip you with transferable skills to adapt to a changing workplace. A Liberal Arts graduate is typically more adaptable, insightful and confident, a good communicator and thinker, a team-player with refined negotiation skills and cultural awareness.
Our degree will add real substance to your CV. In a recent survey of business leaders undertaken by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 74% said they would recommend a Liberal Arts education because it nurtures more dynamic graduates.
Furthermore, fully one third of Fortune 500’s CEOs have a Liberal Arts degree. As Steve Jobs said when he was CEO of Apple Inc: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with Liberal Arts that yields the results that make our hearts sing.” (2010).
What you will cover
You'll study modules such as:
- Practising Liberal Arts
- Thought and Culture I
- Enlightenment Literature
- Renaissance and Enlightenment: Europe, 1453-1789
- Romanticism and Revolution: Europe, 1789-1914
- The Making of Modern America
You'll study modules such as:
- Thought and Culture II
- Research Project in Liberal Arts
- Audible Republic: American Music and Society
- Contemporary Issues in the Creative and Cultural Industries
You'll study modules such as:
- Thought and Culture III
- Independent Study in Liberal Arts
Our optional modules enable you to explore a range of themes in the arts, humanities and the social sciences. You can choose from a rich and varied selection drawn from our American Studies, English, History, International Relations and Diplomacy, Media, Politics and Sociology programmes.
September 2016 typical entry requirements UCAS points 280 (up to 40 from AS-levels) Specific requirements at A-level N/A Specific requirements at GCSE Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths and English Interview / Audition N/A Portfolio N/A
The way UCAS Tariffs are calculated is changing in 2017. The entry requirement below reflects this change. Read more about these changes.
September 2017 typical entry requirements UCAS points 112 (up to 16 from AS-levels) Specific requirements at A-level N/A Specific requirements at GCSE Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths and English Interview / Audition N/A Portfolio N/A
Use our UniPoints app as a guide to calculate your UCAS Tariff points, search for courses and check entry requirements for 2017 and beyond.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
How to apply
- Full-time students applying in September should apply for this course through UCAS
- Part-time students should apply directly to the University
- Students applying in September should apply for this course through UCAS.
Information for international applicants
Fees and finance
Full-time Part-time UK/EU
£9,000 per year
£1,125 per module
£11,500 per year
For students starting their course in 2017/18, the full-time undergraduate fees will be £9,250 per year for all courses (or £1,155 per module if a part-time option is available).
Further information for 2017/18 fees will be released January 2017.
How you will learn
Teaching and learning
You will develop your analytical and critical skills as well as honing your technical abilities in research, writing and argument. Your studies will entail not only lectures, seminars and workshops but also individual and group presentations, screenings, study visits and a vibrant guest speaker programme.
Liberal Arts at Derby is taught by a highly qualified and experienced team of lecturers. They are committed to Liberal Arts as a field of interdisciplinary study, but all have individual areas of expertise, research and publication.
Simon Philo - Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader. Simon’s research interests include transatlantic popular musics and art, the cultural Vietnam War, and American TV. Simon has published chapters and journal articles on The Simpsons, MTV in Europe, US TV teen dramas, Vietnam War literature, Pop Art, punk, ska and the Rolling Stones. He is the author of British Invasion: The Crosscurrents of Musical Influence (2014).
Dr David Holloway - Senior Lecturer and American Exchange Co-ordinator. Dave’s research interests include 19th and 20th Century American literature and film, narratives of apocalypse in American culture, and the “War on Terror”. He has published a number of articles on the novelist Cormac McCarthy and has written a chapter on the literature of youth in Radiant Hour (2000). His book on Cormac McCarthy was published in 2002 and 9/11 and the War on Terror was published in 2008. He is also the co-editor of American Visual Cultures (2005).
Joanne Bishton - Lecturer. Jo’s research expertise is in the field of 19th and 20th Century American and comparative literatures, adaptation, the historical novel, gendered narratives and sexuality. She has published on lesbian historical fiction and has forthcoming publications on gendered narrative voices, erotic adaptations and popularising lesbian narratives.
Dr Paul Elliott - Professor of Modern History. Paul’s recent publications include: 'Arboricultural aesthetics, botany, and improvement in Georgian England: Erasmus Darwin's trees,’ in Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook, Giulia Pacini & Laura Auricchio eds. Arboreal Values: Trees and Forests in Europe, North America, and the Caribbean, 1660-1830 (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century - The Voltaire Foundation, 2012). Enlightenment, Modernity and Science: Geographies of Scientific and Improvement Culture in Georgian England (I. B. Tauris, 2010). The British Arboretum: Trees, Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century (Pickering and Chatto, 2011). The Derby Philosophers: Science and Culture in British Urban Society, 1750-1850 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009).
Dr Paul Whickman - Lecturer.Paul’s research interests lie in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (primarily Romanticism), and censorship and free speech more widely. Paul completed his PhD thesis at the University of Nottingham on Romantic Blasphemy: Sacrilege and Creativity in the Literature of Percy Bysshe Shelley (2013). He is currently working this into a monograph provisionally titled Blasphemy, Politics and Creativity in the Literature of Percy Bysshe Shelley (c.2017). As well as publishing articles on Byron, Shelley and Keats, Paul is a contributor to The Year’s Work in English Studies (Romantic Poetry) and the Literary Encyclopedia. Paul edited a Working with English special issue on ‘Gothic Histories’ and is in the early stages of co-editing an edition of essays on the topic of free speech, having been an invited speaker on these issues at public facing events.
Dr Robin Sims - Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for English. Robin’s research focuses on poststructuralist and psychoanalytic approaches to literature and culture; twentieth-century literature, art and film, with a particular interest in surrealism and its legacy; fantasy and myth. He is working on a monograph on the construction of the Green Man in twentieth-century literature and his publications include:‘Theory on Theory,’ in The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory 23:1 (The English Association / Oxford University Press, 2016); ‘Facing the Thing: The Green Man, Psychoanalysis, and Kingsley Amis,’ in Critical Survey 19:2 (2007), pp.82-100; ‘Desire’, ‘The Oedipus Complex’, and ‘The Phallus’, in Simon Malpas and Paul Wake eds. The Routledge Companion to Critical Theory (London: Routledge, 2006).
Dr Thomas Neuhaus - Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for History. Tom’s ecent publications include: Tibet in the Western Imagination (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); 'How can a war be holy? Attitudes towards Eastern Spirituality,' in John A. Williams ed. Weimar Culture Revisited (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); 'Of yetis and men: representations of Tibet and the Himalayas, c.1929-1953,’ in Rosalind Crone, David Gange and Katy Jones eds. New Perspectives in British Cultural History (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007); 'No Nazi Party: Youth Rebels in the Third Reich,’ in History Today, Vol. 55, No.11 (2005).
Assessment is 100% coursework-based. This incorporates different tasks and modes which could include: essays; document analyses; book, film, art and music reviews; project and dissertation work; individual and group presentations; work-based learning; and seminar participation.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.
Careers and employability
Broad horizons for your career
Liberal Arts graduates pursue global careers in many different areas - business and commerce, law, teaching and academia, journalism and the media, culture and heritage, and the civil and uniformed services. A Liberal Arts degree will also provide an excellent foundation for postgraduate study.
Because you will develop transferable skills that are highly prized by employers, there is a great deal of value in a Liberal Arts degree from Derby. Our programme fosters your analytical, evaluative, critical and creative thinking, together with your ability to learn and synthesise new skills and ideas. You will also be able to demonstrate your organisational skills and capacity to work to dead-lines, communicate effectively and carry out independent research.
At a time when the business world is becoming increasingly global, your experience studying abroad will impress a potential employer. You will learn to view the world from fresh perspectives, becoming more independent, mature, versatile and confident in the process.
Ensuring you are ‘work-ready’
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure that you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate - industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you will also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions.
The support continues once you have completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
What our students say
- On study abroad - “an unbelievable opportunity that's changed my life” Olivia Pole
- On interdisciplinary study - “has allowed me to be flexible with my career choices. It makes you more adaptable” Aimee Feenan
- On the teaching team - “are fabulous, any help no matter how small, they will come and guide you” Kathy Curzon
Key Information Sets