Design your own programme and major
An important aspect of the Liberal Arts and Sciences degree is the flexibility to choose your major as you progress through your studies. Normally this will develop out of the modules you have chosen in years one and two of the programme, but exceptionally you may keep your options open until the start of your final year. Our advisors will help you to choose modules which interest and challenge you and over the first two years guide you in your choices of modules to reflect the subjects in which you may choose to major, as well as a portfolio of other modules which reflect and broaden your wider interests.
Explore the Natural Sciences
Within Liberal Arts and Sciences it is possible for you to focus more strongly on the Natural Sciences. If you fulfil the credit requirements you will be able to complete your degree programme and gain a BSc or MSci in Natural Sciences. Find out more about the Natural Sciences at Birmingham.
An academic year at Birmingham consists of 120 credits of study, typically composed of 6 x 20 credit modules (although there are some 10 credits modules which can be combined to give 20 credits).
Puneet Tahim, Graduate Recruitment Officer, DLA Piper UK LLP "We recruit our young lawyers from a wide range of backgrounds and we are looking for graduates who can demonstrate both breadth and enthusiasm for their chosen subject major and who can work with our clients in an environment where innovation, excellence and going the extra mile is the norm. We have continued to support the University of Birmingham as it gives us the opportunity to meet some exceptional students. The committed, bright and enthusiastic students we meet help us to build a healthy talent pipeline into our city and regional offices"
Your first year
You will typically choose a minimum of 40 credits from one possible major area, and a further 40 credits from the range of Level 1 modules available across the University (timetable permitting). These 40 credits can be composed of 10 and 20 credits modules from a variety of areas and can if you wish focus on a second potential major. The remaining 40 credits will focus on 2 or more breadth modules.
Many combinations of modules are possible and below is just one example.
||Example: This student is interested in doing a Major in Biology, but also likes History, Economics, Politics and reading literature (but didn't take English at A level or IB English A)
|40 credits of potential major (usually up to 60 credits)
||Introduction to Evolution and Animal Biology
Cell Biology and Physiology
|40 credits of other interests or other potential major
|Core breadth module
||Core Liberal Arts and Sciences breadth module
|Optional breadth module
||Humanities breadth module on Literature and English History
Your second year
Your second year can take a variety of forms, you and your advisor will determine the options which best suit you. So you may choose to continue to build modules in your chosen major, choose to explore another major, explore additional breadth modules and other options or some combination of all three.
Such is the range of subjects we teach that it is not possible to study all combinations, however because of the flexibility that this degree offers in years one and two we can offer a wider range of possibilities within the timetable than in traditional three year degrees.
|60 credits of potential Major (usually at least 40)
||Core skills for Data Analysis (Biosciences)
Human Evolution, Adaptation and Behaviour
|40 credits of other interests or other potential major (English building on year 1 breadth module).
Optional Module with a view to Birmingham Summer programme in China.
|English: Approaches to Literature
English: Texts in History
Mandarin Chinese for Beginners
Read more about your year abroad
As you enter the final year you will be in a position to concentrate on your chosen major (or should you wish more than one majors) or to choose a major/minor combination. The final year also involves a capstone project supervised by our leading faculty which builds on the unique programme of study you have chosen.
||Example: This student now has the choice of pursuing a major in English or Biology, as in this example
|40 credit dissertation focusing on major disciplines (but typically with interdisciplinary dimensions)
||The biology of mating: Altruism and promiscuity in the novels of Jane Austen
|Between 40 and 80 credits of Major (in this example Biology)
||Integrated Whole- Organism Biology
Applied and Environmental Micro- Biology
|Up to 40 credits of second major, minor or other options: In this example English
||Literature, Sexuality and the Body
Currents and Concerns in recent Postcolonial Writing
The modules tab, provides more content on the potential majors available at Birmingham and the Breadth Modules.
Why study this course
Liberal Arts and Sciences programme is a new concept in English university education, drawing on the best of international educational experience. With 42 possible majors, a research submission to 49 panels of assessment in the 2008 RAE, and over 230 specialist departments and research centres, the University is uniquely placed to provide top- ranked students with a fascinating array of options.,
This degree is a four- year programme which includes an enhanced year abroad at one of Birmingham’s leading partner institutes. You will gain invaluable real life work experiences with a range of internship opportunities, and have on hand a dedicated advisory team with access to some of the top academics in the University, who can offer exceptional mentoring and guidance.
Although this degree focuses on individual strengths and learning students will share core modules and have access to common supervision. You will benefit from a circle of support from your fellow Liberal Arts and Sciences students.
The programme, is designed to build your intellectual, employment and leadership skills and to broaden your professional outlook and cultural understanding.
Possible Majors (and required A-levels or I.B subjects) include:
- Biochemistry (requires A level/ HL Chemistry)
- Biology (requires A level/ HL Biology)
- Chemistry (requires A level/ HL Chemistry)
- Computer science
- Earth Sciences
- Geography (requires A Level/ HL Geography)
- Mathematics (requires A level/ HL 5 or SL 7 Mathematics)
- Physics (requires A level/ HL Physics and A level/ HL 5 or SL 7 Mathematics or Pure Mathematics)
- Sport and Exercise Sciences
- African Studies
- American & Canadian Studies
- Archaeology & Ancient History
- Classical Literature & Civilisation
- English Language – A level English grade A or A grade in select College of Arts & Law or IB English A course
- English Literature - A level English grade A or A grade in select College of Arts & Law or IB English A course
- European Studies
- French – A-level French or A grade in Intermediate Level extra-mural French or IB French A or B
- Geography – A Level Geography grade A/ IB HL 6
- German– A-level German or A grade in Intermediate Level extra-mural German or IB Geramn A or B
- Hispanic Studies
- History of Arts
- Mathematics – A level Mathematics grade A/ HL 5 or SL 7
Social Sciences majors
- European Studies
- International Relations
- Political Science
- Political Economy
- Public Policy
- Social Policy
Other ways of mixing subjects
Using the Year Abroad to increase your mix
The Year Abroad offers yet another opportunity for flexibility. So if you find it is not possible to take some subject in years one or two (because the timetable simply doesn’t work given the combinations you want) then it is almost certain we can arrange to cover your preferences by judicious choice of Year Abroad location. As you will appreciate, life does involve trade-offs and inevitably no matter how excited we may be, we can’t study everything. So there will need to be compromises as you go through but we will work with you to ensure that we design the degree which best suits your evolving interests and talents.
Study Languages from the Centre for Modern Languages
If you are interested in doing a language as part of the degree (but not necessarily as major) then you have the additional option of taking languages from the Centre for Modern Languages either for credit (called a Module Outside the Main Discipline) or as an extracurricular Open Access Course.
The choice is yours. Module Outside the Main Discipline timeslots differ from the regular language timeslots and for the Open Access variant there are a wide variety of possible class time slots, including evenings, to facilitate busy schedules and preferred working times.
The breadth modules
These will typically be in areas very different from your potential major and will enable you to understand the ways that specialist in other fields think and work. These modules are not designed to introduce you to a subject, rather these are modules offered by our leading academics designed to familiarise you (as a non-specialist) with the most important topics and issues confronting researchers working in other fields. In addition to the subject understanding developed in these modules, each will develop important skills which complement your potential major.
By their very nature the modules on offer will constantly adapt to reflect the evolving expertise issues we face and the expertise of our leading researchers.
Dewan, CEO and Founding Partner, Hassium Asset Management LLP "The multidisciplinary nature of the programme and the wide variety of opportunities it offers in terms of study abroad, internships, mentoring etc will develop graduates that are more well-rounded, robust and ultimately more employable. I believe that increased flexibility and later, more informed, subject specialisation will result in graduates who have a clearer vision of where they want to get to than students who have followed a more traditional UK single-subject disciplinary route"
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: A*AA
Required subjects and grades: For some majors, specific A-levels or IB higher levels are required. In some other cases a major can be pursued subject to satisfactory performance in identified first year modules or breadth modules.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 36 points and Standard English language requirements apply.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com using code: Y001.
University of Birmingham's UCAS code number is B32.
Learn more about applying.
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