How to apply

Students working in a groupYou can apply to the Liberal Arts and Sciences programme through UCAS.

A typical offer for the Liberal Arts and Sciences programme would require grades ranging from AAA to A*AA. We also welcome the International Baccalaureate Diploma with 36–38 points as this is a competitive and highly respected programme for high-performing students.

Standard English language requirements apply for this programme, as with other programmes. For any other qualifications please contact us. 

Submitting an additional personal statement

As your choice to apply for Liberal Arts and Sciences at Birmingham may be quite different from your other UCAS choices we invite you to submit an additional personal statement to us directly in support of your application. 

If you would like to do so, please email this to us after you have submitted your formal UCAS application quoting your UCAS personal ID number to admissions@bham.ac.uk 

Wherever possible please send this to us closely following your formal UCAS submission to allow them to be easily matched. Please note that it is not mandatory to submit an additional personal statement and your application will still be considered should you chose not to. 

Frequently asked questions

As a new programme of study at Birmingham, we understand that you might have questions about the Liberal Arts and Sciences degree.

Below we have provided answers to some of the common questions about the degree programme and some advice on where to find information and support.

What should I put in my additional personal statement?

Do not repeat the information in the UCAS personal statement, remember we already have this. The University has some general guidelines on writing personal statements; I have repeated these below and have tailored them for the Liberal Arts & Sciences degree. The personal statement is your chance to convince us to invite you to interview. We need to be persuaded that you are intellectually curious, have a wide range of interests and perhaps most importantly, something to contribute to the group so that we all, academics and students, have a genuinely stimulating and worthwhile experience during the degree.

What are my academic interests?

Normally we advise that at least 75% of your personal statement is related to what you want to study, but in an Additional Personal Statement for Liberal Arts & Sciences, between 50% and 75% is fine. Remember we want to know other things about you as well, so leave enough space for that. Academically we want to know what you are interested in and why, for example, why you chose the combination of subjects you did at A-level or the IB, what insights you gained from them, about the subjects themselves and about you. Were there things you would like to have taken? We would be interested to hear not only about what you enjoyed, but also what you found challenging yet nevertheless felt was important to study. Are you interested in other things outside your curriculum, do you read other things, literature, popular science periodicals, politics or world affairs? We are looking for reflective analysis, passion, enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity.

Where A level or IB subject requirements apply (as stated in the list of Possible Majors), applicants need to have studied the subject in order to select the subject as a major on the degree programme. This is particularly true in the mainstream sciences, and in some Arts subjects such as Music. In many subjects, there are breadth modules available for students who have not studied the subject at A-level or IB and in some cases (for example, English and History) these represent a potential pathway onto a subject major.

Do I have to give an idea of what I would like to major/minor in?

It would be nice to know what your main interests are, but we are not going to hold you to any particular field. The whole idea is that the degree adapts to you, however, we are aiming to have a well-balanced group of students with varied interests so we are interested in what people might do.

Ultimately, the choice of modules is down to you, we will provide you with appropriate advice and guidance. For example, as part of our tutoring we will review your overall portfolio of subjects and skills and where there are gaps we will help to identify module you may wish to take which will enhance your profile and skills. This may involve the option of an appropriate breadth module, which are specifically designed for non-specialists, but which enable you to understand alternative perspectives.

What else is important?

The remainder of your Additional Personal Statement should be about your other interests and achievements. Again, we don’t simply want a list of activities, but some reflection on what you have done to date. 

For example:

  • Have you held positions of responsibility?
  • Have you been in school, club or higher level sports teams?
  • Have you taken part in drama productions or debates?
  • Have you helped to run school societies or clubs?
  • Have you any community involvement?
  • Have you had part-time employment?
  • What you have learnt from these activities, about you, about others and about working with others?

 

Should my additional statement  be the same length as the UCAS statement?

The length should be roughly the same as the UCAS statement but do not over prune it just to squeeze it into 4000 characters, max 47 lines. On the other hand, do not ramble on for 5000 characters either.

Would you consider a LAS application from a student whose interests all lay with Arts subjects or is this programme specifically for those who want a more diverse programme of study

We want evidence that people have a wide ranging set of interests. That may be demonstrated by a diverse range of A-levels, but people can demonstrate this in a variety of ways. SO we have students taking mainly in the sciences, but they play music and have in interest in drama outside of the classroom. Similarly, we have people mainly taking Arts subjects who have an extra-curricular interest in politics and an interesting in understanding the science behind political issues such as the environment, or health-care spending. So we are interested in the whole person, not just their A-levels and we will be looking for evidence of a rounded set of interests in your personal statement and/or your additional personal statement.