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BA Liberal Arts

Subject to Internal Approval

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
Y002
Course Type
Undergraduate, Major-minor combined, Single Honours, Study abroad year
Fees
Annual tuition fees for 2025/26:
£TBC (UK)
£TBC (International)

Subject to Internal Approval

The world’s most pressing challenges require creative thinkers. With a Liberal Arts degree from Birmingham, you’ll forge connections between the social sciences, arts, humanities, and law, tackling contemporary issues by thinking outside the box. Let your passion take the lead as you explore our diverse range of disciplines, gaining expertise and  transferable skills in the subjects that interest you most.

BA Liberal Arts empowers you to shape your degree, transforming your curiosity into expertise and your interests into your career. You’ll craft a programme unique to you and develop the interdisciplinary skills needed to make real-world impact throughout your degree and beyond. 

The flexibility of a BA Liberal Arts allows you to immerse yourself in combinations of disciplines curated by you. How can international law inform the future of the music industry?  How does an understanding of social policy enrich careers in creative writing? Reaching across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and law, you'll join the next generation of arts and humanities graduates using their unique interdisciplinary perspectives to tackle the world’s wicked problems.   

Our core modules invite you to search for creative answers; encourage you to connect with community; and embolden you to make an impact. Degree flexibility is enhanced by a dedicated 80-100 credits per year for optional modules, hand-picked by you to explore your interests across the social sciences, arts, humanities and law. You will take modules from across disciplines and have the core modules as a space to explore the connections between disciplinary norms and traditions. Through it all, you'll develop a range of skills and perspectives on the programme crucial to gaining success in a dynamic future employment market.  

Want more opportunities to study science disciplines alongside the arts and humanities? Check out our BASc Arts and Sciences

The undergraduate course facilitates the study of a broad range of disciplines across many departments. We are also brought together through our core module to share interdisciplinary connections between our subjects to help combat contemporary social issues.

Bronwen

Why study this course?

A Liberal Arts degree is right for you if you want to...

  • Break down barriers - Liberal Arts is guided by an innovative, student-focused approach. You’ll have the freedom to explore across the arts, humanities, law, and social science disciplines at a world top 100 university.
  • Prepare for an uncharted future - Our programme will equip you with skills across disciplines making you a resilient, adaptable, and creative thinker, ready to thrive in any professional setting.
  • Access unique resources and support - Birmingham will help you improve your academic writing, and offers student forums, alumni networking events and wellbeing activities throughout the year. We have excellent library facilities, including the Cadbury Research Library which is home to the University of Birmingham’s historic collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, photographs, and associated artefacts.
  • Connect with community and industry - Our extensive links with community and industry provide invaluable real-world experience. Engage in credit-bearing initiatives or opt for year-long experiences where you'll tackle real-world challenges and seize opportunities head-on.
  • Make the second city your second home - Birmingham is home to internationally leading museums, galleries, and cultural events. You’ll be front and centre to experience the city’s numerous literature and theatre festivals, exciting arts scene, and more.
  • Join a vibrant community - Birmingham is where collaboration flourishes. Our dedicated liberal arts spaces foster a unique connection among world leading scholars, likeminded students, and dedicated support staff, nurturing a thriving academic environment.

Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2025. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate. Module choices are subject to timetabling and prerequisites.

Year One

Compulsory

  • Creative and Critical Thinking (A): How do we know what we know?
    • How and where is knowledge produced? This module develops cross disciplinary thinking by answering this key question from a range of critical and creative perspectives. This module acts as a foundation for your whole Liberal Arts degree and will also help guide you through the transition from school to university-level study.
  • Creative and Critical Thinking (B): The Stories We Tell
    • Building on Module A, this module applies that critical thinking in a practical way to think about how that knowledge is communicated.

Optional

  • You will choose a further 80 credits of modules according to your own interests. These may be grouped together around a particular area of interest that enables you to graduate with a Major or Minor in that subject; otherwise, the choice is yours.

Year Two

Compulsory

  • You will choose 20 credits from modules themed around ‘Community and Industry’, where you will work with our extensive range of partners to engage in real-world challenges that make an immediate difference, as well as being an excellent addition to your growing CV.
  • You will also choose 20 credits from a range of Big Question Modules that are led by our leading academic researchers from across a number of disciplines, to help you explore some of the most exciting cross-disciplinary themes in the Arts and Humanities.

Optional

  • You will again choose a further 80 credits of modules according to your own interests. These may be grouped together around a particular area of interest that enables you to graduate with a Major or Minor in that subject; otherwise, the choice is yours

Final Year

Compulsory

  • You will do either a 20 credit Final Year Independent Research Project; or a 40 credit Final Year Extended Independent Research Project; or a disciplinary project or dissertation based on a Major if you have chosen one.
  • You will also choose 20 credits from a range of Advanced Big Question Modules that take you on an even deeper journey into cross-disciplinary themes and challenges in the Arts and Humanities, learning alongside our world-leading academic researchers as you do so.

Optional

  • Your remaining credits will again be up to you. You may continue work in a particular subject area or areas that allows you to graduate with a major and/or minor in a particular subject; or, you may continue to explore from the full range of modules of offer across the Arts, Humanities, Law and Social Sciences.

Fees

Please Note: Fees for September 2025 are yet to be confirmed.

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2024, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2024/25 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £22,860

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

This programme is currently subject to internal approval for 2025 entry.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
You do not need specific A-level subjects or IB higher level subjects to be accepted onto the course itself, but you you may need specific qualifications to study certain subjects.

IB Diploma: 6, 6, 5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. Standard English language requirements apply.

BTEC qualifications: BTEC Extended Diploma - DDM; BTEC Diploma - DD, plus a B at A level; BTEC Diploma - D, plus AB at A level

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

 

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

Personal tutors – You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Contact Hours

  • Year 1: 20% Lectures, seminars or similar and 80% Independent study
  • Year 2: 20% Lectures, seminars or similar and 80% Independent study 
  • Year 3: 15% Lectures, seminars or similar and 85% Independent study 

Please note: contact hours vary dependent on the individual student and may be higher or lower in some cases.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • Coursework, such as essays
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Formal exams

Feedback - You will receive feedback on each assessment, so you can learn and improve from each assignment. You may also be given feedback on exams that you take. 

Studying a BA Liberal Arts degree at Birmingham will set you apart in a competitive job market.

Throughout the programme, our students develop skills in academic resilience, initiative, and intellectual independence. As a BA Liberal Arts student you will develop the ability to research and analyse complex information, work independently and as part of a team, and create compelling solutions to challenging problems. The programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to develop and sustain a meaningful career in a range of industries. A Liberal Arts degree isn’t about specific content. It’s a way of learning, connecting and adapting.

Supported by the University's Careers Network team, you will be encouraged to acquire and develop your skills for the jobs of tomorrow. Throughout the course of your degree, you will develop a range of abilities from communication to research, analysis to leadership which will equip you to succeed.

The unique benefit of the Liberal Arts opportunities is the access to discipline specific services, support and centres. Whether you see yourself as a future lawyer or not, the Centre for Employability Professional Legal Education and Research opens up a world of professional skills and networking through the Birmingham Law School.

Developing your career

The University of Birmingham is the top choice for the UK's major employers searching for graduate recruits, according to The Graduate Market 2024 report. Our Careers Network are here to offer you tailored, expert advice on your career plans and support you with finding and applying for jobs, internships and further study. There are hundreds of events to help you meet potential employers and learn more about the breadth of opportunities and career sectors available to you.

Support will be offered to you covering the whole job application process, including CVs, LinkedIn, application forms, interviews and assessment centres.  You can also email our experienced Careers Advisors and College Teams to review your applications or answer any careers related question, alongside our on campus and online 1:1 appointments.

We have a number of exclusive Internship Programmes such as our Cultural Internship, which will give you paid, professional experience to set you apart in the graduate market. We also offer work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships. 

First years can take part in The Birmingham Project, with themes including celebrating arts and culture and shaping a global society. There’s also a successful Mentoring Programme, where you can gain access to experienced Mentors who can empower, inspire and inform you about their experiences.  As a University of Birmingham student you will also be given access to LinkedIn Learning giving free access to real world training courses to kick-start your careers.

If you want to earn money WorkLink advertises convenient part-time job opportunities on campus to fit round your studies.  

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. Our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme.

There are more than 500 student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students (our Students’ Union) so you’re bound to find activities that you want to be involved in whilst meeting friends who share your interests.