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Liberal Arts (Including Year Abroad)

Course overview

(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Liberal Arts (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC)
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Area Studies

A-levels: BBB, including one essay-based subject

IB: 30 points, including a Higher Level essay-based subject grade 5. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 CS101-4-FY Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture Core 30
02 Option(s) from list: Different discipline Optional 30
03 Option(s) from list: Different discipline Optional 30
04 Option(s) from list: Different discipline Optional 30
05 CS711-4-FY Skills for University Studies Compulsory 0

Year Abroad/Placement - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 Compulsory with Options 90

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

To provide a flexible scheme which will allow students to pursue several disciplines or to explore themes using a range of disciplines.

To provide students with opportunities to broaden their cultural horizons by taking up the challenge of studying new disciplines such as Art History, Philosophy, Literature, History, Sociology, Languages, Linguistics, Film Studies.

To develop students' powers of self-expression and ability to think and analyse systematically, critically and in a disciplined and informed way.

To provide students with the necessary skills to undertake further study and/or pursue vocational training in employment.

To provide students with opportunities to experience a different system of HE through a broad range of courses on the Year Abroad.

To develop students' intercultural skills necessary for living and working in a different culture.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the intellectual and cultural origins and development of contemporary society.
A2 Students will be able to demonstrate through a variety of means, a knowledge and understanding of the different styles of enquiry in a range of Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines
A3 Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of selected topics within the Humanities
A4 Students will be able to demonstrate skill in distilling research and using it to formulate sustained written arguments with reference to the history of European intellectual thought and the assumptions upon which this thought is based.
Learning Methods: The structure of the degree is based on progression from introductory courses in the first year to more specialised and demanding courses in the second and third year.

A1 and A2 are acquired in particular from the first year multi-disciplinary course CS101-1-FY The Enlightenment and the second year required module CS201.
A1 - A3 are developed in all three years through the disciplinary breadth required by the rules governing module choices and through a course of study followed at a university on the Year Abroad.
Assessment Methods: Knowledge and understanding of A1-A3 is continuously assessed through coursework and examination.

Essays are the principal form of assessment, supplemented by a range of other assessments which may include text analyses, reviews and other shorter assignments, journal-keeping, assessed presentations and oral contributions and in-class tests.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Students will be able to think critically and analytically in relation to a number of different disciplines and be able to relate methods and assumptions of disciplines to each other.
B2 Students will be capable of appropriately applying a wide range of relevant primary and secondary sources.
B3 Students will be able to identify, analyse and solve problems, using appropriate techniques of writing, methodologies and theories.
B4 Students will be able to demonstrate and exercise independence of mind and thought.
B5 Students will be able to do all of the above through a variety of forms of assessment including written coursework, oral presentations, and unseen examinations.
Learning Methods: B1-B4 are acquired in classes and seminars, in group discussion and through the submission of coursework in all years.

Students are expected to do independent research to consolidate classwork.

B1 and B3 are also acquired through lectures and feedback on course work.

Students are encouraged to compare the approaches of different disciplines and to think across disciplines.
Assessment Methods: All intellectual/cognitive skills are assessed in continuous course work in all years and through end of year examinations.

C: Practical skills

C1 Students will be able to communicate ideas clearly and coherently in a range of disciplines but also be able to challenge those ideas and disciplines.
C2 Students will be able to present written materials using appropriate language and referencing.
C3 Students will be able to work independently, write and think under pressure, meet deadlines, manage their own time and workload and carry out research for coursework.
C4 Students will be able to communicate their knowledge and ideas independently of books, articles, computers and other sources of information, and they will be able to accomplish this within given time constraints (eg they will be able to pass an examination).
C5 Students will be able to apply the necessary organisational and cultural skills for living and working abroad.
Learning Methods: All practical skills are acquired through classes, the submission of course work and preparation for examinations in all years of study.
C4 is acquired through the guided but relatively independent process of organising and successfully completing a period of living and studying abroad.
Assessment Methods: Assessment of practical skills is through the submission of essays, term papers and assignments, and written examinations.

D: Key skills

D1 Students will be able to present knowledge or an argument in a clear, coherent and creative manner.
D2 Students will be able to use the relevant information technology to research and present written work.
D4 Students will be able to identify problems and apply relevant research methodologies and techniques of writing to resolve them.
D6 Students will be able to reflect on their own learning, to seek and make use of feedback on their own performance, to recognise when further knowledge is required and to undertake the necessary research.
D7 Students will be able to present knowledge or an argument in a clear, coherent and creative manner, work proficiently and effectively in a range of academic contexts and work independently in a different cultural and learning environment.
Learning Methods: Key skills are acquired through participatory classwork in all years of study, through the presentation of continuous coursework and preparation for examinations.

Students are encouraged to engage in discussion, to listen effectively and to participate in group work to the benefit of the group as a whole.

On many courses oral presentation skills are assessed.
Assessment Methods: Assessment is through the submission of coursework and through written examinations.
Some courses assess D1 through assessed oral participation or presentations.

Where students opt to take an independent research project, it is assessed by dissertation.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: