(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Liberal Arts (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC)
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) 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.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma: 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
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 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 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.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Please note that for all Liberal Arts courses, you must choose modules following these guidelines:
Year 1: Choose options from at least three different disciplines (90 credits) from the Humanities (prefixes AR, GV, HR, HU, LA, LT, PA, PY, SC, TH) and/or the Social Sciences (prefixes BE, EC, LG, LW, MA, PS). * CS modules do not count as discipline options.
Year 2: Carry forward at least TWO of the disciplines studied in the first year into the second year (ideally with at least 30 credits in each discipline). You should bear this in mind when choosing your first year modules and please note: some modules from other disciplines e.g. BE, EC, LW, MA, PS and LW prefixes cannot be taken in the second year because they require Department-specific pre-requisites. For more information you should contact the Course Director or the ISC Administrator. All modules choices in the second year are subject to the Course Director’s approval. No more than 60 credits may be from any one discipline.
Majors: We currently offer majors in: Art History, History, Politics, Literature, Media Studies, Sociology, and Philosophy. To be awarded a major in a particular discipline, you need to have studied a total of 120 credits in that discipline across the second and final year in that subject (ideally 60 credits in the second year and 60 credits in the final year). Please ask the Course Director for further advice and information.
Dissertation advice: If you are a student entering your second year of study in 2020-21, and are aiming to take CS831-6-FY in your final year, you will be required to take CS241-5-SP this coming year as it is a pre-requisite of CS831-6-FY.
Year 3: Carry forward at least TWO of the disciplines studied in your second year to your third year (ideally with at least 30 credits in each discipline). No more than 60 credits may be from any one discipline.
If you have any queries about these guidelines, please contact our administration department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any variation from this rule requires the Course Director’s approval.
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.
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.
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.
A101: To provide the opportunity to apply academic learning outcomes in a work-related context
A102: To develop essential work-based skills throughout the placement.
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: Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture and the second year required module CS201.
A5 and A6 are acquired throughout the placement year.
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.
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.
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).
All practical skills are acquired through classes, the submission of course work and preparation for examinations in all years of study.
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: Ability to demonstrate an understanding of work roles through a placement.
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 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.