By Megan Valentine
After completing three A-levels and thoroughly enjoying each one, the idea of choosing a single subject to spend the next three or four years of my life with daunted me. Not helped by the fact I’m admittedly indecisive, I struggled to find a course which wasn’t going to close doors should my career goal change throughout my degree.
This was, until, I stumbled across “Liberal Arts.”
I’m often met with a great deal of confusion upon telling people what I study. I’ll never forget the look on my grandparents faces after announcing I would study Liberal Arts. “What? Like, painting?” Considering I haven’t picked up a paint brush since Year 9 art class, that wouldn’t have been my greatest idea. Now, I’ll often just resort to stating my major subject, and hope no further questions are asked.
There are an increasing number of universities across the country offering this course, and given that each one is so different, I’ll explain my experience as a student at Leeds University.
The study of Liberal Arts dates back to the Middle Ages, with scholars regarding it as an “integrated curriculum with seven key components.”
The way in which the degree works is that all students choose a Major subject which can be an Arts or Social Science subject. On top of this, the first year requires that three further modules are chosen from a different field to our major, but each are designed to have foundations in one of the seven liberal arts. Finally, we study a core Liberal Arts module which ties all our learning together creating the interdisciplinary style degree. As the course progresses, we take more modules in our major subject, meaning we still finish university with a specialism.
I’ve found that this course has been perfect for me, and I love how much choice and variety the course provides me with. I’ve studied politics, languages, theatre and philosophy and can truly say my degree is perfect for me!