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Liberal Arts (with Foundation Year)

Please note the tariff points stated for this course are indicative. The tariff points for 2018 will be published by August 2017.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Arts and Cultural Industries
Four years full-time; five years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Dr James Lee
Key fact:
Explore global and regional issues faced by contemporary society through the lenses offered by the liberal arts. Develop a broad-based knowledge of the factors affecting these, and the methodologies employed to inform debates and decisions. Consider solutions for current and future challenges.

Page last updated 16 June 2017


Why study BA(Hons) Liberal Arts?

Today's societies face increasingly complex challenges, which affect all aspects of their development. How best do we create solutions to these challenges? Globally, we need active citizens who can confidently evaluate the world from a range of informed perspectives drawing on the critical and creative skills offered by the liberal arts, ranging from literature and history, to film.

Why study our course?

This flexible course is designed for those who want to create positive change. Examining what it means to live and work in contemporary society, you will study connections and networks; opinions and activism; language and interactivity; consumption and sustainability; and shaping social, cultural, political and economic futures through the lenses of the liberal arts. This will help you understand and empathise with the challenges faced, while developing your abilities to make informed decisions. 

As you progress, you can focus on subjects such as english, film, history, linguistics and media allowing you to create a pathway reflecting your intellectual interests.

Real world experience

Through our links with leading arts and cultural organisations you will apply your knowledge to real-world assessments and live-briefs. You will also develop your abilities to horizon scan future developments, explore potential solutions for challenges and engage in debates.

Where it can take you

The flexibility of a liberal arts degree means you can forge your career path as you progress. Through engaging with, and considering modern day and global challenges, you will identify where and how you would like to effect change. As a result, you can tailor your course to develop skills and experiences that support you to progress in your chosen field, and secure relevant work across a variety of sectors. 

Potential careers might involve developing policy for NGOs, charities, political think tanks, or government. But equally, you might go on to a rewarding career in industries such as public health, education or media, and in the liberal arts, from creative writing to filmmaking.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



In the Foundation year (Year zero), the content is designed to develop your academic skills. It also raises awareness of the relevance the disciplines which span the arts, creative and cultural industries will play in your future, professional lives.

The four modules will have three hours of teaching each week (12 hours of scheduled class time in total). A unique feature of the offer is the focus on Bristol as a centre of arts and culture you will be testing concepts, theories and ideas within the city as a living brief.

Foundation year (Year zero)

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Academic Skills for Arts and Humanities
  • Thought, Ideas and Myths: past, present and future
  • Bristol, Arts and Culture
  • Extended Project.

You will study the Foundation year alongside students from other Arts, Creative Industries and Education courses, and so you may transfer to another course in one of these areas at the end of a successful Foundation year.

The normal expectation is that you must pass all Year zero modules before progressing to Year one.

Year one

Your first year will introduce you to the key ideas and approaches of Liberal Arts. The Latin phrase artes liberales, from which the term Liberal Arts stems, can be translated as 'skills for living fully and freely'. You will develop those critical and creative skills, while being grounded in the methodologies of literature, film, history, linguistics and creative writing. Topics may include:

  • Liberal Arts in Society: Past, Present and Future
  • Being Human
  • The Power of Language
  • Science Fiction and the Self.

Year two

You will engage with a variety of texts, films, and historical contexts, while also undertaking one or more live-projects that will place your learning in practice. This work can take place locally, nationally or globally. Topics may include:

  • Practice and Activism
  • Making the case: construction, persuasion and impact
  • Culture, Sustainability and Consumption
  • Option module from the Department of Arts and Cultural Industries.

Final year

In your final year, you will work on a major 'capstone' project, which will give you the opportunity to focus on the areas which interest you most. Topics may include:

  • Horizon Scanning
  • Connecting and Networking in a Global Society
  • Option module from the Department of Arts and Cultural Industries
  • Capstone Module - Final Major Project.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Hear what our students think about their time at UWE.

Learning and Teaching

You will be taught and assessed by leading academics and practising professionals from across the cultural industries.

Learning is through a combination of practical workshops, discussion-based seminars, lectures and one-to-one tutorials.

Independent study is also a key part of the course and you will complete weekly exercises and research outside of scheduled class time. An Academic Personal Tutor (APT) will be available to give you individual advice and support throughout.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


We use various methods of assessment, helping you develop a range of critical, creative and practical skills. Assessment types are varied but may include portfolio research and development; group and individual project work; responding to live briefs; creative and professional writing; essays, case studies, examinations, oral presentations and self-evaluations.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.



Students who gain work experience are more likely to graduate with a better degree and get higher quality work on graduation. So as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, work experience will make you highly employable on graduation.

There's the option to do a work placement in your preferred field on our sandwich course. We have extensive networks of contacts in a diverse variety of sectors - in Bristol and across the region. Our placements team will give you advice and support finding a position.


We have strong links with local arts and cultural organisations, local and regional networks engaged in a wide range of issues, and grassroots activists as well as organisations including Bristol Cultural Development Partnership. Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to get involved with leading cultural organisations such as the Festival of Ideas, Bristol Radical Film Festival, and The Poetry Can.

Study facilities

Our Frenchay campus provides extensive study facilities. You will:

  • Be inspired by films, books, plays and texts in quiet study areas, group spaces or viewing rooms in the Bolland Library. The library houses over half a million books, as well as DVDs, journals and online resources.
  • Develop skills in blogging, editing and desktop publishing using industry standard software.
  • Access lecture slides, core readings and assignment guidance on UWE Bristol's Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Network and learn

UWE Bristol has numerous thriving student societies, which span the arts, philosophy, charitable causes, political and campaigning. This means you can share ideas and debate with students from different disciplines and backgrounds.


Careers / Further study

The flexibility of a liberal arts degree means you can forge your career path as you progress. Through understanding modern day challenges, you will identify where and how you would like to effect change. As a result, you can tailor your course and find relevant work across a variety of sectors. 

Potential careers might involve developing policy for NGOs, charities, political think tanks, or government. But equally, you might go on to a rewarding career in industries such as health, education or media, and in the liberal arts from creative writing to filmmaking. Some graduates may also choose to go on to postgraduate research.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1563

Full Time Course with Placement Year

FeesAmount (£)
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12500
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12500
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1563
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1563
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year10937

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year100

Supplementary fee information

Further information about fees and funding.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 64
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Relevant subjects: Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BA(Hons) Liberal Arts course.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

We recognise the individual nature of each application and the standard offer should be viewed as a guide. We will consider applications on the basis of evidence of personal, professional and educational experience which indicates an applicant's ability to meet the demands of the degree.

UWE Bristol's International College
If you do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

How to apply

Please apply through UCAS.


Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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