Liberal Arts BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

two students talking in the library

This highly flexible degree combines different subject areas, enabling you to shape your course according to your own interests and enthusiasms.

You choose a major subject from within humanities or social sciences – from a choice of English, History, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology and Cultural Studies.

You’ll then choose modules from within a broad range of topic areas, which include Creativity and Change, Global Citizenship and Communication, Disruption and Social Transformation, and Visions of the Past, Present and Future. You'll study a compulsory module each year, helping you to develop key skills for University and beyond while building a strong Liberal Arts community.

The course also provides opportunities for engagement with external partners such as businesses, museums and charities. You'll graduate with intellectual knowledge and the practical, transferable skills that employers look for.

Specialist facilities

The University of Leeds has world-class facilities for students of Liberal Arts. The University libraries are among the largest in the UK and offer a course of workshops and webinars to help you make the most of their collections, digital resources and databases.

Take a look around our libraries:

The Brotherton’s Library’s manuscripts are held in the Special Collections Research Centre, which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment and extension, after a generous bequest from the John Victor Bedford Will Trust.

This provides new working spaces for individuals or groups, and new teaching spaces that feature visualisers and projectors, enabling you to engage with sources using the latest techniques.

Skills@Library offers training courses to help you make the most of the library’s collections, digital resources and databases. In addition, it can provide one-to-one support to taught students on a wide range of topics, including academic writing, research skills, and data analysis.

Course details

Year 1

You’ll spend a third of your time being introduced to the key concepts, approaches and methods of your major subject. You’ll also choose three optional modules from the topic areas and take a compulsory module on the liberal arts approach. This will teach you skills of cross-disciplinary enquiry and how to communicate effectively with diverse audiences.

Year 2

Half of the modules you study will be in your major subject. You’ll also choose two modules from topic areas and undertake a research placement which includes the option of working with external organisations, such as businesses and local government bodies. You have the option of taking a year abroad or a work placement before returning for your final year of study.

Year 3

Your critical, analytical and cross-disciplinary research skills will be highly developed by the final year, and you’ll use them when you undertake an independent research project to explore a question of your choice. You’ll also spend half of your time on your major subject and take an additional module from the topic areas.

Read more about Liberal Arts major subjects and topics.

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read BA Liberal Arts in the course catalogue.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Introducing Liberal Arts (20 credits) - This module aims to introduce students to the idea of inter-disciplinary study, and to explore its fruitfulness; consider various ideals of personal and intellectual formation and their relation to different visions of the nature of a worthwhile human life; and examine theories and practices of rhetoric and communication, and their relevance for different audiences.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Student Research Partnerships (20 credits) - This module provides you with the opportunity to get involved in the latest research in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures. By working closely with an academic member of staff and a group of fellow students in a project directly related to ongoing research in the faculty, you’ll have the chance to undertake research tasks negotiated with your project leader in a structured format and learn how research works as well as creating new knowledge.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Independent Research Project in Liberal Arts (40 credits) - The module is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of a theme or themes of their choosing. The form of the assessment is an extended writing assignment. Students will normally engage with a theme relevant to one of the Liberal Arts Topic areas studied in previous years, and where appropriate they will be encouraged to make connections with the field represented in their major. The project will involve the use of cross-disciplinary skills of enquiry. Students will follow the model of teaching for final year projects in the School of their chosen discipline.

Learning and teaching

We use a wide range of learning and teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials, and workshops.

Independent study is also a vital part of this degree, since it allows you to form and test your own ideas while developing your skills in research, interpretation and analysis.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use varied types of assessment which include: exams, essays, presentations and group work.

You'll complete an ungraded formative exercise during a module, that serves as a stepping-stone towards your final graded assessment for the module.

Our Library Skills Team also provides exam skills training and subject-specific sessions on essay writing. Teaching staff will be available throughout term-time to talk to you one-on-one about how to get the most out of your assessments. New students will have a suite of study skills modules to help with the transition to University teaching and assessment.

Assessment is not just a way of testing you, but a key way to consolidate your learning on the degree. We design our assessments to reflect the most valuable skills our subjects can teach you – how to construct a well-developed argument, explain complicated ideas clearly, or synthesise material from across disciplines.

Not only will these skills allow you to perform well in your degree, but they'll also help you excel in your future career.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer.

If you are taking A Levels, this would be AAB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ. We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may be required.


BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDD. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M2

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 17 at Higher Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AA in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR A in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers OR AAAAAA in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 85%

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

This course is designed for students whose backgrounds mean they are less likely to attend university (also known as widening participation backgrounds) and who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry to a degree.

The course will give you the opportunity to be taught by academic staff and provides intensive support to enable your development of academic skills and knowledge. On successful completion of your foundation year, you will progress to your chosen degree course. Find out more about the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science Undergraduate Admissions team.

You can find out more about what it is like to be an international student by speaking to a Link to Leeds ambassador. They can’t help you with your application, but they can tell you how they have found living and studying in Leeds.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Major subjects

When applying to the BA Liberal Arts course, please indicate your preferred Major subject using the free format field on the UCAS form. Because there are restrictions on the number of characters you can use, please refer to the table listed on the Liberal Arts website for details of the keywords to use to record your choice of Major.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

Contact us

Liberal Arts Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A Liberal Arts degree is varied and challenging. It equips you with impressively broad subject knowledge as well as transferable skills that are valued by all kinds of employers. Through your course, you have the option to work with partners external to the University, so you can make connections through you studies and the world beyond the classroom.

You’ll be an excellent communicator who can present and defend your views clearly, and you’ll be comfortable working independently or as a team. You’ll also have strong research skills and highly developed skills of analysis and interpretation.

All of these qualities are attractive to employers, and our graduates have gone on to succeed in areas such as politics, management, the civil service, journalism, the media, education and the charity sector. Many have also pursued postgraduate study.

We do everything we can to support your career ambitions. Our students particularly benefit from events within the School which give you the chance to meet and learn from entrepreneurs in the world of business, charities or elsewhere in the third sector.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Student profile: Colin Low

The course allows you to study many subjects but focus on one in particular, and I chose philosophy because I have always been interested in the varying thought processes and perspectives.
Find out more about Colin Low's time at Leeds