Studying Liberal Arts as a Minor Subject
Written by Alice Hong – HCRI and Liberal Arts Student
Hi, my name is Alice, this is my second year as an Undergraduate student at the University of Manchester. I take BA Liberal Arts as my minor degree, so it will be counted as 1/3 of my final credits. I chose to take the ‘Flexible Honours’ degree when I enrolled in the University. It is a multidisciplinary scheme offered for undergraduate students in the School of Art, Language, and Culture (SALC). In this way, I can spend 40 credits per term on my major degree BSc International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response and 20 on BA Liberal Arts. At the time of graduation, I am so able to get a certificate named with both. In the following sections, I will briefly introduce the courses, assessments, and studying experience of my minor. In regards to the course units, I only take mandatory one (20 credits each) from Liberal Arts as part of my degree, so I am automatically enrolled.
Teaching and learning consist of lectures (online and offline), seminars (online and offline), self-study and materials reading. Most of the content is about philosophy, history, religions, culture, ethics, and theories. We review historical ideas and then reflect on contemporary events. The more you read and think, the better you can engage in the class discussion. All learning materials are creative, critical, and well designed. This is what I enjoyed studying Liberal Arts the most. Everything can be liberal and relative, and nothing is absolute. You can explore as many possibilities and availabilities as far as you can prove the reliability. Different platforms such as Adobe, Padlet, YouTube videos, VoiceThread are used to deliver course materials and we are free to engage with them in any order we like. In another word, we can do the literature reading and watch the recorded lectures with a flexible time arrangement. This is a real journey of liberty study.
For the assessment, there are usually two to three writing assignments per term. It can be a group poster with individual reflection, material analysis, or an essay. We can book personal tutorials, send our essay plan to tutors and get informal feedback before uploading our final works on Turnitin. This can be quite helpful to improve our final grades and understanding of the questions. Lecturers and tutors are kind and erudite, they can stand on students’ perspectives and give us thoughtful advice for improvement.
In summary, Liberal Arts is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with a chance to explore humanities based on their interests and free will. It can be taken as a Major, Minor, or free credit choice to enrich your critical understanding of the past, present, and future. Welcome to Liberal Arts!