Why I Chose to Study Liberal Arts

by | Jan 9, 2024 | Languages and Cultures, Undergraduate | 0 comments

I’m Liv and I am in my second year of studying Liberal Arts. I was previously at a different university studying Linguistics, but by the Christmas holidays, I realised I missed the debate and interdisciplinarity of my A-Levels, which were Latin, French and English Literature, all of which I loved but not quite enough to pursue one as a full-time degree. I then started researching Liberal Arts at different universities and the course at Manchester stuck out to me as, unlike most other universities, you can design your degree by module instead of subject. This allowed me to explore interesting subject matters that I probably wouldn’t have picked if it wasn’t for the structure of the course.

In all three years, there are at least two mandatory modules which are focused on multidisciplinary exploration and in the second year you expand upon this knowledge by linking this to social responsibility and rhetoric, helping you become an aware, persuasive and confident speaker. This all comes together in your third year when you can work with a local organisation to complete a community project and use all the skills and knowledge you have developed in the previous years, as well or instead of other modules. I wanted to take advantage of the wide array of modules on offer (over 600!) so all my modules are from different subject areas, but many people choose to specialise or there is the option of taking a minor which takes up half your modules and you graduate with ‘Liberal Arts with Spanish’ or ‘History’ or whatever you choose. This year I have chosen modules from Politics, Sociology, English Literature and a course in French through the university’s language centre, which offers language courses at all levels, so you can see the diversity of your options. By covering such a range of topics I can use the knowledge from one module to another, as can my classmates from their various topics, making for interesting and multifaceted arguments in tutorials and essays.

Aside from the course, Manchester is a great place to be a student with a culturally diverse population, great food and a buzzy nightlife. As soon as you arrive all the course leaders are super friendly and there to give advice at every turn, so make sure to soak it all in and ask questions! I would definitely recommend joining a society as well so that you can expand your social circle while doing something you enjoy. Last year I joined the cricket society, having barely done it before, and it’s given me a new set of friends and a chance to do some exercise, as well as dress in some bizarre outfits for socials.

So if you can’t already tell, I am a big fan of Liberal Arts and Manchester and I’m sure you would be too but if I can’t convince you, visit Manchester and let the city do the talking – just make sure to get a Fat Pat’s, quite literally the best sandwich ever.

Written by Olivia Sinfield, 2nd year BA Liberal Arts student