Liberal Arts - BA (Hons)

2025/26 Part-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Arts with Honours

Faculty:

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:

School of Arts and Humanities

Campus:

Derry~Londonderry campus

Start date:

September 2025

With this degree you could become:

  • Archivist
  • Arts manager
  • Business consultant
  • Community Development worker
  • Heritage officer
  • Journalist
  • Project Manager

Overview

The Liberal Arts programme will teach you to read closely, communicate clearly, and think creatively—skills that the world increasingly needs.

Summary

If you are creative and inquisitive and have a wide range of interests, Liberal Arts at Ulster University is the degree for you.

Liberal Arts is an interdisciplinary programmme that brings together the creative arts, humanities, law and social sciences,

It is a highly flexible course that allows you to choose how you combine different subject areas and develop your areas of specialisation.

It develops your global perspectives, addressing contemporary worldwide issues to develop your intellectual capabilities and critical skills.

It supports you to develop key employability skills through real-world learning opportunities, including through year-long study abroad or industrial placement opportunities.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

The Liberal Arts programme is structured around a core of interdisciplinary modules at each level of study. Through these you will develop key academic skills in research, analysis and communication, alongside skills crucial to future employability in group work, project management, problem-solving and the use of key technologies. Within these modules you'll engage with students from a range of discipline backgrounds. Characteristically, you'll engage in problem-based learning using real-world case studies and challenges. You'll have the opportunity too for work-based learning, working with partner organisations and projects.*

You will take compulsory core Liberal Arts modules in each year to the value of 40 credits, as follows:

Level 4

The Contemporary Human (20 credits)

This introductory module will support your transition into university study, while developing your ability to analyse issues and ideas and your ability to communicate your perspective effectively.

The Digital Human (20 credits)

Traditional ideas of what it means to be human are under pressure from the pervasive deployment of digital technologies through AI, social media, virtual and augmented reality, and the gathering of big data, In this module, you'll explore some of these pressures as well as developing your own ability to create digital assets and manage yourself in engaging with the exponential value of the digital in the real world.

Level 5

Global Challenges (20 credits)

In this module, you will be introduced to a range of global challenges and be supported to explore how they manifest at a local and regional level.

Arts and Social Action(20 credits)

This module will introduce you to the ways in which arts-based projects can support or contribute to forms of social action,

Level 6

Independent Project (40 credits)

The culmination of your studies will be the Independent Project across both semesters in your final year. This project is negotiated with your tutors so that you can set the topic, approach and methods, as well as the weighting and type of assessments that you'll undertake.

Supported by your tutors as you progress through the programme, you will decide if you wish to retain a broad focus across various disciplines or to specialise in one or two areas of interest, as you choose from a wide range of modules available across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. ​In each semester you will take modules to the value of 40 credits from contributing subjects including:

  • Cinematic Arts
  • Drama
  • English
  • Education
  • History
  • Irish Studies
  • Law
  • Music
  • Politics
  • Sociology

However you tailor your studies, you will benefit from the expertise of our staff as teachers and researchers. Our teaching staff are both subject experts and qualified teachers, who use student-centred approaches and provide structured pastoral care. You'll enjoy state-of-the-art teaching, research and support services, through the ongoing investment of time and resources that consistently place us top for student satisfaction in Northern Ireland.

*The final structure and content of the programme is subject to the university's normal validation processes.

Attendance

The programme is delivered across 2 semesters in each year. Each semester is 15 weeks long, with 12 weeks focused on teaching, and 3 weeks focused on assessments.

You are expected to be in attendance during the normal working week for the 12 week teaching period and to be available for scheduled assessments in the final 3 weeks of each semester.

In line with the University’s attendance policy, attendance at all taught sessions is compulsory. In addition, students working on projects and in independent work may occasionally be required to attend for group meetings, activities and rehearsals outsieof scheduled classes and in the evenings and at weekends.

Start dates

  • September 2025

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Learning and teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, group work, projects, and work-based learning opportuities. Particularly at Levels 5 and 6, divisions between these class types dissolve and an individual session with a tutor may involve a range of student-tutor activities. Tutor-led classes provide the core structure and support on individual modules, but the emphasis in learning remains on the your independent engagement with the scope of the module. You are routinely expected, therefore, to prepare in advance for taught sessions.

Within this context, lectures are used selectively to introduce you to key concepts and practices. The emphasis in lectures at all levels is on an interactive learning process, often based on your prior experiences, activities you have prepared in advance, and through in-class tasks.

Seminars are the focal point for student-led discussion and engagement and you are required to prepare materials in advance and to follow-up issues independently as a response to this. You will be required to participate actively in discussions and activities and may be required to undertake individual or group presentations within the seminar format.

Workshops are used to explore and test concepts and practices and, as appropriate, to develop your experiential knowledge, practical skills and techniques. In some instances this will be through the production of creative projects. These projects will be driven by a specific brief, and at Levels 5 and 6, such briefs are geared towards professional practice.

Tutorials are scheduled within modules to provide you with the opportunity for face-to-face supervision; and where appropriate, feed-forward and feedback on assessed tasks.

Digital resources are used to support your learning, made available primarily through the University's Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard Learn Ultra. You are supported in using these resources from your Level 4 induction programme onwards.

Group work is used within the taught settings and as a significant part of the independent learning process, particularly in areas of practical work. You are given guidance and training in group work processes throughout the programme. Through negotiation, monitoring and reflection within class you are supported in independent group working.

Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of each module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

Assessments vary from module to module but may include essays, presentations, performances, literature reviews, dissertations, workshop demonstrations, creative writing, reflective essays and vivas, portfolios, podcasts and websites, for example. While there are a relatively small number of summative assessments for any module (normally two, a maximum of three), these are supported by a range of opportunities for formative feedback.

Attendance and Independent Study

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

  • Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses typically 15 or 30 credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

  • Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes.  You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study.

    In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - most of whom have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers or Lecturers. Most academic staff are qualified to teach in higher education and recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’.

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

Grades CCC.

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for the final A level grade C by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

*** To note that only qualifications defined as “Applied General” will be accepted for entry onto any undergraduate course at Ulster University.***

BTEC Awards

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2012 Suite)

Award profile of DMM

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2016 Suite)

Award profile of MMM

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma(2012 Suite)

Award profile of Distinction Merit plus A Level Grade C or award profile of Distinction Merit plus A Level Grade C

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2016 Suite)

Award profile of Merit Merit plus A Level Grade C

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)

Award profile of Merit plus A Level Grades CC

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (2016 Suite)

Award profile of Merit plus A Level Grades CC

Diploma, National Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - Grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Irish Leaving Certificate

96 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at higher level).

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades

CCCCC

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - Grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades;

DDD

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - Grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile is minimum 24 points (including 12 at higher level)

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 55% (120 credit Access Course) (NI Access course)

Overall profile of 45 credits at Merit (60 credit Access course) (GB Access course)

GCSE

For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above English Language.

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

tudents may transfer into the programme from other Single Honours and Major/ Minor programmes within the university up to the end of Level 5, depending on the satisfactory completion of a sufficient number of relevant modules from level to level and demonstration of the ability to achieve the relevant programme learning outcomes. Students may also switch between full-time and part-time study to address their specific needs.

Students may apply to transfer into the programme, having completed a Higher National Diploma. While the Northern Ireland Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (NICATS) allows for transfer into Level 6, this remains exceptional. HND students benefit from transfer into Level 5 as a period in which to firmly ground themselves within the approach to study at degree level. Where students seek to transfer into either Level 5 or Level 6, the application is assessed in terms of a written application, references and an interview. In some instances students may be required to complete written and/or practical tasks to allow them to demonstrate to the subject team the capacity to meet the Programme Learning Outcomes.

Students transferring into the programme from BA programmes in other institutions may be considered for entry at any level. The application is assessed in terms of interview, references, and the transcript from the student’s current HEI.

The ability of students to transfer from the BA(Hons) Liberal Arts programme into other programmes within the university will depend on:

  • the availability of student places on the destination programme;
  • meeting the destination course entry requirements

Careers & opportunities

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Archivist
  • Arts manager
  • Business consultant
  • Community Development worker
  • Heritage officer
  • Journalist
  • Project Manager

Career options

Successful graduates will be equipped for careers in a range of key sectors including in:

  • the creative and cultural industries;
  • the museums and heritage sectors;
  • the public sector, local authorities and the civil service;
  • charity and philanthropic organisations;
  • education;
  • business development and consultancy.

As well as being equipped to enter employment, graduates will also be able to enter a range of postgraduate courses within Arts and Humanities. These include:

  • PgDip/ MA Cultural Heritages and Museum Studies
  • PgDip/ GDiP/ MA English
  • PgDip/ MA History
  • PgDip/ MA Irish Studies (under development).
  • PgDip/ Museum Practice and Management

Other postgraduate programmes within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to which graduates may be eligible to enter include:

  • PGCE programmes
  • PgDip/ MSC Communication and Public Relations
  • PgDip/ MA Community Youth Work
  • LLM Gender, Conflict and Human Rights
  • LLM Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice
  • MSc Peace and Conflict Studies
  • MA Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages

Work placement / study abroad

Work-based learning is incorporated into some tutor-led modules, and all students will have the opportunity to take an optional year-long work-placement for an additional qualification,the Diploma in Professional Practice.

Students may also apply to spend a year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions for an additional qualification, the Diploma in International Academic Studies.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2025

Fees and funding

2025/26 Fees

Undergraduate fees are subject to annual review, 2025/26 fees will be announced in due course.

See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2024/25 entry.

Additional mandatory costs

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate, but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses, campuses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although the University at all times endeavours to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses, change the campus at which they are provided and introduce new courses if such action is considered necessary by the University (acting reasonably). Not all such circumstances are entirely foreseeable but changes may be required if matters such as the following arise: industrial action interferes with the University’s ability to teach the course as planned, lack of demand makes a course economically unviable for the University, departure of key staff renders the University unable to deliver the course, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding specifically provided for the course or other unforeseeable circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. Providing the University has complied with the requirements of all applicable consumer protection laws, the University does not accept responsibility for the consequences of any modification, relocation or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University. The University will give due and proper consideration to the effects thereof on individual students and take the steps necessary to minimise the impact of such effects on those affected. 5. The University is not liable for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its reasonable control providing it takes all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.