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Whether you aspire to run arts venues, curate exhibitions, work in government, or create films, start your career with a degree in Liberal Arts. Discover creative methods of engagement and leadership that will help you to shape the future of our cultural, heritage, political and creative industries, with a two-year degree in Liberal Arts.

  • Graduate in just 2 years by studying over both summer periods at the St Mary’s Liberal Arts Summer School.
  • Study a cross-section of Humanities subjects, with the option to major in a subject area, should you choose to specialise.
  • Behind the scenes field trips to cultural institutions and industry-led work placements are available.
  • Opportunities to engage in public presentation and creative projects through media outputs, film and podcasts.

Why study Liberal Arts (Accelerated)?

On this degree you will explore the Arts and Humanities in an interdisciplinary programme, studying a broad range of subjects. This includes aspects of History, English, Film, Creative Writing, Theology and Politics.

As a Liberal Arts student you will develop your knowledge, your analytical and communication skills and blend this with your own creativity to make connections across different academic areas, becoming a well-rounded graduate with an enviable skill set. Study this degree at a pace that suits you, by either taking the accelerated learning option, which is a two-year degree programme with two intensive summer schools, or by taking the traditional three-year degree route.  The Liberal Arts Summer School runs from June until Mid-July of both years of the degree programme.

On successful completion of the degree, you will be able to demonstrate a detailed understanding of the public role of the arts and humanities. You'll show an ability to cross traditional subject boundaries, comparing and contrasting different disciplinary approaches, and draw productive links between them.

There are many opportunities to get involved with creative projects such as film and podcasts throughout the degree. You can also complete a work placement, building your network of industry contacts who will offer support as you progress into your career. 

Why St Mary's?

St Mary’s is a friendly campus university in leafy West London, with fantastic transport links to central London and Heathrow Airport. Within the campus you will find the historic Strawberry Hill House, Britain's finest example of Georgian Gothic Revival architecture.

You will be taught by leading academics and industry specialists. They will help you to prepare for a wide variety of careers that demand creative, analytical and flexible thinking. The team look to support you as an individual and work hard to help you develop the skills that employers look for.

The degree also includes opportunities to attend behind the scenes field trips to a range of cultural institutions. This includes the Royal National Theatre, Museum of London and the Imperial War Museum.

You can study this degree at a pace that suits you:


Choose your own path

In your first year, you will study core Liberal Arts modules along with three modules of your own choosing. This will give you the opportunity to try out a broad cross-section of subjects, discovering new links and creating new knowledge.

During the Summer School you will choose three Liberal Arts modules from the four available.

In year two, you can design your own degree by either choosing modules from the broad selection of study areas on offer or choosing to take the majority of your optional modules in one study area, meaning you would graduate with a BA Liberal Arts with a major in that area e.g. BA Liberal Arts (History). Find out more about the major pathways here:

During your second Summer School you will study the extended Liberal Arts Project and select one optional module from the two on offer.

Placements and professional experience

There is also an opportunity to complete a work placement and to build a network of industry contacts that can offer support as you progress into your career. St Mary’s works closely with theatres, concert halls, museums, heritage sites, publishing houses and charities, to achieve a strong portfolio of placement opportunities for Liberal Arts students.

About the Foundation Year

Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way.

On successful completion of the Humanities Foundation Year pathway you will progress on to the Liberal Arts (Accelerated) (with a Foundation Year) undergraduate degree.

Liberal Arts subject talk and virtual visit

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Entry requirements

48-72 UCAS points required


A Levels


BTEC Extended

View alternative requirements

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

80 UCAS points should include at least two B grades at A Level (or equivalent).

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references and your motivation for study.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent). (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

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Course content

On successful completion of the foundation year you will be automatically enrolled on to the first year of the undergraduate degree.

The BA Liberal Arts (Accelerated) degree adopts a three-term per year structure, which means that you complete a normal 3 year BA honours degree in just 2 years. The third term runs from June to July at our Liberal Arts Summer School.

In the first year, you will study three core modules and three modules of your own choosing from across a minimum of two subject study areas. During the Summer School you will select three from four Liberal Arts optional modules.

In the second year, you will study two core modules and choose four optional modules. During the Summer School you will complete your core Liberal Arts Project and also select one of the two optional Liberal Arts Summer School modules.

Indicative modules might be as follows:

Foundation year

  • Personal Learning Competencies Core
  • Taking a Professional Approach Core
  • Thinking Critically, Creatively and Ethically Core
  • Individual Project Core
  • Performing Identities Core
  • London Stories Core

Year one

  • Reason, Evidence, Argument Core
  • Rethinking Modernity and the Liberal Arts Core
  • The Public Role of the Arts and Humanities Core
  • Aesthetics Optional (Summer School, also counts towards film and screen media major)
  • Renaissance London Optional (Summer School, also counts towards English major & History major)
  • Popular Culture and the Arts and Humanities Optional (Summer Schoo, also counts towards film and screen media major & creative writing majorl)
  • From Enlightenment to Romanticism Optional (Summer School, also counts towards history major, English major & creative writing major)
  • Voices in Contemporary Fiction Optional (Creative Writing)
  • Writing Short Fiction Optional (Creative Writing)
  • Foundations of Literary Study: Tragedy Optional (English)
  • Introduction to Critical Theory Optional (English)
  • Contemporary International Theatre Optional (English)
  • Contemporary Fiction Optional (English)
  • Poetry in the Modern World Optional (English)
  • Film, Style and Form Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Digital Cultures Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Media History Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Digital Production Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • British Film and TV Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Harry Potter and… Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Writing Short Fiction Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Doing History Optional (History)
  • Transatlantic Histories of Slavery Optional (History)
  • War and Society Optional (History)
  • The Mediterranean World Optional (History)
  • Revolutions and Rebellions Optional (History)
  • Art and Power Optional (History)
  • What is Politics? Optional (Political Science)
  • Comparative Politics Optional (Political Science)
  • Introduction to International Relations Optional (Political Science)
  • Introduction to Political Economy Optional (Political Science)
  • British Politics Optional (Political Science)
  • Foundations in Biblical Interpretation Optional (Theology)
  • Key Concepts in World Religions Optional (Theology)
  • Fundamentals of Systematic Theology Optional (Theology)
  • The Nature of Religion Optional (Theology)
  • Introduction to Ethics Optional (Theology)

Year two

  • Working with the Liberal Arts Core
  • Researching the Liberal Arts Core
  • Liberal Arts Independent Project Core (Summer School)
  • Rhetoric, Dialogue and the Art of Persuasion Optional (Summer School)
  • In and Out of the Gothic Optional (Summer School, also counts towards film and screen media major, English major, creative writing major & history major)
  • Writing Genre Fiction Optional (Creative Writing)
  • Writing Lyrics and Poetry Optional (Creative Writing)
  • Writing Adaptations Optional (Creative Writing)
  • Writing Children’s Fiction Optional (Creative Writing)
  • Writing the Renaissance Optional (English)
  • Eighteenth Century London: Writing the Metropolis 1700-1832 Optional (English)
  • Literature and the Unconscious Optional (English)
  • Bob Dylan and the Lyricism of Protest Optional (English)
  • New Voices: Twentieth-Century Literature Optional (English)
  • North American Cinema Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Screen Theory and Criticism Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Disney and Animation Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • The Beatles and the Counterculture Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Rhetoric, Dialogue and the Art of Persuasion Optional (Film and Screen Media)
  • Liberty or Death: The French Revolution Optional (History)
  • Australia: Great Southern Land Optional (History)
  • Race and Ethnicity in the US Optional (History)
  • Popular Culture, Politics and History Optional (History)
  • Tudor Queenship Optional (History)
  • Collective Memory and the Second World War Optional (History)
  • Civil Rights in the US Optional (History)
  • Nations and Nationalisms Optional (History)
  • Theory, Practice and History of Diplomacy Optional (Political Science)
  • EU Politics and Policy Optional (Political Science)
  • Modern Slavery, Trafficking and Organised Crime Optional (Political Science)
  • International Organisations Optional (Political Science)
  • Theology and Culture Optional (Theology)
  • Religion and Politics Optional (Theology)
  • God in Christ Optional (Theology)
  • Religion and Reason Optional (Theology)
  • Ecclesiology Optional (Theology)
  • Special Study for English Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

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Career opportunities

The Liberal Arts degree programme will equip you with skills that are highly desired by employers, including the ability to research, to analyse complex information, to work both independently and as part of a team, in order to create solutions.

Our programme will set you apart in a competitive job market as you meet the growing demand for dynamic, business and public service leaders.

You will take a bespoke Liberal Arts work placement during your second year and also have the opportunity to take an optional further placement in the final year.

Whilst on placement you will carry out a project that both enhances your understanding of organisational culture and feeds into the work of the host employer. This will develop the attributes needed to help support your future career.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Liberal Arts (Accelerated) (with a Foundation Year) students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

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How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

Most modules will share the common 4 hour per week structure of Humanities programmes. 3 hour: Seminar/ group tutorial, 1 hour: Lecture.

However, the applied nature of the programme means that much of the work is supported by consultancy with key industry figures/mentors.

The capstone project is assessed in a variety of different ways from traditional dissertation to website design, podcast, short film – the media most appropriate to showcase the learning aims defined at the project’s inception.

Students will be allocated a personal tutor, but in line with the focus on collective problem solving embedded through the course content each cohort will also meet as a group on a weekly basis.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

There are a large range of assessment strategies available to the students who will be expected not just to develop their skills as academic writers through formal essay, but as charismatic communicators through public presentation, group problem solvers through project work and creative artists through media outputs, film, podcast and/or performance.

All forms of assessment will be designed to enable lecturers to meet the three week turnaround requirement for feedback.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

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Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home: £11,100*
  • International: £13,950

*Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Fees for EU applicants starting courses in 2021/22 academic year

Eligible EU applicants will pay the same tuition fees as UK students to support EU students during this transition period. These fees will be applied for the duration of the course.

EU fees for 2022 entry are not yet confirmed.

View fees and funding information for EU students beginning their studies in 2021...

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken. For further information about additional costs please contact


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.

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Academic spotlight

Dr Kim Salmons (Associate Director for Academic Strategy)

Dr Kim Salmons

I think all lecturers look forward to seeing their students celebrate their amazing achievement. It’s wonderful to see the students’ hard work pay off and gives lecturers a huge sense of satisfaction.

Read Kim's story

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Further information

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Visit the campus

Liberal Arts subject talk and virtual visit

We've put together a bespoke virtual open day for anyone interested in studying at St Mary's.

Join the event now

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

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