Liberal Arts (with a Placement Year) application links
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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.
- Complete the degree as a traditional three-year programme or as an accelerated two-year programme with two summer school intensives.
- Study a cross-section of Humanities subjects, with the option to major in a subject area, should you choose to specialise.
- There are behind the scenes field trips to cultural institutions and industry-led work placements available.
- Opportunities to engage in public presentation and creative projects through media outputs, film and podcasts.
- Degree includes a placement year of paid work experience
Why study Liberal Arts?
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.
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 compulsory 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.
Beyond that, in years two and three, you can design your own degree by choosing either to select modules from the broad selection of study areas on offer, or alternatively you can choose to take the majority of your optional modules in one study area and 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:
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 Placement Year
A placement year enables students to undertake a year of experience in an organisation between their second and final year. It is a substantial piece of paid experience where you can make a real contribution to your employer and it can really make you stand out from the crowd.
It will also enable you to:
- apply the knowledge and skills you gain from your course in a work setting
- build your commercial awareness and insights into organisations and industries you might want to work in
- develop your professional skills through company training, networking skills and confidence in the workplace
- get some great experience for future job applications or even land a graduate job.
Support from St Mary’s every step of the way
Securing a placement can really help you develop your job search skills and the Employability Service placement and Careers Teams can support you to find and apply for available opportunities. You will need to attend some preparatory workshops which will explain all aspects of the placement year and give you the skills to find the placement of your choice. With access to our jobs board, careers events, and employer contacts you will be able to approach companies confidently and find the right opportunity for you.
Please note: in the event that you cannot secure a placement you will be able to transfer onto the three year version of your degree programme.
Dr Stewart McCain
Programme Director - History