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Modern Liberal Arts (MA/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description

MA Modern Liberal Arts at Winchester offers a different and exciting way for students to plan their studies around their own intellectual interests and questions. The programme is designed for those who, after their first degree, wish to return to higher education without having to commit themselves to a specific subject discipline.

Programme Content

The Liberal Arts (Latin liberalis, free, and ars, art or principled practice) can claim to be the oldest programme of higher education in Western history. In medieval culture this became formalised as the trivium, with the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. Essentially, these seven subjects laid out the uniform laws of what could be known and achieved in the natural universe. These broad areas of enquiry are better known now as philosophy, the humanities, social science, natural science, and the fine arts.

This programme offers the possibility to explore ideas across the wide range of these intellectual areas. Students decide the content of their studies through discussion with tutor(s) working within the broad range of intellectual areas which constitute Modern Liberal Arts.

See the website http://www.winchester.ac.uk/Studyhere/Pages/ma-modern-liberal-arts.aspx


Students arrive at essay topics through negotiation with tutors, as there are no taught modules on this programme.

Topics include:
- Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Philosophies
- Renaissance Humanism
- Modern Social and Political Thought
- Utopia and Tragedy
- The Holocaust
- Religion
- Philosophy and Music
- Aesthetics
- Psychoanalysis
- Sociology
- Philosophies of Higher Education
- Education
- Ecology
- Race
- Gender
- Women's History

Learning and Teaching

Core tuition is through one-to-one contact; assignments are based on areas of enquiry identified by individual students. In addition, students experience learning in a number of different ways including listening and talking to tutors and peers; independent research from books, journals and the web; quiet reflection and questioning; and from the thinking and preparation required for the successful completion of assignments.


Credits are differentiated and awarded according to the size and number of written projects, again chosen by the student. Titles are individually negotiated between student and tutor.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.


The programme offers training in postgraduate employability skills and enables those in mid-career to return to higher education around their own interests. It also provides rigorous preparation for those wishing to pursue a career in research in higher education and who are intending to take a PhD.

Visit the Modern Liberal Arts (MA/PgDip/PgCert) page on the University of Winchester website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Normally a first or second-class Honours degree in one of the subjects likely to be the main focus of interest. If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 (including 6.5 in academic writing) or equivalent.

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