Liberal Arts Degree

(17 Posts)
sue52 Thu 09-May-13 15:32:09

My Y12 DD has expressed an interest in taking a Liberal arts degree. DH and I are a bit wary as it seems a mixed bag and I'm not too sure a future employer would be keen. Has anyone any views (positive or otherwise) on it's merits. Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
Slipshodsibyl Thu 09-May-13 15:51:46

What alternatives is your daughter considering? And which institutions is she looking at?

gruffalocake Thu 09-May-13 15:57:02

I don't know about this first hand but I do have a friend/colleague involved in setting one up at a top uni. I think if she has a clear idea of why she would be doing it and the subjects she would cover and was going to a Russell group or equivalent uni then it would be fine and could give an advantage in that she has more relevant points of knowledge for future jobs. If she is looking at less great unis it might come out a bit wispy washy.

gruffalocake Thu 09-May-13 15:59:28

*wishy washy smile

sue52 Thu 09-May-13 16:00:03

She's looking at UCL and Kings. Her original idea was MFL and then Law. I think the course at Kings has a language element to it.

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teatimesthree Thu 09-May-13 16:07:53

I agree with gruffalocake.

A lot of Russell Group universities are setting these up now. They are aiming them at the very best students - think A*AA. A lot of them have a year abroad. I think they are going to be v. popular. When the govt lifts the fee cap, I suspect many universities will charge a premium for this sort of degree. So could be good to get in early.

I see the KCL one has internships in year 2 - should be good for employability.

Slipshodsibyl Thu 09-May-13 16:15:53

I think a Liberal Arts degree at either of those places would be a very good springboard to further study or into employment.


sue52 Thu 09-May-13 16:21:58

I think only those 2 universities offer it at the moment which is why I'm a bit sceptica,l though from what teatime says DD might be wise to be ahead of the game. Food for much thought.

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teatimesthree Thu 09-May-13 16:23:31

Exeter definitely have one on the books, and there are at least 3 other RG universities developing similar programmes.

sue52 Thu 09-May-13 16:36:19

Thanks, Exeter would be worth checking out and DD is attending their open day next month. I assume the other courses would be later than 2014.

OP’s posts: |
Slipshodsibyl Thu 09-May-13 16:42:14

Look at Durham's Combined Arts degree course

teatimesthree Thu 09-May-13 17:01:46

I think some are looking to launch in 2014 - worth keeping an eye out!

senua Thu 09-May-13 18:39:36

A few years ago the Government introduced a scheme whereby there was a cap on how many students a University could admit; if they went over numbers then they got fined. The fine imposed was greater than the tuition fee earned so Universities had no incentive to go over number control.
This was then relaxed, so that the best students (defined as AAB) were outside number control. It has been relaxed again this year to ABB.
Now it's all very well saying that they have more freedom on numbers but if the University only has facilities for a fixed number of students - eg only so many laboratory benches - then this isn't so useful. For other subjects, it is not so crucial - eg it doesn't matter if you have 200 or 250 in a lecture hall for an Arts subject.

It is very cynical to think that these new Liberal Arts degrees are something to do with this?

teatimesthree Thu 09-May-13 21:19:44

No, not cynical at all. Part of this is also that the universities are banking that the government will lift the cap on fees and they will be able to charge a premium free for Liberal Arts degrees.

And it does sort of matter for Arts subjects - think about access to library books, study space, staff time, and so on.

Slipshodsibyl Fri 10-May-13 10:33:34

I think they are to do with looking towards successful American courses and providing a broad, more generalist first degree to students who want that. I think they are good idea if you are not absolutely set on a specific subject/career path.

Needmoresleep Fri 10-May-13 17:24:23

Agree with Slipshod. Numbers heading for the States to study are increasingly fast. Certainly some in London's international community, and those coming in from overseas, may be attracted by a similar quality Liberal Arts degree in the UK at a fraction of the cost of an Ivy League.

I think it is not surprising that both colleges offering the degree are in London. Both have been specifically mentioned in school briefings on University applications.

gruffalocake Sat 11-May-13 13:41:21

I was also thinking of Exeter. The person heading up the programme there is awesome so suspect it will be v interesting degree to take!

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