Liberal Arts (latin liberalis, free, and ars, art or principled practice) is not an ordinary university subject. It can make the claim to be the oldest curriculum of higher education in Western history. It goes back 2,500 years to Ancient Greece and at the time was the mark of an educated person. By late Antiquity it was divided into two parts: the trivium – grammar, rhetoric and dialectic – which carried the pursuit of virtue in the microcosm of personal and political life, and the quadrivium – astronomy, music, mathematics and geometry – which expressed the natural laws of the macrocosm. Together they embodied Western human enquiry into the first principles of the natural universe and into the lives needed to live true to them.
Modern Liberal Arts
In our modern Liberal Arts we retrieve this ancient and medieval search for first principles across all subject boundaries. But we also explore modern civilizations and cultures, covering selected areas of enquiry in philosophy, the humanities, natural and social sciences, and the fine arts. Our BA (Hons) Liberal Arts degree explores ancient and modern ideas in a truly integrated way. It is a new approach to the oldest university degree in Europe.