Liberal Arts and Sciences BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

What you'll study

We have built our Liberal Arts and Sciences programme around our pioneering expertise in personal and professional development to form a degree for gifted, ambitious students that is quite unlike any other in the country.

This is a wonderful opportunity for first-class students with wide cultural, academic and professional interests to turn curiosity and creativity into the ability to analyse and contextualise, to communicate and lead.

Programme overview

This prestigious new degree demonstrates our commitment to a liberal education that gives you both academic and professional experiences.

This will develop your ability to look at important issues in their proper context and – on the basis of evidence, insight and reason – make informed links between different academic disciplines and modes of thought.

You choose a primary group, which remains the same throughout your degree. There are three of these, subdivided into seven disciplinary pathways. You then choose a different secondary group, which may be changed every semester.

Each semester, you take two modules from your primary group and one module from your secondary group, in addition to the compulsory LAS module

Arts group (BA)

Arts, Culture and Creativity

With contributions from across the Arts, as well as English Literature and Languages, this group offers a programme of learning that covers both arts and humanities approaches.

Social Science group (BSc)

People and Society

This group brings together social science perspectives from Politics and Sociology to provide a broad understanding of human and social interactions

Business and Finance

Combining Management and Economics modules, this pathway explores the key mechanisms of modern economies and provides an insight into the financial side of business operations.

Business and People

This pathway combines Management and Law to provide insights into the more practical and people-oriented facets of business and professional life.

Natural and Life Science group (BSc)

Public Health and Medicine

This pathway concentrates on Biosciences, with a particular focus on the field of public health and its relation to food production.


The modules selected for the Physics pathway follow a quantum technologies theme - a relatively new field which harnesses unusual effects in physics, chemistry, biology and engineering.


This pathway follows themes that emphasise the role of civil engineers in the environment, covering water, soil and rock, materials, and transportation.

Modules in your main pathway build the core knowledge you need to be an expert in your chosen field. To help build rounded knowledge, each semester you will choose a module from pathways in one of the other twogroups.

You will also take compulsory modules that bring you together with Liberal Arts and Sciences students from across all the pathways to discuss learning, professionalism, ethics, knowledge creation and communication.

We will help you to master useful research methods right from your very first term with us, employing them in a number of different contexts that bring you into close contact with senior academics from across the University and widen your global understanding of important issues and topics.

Working in different disciplines and with a variety of professional groups from inside and outside the University will help you to see how the academic and non-academic worlds operate and overlap, a vital insight that will be strengthened during your Professional Training placement.

You may also select from a range of optional subjects alongside your compulsory modules, and choose to learn a language through our Global Graduate Award programme.

This degree will enhance your capacity for initiative and original thought in a way that enriches your life, transforms your outlook and equips you with outstanding intellectual advantages.

You will acquire a superbly rounded set of abilities, experiences and knowledge that will prove invaluable for impressing future employers, succeeding in business or building an academic career.

Read about the experience of Liberal Arts and Sciences student Laura Richter

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Semester 1

Compulsory modules:

This overview module gives you a first taste for the diversity of methods used by researchers in a number of disciplines. We begin by considering the philosophical underpinnings of alternative approaches to social research and exploring the relationship between theory and data.

Optional modules:

  • Two choices from main group
  • One choice from a different group

Semester 2

Compulsory module:

This module is a key foundation for your studies, covering issues surrounding the nature of knowledge, its acquisition and its communication. Key questions that we will explore are:

  • What is knowledge?
  • Is there a difference between knowledge and information?
  • What are the relationships between knowledge and values?
  • What are skills and attitudes?
  • How is knowledge created, learned and disseminated?
  • Is knowledge something universal or is it something that changes across time and space?
  • What is a ‘knowledge society’?
  • And what are ‘life-long’ and ‘life-wide’ learning?

Starting from issues concerning the ways in which human beings learn, this module will unpack the very notion of knowledge in all its complexity to pave the way to future learning about the nature and scope of different disciplines and the concept of interdisciplinarity.

Further modules:

  • Two choices from main group
  • One choice from a different group

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Semester 1

Compulsory module:

Just as your broad knowledge and research expertise will help you stand out from graduates of more specialised degrees, so the unique Surrey approach to your professional attributes and experience will differentiate you from students on other liberal arts degrees.

This module will prompt you to explore concepts such as professions, professionalism, leadership and the application of subject-specific as well as transferable skills in a professional setting.

We will encourage you to reflect on the meanings and practices of these concepts in preparation for your Professional Training year, enabling you to hit the ground running when you start your placement.

You will also learn how to research a professional environment and reflect on the research process by incorporating feedback from peers and others.

Further modules:

  • Two choices from main group
  • One choice from a different group

Compulsory module:

This module builds your knowledge and understanding of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, and the ways they are researched. You will reflect on the way disciplines embody specific ways of researching and communicating knowledge that are typical of certain communities of scholars.

At the same time we will discuss the increasing debate about the importance of interdisciplinarity, connecting it to pre-industrial ways of knowing.

We will investigate interdisciplinaritys potential as a means for addressing issues from different but complementary vantage points, building links to examples in problem solving and policy making.

Further modules:

  • Two choices from main group
  • One choice from a different group

Professional Training year

Assessed Professional Training placement - see below for more details.

The Professional Training Year is optional.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Semester 1 and Semester 2:
Semester 1:
  • Two module choices from main group
  • One module choice from a different group
Semester 2:
  • Two module choices from main group
  • One module choice from a different group


Teaching on this programme is highly interactive and includes a large amount of focused work in groups and as an individual.

You are placed at the centre of the learning process, allowing you to engage with current knowledge and use it in analytical and problem-solving activities, particularly in seminars and small group work.

The academics leading this programme will help you to grasp the meanings and practice of different disciplines, but also to discover how the insights you gain can be applied to current issues as they emerge, both in the classroom and the professional world.

You will master methods and techniques for case studies, projects, report and diary writing, professional presentations and focused research. Teaching will also be enriched by the latest learning technology, especially through our interactive virtual learning platform, SurreyLearn.


Assessment is a core factor in your learning progress, encouraging you to demonstrate your ability to engage with the knowledge and skills required to succeed during your degree programme and in the professional world.

Given both the scholarly and professional nature of our Liberal Arts and Sciences programme, assessment includes not only the traditional use of essays and exams but also formats that you will come across during your career, such as project and report writing, observations of different scholarly and professional environments, reflective professional diaries, and individual and group presentations.


The University campus provides superb teaching facilities, including spacious classrooms, science and technology labs, the Library and Learning Centre (which contains the most modern technology-rich learning spaces) and a host of services and venues for the arts, including those offered by the world-renowned GSA (Guildford School of Acting).

Global opportunities

We have study ­exchange agreements with numerous universities, depending on your chosen pathway:

  • Heidelberg University
  • Freiburg University
  • Aarhus University
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Brock University
  • Seoul National University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Northern Arizona University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of North Texas
  • Texas Tech
  • Monash University
  • La Trobe University
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • University of Wollongong
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney

If you study at one of the European partners you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant. You could also choose to work abroad on your Professional Training placement.

Career opportunities

Our Liberal Arts and Sciences degree is specifically geared to provide a platform of skills, attributes and experiences that will allow you to move into a variety of professional environments, especially those where the ability to analyse problems and offer solutions from a number of disciplinary viewpoints is required.

On graduation, you will be ready for a career in business, journalism, the creative industries, government and politics, charities, international organisations and NGOs, health, science, cultural exchange, academia and more.

More importantly, you will be equipped with the skills and capabilities to engage with new situations throughout your life. Our degree prepares you to face ever-changing professional environments and the new challenges they will bring, thus giving you an edge over graduates with a less ample suite of attributes.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Distinction - QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

76 per cent-75 per cent

International Baccalaureate

36-35 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAA/Scottish Highers AAAAB-Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

For those specialising in arts, at least one A grade at A-level (or equivalent) in either the arts, humanities or social sciences. 

For those specialising in social sciences, at least one A grade at A-level (or equivalent) in either the arts, humanities, social sciences, management, business, economics or law.

For those specialising in natural and life sciences, at least one A grade in Mathematics at A-level (or equivalent) plus one A grade at A-level (or equivalent) in a relevant subject for the chosen area of specialisation, either in engineering, physics or health and medical sciences.


Selection process

Offers are made both in terms of appropriate grades in relevant disciplines (depending on what the candidate chooses to specialise in).

English language requirements

7.0 IELTS minimum overall

6.5 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BA (Hons) 3 years LV99 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 3 years L99V View KIS data set
BA (Hons) 4 Years WB21 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years WB22 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info

Liberal Arts & Sciences BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons)


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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