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Master of Liberal Arts (MLibArts) Y300


Liberal Arts

Entry year
Academic Year 2024/25
Entry requirements
4 years (Full Time)
UCAS code

Liberal Arts at Queen's is a unique, exciting and challenging programme that will allow students to immerse themselves in the study of arts and humanities subjects that are vital to understanding our twenty-first-century world. Through innovative disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary study, students explore a range of contemporary issues within a programme that allows students the flexibility to pursue an emphasis on discipline specialism or in broader, thematic interests that are cross-disciplinary in nature.

Liberal Arts Degree highlights

Liberal Arts at Queen's builds on the strengths of the multiple disciplines of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty which has an extraordinary heritage as represented by its globally esteemed writers such as Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.

Global Opportunities

  • Liberal Arts at Queen's offers a range of Study Abroad opportunities, from the Erasmus programme with a range of European partners, to the chance to study at a number of partner institutions in the United States and across the world.
  • US NI Mentorship Programme
    The program provides an opportunity for around 25 students and recent graduates to spend 1 year working in a paid mentored work placement within a corporate/business environment in the USA. The host employers are leading US companies from a range of sectors and the program is open to students, graduates and young professionals who are at least 21 years of age, residents of Northern Ireland and UK or Irish passport holders. The mentorships are tailored to the individual's background, skills and abilities as well as the company's needs and opportunities. They are a great opportunity to: build on existing work experience by undertaking work with an international dimension; gain experience within a unique mentored environment; add real value to your CV and skills profile.
  • The Study USA Programme (formerly BEI) involves 12 months studying business-related courses at a US church affiliated university or college. Places are available at one of over 100 institutions from Florida to Montana or California to North Carolina. You don't need to be from a business background to apply. Study USA is open to full-time pre-final year students of any discipline from Queen's and other Northern Ireland higher education institutions. The Programme is intended to produce graduates with an international, business-orientated perspective, capable of making a contribution in advancing the Northern Ireland economy. While on the programme, you will take 5 business related courses/modules along with another course of your choice. Study USA is accredited under the Degree Plus Award through the US Certificate in American Business Practice and is well regarded by graduate employers.

    Applications are made online on the British Council Study USA website - see link below. The application form normally becomes available in late October/early November for participation in the programme in the following academic year. Students must apply for the programme in their pre-final year and undertake Study USA just before final year. Permission from your School is required. Information seminars will be held at Queen's in the Autumn, immediately prior to the application deadline, and will be advertised in the events section of when dates are confirmed.

    The Programme provides:
    An opportunity to experience university life and study in the USA
    An outward looking, international experience in a new and diverse culture
    The chance to develop personal and career-related skills and abilities sought by graduate employers
    An opportunity to set yourself apart from other students by taking part in an exclusive programme
    Full information on the Programme and how to apply are on the British Council website.
  • CRCC Asia - China Internship Programme - This program offers 1 or 2 month internships for university students of any discipline, any level. Internships will be in a multinational or leading Chinese company in the student's chosen field in Beijing, China. Popular work areas include Law, Finance, Marketing and PR, Green technology and Environmental Services, Business, Travel and Tourism and NGOs but these are not the only options. Interns need to be able to speak fluent English, but Chinese language skills are not necessary. A full social programme with cultural outings, language study, and professional networking events is also available. Internships can be arranged throughout the year, but applicants need to apply at least a month or two in advance.

    As there is a cost involved in participating in the program, scholarships are available for the 1 month program for those who would not otherwise be able to take part. Programme benefits include: experience of a new culture and country; opportunity to gain transferable skills and hands-on experience working in China; develop your employability skills and add an extra dimension to your CV.
    For further information see the CRCC Asia website.
  • European Voluntary Service - The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is an EU programme for young people between 18 and 30 years and offers the opportunity to do voluntary work in many different countries and in a wide range of areas such as culture, youth, sports, social care, cultural heritage, the arts, civil protection, the environment, development co-operation and more. All activities have in common an intercultural learning dimension and seek to promote solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people. Voluntary opportunities can last from 2 to 12 months and it's possible to undertake EVS activities both individually or in a group. EVS works through a partnership between a host project/organisation, the volunteer and a sending organisation (eg the British Council in the UK) and volunteers choose from accredited EVS projects that interest organisations/associations, local/regional authorities or other similar bodies. Benefits include: opportunity to 'make a difference' and help promote young people's active citizenship; develop new skills and benefit from specific training opportunities; experience new cultures and languages.

    For further information - Youth In Action Programme:
  • INTO China -
    INTO China's exciting programmes gives students the opportunity to study Chinese language for between 4 and 12 weeks over the summer months, as well as to learn more about Chinese culture, and to visit the main tourist attractions in China. Running between June and September these programmes are ideal for students looking for summer study opportunities or short gap year courses. The summer programme includes: 50+ hours of Chinese language tuition over a four week period; 3-day orientation in Beijing, exploring all the key tourist sites; transfers to our study centres in Dalian and Tianjin; a series of work masterclasses, delivered by professionals from multi-national organisations, designed to give students an insight into the world of work in China as well as networking opportunities; opportunities to participate in cultural activities; weekly excursions.
    Visit the INTO China Website:

Industry Links

  • We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, BBC Northern Ireland, Ulster Television, and the Lyric Theatre. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep - for example in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman's Office, the North/South Ministerial Council. The University also works closely with a number of arts sector institutions and partners including the Ulster Museum, Titanic Belfast, the Linen Hall Library, and the Arts Council.

Career Development

  • European Movement Ireland's Grad Jobs in Europe Campaign

    The goal of the Grad Jobs Campaign is to make Irish graduates more aware of the opportunities available for them in the EU system and for more Irish graduates to consider the EU as a place where they could fulfil their career ambitions. We also want Irish graduates, if successful in securing a place in Brussels, to integrate well into Brussels and Team Ireland.
    For further information look at the European Movement website.
    If you are interested in receiving recruitment emails sign up by sending their contact details to

World Class Facilities

  • Research-led Teaching: cutting-edge research drives our externally commended teaching, most recently evidenced in the latest student satisfaction survey.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • In Politics, Professor David Phinnemore is an expert on EU Treaty reform and EU enlargement, which led to his secondment as an advisor to the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The fallout of the 2016 EU Referendum in the UK positions Professor Phinnemore at the centre of ongoing debates about 'Brexit' and its impact on the EU, Northern Ireland, and UK relations.
  • In Languages, Professor Isabel Torres was elected a 'miembro correspondiente extranjera de la Real Academia Espanola' ('International Corresponding Member of the Royal Spanish Academy') in 2016. Also in 2016 Professor Janice Carruthers was appointed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to a new Leadership Fellowship in Modern Languages.
  • In English, Dr Marilina Cesario is an expert on Anglo-Saxon science and collaborates widely with astrophysicists in reassessing our understanding of pre-modern scientific thinking.

    Professor Philip McGowan is the President of the world's largest American Studies society, the European Association for American Studies (EAAS) and is the only non-US board member of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society.

    Professor Glenn Patterson is the Rooney Prize and Betty Trask Prize-winning author of ten novels. He writes regularly for BBC Radio 3 and 4, The Guardian and has made a number of documentaries for Irish and British television. His co-authored screenplay for Good Vibrations was nominated for a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. He is the current Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre.
  • Professor Katy Hayward is a Senior Fellow of the ESRC-funded UK in a Changing Europe initiative, working full-time on the topic of Brexit and Northern Ireland/the Irish border. She is an Eisenhower Fellow (2019) and a Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University. She is also a member of the Centre for International Borders Research and on the Steering Group of the Institute of Irish Studies in Queen's. Outside the University, she is a non-executive Board member of Conciliation Resources and the Centre for Cross Border Studies.

Student Experience

  • From Personal Tutors to peer mentoring, we work closely with students to ensure they are supported at every stage of their degree.

    With Degree-Plus, students have the opportunity to burnish their academic achievements with employment-facing placements and projects.

    A thriving cultural scene organised by our undergraduate and postgraduate communities, from the English Society and Poetry Proper to the Lifeboat and the Yellow Nib, makes studying at Queen's a unique proposition.

    Students can work with our visiting Fulbright Scholars, leading US academics who spend a semester at Queen's each year; and, through the Heaney Centre, world-renowned and award-winning creative practitioners in the fields of poetry, prose and scriptwriting join us each year as Fellows of the Centre.
'When I left school after my A-Levels, I had a lot of interests and I wasn't ready to settle on just one to pursue at university level. Studying Liberal Arts at Queens allowed me to explore a wide range of disciplines within the Arts, Humanities and Languages so that I could pick a major I was really passionate about, whilst also studying a selection of other, interconnected classes from across the schools to create a fully customisable degree.

The course pushed me to change my way of thinking, as being allowed to take different classes in different fields introduced me to lots of new ideas, and of course, lots of new people thinking them. On top of this, sharing a class with my fellow Liberal Arts students, all of whom were also studying a plethora of subjects in their own right, only added to this mixture of ideas and broadened my horizons. What's more, I left university after four years with an integrated Masters Degree! Looking back, I know I made the right choice in picking Liberal Arts at Queens.'

Jill Clerkin, M.Liberal Arts and French graduate 2022

Course Structure

Stage 1Students take six modules: Understanding Now; one interdisciplinary module; two modules from their pathway; and a further two optional modules. The list of optional modules will be subject to relevant A-Level or equivalent prerequisites (e.g. for language and music modules) comprise all interdisciplinary and pathway modules and other modules offered as part of the single honours programmes in pathway subjects. Please note that the precise modules offered as options may vary from year to year.

At the end of Level 1, students nominate their pathway. The pathways include: Anthropology and Paleoecology, Archaeology, Drama, Economics, English, Geography, French, Film, History, International Studies, Irish, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Portuguese, Sociology, Spanish, as well as thematic pathways such as Migration, Sustainability, Irish Studies, American Studies, Gender, Decolonisation.
Stage 2In their second year students take: Uses of the Past; one interdisciplinary module; three modules from their pathway; and a further optional module. In addition they will take a Placement preparation module ahead of the Stage 3 Placement module.
Stage 3Students take: Arts and Humanities in Contemporary Society; the Placement module; and one module from their pathway in Semester 1. Semester 2 is spent studying abroad at one of our international university partners. Please note that the precise modules offered as options may vary from year to year and may be subject to prerequisites.
Stage 4Students take: Incorrigibly Plural; the Dissertation module; and a minimum of one module in their pathway with two further modules either from their pathway or from optional modules. The pathway and optional modules will be drawn from the taught modules offered on the relevant MA programme(s) or, where required, relevant modules from the Stage 3 Single Honours pathway subject.

Please note that the precise modules offered as options may vary from year to year and may be subject to prerequisites.

People teaching you

Dr Sophie Cooper
Lecturer; Subject Lead for Liberal Arts

Arts, English & Languages

Professor Philip McGowan
Professor in American Literature; Faculty Lead Liberal Arts

Arts, English & Languages

Contact Teaching Times

Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial3 (hours maximum)
2-3 at Stage 1; 2-3 at Stage 2; 2-3 at Stage 3; 2-3 at Stage 4
Medium Group Teaching6 (hours maximum)
3-5 at Stage 1; 3-4 at Stage 2; 4-6 at Stage 3; 3-5 at Stage 4
Large Group Teaching6 (hours maximum)
2-3 at Stage 1; 3-4 at Stage 2; 3-6 at Stage 3; 2-3 at Stage 4
Personal Study15 (hours maximum)

Learning and Teaching

At Queen's, students work in an ambitious learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
On the Liberal Arts degree we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world-class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

  • E-learning:
    Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen's Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree, for example, through: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules;podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project-based work etc.
  • Lectures:
    Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
  • Personal tutors:
    All undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
  • Self-directed study:
    This is an essential part of life as a Queen's student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
  • Seminars/tutorials:
    Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
  • Supervised projects:
    In final year, the year-long double weighted Dissertation module requires you to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic that you have chosen. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on at least 2 occasions during the write-up stage.


Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

  • Assessments are designed to evidence your engagement with the learning objectives of each module, which will be advertised in advance of module selection. Modules are assessed variously through project work, individual and/or group presentations, as well as more traditional written essays and assignments.
    The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook provided to all students during their first year induction. Politics modules are typically assessed by two coursework assignments in the first semester, and one assignment plus a final written unseen examination in semester two. Variations on this include assessed presentations, group projects, and "learning logs" based on weekly reading.


As students progress through their degree at Queen's they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. Feedback is a key component in a student's continual, self-reflective learning on this degree programme.
Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, may have submitted.
  • Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers' advertised "Feedback and Guidance hours" to help you address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, or during a seminar or tutorial.
  • Peer and group feedback on core Liberal Arts modules where the learning experience is developmental, shared and supportive.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars that you can review in your own time.
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Understanding Now (20 credits)

    Optional Modules

    Screen Technologies (20 credits)
    World Politics (20 credits)
    French 1 (40 credits)
    Spanish 1 (40 credits)
    Gaeilge 1 (40 credits)
    Celtic Mythology (20 credits)
    Digital Society (20 credits)
    Statistical Methods (20 credits)
    Audio Mixing I (10 credits)
    Rethinking Society (20 credits)
    Contemporary Europe (20 credits)
    Exploring History 1 (20 credits)
    Exploring History 2 (20 credits)
    Portuguese 1 (40 credits)
    Music in History (20 credits)
    Crime and Society (20 credits)
    Introductory Logic (20 credits)
    Solo Performance 1 (20 credits)
  • Year 2

    Core Modules

    Uses of the Past (20 credits)

    Optional Modules

    French 2 (40 credits)
    Radio Drama (20 credits)
    Irish Literature (20 credits)
    Fame (20 credits)
    World Cinema (20 credits)
    Language and Power (20 credits)
    Uniting Kingdoms (20 credits)
    Crime and the Media (20 credits)
    Shakespeare and Co (20 credits)
    Crime and Society (20 credits)
    American Politics (20 credits)
    Spanish 2 (40 credits)
    Acting Shakespeare (20 credits)
    Gaeilge 2 (40 credits)
    Irish Politics (20 credits)
    Dramaturgy (20 credits)
    Educational Drama (20 credits)
    Kings and Warriors (20 credits)
    Solo Performance 2 (20 credits)
    Protecting Paradise (20 credits)
    French Noir (20 credits)
    Game Theory (20 credits)
    Music Psychology (20 credits)