Introduction to Global Liberal Arts

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 1
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Module overview

This module provides an introduction to the idea of global liberal arts as an interdisciplinary programme that brings together the Arts and Humanities, the Social Sciences and Languages as a holistic enquiry into the conditions of being human in the world today.

The purpose of this module is threefold:

  1. to introduce the students to the meaning and significance of a liberal arts education and the particular shape it takes in this programme at SOAS to enable them to design their individual programme in a way that suits their interests and needs best
  2. to practice basic reading, writing, and research skills
  3. to serve as a space for the exchange of experiences students make as they take modules in different disciplines and departments across the school.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

LO1) to explain coherently and persuasively the meaning and significance of a liberal arts education that takes the global south as the point of departure for a holistic enquiry of the conditions of being human in the world today;
LO2) to understand the possibilities and limitations for the design of their individual programme based on the social science and humanities modules available across the school;
LO3) to engage critically with texts and data and articulate the outcome of their analysis coherently in oral and written form.


  • Seminars: 2hrs per week
  • Independent study: 70 hrs (over 10 weeks)

Method of assessment

  • 2 x 1,500-word essay (worth 50% each)

Suggested reading

  • Marber/Araya, eds. The Evolution of Liberal Arts in the Global Age (2017).
    Shephard/Kosslyn/Hammonds, eds. The Harvard Sampler Liberal Education for the Twenty-first Century (2011).
  • Singer. Ethics in the Real World (2016).
  • MacGregor. A History of the World in 100 Objects (2011).
  • Crane/Kawashima/Kawasaki. Global Culture: Media, Arts, Policy, and Globalization (2016).
    Juergensweyer, ed. Thinking Globally: a Global Studies Reader (2014).


Dr Ana Nenadović


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules