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Humanities Degrees in the UK

For over three quarters of a millennium, universities in the UK have been teaching degrees in the field of the Humanities. It is this tradition of Humanities which academic institutions of Higher Education in the UK are very proud of, and are delighted to offer students from countries outside the UK the opportunity to study in Britain.

From its classical narrow base of subjects on offer many years ago, students currently studying Humanities are able to choose from a plethora of interesting and challenging degree courses such as Archaeology, Anthropology, Media Studies, Theatre Studies, Tourism and Heritage Studies as well as more traditional subjects such as English, History and Theology. Variety is at the essence of the current Humanities degree programme.

Because of the sometimes bewildering variety of degree subjects on offer, all institutions employ members of staff to advise students on possible pathways which offer students opportunities through Single, Joint or Combined honours programmes of study. This is sometimes a considerable task, as some institutions offer over 400 subjects within the umbrella of their Humanities programme. Smaller institutions might offer less variety of subject areas, but use their pathways systems to offer a broad range of subject options to the students.

Within UK institutions the range of subject areas is matched by the range of institutions in terms of size and character. Many institutions have a long tradition of higher education teaching whilst others are ‘new kids on the block’ in educational terms. Similarly, the settings of institutions range from leafy rural settings to busy city colleges - which frequently lie within landscapes environments. In short, the students have the opportunity to study within a setting which is not only conducive to study, but which allows them to experience the environment in the vicinity of the institution of their choice. Facilities on campus are usually of the highest order and many institutions guarantee that a very high proportion of students are able to live on campus near the centre of College life. Students’ study bedrooms are frequently en-suite and akin to high quality hotel bedrooms. All this provides students with the appropriate working environment necessary to allow for intensive study.

But there is more to studying in Britain than simply living and working in the one institution all the time. By studying in the UK, students have the advantage of living in a small country with a diverse range of cultural and leisure activities local to all institutions.

Increasingly, institutions of Higher Education in the UK have developed opportunities for students to study on a range of exchange programmes. Many of these opportunities lie within Europe, but increasingly it is possible for students to study, for one or more semesters, at an appropriate institution on another continent. UK institutions are therefore not only at the heart of a wide range of exchange programmes, but also frequently provide students with the opportunity to be taught by visiting lecturers and, through video-conferencing and the web, broaden the learning experience for the students.

One of the most important factors which influences a student’s decision to study for a Humanities degree in the UK is that they can study in a country steeped in culture and heritage. What better than to study modern literature whilst living and working in South-West Wales, in the same landscape that influenced Dylan Thomas, to study archaeology in a part of Europe so very rich in cultural heritage, to study music in a country renowned for a rich variety of musical traditions, to quote just a few examples. If we also consider that the heritage of the UK is extremely diverse with rich regional and national traditions it is easy to understand why the UK has become one of the major destinations for international students. In many cases, it is at undergraduate level that students first come to the UK, but may remain to study at postgraduate level.

Whilst many consider coming to study in the UK because of its rich heritage and culture, the UK is well blessed with Humanities departments with modern and up-to-date facilities which ranks among the best in the world. This allied to internationally renowned teaching quality makes the UK an ideal destination for international students of the Humanities.

It is essential that international students take time to carefully decide which institution within the UK they wish to study at. As the UK is relatively small geographically, communications are good throughout the UK and students who study at rural institutions have easy access to major cities and vice versa. International students should find studying in the UK a really enjoyable and rewarding educational and social experience. Any help students may require in dividing at which higher education institution in the UK they might like to study in, may be obtained from the International Officers of the relevant institutions who are experienced in providing students with detailed help.

Within the UK, the study of Humanities has had an illustrious academic past, is currently enjoying an exciting and stimulating present and looks forward to providing all students with the potential for ensuring that their future is academically successful and enjoyable.

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