Off the beaten track: Uncommon liberal arts degrees and what they entail
Are you keen on getting a liberal arts degree? Here are three uncommon areas of study you might have overlooked. Source: Shutterstock

If you’re gravitating towards obtaining a liberal arts degree, you may be familiar with popular options such as Psychology, Mass Communications, English and Literature.

But the liberal arts or humanities is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of subjects, from linguistics to psychology and philosophy, which means if you’re currently exploring your options, you shouldn’t limit yourself to the popular options mentioned above.

A liberal arts qualification can open the door to many careers across a diverse range of fields, here’s a few uncommon liberal arts degrees and what they entail:


Study Latin and dive into its history, as well as topics relating to its literature and art. Source: Jace & Afsoon/Unsplash

Latin may seem like an unusual discipline, but if you have an interest in classical literature, this is an area you can consider pursuing, especially if you plan to further your studies in history, religion or similar fields in the future.

Latin is typically interdisciplinary; for example, Boston University, which offers a BA in Latin, notes that “Latin majors acquire the ability to read, analyse and discuss standard works in Latin”. Students can also expect to delve “into the early modern period, when it continued to be used in fields such as law, philosophy, and theology”.

As for their BA in Ancient Greek and Latin, students can expect to “learn to read key works of classical antiquity in their original languages, acquiring advanced skills in grammar and linguistic analysis”.

The University of Manchester offers a BA in Latin and Linguistics in which prospective students can expect to “examine ancient sources in their original languages and develop expert research and analysis skills”. They note that students will develop transferable skills such as oral and written communication, quantitative methods and information assessment and evaluations.

Career-wise, students can go into a range of sectors, such as the media, government, teaching or even museums. Students can also pursue postgraduate studies in the field.


A philosophy major will teach you how to think for yourself. Source: Shutterstock

If you’re someone who enjoys debates, analysing ideas (and complex ones, too) in addition to studying a range of current and philosophical works, a degree in Philosophy might be perfect for you.  

If you’re curious about the types of modules you might take, the University of Warwick lists the following as some of its modules in its BA Philosophy programme: Reason, Argument and Analysis, Central Themes in Philosophy, History of Modern Philosophy and Plato and Descartes.

Meanwhile, the University of Kentucky notes that a philosophy major will teach you how to think for yourself, adding that, “Philosophy provides an excellent preparation for law school and other professional programmes, as well as a solid foundation for a career in business, teaching, writing, or public service”.


Theology is the academic study of religion. Source: Shutterstock

Theology is the academic study of religion. Regardless of your faith, students can choose to study their own religion or the religion of others, be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and so on. You may be exposed to the history of the religion(s) and explore their doctrines or sacred texts.

This area of study is an intellectually-challenging field. For example, the University of Exeter says the BA Theology and Religion allows students to explore “the rich tapestry of human history in relation to its beliefs and secular associations, we can gain deep insight into modern-day issues. Amongst others, you will be confronted with topics such as sexuality, criminal justice, feminism, the environment, science, evolution, the body, the soul, heaven and hell, heresy, morality and ethics, martyrs, pilgrimage and life after death.”

A degree in Theology can prepare you for a career with religious authorities or with the church, while there are also those who further their studies or go into teaching or journalism, among a host of other careers.

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