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International Foundation Programme in Liberal Arts

We are very excited to announce the launch of the International Foundation Programme for the Liberal Arts. International students at DLD will now have the opportunity to have a broad-based but rigorous arts education, enabling them to apply to humanities courses at top British universities.

This is a level 3 course suitable for international students as an alternative to A-levels and other pathways for direct university entrance.
The one-year Liberal Arts IFP will develop your specific knowledge of a range of subjects in the humanities which you can then study further at degree level. The key skills component of the course, consisting of Maths, ICT and Research and Presentation, gives you the opportunity to acquire the language and study skills to make the transition from your own educational system to the UK’s.


Liberal Arts is for you if you are:
• Academically ambitious
• Actively enjoy encountering new subjects, fresh perspectives and approaches
• Have a lively and critical mind
• Prefer interdisciplinary study to single-subject


The DLD Level 3 International Foundation Programme for the Liberal Arts/Humanities consists of the following Units: 


Section A: History of the English Language

Beginning with the origins of the language and ending with the advent of the internet and social media, this section will give you an overview of the historical events and social and cultural trends which have changed the grammatical structure, vocabulary and sounds of English.

Some of the topic areas include:

  • The origins of English: Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans
  • Regional accents and dialects in the UK
  • the rise of standard English in the eighteenth century
  • the role of the British Empire public in the global spread of English
  • English in Africa, south-east Asia and the Indian sub-continent
  • The future of the English language

Section B: Contemporary English

You will study a variety of contemporary written or spoken texts: scripted speeches, drama texts, emails, social media, letters, diaries, transcripts of authentic spontaneous speech, the new “visual language” of digital media such as the use of emojis.

You will be required to apply relevant linguistic terms and concepts to different texts, comparing and contrasting them in terms of purpose, audience, context and medium used.

Assessment Method: Written Exam/Extended essay


Studying great paintings, sculpture and buildings gives us an insight into the thoughts and feelings, superstitions and beliefs, attitudes and values, politics and economics of past societies. Approaching European history through great works of art is the kind of interdisciplinary approach Liberal Arts degrees foster.

You will be given a firm grounding in art history terminology – the “grammar” if you like of the subject. This will give you the language and the necessary skills to enable you to analyse works of art in a technical and academic fashion.

You will learn about how works of art:

  • reflect the larger social, cultural and historical periods in which they were created
  • reveal the role patrons played in the commission, execution and final look of the piece
  • portray wars, revolutions and social and cultural trends
  • chart the rise of science and technology

You will have the opportunity to see some of the paintings or sculptures you will be studying in London’s world-famous art galleries and museums. You will also visit two buildings and sites associated with important subject areas:

  • Westminster Abbey: what tombs tells us about kings and queens
  • Hampton Court: The struggle for power in Tudor England
  • Banqueting Hall, London: Rubens and the divine right of kings

Assessment Method: Written Exam


The aim of this unit is to provide you with a foundation in the analysis of film, the major art form of the twentieth century. You will learn subject specialist language and acquire the tools to be able analyse films on a technical and cinematic level as well as on a thematic one. Each film selected will give you an insight into the language, culture and society from which it came.

You will study selected examples of national cinema – Spanish, Italian, German and French – because they provide a unique window into the life of their respective countries.

Each film has a particular focus/theme. By studying a range of film forms and film styles, you will acquire understanding of not only of the conventions and history of cinema but also the attitudes and values of different European countries.

In this unit you will study films from the following countries:


Topic/Focus: the radical reconfiguration of post-war France and the New Wave. 


Topic/Focus: Spanish culture and traditions and their impact on women.


Topic/Focus: La Bella Figura and the Italian way of life


Topic/Focus: Scientific and technological dystopias

You will select a particular film, writing an assignment on its cinematic features, its focus and theme and larger social and national context. 

Assessment Method: Research and Presentation


This strand will introduce you to some of the greatest and most influential thinkers, ranging from the distant past up to the present-day: 

  • Classical thinkers: Socrates and Plato
  • the Christian theologians: Augustine and Aquinas
  • Enlightenment thinkers: Hume and Rousseau
  • Modern-masters: Nietzsche and Freud
  • Contemporary scientists: Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins.

You will engage with these thinkers and philosophers in order to think for yourself about such philosophical and ethical questions as: 

  • To what extent is human behaviour determined?
  • Is the universe created?
  • What is meant by “goodness?”
  • Do I have a soul?
  • Is there a human nature?
  • What is the mind?
  • Why care for the environment?
  • Should animals have rights?
  • Can you be a scientist and still believe in religion?
  • What is the future of religion?

Assessment Method: Written Exam/Extended Essay

The assessment consists of a combination of exams, written assignments and presentations. At the end of each term there is an exam on the unit studied and a written assignment to be completed. These are marked internally. If you do not achieve a high-percentage score in one of the units, the modular structure of the course allows you to retake it.

A one-year IFP in the Liberal Arts provides a fast-track entry into university, an attractive alternative to a two-year A-level course. A high percentage score will get you a place at some of the UK’s top Russell Group universities, institutions of international standing and prestige.


You will need a good level of spoken and written English, an IELTS score of at least six in all areas in order to meet the demands of this programme. You will be writing extended essays, giving presentations and conducting seminars as part of your assessment, so essay-writing and speaking skills are important requirements.

Liberal Arts International Foundation Programme

Related Subjects

Art Foundation

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