Why study Arts subjects?


One of the questions we are asked most is ‘why study Arts subjects?’ This is usually at Open Days, when students (and their parents!) are trying to work out what career they want, and the best course to take them there.

Our Creative Writing Professor Joseph O’Connor wrote in the Irish Times why he thought studying Arts subjects was worthwhile:

“I did an arts degree, English and history, at UCD, and it was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I was very lucky in that my teachers included such great people as Declan Kiberd, Seamus Deane, Hugh Gough, Ronan Fanning, Mary Daly and Michael Laffan.

When taught well to a student who wants to engage, an arts degree develops the ability to think independently, to sift and weigh evidence, to be able to express views critically, to approach the world with a degree of skepticism but not cynicism. It teaches you that having an opinion is something a bit more demanding than being a pub bore and it encourages a sort of intellectual restlessness, which I think is useful not just for the individual but for the wider community.

The division between science and the arts is a false one anyway. The artist and the scientist are often trying to do similar things: understand how the world works, how it might be bettered, where realities came from and where they’re heading now. Every novelist must be a sort of engineer, for example, in that the structure of the novel must be designed for purpose. And I’m struck by how often students of design use the language and techniques of storytelling.”

Prof. Joseph O’Connor in The Irish Times


We asked some of our lecturers to give us reasons why you should choose their subjects- who better to convince you to study a subject than someone who may be teaching you?!

At the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, we also teach Law, Journalism, Politics and International Relations, Public Administration and Leadership, and Gaeilge.

Find out what our students say!

As part of our LM002 BA Arts LM002, in conjunction with Mary Immaculate College, you will also get the chance to study Economics, Mathematics, Geography, Irish Music and Dance, Philosophy, Psychology, Drama and Theatre Studies, and Theology and Religious Studies. Find out more at http://www.ul.ie/arts/.

So, an Arts degree will help you learn to think critically, gives you a deeper understanding of how we got to where we are, and gives you many skills which you can adapt in the workplace. At the University of Limerick, you’ll get the chance to study in a different country (this isn’t as scary as it seems!) and you’ll also get the chance to do real work experience. All this ultimately makes you very, very employable!

Still not sure? Meet our graduates!