Your degree at Richmond University will take place over four years (or eight semesters) and in the first year you will study a variety of subjects from the core curriculum.

003mjphoto (1)What the core curriculum means for you

A liberal arts education encourages you to reach across disciplines and build connections between different academic areas. The idea behind the core curriculum is that you receive the best possible start when adapting to the academic world of university, and that you also begin to learn and develop the key transferable skills that the employers are looking for; giving you the competitive edge when you graduate. These skills include written and verbal communication, problem solving, cultural sensitivity and the flexibility to work in a complex and dynamic environment. Initially studying the core curriculum means you do not have to decide on your major on day one, or even day two, you can take your time, you can try things out before you decide on your specialism (no ‘major’ rush). If you know what you want to do, you don’t have to change, but you can try other things that may complement and add to the subject you are passionate about.

Your first year courses

The core curriculum consists of ten three-credit courses, which are outlined below.

Transitions: London Calling 1

This course focuses on you as a student, an active citizen and a future employable graduate. How do you imagine yourself in one, five or even ten years’ time?

During the course you will discuss and respond to issues related to the transition to university, reflecting on how you can become an independent learner.

You will research the context of and plan for service learning in the London area. You will learn to use a range of digital platforms for individual and group project work, focussing strongly on effective communication, including oral presentation and taking into account issues of accessibility for all.

Transitions: London Calling 2

This course continues the focus on you as a student, an active citizen and a future employable graduate but makes full use of the research undertaken in ‘London Calling 1’. How can you use London, with all its attractions and all its problems, to help others whilst helping yourself?

During the course you will use the full range of skills being developed, to get involved in service learning in London and reflect critically on the effects both on yourself and on others.

Creative Expression

This course explores the ways we can interpret and appreciate different types of art across cultures.

How can we make sense of an art installation that consists of a pile of stones on a gallery floor? How can we understand music and the creative expression behind it?

Through examples from the fine arts, film, theatre, music and fashion, this class engages with broad themes concerning the value of artistic thinking and the role it plays in education, social relations, urbanism and the creative economy.

Scientific Reasoning

This course aims to provide a means by which you can effectively communicate an understanding and appreciation of the impact of science on everyday life and academic enquiry. What do you take into account when you consider your carbon footprint? How do you evaluate the quality and conclusions of a double blind trial?

You will explore scientific areas ranging from ethics to evolution, physics to physiology, climate change to conservation, trials and testing to thinkers and innovators.

This course teaches you to reflect critically on scientific theory and information so that you may make informed personal decisions about matters that involve science and understand the importance of science in other areas of your studies.

Research and Writing 1

This course concentrates on developing your ability to read and think critically, and to read, understand and analyse texts from a range of genres.

How do you successfully negotiate a path through a sea of information and then write it up?

Using essential information literacy skills to help with guided research, this course develops your ability to produce effective and appropriate academic writing across the curriculum.

Research and Writing 2

This course focuses on the principles of good scholarship and academic practice that will be required throughout your studies and in the workplace.

How do you develop your critical research and writing skills to be effective in the academic and professional arenas? How do you design and structure an argument that is convincing?

These skills are developed throughout the course so that you may, with increasing confidence, produce well-researched writing that demonstrates critical engagement with a self-selected academic topic.

Humanities and Social Science

Choose one of the following (may not overlap with a course used to fulfil a major requirement):

  • AMS 3200 Foundations of American Studies
  • COM 4100 Intercultural Communications
  • DEV 3100 Culture and Dev
  • DEV 4100 Rich World/Poor World
  • ECN 3200 Foundations of Economic Ideas
  • ECN 4100 Introduction to Economics of Development
  • ECN 4115 Modern Economic History
  • HST 3200 World Cultural History
  • HST 3205 The Global Cold War
  • HST 4100 When Worlds Collide
  • HST 4105 Versailles to Vietnam
  • INR 4100 Introduction to International Relations
  • LIT 4200 Introduction to World Literature
  • PHL 4100 Introduction to Philosophy
  • PLT 3100 Foundations of Politics
  • PLT 4100 Major Political Thinkers
  • SCL 3100 Foundations of Sociology

Quantitative Reasoning

If you don’t have a maths requirement in your major

This course develops an understanding of basic mathematical concepts and their presence in a range of contexts and applications. Is it possible to use mathematics to predict the next new trends in music or the next tsunami? How do you calculate the impact of an oil spill? Topics such as interest rates, interpreting graphs, probabilities associated with decision making and mathematics in the environment and the creative arts will be covered.

If you do have a maths requirement in your major

If you are on the majors listed below you will take a maths diagnostic assessment at enrolment to ascertain the appropriate maths course for your level of ability:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business Management (Entrepreneurship)
  • Business Administration (Finance)
  • Business Management (Fashion Management and Marketing)
  • Business Management (International Business)
  • Business Management (Marketing)
  • Economics
  • Financial Economics
  • International and Development Economics
  • International Sports Management
  • Psychology
  • International Relations
  • Development Studies

Option 1

Any 3000, 4000, 5000 course not used to fulfil a major requirement.

Option 2

Any 3000, 4000, 5000 course not used to fulfil a major requirement.

Liberal Arts Core Visual 2017-18

Subject exemptions

If you enter with A-levels at grade C or above, or equivalent qualifications, you may be exempt from some of these subjects and could complete your degree programme sooner. Students entering with a US High School Diploma or equivalent usually complete in four years. In order to assess you for potential exemptions we will need to complete a TCE (transfer credit evaluation). For more information please visit our transfer credits page.