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Studying Humanities abroad

What does Humanities cover? Learn why the field is important in understanding the 'story of us' as a species, and much more...

Studying Humanities abroad
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What is Humanities?

Humanities is the study of our species and how we have documented this experience. The word ‘Humanities’ is an umbrella term for several, very different fields including literature, philosophy, art and religion, all of which are forms through which we have expressed our relation to the world around us and how we have interpreted it. All locate us in timeframe, linking us to not just those who have come before us but those who will follow too.

 

Why study Humanities?

This is a difficult question to address as the various subjects which fall into the Humanities category are all very different from one another. However this isn’t a bad thing necessarily; in fact this simply highlights how complex our existence is. Humanities provide us the opportunity to really think about our place in this world, including where we have come from and where we are going. Such a huge topic of discussion makes for an exciting, thought-provoking area of study which continues to surprise and open up new debates. Humanities also helps us understand other groups of individuals whom we might not necessarily come into contact with or those we might not understand. There is no one, definite answer so the field is perfect for those who relish informed discussions about the story we’re telling as a species.

 

Who would be good at studying Humanities?

If you’re someone who regularly ponders the big questions like ‘What is the meaning of life?’, ‘What makes one a “bad person”?’ or ‘What is true art?’, then Humanities is the field for you. While there are a number of paths you can go down, these are just a few of the key questions which humanity asks which penetrates the music we create, philosophy we adhere to, literature we write etc.

There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer in Humanities. Therefore those who show an affinity for exploring these questions in depth will find the Humanities field consistently invigorating, especially as they open up discourses with those who share (or even oppose) their views. In fact this might be the first opportunity where they have found peers with whom to discuss these areas at this level.

A key quality in students studying a Humanities subject is being able to form an argument which is educated and well thought out, taking into consideration multiple points of view. This is essential in order to participate actively in class and really making the most of your time at university. Often you’ll be called on to read extensive pieces of text material as part of your course; therefore the ability to research and identify relevant aspects of a long piece of writing quickly will benefit you throughout your studies. Furthermore these skills can be transferred to a number of career paths post-study.

 

What is the criteria for studying a Humanities course?

This will depend on the specific course you’re studying. For example if you choose to study Religious Studies, a good high school qualification in R.E. would be required so you have a base knowledge in the subject. In fact, you might find that when applying to a Humanities subject where open discussion of big ideas is a core component, your ability to form a cohesive (written) argument as to why you deserve a place on a course will be under close scrutiny.

You should always check the entry requirements for a course with the university themselves.

 

What specific courses can I study?

 

What can you do with a Humanities qualification?

Because there is such a wide variety in the kinds of subjects which fall into the Humanities category, there is as big a range of areas which you can move into once you have graduated.

These include:

  • Historian
  • Archaeologist
  • Anthropologist
  • Curator
  • Lecturer
  • Professor
  • Researcher
  • Human resources
  • Advertising

However you’ll see that the skills which you acquire and sharpen on a Humanities course (e.g. constructing an argument, balancing multiple points of views, research) can be transferred across many careers such as politics, teaching and journalism. 

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About Author

Studying Humanities abroad

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.

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