How an Arts Degree Works

An Arts degree at the University of Glasgow gives you the opportunity to explore multiple subject areas before specialising. The University of Glasgow offers Arts degrees in the areas listed below. Although Modern Languages are part of the College of Arts at the University, these subjects follow a separate structure incorporating a year abroad.

College of Arts



Digital Media Greek Philosophy

Celtic Civilisation (joint hons only)

English Literature History Scottish History

Celtic Studies

English Language History of Art Scottish Literature


Film & TV Latin Theatre Studies

Comparative Literature

Gaelic Music Theology 


Modern Languages


Chinese/ Mandarin
(please note this cannot be taken to Honours level)






Hispanic Studies


All of our Arts degrees are studied as a 4 year Master of Arts Honours degree (or MA) with the exception of language degrees which are 5 years including a year abroad. Although it is called a Master of Arts, it is the equivalent of an undergraduate bachelor’s degree. In Year 1, all Arts students will study three subjects, with equal weighting given to each subject. 

Similarly, students complete three subjects in Year 2. These can be the same three subjects as Year 1, but most students will choose to study one new subject in Year 2.

Click on the accordians below to explore examples of how this works. For further information on the Arts degree structure at the University of Glasgow, please visit our page on Choosing Your Degree.

First Year: MA (Hons) Degree Single Honours Example

Table indicating year 1 choices for a single honours degree

Shown is an example degree structure for a History student at the University of Glasgow. Alongside History, two other subjects are studied. These are most commonly Arts subjects, but there may be the opportunity to choose one Social Sciences or Science subject.

In years 1 and 2, time is split equally between all three subjects. Please bear in mind that the second and third choices are subject to timetable availability.

Applicants can apply to a single honours or joint honours degree. Most applicants will choose their second and third subjects when they register to begin university.

Second Year: MA (Hons) Degree Single Honours Example

Table indicating year 2 choices for a single honours degree

In Year 2, students take two subjects to Level 2 and select a new third subject, in this case, Archaeology.

The third subject is studied at Level 1 and widens the academic context of the degree. There are a range of options across the Arts, Modern Languages and Social Sciences.


Third Year: MA (Hons) Degree Single Honours Example

Table indicating year 3 choices for a single honours arts degree

At the end of Year 2, students choose their final honours discipline. The example demonstrates a single honours degree in History.

Fourth Year: MA (Hons) Degree Single Honours Example

Table indicating year 4 choices for a single honours degree

The other honours options in this example would be single honours Classics or joint honours History and Classics. Decisions regarding progression to honours will be based on academic performance during Years 1 and 2.

Joint Honours MA Degree Example

Table indicating year 4 choices for a single honours degree

For a joint honours degree, the structure is the same in years 1 and 2. The choice of honours subjects is again made at the end of year 2.

Joint Honours students split their time equally between their two subjects. In the final year, a dissertation is completed for one subject – joint honours students do not have to write two dissertations.