School of Arts and Sciences ILIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Liberal Arts


Language of Instruction: Georgian  

Number of required credits: 240 ECTS

Qualification awarded: BA in Liberal Arts

Number of admissions:

Reference Number (NAEC): 0100102

Type of admission: General admission

About the Programme

The Bachelor’s degree programme in Liberal Arts was developed at Ilia State University in 2011, in cooperation with the James Madison College, Michigan State University (US).

The programme offers students BA degree education in interdisciplinary studies, encompassing diverse fields of the humanities and social sciences (philosophy, religion, literature, art, history and political science). It aims to expand students’ knowledge in these fields, help them capture links between different concepts and theories and discuss these concepts from the disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary perspectives.

The programme is based on the Great Books program curriculum, which allows adopting a critical approach to access works by authors who pose fundamental questions regarding life and social order.

The Bachelor’s degree programme in Liberal Arts is run at Ilia State University in cooperation with a non-governmental organization, American-Georgian Initiative of Liberal Education (AGILE).

In the development of the programme, AGILE, on its part, cooperates with the following organizations:

  • National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a US Congress-supported agency dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world;
  • Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center, which offers extensive support to AGILE through practical advice and counsel and plays an important role in encouraging the Agency’s communication and partnership with various funds.

Programme Goals

The Bachelor’s Progamme in Liberal Arts aims to impart interdisciplinary knowledge by encouraging careful reading techniques and critical approaches.

During their studies, students will have an opportunity to ask questions, develop the necessary skills to understand and analyze literal and metaphorical meanings of a text, detect covert messages and problems, express openly their opinion and provide supporting arguments.

Programme graduates will be able to apply the extensive knowledge and critical and analytical thinking skills acquired during the courses in any career they will pursue.

Main Study Areas

The basic courses of the Programme are those envisaged by the Great Books program curriculum, which acquaint students  with important works created at different times and recognized as foundational for Western culture.

The programme has an interdisciplinary structure and comprises five blocks:

  • Philosophy
  • History and Politics
  • Arts
  • Literature
  • Personal development

At the stage of building general awareness of liberal arts, the programme allows students to focus on individual disciplines in the context of liberal studies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Profound knowledge of outstanding works of literature, fine arts and cinema created in different epochs both in the West  and the East, and of their authors;
  • Profound knowledge of philosophical works composed at different times and of the authors whose ideas have had a major influence on Western culture;
  • Profound knowledge of works by the founders of the western political thought;
  • Profound knowledge of the nature and fundamentals of democracy policy and problems of democratization;
  • Profound knowledge of key concepts and theories of philosophy, literature, art and political science and the ability to evaluate and analyze the links between them through a critical approach;
  • Skills to comprehend and analyze literal and metaphorical meanings of sophisticated texts, detect, evaluate and critically analyze the implied problems and formulate one’s own well-grounded opinion;
  • The necessary skills to conduct interdisciplinary research and/or practical work (write an essay, manage a project, carry out small-scale theoretical research, etc.) in philosophy, art or political science and interpret the results;
  • Skills for presenting one’s position and defending it in a debate;
  • Ability to critically analyze, synthesize and summarize ideas, concepts and information.
  • Skills for reviewing and analyzing various primary and secondary sources related to the question under study;
  • Competences to take part in building liberal values and to evaluate the intellectual and ethical frameworks of an event.

Teaching Methods

Teaching methods adopted by the programme are based on the concept on liberal education and encourage interactive learning and discussions, aiming to develop in students argumentation and critical thinking skills.

The programme envisages the use of the following teaching methods:

  • The Socratic method – which promotes learning through discussions and encourages students to raise questions on their own. Topics for discussion and questions are inspired by texts/films which are selected by lecturers together with the students;
  • Teaching methods envisaged by the Great Books curriculum – students are offered to examine primary/original sources and take part in roundtables, with the lecturer acting as the facilitator. Normally, the Great Books curriculum consists of books that discuss a) topical issues and challenges of contemporaneity; b) the great ideas created over the last 25 centuries.
  • Individual work and teamwork
  • Analysis and synthesis
  • Situational role play
  • Demonstration method

Teaching methods aimed at individual study components are indicated in respective syllabuses.


The diverse education and training offered by the Bachelor’s Programme in Liberal Arts will enable the graduates to work in many different areas in public, non-governmental and/or business, healthcare and other sectors.

The programme provides the best basis for MA studies in philosophy, literature, religion, history and political sciences.

Structure of the programme

A Bachelor’s Degree in liberal Arts requires 240 ECTS credits.

 Title of the Module                                                                ECTS 
 General University Module  60
 Major Program  120
 Minor program or free component (elective courses)     60


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