Thank you for your interest in the Western Orthodox University Bachelor of Humanities programme. The programme is designed to be completed within thirty-six months by a student devoting ten to twelve hours a week, working by distance learning.
The program is outlined below, but individual details may be varied on the initiative of the Mentor and/or student, always subject to ratification by the University. In principle, the aim is to provide a fully bespoke, individualized learning experience that takes into account the particular strengths, interests and previous learning of the student, and thus offers a flexible but rigorous route to the degree.
The program currently consists of six modules, listed below with their main topics:
A. English Literature
Chaucer. Shakespeare. Poetry of the period 1785-1850. The novel during the period 1900-1950.
Study of English History during the periods 1189-1272; 1485-1558; 1820-1901 (others depending on Mentor choice).
C. History of Art and Music
Study of specific movements in art and music, normally to include the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Gothic, Symbolism/Impressionism (others depending on Mentor choice).
D. The Enlightenment
Study of Enlightenment thought as a major influence upon the humanities. Influence of Enlightenment as a justification for modernism. The post-modern backlash.
E. The Legacy of the Humanities
Concepts of civilization based on the legacy of the humanities. The Western cultural heritage. Post-1945 revisionism and opposition to the concept of Western cultural heritage.
F. A Dissertation Topic
2. Aims and objectives
The programme aims to offer an overview of some of the high points of Western civilization, as well as setting that concept in context through an understanding of its enemies and critics. It offers a study which is in some respects traditional, in that it seeks to separate the understanding of the past from post-modern revisions of that understanding, which are addressed in their own module. It also lays key emphasis on the Enlightenment and its legacy, reflecting the tremendous importance of the eighteenth-century intellectual revolution. In some respects, this programme is a distance-learner’s equivalent of the nineteenth-century Grand Tour; it aims to create an appreciation of Western cultural values and an understanding of the reasons why these values have come into question in the recent era.
3. Methods of delivery
The delivery of the teaching for the course is by distance learning. Students will be assigned a Mentor who will be a practitioner in the field and/or an established academic. They will work out the exact details of what is to be studied and how this will be assessed in co-operation with the Mentor with this learning contract then ratified by the University. In most cases, students will communicate with their Mentor via electronic communications (e-mail, fax) although some Mentors prefer to work via postal mail, and many will also offer telephone support.
4. Course materials
The chosen methods of learning are designed to offer the student the maximum of flexibility and scope in tackling the programme.
The individualized nature of the programme means that traditional course materials in the form of structured course notes are rarely appropriate or practical, although it is hoped that where possible, Mentors will make their notes on particular topics available to the student. Students are, of course, responsible for creating their own course notes based on their reading and related work.
Most work within the programme will consist of directed readings from key texts selected by the Mentor. The student will be responsible for obtaining books, which are not included in the tuition fees, although both the Mentor and the University will endeavour to assist in the event of any difficulty in obtaining books. The Mentor will set regular assignments based on the directed reading, most of which will be in the form of an essay or paper. Mentors will also provide guidance on background reading for each topic.
5. Entry requirements
The usual minimum requirements for entry to the course are as follows:
- Completion of secondary education (high school)
- at least three years of professional experience
Candidates will normally have attained the age of twenty-two years. All candidates will be expected to show a proficiency in the English language.
It is a key principle of the University that each application should be considered on its own merits, and admission to the course and all interpretations as to the eligibility for such admission remain at the discretion of the University.