Minor subjects

You can find out more about our available Minor subjects by clicking on the subjects in the list below.

Ancient History

Taking this Minor you will explore the ancient civilisations of the Roman Empire and ancient Greece which brings these worlds to life by examining their culture.

A staff of world-renowned tutors will expand your knowledge of subjects such as the Greek City, the Roman Army, Alexander the Great and the Roman Family. You’ll have a truly multidisciplinary learning experience, and will have the chance to immerse yourself in ancient ideas on subjects ranging from slavery to medicine.

Throughout this course, you’ll develop a range of transferable skills, including logical and imaginative thinking, effective communication, the ability to formulate ideas and theories, and information and data interpretation and evaluation.

Find out more about Ancient History at Manchester.

Arabic

As an absolute beginner this Minor offers intensive teaching of Modern Standard Arabic (Fusha) within its cultural and historical contexts. This experience is further enhanced by eight weeks of residence abroad study at an academic institution in an Arabic speaking country. 

This is the ideal way to improve and deepen your knowledge while gaining fascinating first-hand experience of both local culture and colloquial dialects. By then students should reach an intermediate level of speaking, reading and writing skills in Arabic, allowing them to tailor the Minor with their academic and/or professional ambitions. 

In the final year of study, Minor students have the option of continuing to develop their language skills by enrolling onto an advanced level Arabic course (subject to language ability).

Find out more about Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at Manchester.

Archaeology

Archaeology involves the study of past humanity: how humans have learned to live in the world, shaping it through their actions. 

From the evolution of our species to the transformations wrought by the Industrial Revolution, a Minor in Archaeology will enable you to explore a fascinating range of different cultures, from Britain to Easter Island, through their material remains. 

Our Minor is designed to give you knowledge of archaeological approaches and techniques, and is tailored to allow you to select area and period options that chime with your own interests.

Find out more about Archaeology at Manchester.

Chinese

The Minor in Chinese combines the teaching of Mandarin Chinese language with course units on a wide range of China-related topics, including literature, politics, economics, history, cultural studies, anthropology, art and business.

This allows you to tailor the Minor in line with your academic interests and professional ambitions.

Students who have prior knowledge of Mandarin are able to continue developing their language skills from their current level of study, while those who are new to the language will reach an intermediate level of Mandarin Chinese speaking, listening, reading and writing skills by the end of the degree.

Find out more about Chinese Studies at Manchester.

Classical Literature

The Minor in Classical Literature offers the opportunity to study key aspects and authors from the literary traditions of the ancient Greek and Roman world.

You will receive training in the methods, techniques and approaches necessary for the critical study of Greek and Roman literature.

No knowledge of the ancient languages is assumed or required, and the texts are usually read entirely in English translation, although students with A-level qualifications (or better) in either Greek or Latin are encouraged to take 'linguists' versions of each course unit, in which you read the set texts in the original language.

Find out more about Classics and Ancient History at Manchester.

Digital Humanities

The Minor in Digital Humanities is a unique programme that complements your skills in a humanities discipline with training in digital methods and a deeper understanding of how digital technologies are shaping our lives and our future.

Over three years, you will explore various techniques like mapping, distant reading, and data visualization; reflect on digital media, politics, and culture – including questions of data ethics, race, gender, and sexuality; create and curate your own digital projects and exhibitions, and develop specialist expertise in digital methods relating to your main subject area.

In the first two years, you will follow two introductory core courses. One will touch on key concepts and debates, such as data collection and civil liberties or the ethics of artificial intelligence. The second will have a practical focus on technologies and skills. You will be able to complement these with a range of courses, including digital literary studies, the spatial humanities, data visualization, and computational and statistical methods, with the opportunity to create your own dissertation-level digital project in your Major subject area in your final year.

With its combined focus on technical skills, creativity, and criticism, the programme will allow you to develop skills and the confidence needed to thrive in a variety of non-academic workplaces that need people who can bridge the gap between creative and technical work.

Please note that no computational experience is required, as all training will be provided. Our courses take place in the new Digital Humanities Lab, where students will also be provided with a laptop.

Find out more about Digital Humanities at Manchester.

Drama

The Drama Minor pathway allows you to explore key aspects of the history and theory of theatre and performance. Studying on our core historical and theoretical modules, you’ll encounter and explore the works of a broad range of theatre makers, performance practices and cultural frameworks.

In Level 1, 'Theatre and Performance 1: Texts' explores some key plays and periods in the evolution of Western theatre, while 'Theatre and Performance 2: Contexts' looks at significant conceptual frameworks for contemporary performance practice.

Your learning in the second year will focus on theatre and performance practitioners, histories and contexts from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. You’ll learn to understand drama as cultural process and as artistic discourse, while developing transferable analytical and critical skills. Please note: these modules are taught through lectures and seminars and do not involve practical workshops or assessment.

Find out more about Drama at Manchester.

East Asian Studies

The Minor in East Asian Studies offers access to courses on a range of China, Japan and East Asia related topics. Courses on offer include history and cultural studies, economics and politics and more allowing students to tailor the Minor in line with their academic interests and professional ambitions.

Languages are not taught as part of the Minor but students can explore a wide range of issues in the societies of these interconnected and important countries and cultures.

Find out more about Modern Languages and Cultures at Manchester.

English Language

The minor in English Language gives you the opportunity to learn more about the English language today and in the past. Our Minor in English Language begins by equipping you with the skills necessary for describing and analysing the structures of the English language, by exploring how English developed over time and what role social and regional factors play.

In the second year, you will develop new analytical skills and be introduced to theoretical ideas in English sociolinguistics, stylistics and historical linguistics. In the final year you will have the opportunity to develop your interests in more specialist subfields of English Language, or to explore options that introduce you to new areas in the wider study of language such as forensic linguistics, language diversity or psycholinguistics.

Find out more about Linguistics and English Language at Manchester.

Film Studies

The Minor in Film Studies opens you up to the rich possibilities of this creative medium and encourages you to approach it from a range of theoretical perspectives.

The two core units at Level 1 introduce you to the ‘building blocks’ of studying film including visual style, narrative structure, key genres and the role of music, as well as significant moments in film history, prominent directors and major movements in forms of cinema from around the world and mainstream Hollywood.

In Levels 2 and 3 you’ll be able to choose specialist units on specific issues in film studies and focus on aspects of American, British, Chinese, French, German, Russian or Spanish and Portuguese language cinema with a particular emphasis on questions of identity and representation. As you enhance your skills of close analysis you’ll also develop an understanding of how film engages with socio-cultural and political concerns, placing the films you study in their historical context, as well as thinking about current debates and future challenges for cinema as a medium.

Find out more about Film Studies at Manchester.

French

A Minor in French at Manchester offers the opportunity to learn one of the most widely spoken languages across the globe and to gain direct access to the rich cultures of the French-speaking world. Whether you’re a beginner in French or have an A-level or equivalent in the language, you can study progress in your command of the language and learn about French history, politics, literature and popular culture.

You can also take advantage of a period of residence abroad in France or a French-speaking country (8 weeks at the end of the Year 2), and enhance your career prospects significantly.

Find out more about French Studies at Manchester.

German

A Minor in German at Manchester offers the opportunity to learn one of the most widely spoken languages in Europe and to gain direct access to the rich cultures of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Whether you're a beginner in German or have an A-Level or equivalent in the language, you can study aspects of the language, linguistics, history and culture of German-speaking Europe, take advantage of a period of residence abroad, and enhance your career prospects significantly, as graduates with German language and intercultural skills are in great demand.

Find out more about German Studies at Manchester.

History of Art

We live in a world of visual communications, and the ability to understand and communicate using visual art is central to human experience.

History of Art offers course units through which you can engage with visual culture in a range of periods and geographic locations.  You’ll start with ‘Art Works in History: Ice Age to Baroque’ and ‘Art Works in History: Rococo to Now’, which will give you a wide-ranging knowledge base to explore your interests further in Levels 2 and 3 in modules as diverse as ‘The Global Renaissance’, ‘How to be a Curator’, and ‘Art After Modernism’.

Our students come to Art History from a wide variety of academic backgrounds and experiences, so there’s no need to have studied Art History before arriving at university.

Find out more about Art History at Manchester.

History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Science, Technology and Medicine are among the most significant and influential forms of knowledge and practice in modern society.

This Minor will give you an opportunity to understand how these activities have shaped society, and how broader social contexts in turn have informed their development. You’ll be able to choose among a wide range of courses dealing with a variety of topical issues such as: modern forensics, madness and psychiatry, epidemics, environmental and climate change, the nuclear age and the impact of information technologies, science communication and fiction.

Our interdisciplinary course units combine historical, sociological, political and cultural perspectives with science literacy. They’re designed with both humanities and science students in mind and none has enrolment pre-requisites. The unique set of skills acquired in the Minor prepares students for cross-cutting careers, including those in science museums, journalism, and policy advice.

Find out more about the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Manchester.

International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response

The Minor in International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response provides the opportunity to apply the theories and ideas that you’re learning in your main subject to real world issues and problems.

This is a multidisciplinary Minor that draws from the perspectives of history, anthropology, geography, politics, and development studies. At Level 1 you’ll study the different phases of disaster management to understand that opportunities and challenges that are presented in the preparedness, response and recovery to both natural and anthropogenic hazard events. You’ll learn about the key concepts of humanitarianism and start to understand how principles such as neutrality and impartiality and understood.

At Level 2 this learning will be applied to specific processes and you can choose to focus your studies on emergency response, peace building and security, development and disasters or look at the history of conflict and humanitarianism. In your final year you can choose from a variety of options that focus on conflict and violence, migration and refugee narratives, the representation of disasters in print and social media, law, diplomacy and governance. 

At Level 1 you’ll complete the core modules, however, at Levels 2 and 3 you can choose from any of our module options.

Find out more about the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at Manchester.

Italian

A Minor in Italian at Manchester offers an exciting opportunity for you to engage deeply with the language, culture, and history of Italy, whether you're starting your study of the language from scratch or already experienced in the language.

Our beginners follow an intensive 40-credit language course unit for the first year of study, while post-A-level students take a 20-credit language unit to consolidate and build on existing skills, and a 20-credit unit on Italian Cultural Studies, which provides an introduction to 20th and 21st century Italian politics and society, and forms of cultural production from Dante to Fellini.

In later years, you can study options on Italian linguistics, history, visual culture, and literature from the medieval to the digital age, and also take advantage of a period of residence abroad in Italy.

Find out more about Italian Studies at Manchester.

Japanese

The Minor in Japanese offers the intensive teaching of language in your first and second years, and then access to course units on a range of Japan-related topics in the final year.

Course units on offer include history and cultural studies, allowing you to tailor the Minor in line with your academic interests and professional ambitions.

Students who have prior knowledge of Japanese are able to continue developing their language skills, while those who are new to the language will reach an intermediate level of Japanese speaking, listening, reading and writing skills by the end of the degree.

Find out more about Japanese Studies at Manchester.

Jewish and Israel Studies

Jewish and Israel Studies represents an exciting, often controversial, set of topics.

Few will doubt that the student who is studying the Holocaust, the State of Israel or the Bible is studying topics of momentous significance for understanding the world around us today.

Ancient, medieval and modern Jewish History throws light on one of the most intriguing civilisations and influential minority cultures, and draws upon the fabled Dead Sea Scrolls, the complexities of rabbinic Judaism and Bible, the profound contributions of Jewish thought and philosophy, and the challenging nature of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations.

The wide range of course units is approached from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including textual, historical, philosophical, literary and film studies.

There's also the opportunity to learn Hebrew, whether biblical or modern.

Find out more about Religions and Theology at Manchester.

Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts are some of the earliest intellectual pursuits, and they are associated with the training, development, and empowerment of free citizens. Taking a Minor in Liberal Arts will enable you, through a number of bespoke modules, to understand and explore key concepts – such as power, truth, virtue, and value – that underwrite what it is to be a free citizen in the world today.

You’ll be able to supplement and enrich your Major subject by making connections across ideas within and beyond the arts and humanities. A minor in Liberal Arts will give you a unique opportunity to experience an interdisciplinary, challenge-led approach to research that responds to current issues such as the fourth industrial revolution, climate change, and urban inequalities.

In your first year, you’ll explore the role and value of the humanities for the generation of knowledge and for their impacts on the world. You’ll be able to explore and challenge the distinction between the arts, humanities, and sciences, and learn about new, cutting-edge insights that are changing the landscape of knowledge in digital, interdisciplinary, and culturally diverse contexts. You’ll also be able to learn about the pioneers behind these ideas, interrogate why we find ourselves drawn to key thinkers over others, and ask how we might rethink our foundations for understanding ourselves and the world.

In your second year, through a combination of theory and practice, you will learn more about the communication of ideas. You’ll see how rhetoric – the art of persuasive speech and writing – has had a huge impact on the world since ancient times, and can help us to make sense of public speech from politicians, advertisers, and activists, as well as to respond to the crises of polemics, post-truth, and ‘fake news’ that we currently face. You’ll also learn about the particular challenges faced by the city of Manchester, a cultural and one-time industrial hub, and you’ll find out how current arts-based research works with communities to bring about change.

The skills and knowledge that you gain in your first two years will allow you, in your final year, to develop your own challenge-led, interdisciplinary research project that works with institutions and communities across Manchester. You’ll receive training and support as you conduct your research, and you’ll also be able to pursue topics that interest you in further detail through a list of optional modules.

A minor in Liberal Arts familiarises you with a breadth of ideas, while allowing you to develop and pursue your own interests that are inspired and driven by real-world challenges rather than disciplines. The skills that you will gain through taking Liberal Arts modules are sought by employers, and they will support you to be a free, engaged, and active citizen in the contemporary world.

Linguistics

The minor in Linguistics offers you the opportunity to explore the scientific study of language. You will begin by learning how to describe languages, including their grammar, and either their sound systems or their ways of communicating meaning.

In your second year, you will acquire the theoretical foundations in one of the core areas of linguistics, that is, grammar, phonetics and phonology, or semantics, as well as study the diversity of languages.

In your final year, you will have the opportunity to develop your interests in more specialist subfields of Linguistics. It is here that the breadth of the department's expertise is a particular advantage: In addition to advanced courses in grammatical theory, phonetics and phonology, semantics and pragmatics, you can choose from courses in sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, historical linguistics, forensic linguistics, and quantitative methods.

Find out more about Linguistics and English Language at Manchester.

Middle Eastern Studies

In the 21st century the study of the Middle East has grown into a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural academic domain, attracting keen interest by scholars and practitioners for political, cultural, economic or social reasons. 

This Minor allows students to acquire in-depth understanding of a region that is of critical importance to the contemporary world. Taking on board academic developments in political research, culture, identity formation, diaspora, migration studies, gender and post-colonial studies, this Minor equips students with thorough, yet focused and specific, understanding of the Middle East without studying any Middle Eastern language. Students will become familiar with contemporary methods in the study of culture, religion, literature, history and sociopolitics.

Find out more about Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at Manchester.

Phonetics and Phonology

This Minor will introduce you to the two disciplines devoted to the study of linguistic sounds: phonetics and phonology. Phonetics studies the physical realisation of linguistic sounds, and phonology investigates their function and their mental representation.

Through this Minor, you’ll be able to learn about how speech is produced and processed, how it’s organised so as to convey meaning, how it patterns across different dialects of English and across the languages of the world, how it’s acquired by children, how it changes in history, and how it varies according to the speaker’s age, sex, gender, and social and geographical background. This Minor will be particularly useful to you if you are seeking a career in a speech-related area.

Find out more about Linguistics and English Language at Manchester.

Portuguese

Our Minor in Portuguese offers a solid foundation in the learning of both the Portuguese language and the cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world.

Portuguese is a language of global importance, spoken in countries that span four continents, and you'll be able to study it either as a beginner or from post-A-level. 

Over the course of the Minor, you'll also explore topics affecting Portuguese-speaking populations across the world. 

In particular, you'll have the opportunity to study the literature, history, cinema and visual cultures of Brazil and Portugal, as well as Portuguese-speaking Africa.

Find out more about Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at Manchester.

Religious Studies

The Minor in Religious Studies enables you to explore diverse religious traditions and themes, and including many sacred writings, both the texts themselves and interpretations of them down through history. Our Level 1 introductory core course examines a diverse array of spaces, including cities and sacred geographies; practices, including suffering and sacrifice; concepts, like ritual, gender, secularization; and the scope of authority, dance, oral performances and popular culture. 

The strength of the Religious Studies Minor is its flexibility. You have options at each level, enabling you to focus on issues that you’re particularly interested in. At Level 2 you can choose from a suite of key units, including ‘Religion, Culture and Gender’ and ‘End of the World and Apocalypticism’. At level three you’ll have the opportunity to select from units including ‘Holocaust Theology and Ethics’ and ‘Religion and Migration: The Making of the Modern World’. The minor is open to those of all faiths and none.

Find out more about Religions and Theology at Manchester.

Russian

Taking a Minor in Russian will enable you to develop your Russian language skills to a proficient level, while also providing you with a broad grounding in Russian area studies, with an emphasis on the integrated study of language, culture and society.

In the second and third year of study, you'll also have the opportunity to choose an optional unit from an exceptionally wide range of subject areas such as film and media studies, sociology, history and politics, literary and cultural studies.

Find out more about Russian and East European Studies at Manchester.

Spanish

The Minor in Spanish offers a solid foundation in the learning of both the Spanish language and the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. With the chance to study the language as a beginner or post A-level, you’ll be encouraged to recognise the global diversity of Spanish and its cultural and commercial importance as one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world.

Over the course of the Minor you’ll explore a range of topics affecting Spanish-speaking populations in both Spain and Latin America, with opportunities to study the literatures, visual cultures, histories and politics of many countries, including Argentina, Spain, Chile, Peru, Cuba and Mexico.

Find out more about Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at Manchester.

Theology

The Minor in Theology encourages you to study multiple aspects across theology, religion and philosophy, and combine this with interests in history, literature and languages. From year one you study texts from different traditions and their analysis across ancient and modern contexts, and you can develop other special areas of interest including ethics, the environment, and truth and truth-telling.

Around this core, the Minor is marked by flexibility, allowing you to build your own pathway by taking units from across the Religions and Theology curriculum, including the problem of evil; religion, culture and gender; radical theologies; Jewish philosophy; God at the movies; and Holocaust theology. If you choose to do so, you can study Hebrew and New Testament Greek from scratch, giving you a unique insight into texts. The minor is open to those of all faiths and none.

Find out more about Religions and Theology at Manchester.