When I switched from A/L Science stream to Arts, my friends said it would not be a good field to study. However not after completing my Arts special degree in Sinhala, at University of Colombo, now I can tell you that it really provides you with many opportunities. I will share my experience and knowledge on BA degree courses in Sri Lankan Universities.
Arts and humanities; the most vast and widely spread academic discipline in the whole world, provides enormous amount of study opportunities to you. Once you’ve selected arts, then you open the path to your academic or professional carrier in number of subjects. Arts make you dynamic as you can deal with more socio- cultural aspects which assist your social affairs. Therefore studying at an Arts faculty is a prestige that can make difference in your life.
“I’ve selected arts after taking Bio- Science as the first attempt of my Advanced level examination. Most of my outsiders believed that doing arts is somewhat like suicide. I was totally rigid to my decision; rest of the society was against me. Everything changed after the enrollment to the University. The answer made me fascinated and inspired. As I observed almost all the civil servants including District secretariats, Ambassadors, researchers, teachers, counselors, artists, script writers, film makers, social activists and economists were produced by Art faculties.
What is art degree and why?
When selecting arts subjects as your university study discipline, firstly you should consider that what an art degree is really. Literarily, an art degree can be described as a degree which you can study humanities and social sciences in order to get a Bachelors of Art degree certificate. When compared to professional disciplines such as law, management, medicine, engineering, etc. an art degree carries high amount of socio- cultural experiences which empower your life actively. For instance, if you studies sociology as your academic discipline you will gain practical readings about the life and its behavior. Similarly if youfollow language studies, will develop your writing and reading abilities which can beused for a better communication in every part of your life and the carrier.
Infinite subject opportunities
Arts will provide you, number of subjects (Courses). Language, Literature, Sociology, Geography, Economics, History and Political science are the general subjects found in the arts stream. Newer courses like Journalism, International relations can also be seen pioneering the field. Recent trends in selecting subjects in Art faculties give priority to these newer subjects where they cater more job opportunities after completing the degree as well as some part time training opportunities while studying which you should consider. Practical studying methods, low tension compared to other professional degrees, enthusiastic atmosphere to study while working in different fields in subjects like sociology, makes you free rather than imprisoning him in a sealed chemical lab. Subjects like Archeology make opportunities to explore the stories behind relics and draw out hidden truth which ruptures the past to the future. Promising students like you will find numerous topics to follow your research in order to produce new knowledge by doing an arts degree.
Get ready for the competition and to be specified.
Because the numbers of the subjects are more this art stream is now divided in to two major disciplines; Humanities and Social Sciences consecutively. Most of the universities in the world including Sri Lankan universities cater both Bachelors and Higher degree courses under these fields. Comparatively these faculties are said to be the largest faculties that contain highest number of students among all other faculties also have the greater competition.
Most of the universities cater these subjects where some are specialized to specific subject areas. For instance SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) of University College London, UK, is specified to Linguistic and Language studies so as the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka for the same subjects. Similarly some universities have their own schools to cater these subjects specified under the subject name. Even in Sri Lanka we would be able to find universities that specialized for selected subjects while catering the general subjects as well.
Art degrees at Sri Lankan Universities
In Sri Lanka almost all the universities have an Arts faculty; some are named according to the modern classification; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. University of Colombo, University of Peradeniya, University of Kelaniya, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sabaragamuwa University, and other newly formed universities cater Art Degrees, where students can follow either Three year- general degrees or Four year- Special degrees.
Seven tips- Why art degree?
1- An arts degree is an exposure to several subject subfields.
2- It caters the socio- cultural contact which will empower your life.
3- Unlike in professional degrees Arts degrees provides more indirect job opportunities
4- You may possess higher enthusiasm and freedom while studying heavy academic theories.
5- You will get the opportunity to study multi- disciplinary subjects like Socio- Anthropology, Historical- Linguistics, and Geo- Politics which combines several subjects together.
6- Other than stagnating in given theories, you would be able to create your own theories.
7- It will provide the ability to select subjects that cater your own desires.
Guide to select art subject according to your goals from a Sri Lankan University will be discussed my next post.
Achinthya Bandara is a final year B.A. Sinhala Special degree undergraduate of University of Colombo.
He also studied in La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia.