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Liberal Arts at St Mary's Liberal Arts at St Mary's

As we stand at the beginning of the 21st century, it is clear that Europe will be the context within which Irish society will develop. This has been the case for two millennia and more; but increased communications, mobility of peoples and political connections mean that the educated citizen of tomorrow cannot be ignorant of Europe and its impact on Irish life.

However, "Europe" is a multi-dimensional concept that means many different things, both positive and negative. This cross-disciplinary study will enable students to explore these concepts and consider them as contexts for future action. Students will examine Europe not merely as an economic context but as a cultural home. By doing so they will be developing the life-skills for living and working in a world marked by great diversity yet increasing unity.

The study of Ireland in Europe will have two basic poles: Europe will be considered as cultural context and as a business environment. Insights and applications will be drawn from a range of disciplines under these two headings. Geographical and historical studies will be used to contextualise the programme of study. To explore the cultural landscape, students will examine case studies involving music, art, literature and cinema. To engage with the business environment students will pay particular attention to the evolution of the European Union in its political, economic, legal and cultural aspects.

As part of the College's commitment to the international dimension, students will be able to spend a semester of their studies at a partner institution elsewhere in the European Union, under the auspices of the ERASMUS programme of the European Commissions.

As a result, the programme will equip students to engage with others as citizens of Europe in the 21st century. Such graduates will be well-placed to take up leadership roles in a cosmopolitan Ireland to serve the needs of their community and economy.