Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Commerce

Course 965-AA (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008. Search for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2008
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate


Undergraduate Student Centre Ground Floor Babel Building The University of Melbourne (enter from Gate 12, Royal Parade) Tel: +61 3 8344 5317 Toll Free: 1800 666 300 Fax: +61 3 9347 3986 Email: Faculty Mailing Address The Faculty of Economics and Commerce The University of Melbourne Victoria 3010 Australia
Course Overview:

Students complete a minimum of 500 points, made up of a minimum of 225 points in subjects in the Faculty of Arts (50 at first-year level, 75 at second-year level, 100 at third-year level) and a minimum of 200 points from the BCom. The same subject cannot be counted towards both degrees. Students can complete the remainin 75 points of the combined course in subjects from either degree program.

Students have the option of completing one or two majors, if they find this restrictive, instead taking subjects from several areas of study. Areas of study are:

American studies * ancient and medieval studies * anthropology * art history * Asian studies (some non-arts subjects included) * Australian studies * cinema studies * classics and archaeology * communication skills and English as a second language * computer applications in the social sciences and humanities * creative writing * criminology * cultural studies * development (some non-arts subjects included) * English * English language * environmental studies (some non-arts subjects included) * specialist program in environmental studies (some non-arts subjects included) * European studies * geography * Hellenic studies * history * history and philosophy of science * Ibero-American studies * international studies * Islamic studies * Jewish studies * Korean * linguistics and applied linguistics * philosophy * political science * psychology * Russian * social theory * socio-legal studies * sociology * gender studies.

The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) aims to develop powers of critical thinking and analysis that can be applied to many fields and a wide range of professions. It offers studies in disciplines relating to economics and commerce, and prepares students for careers in many professions, including accounting, economic research, management, marketing, consulting, finance, the public service, the teaching professions and management positions in commerce and industry.

Within the BCom, a core of basic subjects are covered, including two subjects in economics, two subjects in quantitative methods and one in organisational behaviour. As there are only five compulsory subjects (totalling 62.5 points), you have the opportunity to study a wide range of optional subjects which can be chosen according to your interests and career objectives.


The Bachelor of Arts has as its objectives that graduates:

* can demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of selected fields of studies in the humanities, languages and social and behavioural sciences;
* can access and appreciate national and international debates in their areas of study;
* can demonstrate an independent approach to knowledge that uses rigorous methods of inquiry and appropriate theories and methodologies that are applied with intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values;
* can apply critical and analytical skills and methods to the identification and resolution of problems within a changing social context;
* can act as informed and critically discriminating participants within the community of scholars, as citizens and in the work force;
* can communicate effectively an,in the case of those students undertaking a language major, are able to read, write and speak another language with fluency and appreciate its cultural context;
* qualify for employment in a wide range of occupations;
* have a continuing committment to learning;
* are proficient in the use of appropriate modern technologies, such as the computer and other IT systems, for the acquisition, processing and interpretation of data.

The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) and the Bachelor of Commerce (Management) aims at developing powers of critical analysis that can be applied in many fields, and provides professional training for a wide variety of careers.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

For the double BA/BCom degree, students must complete a minimum (and maximum) of 500 points. Within the 500 points, students must satisfy the minimum requirements stated below for the BCom and the BA components.

Commerce component

A minimum of 200 commerce points are required which must include:

  • between 50 and 125 level-1 commerce points; and
  • at least 50 level-3 commerce points (these must be completed at the University of Melbourne); and
  • compulsory subjects: 316-101 Introductory Macroeconomics, 316-102 Introductory Microeconomics, 316-130 Quantitative Methods 1, 325-201 Organisational Behaviour1 and at least one of 316-206 Quantitative Methods 2 or 316-205 Introductory Econometrics or 325-210 Managerial Decision Analysis or 325-212 Principles of Market Research.

Arts component

A minimum of 225 points of study from approved arts departments is required, see Combined arts degrees.

  • 50 points at first-year level
  • 75 points at second-year level
  • 100 points at third-year level

Students wishing to choose subjects from outside those offered by the Faculties of Arts or Economics and Commerce should discuss their options with a course advisor in either Faculty.

Balance of points

The remaining 75 points may be made up of additional Arts or Commerce subjects or approved non-Commerce subjects (see Commerce and non-commerce subjects).

Entry Requirements: There will be no further entry into this course after 2007. Students who are already enrolled in either the Bachelor of Commerce or the Bachelor of Arts may be eligible to transfer into the other degree. Contact your Faculty for more information.
Core Participation Requirements: ArtsThe Bachelor of Arts requires a standard level of ability across all disciplines. It will be assumed students are able to access and attend classes on a regular basis, are capable of learning in a University environment and will be able to take responsibility for their own learning. Any ability beyond this threshold will be robustly supported through the curriculum. There are no pre-requisites for first year subjects, and any intensive use of IT or technologies will be adequately supported. Certain subjects have more specific requirements and demands, such as fieldwork or travelling, which are clearly outlined in the Handbook's subject description. However, the University is dedicated t provide support to those with special requirements. The Faculty Disability Contact Officer works with students, the University Disability Liaison Unit and teaching staff to assist students with their special requirements, with a particular focus on accommodations for in-class and examination assessment tasks. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at .Economics and CommerceStudents with a temporary or permanent disability or medical condition requiring additional assistance should contact the Faculty's Disability Contact Officer (FDCO). The FDCO can ensure that students with special needs have access to a number of University services provided by the Disability Liaison Unit (DLU), including alternative examination arrangements (such as additional writing time or a venue which is wheelchair accessible), notetakers or sign language interpreters, specialised equipment (such as computer screen reading software) and overall support in liaising with academic and other general staff. Students who think that they may require alternative exam arrangements should discuss this matter with the Faculty's Disability Contact Officer early in the academic year (or, in the case of acute conditions, as soon as possible). Some form of documentation will normally be required. It is possible for students with permanent disabilities with non-changing effects to have appropriate examination arrangements on an on-going basis if they register with the DLU. Note that English as a second language is not grounds for alternative exam arrangements.For more information on the wide range of services that the DLU provide, go to their website or visit them on campus to make a time to discuss your needs.
Further Study:

Arts offers many opportunities for further study. An honours year or postgraduate diploma, leading on to a masters degree or PhD, can add vocational and/or research skills to your undergraduate arts degree and increase your employment options. Arts graduates also use postgraduate study to explore in greater depth and detail subjects they found interesting during their undergraduate study or to study a completely new field of knowledge.

Graduate study of a vocational nature might include diplomas or masters in Applied Linguistics, Management, Art Conservation and Curatorial Studies, Arts Management, Criminology, Economics, Linguistics, Information Management, Landscape Architecture, and Science Communication. The list of postgraduate courses you might wish to consider after finishing your undergraduate arts degree is varied and growing.

The Bachelor of Arts is recognised by universities and institutions around the world. Many University of Melbourne graduates travel overseas to complete further study.

An honours option is available for graduates of the Bachelor of Commerce through the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) course.

Graduate Attributes: For the graduate attributes of Arts students, see successful completion of the commerce course, graduates should be able to:explain the basic concepts and theories and institutional arrangements underlying the operations and performance of modern mixed economies using Australia as an example; critically evaluate the economy, commerce and business in the broader social and political context; explain and apply concepts from several economics and commerce disciplines in solving business and policy problems including specialised knowledge developed in one specific discipline; contribute positively to the development of organisations and society particularly related to business, government and the commercial professions.
Generic Skills:

For the generic skills in the Bachelor of Arts, see

By participating in all scheduled classes and activities and achieving the timely completion of assignments and other forms of assessment, commerce graduates should aquire skills in:

  • effective communication on matters related to economics and commerce through assignment preparation and writing and class discussions and presentations;
  • skills in the use of computer systems and software used in business through practical assignments, exercises and demonstrations;
  • critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, report writing, assignments and discussion;
  • information discovery and retrieval through the competent use of structured and unstructured sources including the internet;
  • applying theory to practice through undertaking recommended reading, writing reports, completing assignments, analysing cases and discussing issues;
  • interpretation and analysis of data with basic quantitative methods through assignments and discussion;
  • attention to detail through assignment preparation, problem-solving exercises and examination revision;
  • teamwork through joint projects and group discussion;
  • understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the analysis of case studies, the contextualisation of judgement, and being open to new ideas and possibilities;
  • time management through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, assignment completion and examination revision.

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