Bachelor of Arts

Course B-ARTS (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

This is a
New Generation course
, part of the
Melbourne Model
and is available from 2008
Year and Campus: 2010 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate


Refer to each major/minor


Arts & Music Student Centre

Course Overview: The Bachelor of Arts offers unique flexibility with the opportunity to focus on one or two majors or a major and a minor chosen from a broad range of Arts programs in the humanities, social sciences and languages.
Students can:
  • Create an individual study program by choosing subjects in University breadth subjects or by undertaking breadth studies in areas such as bioscience, commerce, environments, music and science.
  • Undertake specialised fieldwork, research options and integrated internship programs which provide opportunities for professional work experience and community engagement.
  • Broaden your horizons and undertake international study exchange at any one of 120 universities worldwide, receiving credit towards your Melbourne Arts degree.
  • Study a new language with most areas available from beginners to advanced level.
  • Benefit from studying with high achieving local and international students with Melbourne Arts having the highest entry requirements for arts disciplines in Australia.
  • Learn from internationally recognised scholars and industry professionals.
  • Create pathways into further postgraduate study in Arts' vocationally focused coursework masters programs, and with the completion of an Honours year, entry into research higher degrees.
  • Enjoy a rewarding professional career, with Melbourne Arts graduates enjoying employment rates well above the national Arts average.

The objectives of the Bachelor of Arts are to provide students with an outstanding education in the humanities, social sciences and languages as well as a broad
understanding of selected fields of study outside these areas. The degree is designed so that a Bachelor of Arts graduate should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of selected fields of study in core disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and languages.
  • Reflect a general understanding of the concepts and principles of selected areas of study outside core disciplines of the humanities, social sciences and languages.
  • Access and appreciate national and international debates in their specialised areas of study.
  • 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.
  • Apply critical and analytical skills and methods to the identification and resolution of problems within complex changing social contexts.
  • Act as informed and critically discriminating participants within the community of scholars, as citizens and in the work force.
  • Communicate effectively and, in the case of those students undertaking a language major, to read, write and speak another language with fluency and appreciate its cultural context.
  • Qualify for employment in a wide range of occupations.
  • Commit to continuous learning.
  • Be proficient in the use of appropriate modern technologies, such as the computer and other information technology systems, for the acquisition, processing and interpretation of data.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Bachelor of Arts requires the successful completion of 300 points or 24 x 12.5-credit point subjects: eight subjects at each of the three year levels. Arts subjects are usually worth 12.5 credit points each.

Students must complete 100 points of study at each of first, second and third year levels.

Level one:

At level one, students are required to complete:

  • two Interdisciplinary Foundation (IDF) subjects, designed and taught collaboratively across arts disciplines.
    There are eight IDF subjects to choose from. BA students must complete two IDF subjects within their first two semesters of study and at least one IDF subject must be completed in the first semester of enrolment (25 points);
  • two breadth subjects (25 points); and
  • four discipline-based Arts subjects (50 points).

Students would usually complete at least 75 points at level one before progressing to level two.

Level two:

At level two, students are required to complete:

  • two breadth subjects (25 points);
  • six Arts discipline-based subjects (75 points).

Students would usually complete at least 75 points at level two before progressing to level three.

Level three:

At level three, students are required to complete:

  • two breadth subjects (25 points);
  • six Arts discipline-based subjects (75 points).

The maximum amount of study permitted within one area of study (e.g. History, English) is 125 points (10 subjects).
For information on policies that govern this degree, see Academic Services Policy listed as part of the University Melbourne Policy Framework. Students also should also refer to information the Student Policy Directory


Majors & Minors

All BA students must complete at least one major. All students completing a non-language major will complete a capstone subject (see below) in that major, in the final year of the degree.

A major comprises 100 points of study:

  • 25 points at level one;
  • 37.5 points at level two;
  • 37.5 points at level three (including a compulsory capstone subject in all non-language majors - see Capstone Subjects below)

A minor of 75 points is available in all programs that offer a major in the BA (below), as well as several additional programs.

The minor comprises 75 points of study:

  • 25 points at level one;
  • 25 points at level two;
  • 25 points at level three.


  • 12.5 points at level one;
  • 25 points at level two;
  • 37.5 points at level three.

Capstone subjects are not available in the minor.

Interdisciplinary Foundation Subjects:


Majors and minors are available in the following areas of study:


The following areas of study are available as minors only:


Additional notes about the stucture of the Bachelor of Arts

- Subjects cannot be credited to more than one major or minor. Students planning to complete two BA majors must complete two separate majors with no overlap in subjects. Similarly, students completing a major and a minor must complete a separate major and minor with no overlap in subjects.

- It is not possible to complete a major and a minor in the same area of study.

- Language study requires the completion of two subjects at level one. It is, therefore, not structurally possible to complete more than two languages within the BA. The concurrent Diploma in Languages provides an alternative way of completing additional language study alongside the BA degree.

- The psychology major in the BA comprises 125 points. Students who wish to complete a psychology major and a second major must credit two later-year psychology subjects to the breadth component of the BA.

- The beginners stream Chinese major in the BA comprises 125 points. Students who wish to complete a major in this stream of Chinese will not be able to complete a second major due to the structural constraints of the degree. However, with careful planning from first year a minor sequence may be completed as well as the 125-point beginners stream Chinese major.

- The economics major in the BA comprises 112.5 points, 75 points of which must be taken as breadth. Students wishing to complete an economics major (or minor) should note that the breadth component of the BA will be occupied entirely by the economics program.

- It is not structurally possible to complete a major in psychology as well as a major in economics. Students who wish to complete majors in these two areas will need to seek advice from a student advisor in the Arts & Music Student Centre.

- For students who commenced the Bachelor of Arts in 2008, additional information on majors in cultural studies, English literary studies, international studies, political science, screen studies, theatre studies, and the minor in socio-legal studies can be found in the 2008 Handbook.

Subject Options:

Capstone Subjects

All non-language majors in the BA comprise a compulsory level three capstone subject. Capstone subjects are usually only available in semester two and are therefore completed in the final semester of enrolment. Students who commence the BA mid-year may need to plan their final two semesters of study carefully to ensure that they complete the capstone in the year prior to that of their final semester of study.

Capstone subjects are not available in the minor. Capstone subjects are not available as breadth.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 2
Breadth Options:

Breadth subjects offer you the opportunity to choose additional subjects from outside your major study area (learn more about breadth subjects) .

View breadth subjects for this course.

Entry Requirements:

For the most up-to-date admission requirements visit:

CRICOS Code: 002167E

Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:
Further Study: Honours

High-achieving BA graduates may apply for entry to an Honours year, which represents a fourth year of study in the BA. The BA(Honours) comprises a research project as well specialist fourth year level subjects. For more information on entry to Honours, see the Arts Honours webpage.

Coursework Masters

If you wish to continue your professional studies at postgraduate level, the studies you undertake in your major can provide a direct pathway to coursework masters degrees in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Executive Master of Arts and Master of International Relations are two new Arts masters degrees that will commence in 2010. Other coursework masters degrees are available in areas such as criminology, editing, media and communications, public policy and management, arts management, cinema management, development studies and many more. Entry is based on academic merit and in most cases requires completion of a Bachelors degree or equivalent.

You will also be well-prepared to undertake a Melbourne Model Graduate Professional Degree in areas such as law, teaching and commerce.

For more information on entry into a coursework masters degree see - The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences webpages , or the University graduate programs webpages.

Research Higher Degrees

If you wish to undertake advanced research and explore particular study areas in more depth, there will be opportunities to proceed to a range of Research Higher Degrees at masters and doctoral level. For more information about research higher degree study in Arts and the entry requirements, see the Arts Graduate Research Programs webpages and the Melbourne School of Graduate Research webpages .
Graduate Attributes: Academically excellent
The Bachelor of Arts will be subject to a continuous cycle of review through Australian and international benchmarking, and through constant refinements in teaching and
learning principles and approaches. The mandatory completion of a major designed as a coherent progression of study from first to third year and culminating in a capstone experience, ensures the acquisition of disciplinary depth. Students in the BA are taught by outstanding scholars.

Knowledgeable across disciplines

The Bachelor of Arts offers students majors in 33 areas of study, including 11 languages, and in most cases allows students to complete two majors during the course of their
degree. All BA students will complete two interdisciplinary first-year subjects which offer cross-cultural perspectives on a number of historical and contemporary themes, and each of which has been designed collaboratively by teachers drawn from a number of different disciplines. All BA students will complete 75 points of subjects drawn from other degree programs or elsewhere across the University.

Leaders in communities
The Bachelor of Arts facilitates the development of excellent interpersonal and communication skills through subject content and assessment practices, and through commitment to small-group interactive teaching and learning environments. The provision of research and knowledge transfer opportunities enables the development of public discourse skills and an extensive awareness of community issues and global needs.

Attuned to cultural diversity
The Bachelor of Arts offers students a sustained and detailed education in aspects of cultural diversity and indigeneity. Many of the core discipline areas are concerned specifically and analytically with cultural diversity, from language, area and historical studies, through comparative social science studies, to the explicit study of culture itself. The BA offers an Australian Indigenous Studies major. In addition, all students will be exposed specifically to cross-cultural issues through the first-year teaching program. Many BA students will take advantage of the opportunities for Exchange overseas, and others will undertake on-line international subjects, to provide them with experiences outside their own immediate cultures.

Active global citizens

Bachelor of Arts graduates will be equipped to be active global citizens by virtue of their academic excellence, their inter-disciplinary knowledge, their community leadership capabilities and their cultural awareness.
Generic Skills:

Arts students are encouraged to pursue their academic interests and professional aspirations by taking a variety of subjects in a range of different areas of study. All arts subjects provide students with transferable generic skills that prepare them for further study and the workplace.

As a result of attendance at scheduled classes, participation in planned activities and discussion groups, and timely completion of essays and assignments, arts graduates should acquire transferable generic skills in the following areas:

  • research

    through competent use of the library, electronic databases, and other information sources, and the definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research;

  • critical thinking and analysis

    through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument;

  • thinking in theoretical terms

    through lectures, tutorial discussion, essay writing and engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences;

  • thinking creatively

    through essay writing, creative writing, tutorial discussions and presentations, conceptualising theoretical problems, forming judgements and arguments from conflicting evidence and by critical analysis;

  • understanding of social, ethical and cultural context

    through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument;

  • communicating knowledge intelligibly and economically

    through essay writing and tutorial and seminar discussion;

  • written communication

    through essay preparation and assignment writing;

  • public speaking

    through tutorial and seminar discussion and class presentations;

  • attention to detail

    through essay preparation and writing, and examination revision;

  • time management and planning

    through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion and examination revision;

  • teamwork

    through joint projects and group discussions.

Links to further information:

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