Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Arts

Course 977AA (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 700 credit points taken over 84 months


Professor Geoff McColl


Enquiries: Arts & Music Student Centre
Building 149, Ground Floor, Old Arts

Tel: +61 3 8344 5235
Fax: +61 3 9347 0424

Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Student Centre
Level 1, Brownless Biomedical Library
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010 Australia

Phone: +61 3 8344 5890
Fax: +61 3 9347 7084

Course Overview:

There is no further entry into this combined degree.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) offers unique flexibility with the opportunity to focus on a major chosen from a broad range of Arts study options in the humanities, social sciences and languages.

To complete the Bachelor of Arts degree as combined with the Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery, you must complete 200 points of arts subjects.

A combined degree involves completing fewer subjects or points than is both degrees were completed separately.

You cannot be awarded one component of your combined degree upon completion of the minimum requirements for that component. In other words, you must complete all the requirements for both components before you are eligible to graduate from either. If you discontinue either component of your combined course, you must complete the full requirements of the remaining degree (ie. the full amount of points required for the remaining single degree, for example 300 points for the BA).

You are expected to be familiar with the course requirements of both of the components of your degree.

For information on the Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery structure, contact the Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences Student Centre.

Students can:

  • 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 professional Arts Masters courses, Melbourne Model Graduate Professional Degrees, and with the completion of an Honours year, entry into research higher degrees in Arts.
  • Enjoy a rewarding professional career, with Melbourne Arts graduates enjoying employment rates well above the national Arts average.

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 and, 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.
Course Structure & Available Subjects: The Basic Rules of the Bachelor of Arts:

Students must complete 200 points towards the arts component of these degrees, comprising:

  • no more than 50 points of first-year arts (usually four subjects);
  • 75 points of second-year arts (usually six subjects);
  • 75 points of third-year arts (usually six subjects).

The arts component of the combined degree

As well as the completion of 200 points of BA study, four further basic rules apply;

Breadth of study requirements:

No more than 150 points may taken in any one area of study. This consists of a maximum of 25 points at first year level and 125 points at second/third year level.

Subject year level entry requirements:

Level one subjects: Most level one subjects do not have prerequisites apart from admission to a degree or diploma course. However, some language streams require the completion of VCE or IB language study and/or completion of a placement test. This must be done before you enrol. Level one subjects are not available to students enrolled in fourth-year honours, postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas, or masters programs. Level one subjects cannot be credited to level two or three of the BA or BA combined degrees.

Level two subjects Students should complete the level one requirements of their degree before enrolling in a level two subject. Students must complete at least 50 points of level one (four subjects) in order to enrol in a level two or two/three subject. Level two subjects are not available to students enrolled in fourth-year honours, postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas, or masters programs. Level two subjects cannot be credited to level one or three of the BA or BA combined degrees.

Level three subjects Students should complete the level two requirements of their degree before enrolling in a level three subject. Students must complete at least 25 points of level two (usually two subjects) in order to enrol in a level three subject. Level three subjects are not available to students enrolled in fourth-year honours, postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas, or masters programs. Level three subjects cannot be credited to level one or two of the BA or BA combined degrees.

Level four subjects are not available to students enrolled in undergraduate degrees, concurrent certificates, concurrent diplomas, graduate certificates, graduate diplomas or one-year masters programs. Level five subjects are not available to students enrolled in undergraduate degrees, concurrent certificates, concurrent diplomas, graduate certificates, or graduate diplomas.

Subject level rules apply to students in combined Arts degrees.

Language study restrictions:

The study of languages is encouraged in BA combined degrees, and language learning can be one outcome of the arts component. which allows for extended study of one language. As the BA also seeks to provide a broad base of learning in the humanities and social sciences, therefore a second language is not permitted for credit within the arts component of BA combined degrees.

Arts-approved subject requirements:

All arts subjects undertaken in this BA must be from the following arts-approved study areas. Non-arts approved subjects cannot be completed in a combined degree, even if they are included as part of a major.

all language subjects
American studies
Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies (some non-arts approved subjects included)
Art History
Asian Studies (some non-arts approved subjects included)
Australian Indigenous Studies (some non-arts approved subjects included)
Australian Studies
Cinema Studies
Classical studies and Archaeology
Creative Writing
Cultural Studies
Development Studies (some non-art approved subjects included)
English Literary Studies
English as a Second Language
English Language Studies
Environmental Studies (some non-arts approved subjects included)
European Studies
Gender Studies
Hebrew and Jewish Studies
History and Philosophy of Science
International Studies
Islamic Studies
Linguisitics and Applied Linguistics
Planning and Design
Political Science
Social Theory
Socio-legal Studies
Theatre Studies

All students are responsible for planning a course that satisfies course requirements.

For full descriptions of all arts majors, see the handbook entry for the Bachelor of Arts (105 AA).

Subject Options: N/A
Entry Requirements: There is no further entry into this combined course.
Core Participation Requirements:

The 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 subject description.

For the purposes of considering request 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:


Depending on your major area of study, you have the option of applying for an Honours year after you complete the BA, which will include a research project. For more information on entry to Honours, see the Arts 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 areas such as editing, media and communications, public policy and management, international studies, arts management, development studies and many more. Entry is based on academic merit and in most cases requires a Bachelors degree or equivalent in the relevant study area.

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 Arts coursework programs webpage, or the University graduate programs webpage.

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, see the Arts webpage.

Graduate Attributes: See course objectives
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.

Download PDF version.