Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours)

Course BH-ARTS (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

This is a
New Generation course
, part of the
Melbourne Model
and is available from 2008
Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 009645A
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Refer to each individaul study area.


Arts Student Centre

Course Overview:

The Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours) (BH-Arts) is an advanced and specialised course of study requiring a higher standard of performance than a pass degree. It offers a broad range of Arts programs in humanities, social sciences and languages and enhances students’ ability to acquire advanced research and analytical skills and develop original ideas. It augments students’ ability to apply innovative solutions to complex problems. Students may specialise in one area of study (pure honours) or two (combined honours) depending on specialisation.

The BA (Hons) is available to students who have completed a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The BA (Hons) involves one additional year of study at fourth-year level. Students must also have satisfied the requirements of the new generation BA (or equivalent) within the last five years, for articulation into the program.


The BA(Hons) is an advanced level of study designed to allow students to specialise in one area of study (pure honours) or two (combined honours). The opportunity to specialise provides a strong foundation for the future direction of graduates, whether as a means of progressing into research higher degree at the Masters or PhD level, or improving the scope of employment options and professional advancement. Students with Honours from Melbourne Arts record exceptionally high rates of satisfaction with the professional and academic directions they pursue beyond graduation. The degree is designed so that BA (Hons) graduates will 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 requirements for the BA (Hons) degree is the completion of 100 points of study at fourth-year level.

  • Pure honours usually consists of 62.5 points of coursework and a thesis of 37.5 points.
  • Combined honours usually consists of the thesis and two coursework subjects in one area of study (37.5 + 25 = 62.5 points) and three coursework subjects in the combined area of study (37.5 points).

Please note: this structure may vary depending on specialisation.

You are required to achieve an honours grade (ie. H1, H2A, H2B, H3) for each component of assessment in fourth year, and an overall grade of at least H3.

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 on the Student Policy Directory



Please note that some specialisations are not available in pure honours and must be taken in combination with another area - consult each area for more details.

Entry Requirements:

1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant's ability to pursue the course successfully using the following criteria:

• a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne or a cognate undergraduate degree from another institution, completed within the last five years, with a Standard Grade Point Average (SGPA) of at least 70%, or equivalent;

• completion of a major at an appropriate standard in a discipline relevant to the specific program to which entry is sought;

• results in any prerequisite subjects for the specific program to which entry is sought.

Quotas may be applied to the degree as a whole or to individual programs and preference may be given to applicants with evidence of appropriate preparation or potential to undertake research.

2. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports or employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Note. Entry is subject to the capacity of the relevant schools or programs to provide adequate supervision in a project appropriate to the interests and preparation of the individual student. Subject to this restriction, University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts graduates with a Standard Grade Point Average (SGPA) of at least 75% are guaranteed entry to the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) if they meet all prerequisites for the specific program and have an average of H1 (80%) across the relevant major.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Faculty of Arts welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Faculty policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the Faculty’s programs.

The inherent academic requirements for study in the Faculty of Arts are:

  • the ability to attend classes and actively engage in both independent and group learning;
  • the ability to comprehend complex disciplinary and interdisciplinary information related to the courses taught in the faculty;
  • the ability to explain and evaluate complex concepts, theories and issues at work in a variety of texts;
  • the ability to clearly communicate a knowledge and application of humanities, social sciences and language principles and practices during assessment tasks.

All students of the Arts Faculty’s courses are required to possess intellectual, ethical, and emotional capabilities required to participate in the full curriculum and to achieve the minimum levels of competence required by the Faculty. Candidates for the BA degree must have abilities in comprehension, theorization, and communication.

Communication: Students must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form. They should also be able to communicate with fellow students, professional and academic staff, and the wider public. They must have the capacity to clearly and independently communicate knowledge and application of Arts disciplines.

Intellectual and Organisational Abilities: Students must have the ability to establish study plans and prioritise learning objectives. They are also expected to have the ability to develop problem-solving skills and to comprehend complex disciplinary and cross-disciplinary information related to the BA degree.

Behavioural and Social Attributes: Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. They must take full responsibility for their own participation and learning. Students also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative environments and must therefore demonstrate a wide range of interpersonal skills which consider the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students. Integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are deemed necessary for students enrolled in Arts courses.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:

Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability; however, students should participate in the course in an independent manner.

Further Study:

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 areas of humanities and social sciences, 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.

For more information on entry into a coursework masters degree, please refer to the The Graduate School of Humanities & Social Sciences:

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 Faculty of Arts Graduate Research Programs.

Graduate Attributes:

Academically excellent
The Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours) 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 BA Honours program will be taught by outstanding scholars who ensured that in 2007 the University of Melbourne was ranked 17th in the world for arts and humanities and social sciences by The Times Higher Education Supplement (UK).

Knowledgeable across disciplines
The Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours) offers students specialisations in 34 areas of study, including 11 languages and students may specialise in one area of study (pure honours) or two (combined honours).

Leaders in communities
The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) facilitates the development of excellent research skills, 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 (Degree with Honours) program 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 Honours program is also introducing an Australian Indigenous Studies specialisation.

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: Arts & Music Student Centre

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