Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Commerce

Course 965AA (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Year and Campus: 2013
CRICOS Code: 009651C
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 500 credit points taken over 60 months


Commerce Student Centre


Commerce Student Centre
Upper Ground Floor
ICT Building
111 Barry Street
The University of Melbourne

Tel: 13 MELB (13 63 52)
Fax: +61 3 9347 3986

Faculty Mailing Address
Commerce Student Centre
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010

Arts & Music Student Centre
Rm 104 (Ground Floor) Old Arts Building
Location (PDF, 1027kb)

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

Course Overview:

This course is no longer available to new students. The information below is for students who are already enrolled in this course.

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 arts majors, or if they find this restrictive, instead taking subjects from several areas of study.

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 completed at the University of Melbourne; and
  • compulsory subjects: ECON10003 Introductory Macroeconomics, ECON10004 Introductory Microeconomics, ECON10005 Quantitative Methods 1, MGMT20001 Organisational Behaviour* and at least one of ECON20003 Quantitative Methods 2 or ECOM20001 Introductory Econometrics or MGMT20005 Managerial Decision Analysis or MKTG20004 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 Business and Economics 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).

*Students who commenced the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce degree prior to 2005 are not required to complete this subject.


Arts requirements

As well as the completion of at least 225 points of BA study, four further basic rules apply;

Breadth of study requirements:

No more than 162.5 points may taken in any one area of study. This consists of a maximum of 25 points at first year level and 137.5 points at level two and three.

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 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. Students in the combined Ba/BCom may complete subjects in a second language, but these points will only be credited to the 75 'free' points, and cannot be counted toward the 225 point minimum BA requirements. It is only possible to complete a major in one language.

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.
Entry Requirements: There is no further admission into this combined degree.
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 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 .

Business and Economics

Students 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 course objectives

On 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:

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.

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.

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