Bachelor of Arts

Course B-ARTS (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

This is a
New Generation course
, part of the
Melbourne Model
and is available from 2008
Year and Campus: 2014 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 002167E
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 300 credit points taken over 36 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


The Program Director for the Bachelor of Arts is Associate Professor Parshia Lee-Stecum


Arts Student Centre
Ground Floor, Arts West Building

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

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 undertaking breadth studies in areas such as bioscience, commerce, environments, music and science or by choosing subjects in University breadth subjects.
  • Undertake specialised fieldwork, research options and integrated internship and volunteering programs which provide opportunities for professional work experience and community engagement.
  • Undertake international study exchange at any one of the 120 universities worldwide, receiving credit towards your Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • Study one or more languages with most areas available from beginners to advanced level.
  • Benefit from studying with high achieving local and international students Learn from internationally recognised scholars and industry professionals.
  • Create pathways into further postgraduate study in vocationally focused coursework masters programs and, with the completion of an Honours year, entry into research higher degrees.
  • Enjoy a rewarding professional career, with University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts graduates enjoying employment rates well above the national Arts average.
Learning Outcomes:

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 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, 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 technologies for the acquisition, processing and interpretation of data.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Bachelor of Arts requires the successful completion of 300 points (24 x 12.5-credit point subjects) comprising:

225 points of Arts discipline subjects including:

  • at least six arts discipline subjects (75 points) at level 1, including one Arts Foundation Subjects;
  • at least six arts discipline subjects (75 points) at level 2;
  • at least six arts discipline subjects (75 points) at level 3.

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

50 points of breadth subjects including:

  • a minimum of 12.50 points and maximum of 37.50 at level one;
  • at least 12.5 points at level two or three

25 points of Arts discipline or breadth at subjects at level 1, 2 or 3.

Please note no more than a total of 125 points (10 subjects), including up to 37.50 points of breadth, may be taken at level 1.

Major Requirements

Students must complete one major; a major usually consists of 100 points of study within a single discipline, taken as:

  • two subjects (25 points) at first-year level, may include an Arts Foundation subject in non-language majors/minors;
  • three subjects (37.5 points) at second-year level;
  • three subjects (37.5 points) at third-year level, including a capstone subject (for non-language majors)

Please note students may take no more than 125 points (10 subjects) in any one discipline area.

Special Arrangements

Students who undertake a major in Chinese, entry point 1, will complete 125 points as Arts discipline subjects;

Students who undertake a major in Psychology will complete 125 points with 100 points taken as Arts discipline subjects and 25 later year points taken as breadth;

Students who undertake a major in Economics will complete 112.5 points with 37.5 points taken as Arts discipline subjects, 75 points taken as breadth;


Students must complete a minimum of 50 points of study at one year-level before proceeding to the next year-level.

For information on policies that govern this degree, see Academic Policies and Procedures listed in the Melbourne Policy Library.


Majors & Minors

Students must complete one major; a major usually consists of 100 points of study within a single discipline.

A major comprises 100 points of study:

  • 25 points at level one (including one Arts Foundation subject);
  • 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 study areas listed below, this includes all programs that offer a major in the BA as well as additional discipline areas listed below.

The minor comprises 75 points of study:

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

Capstone subjects are not available in the minor.

Students may take a maximum of 125 points in any one discipline area.

Arts Foundation Subjects:


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


The following areas of study are available as minors only:

Subject Options:

General Arts Subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2

Note: Austalia Now is recommended for incomming study abroad (SA-EX), exchange students (EX-UG) and international students with limited experience of Australian culture.

Important additional notes about the structure 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.
  • Students may take no more than 125 points (typically 10 subjects) in any one discipline area.
  • Language study requires the completion of two subjects at level one.
  • The beginners stream Chinese major in the BA comprises 125 points.
  • The Economics major in the BA comprises of 112.50 points, 75 points taken as breadth and 37,50 points taken as Arts discipline subjects.
  • The Psychology major in the BA comprises of 125 points, 100 points taken as Arts discipline subjects and 25 later year points taken as breadth.
  • Students who commenced the Australian Studies major prior to 2013 can find further information on subjects here:Australian Studies.

Capstone Subjects

All non-language majors in the BA include a compulsory level three capstone subject. It is recommended that capstone subjects be completed in the final semester of enrolment. Please see individual entries for each major for information on specific Capstone subjects. Capstone subjects are only available to students completing the relevant major. Capstone subjects are not available as breadth. Please view individual majors for each capstone.

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.

Breadth Tracks:

Available Breadth Tracks

Entry Requirements:

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

CRICOS Code: 002167E

Core Participation Requirements:

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) 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 BA. .

The inherent academic requirements for study in the Bachelor 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 BA students 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 degree.

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 the BA. Students who feel their disability will prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Disability Liaison: Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability; however, students should participate in the course in an independent manner.
Further Study:


High-achieving BA graduates may apply for entry to an Honours year, which represents a fourth year of study in the BA. The Honours year comprises a research project as well as 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 a wide range of areas. Entry is based on academic merit and in most cases requires completion of a Bachelor degree or equivalent.

For more information on entry into a coursework masters degree see 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 12 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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