Bachelor of Arts

Course B-ARTS (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

This is a
New Generation course
, part of the
Melbourne Model
and is available from 2008
Year and Campus: 2015 - 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 programs in the humanities, social sciences and languages. Students can:

  • Benefit from studying with high achieving local and international students and learn from internationally recognised scholars and industry professionals;
  • Study one or more languages with most areas available from beginners to advanced level;
  • 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;
  • Undertake specialised fieldwork, research options and integrated internship and volunteering programs which provide opportunities for professional work experience and community engagement;
  • Enjoy a rewarding professional career, with University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts graduates enjoying employment rates well above the national Arts average;
  • Undertake international exchange study at more than 180 universities worldwide, receiving credit towards your Bachelor of Arts degree;
  • Create an individual study program by undertaking breadth studies in areas such as bioscience, commerce, environments, music and science or by choosing University breadth subjects.

Learning Outcomes:

BA graduates:

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of selected fields of study in core disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and languages;
  • Apply critical and analytical skills and methods to the identification and resolution of problems within complex changing social contexts.
  • Demonstrate a general understanding of the concepts and principles of selected areas of study outside core disciplines of the humaniti;s, social sciences and languages;
  • Apply 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;
  • Articulate the relationship between diverse forms of knowledge and the social, historical and cultural contexts that produced them;
  • Communicate effectively and, in the case of those students undertaking a language major, read, write, listen to and speak another language with fluency and appreciate its cultural context;
  • Act as informed and critically discerning participants within the community of scholars, as citizens and in the work force;
  • Work effectively in groups to meet a shared goal with people whose disciplinary and cultural backgrounds differ from their own;
  • Work with independence, self- reflection and creativity to meet goals and challenges in the workplace and personal life.

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

50 points of breadth subjects including;

  • At least one breadth subject (12.50 points ) and no more than three (37.50 points) 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 ten subjects (125 points) may be taken at level 1.

Major Requirements

  • Students must complete one major
  • Students may complete a maximum of two majors
  • Student may take no more than ten subjects (125 points) in any one discipline


Students must complete a minimum of four subjects (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

Major Requirements

Students must complete at least one major. A major usually consists of 100 points of study within a single discipline comprising:

  • Two subjects (25 points) at level 1 (this may include an Arts Foundation subject in non-language majors/minors)
  • Three subjects (37.5 points) at level 2
  • Three subjects (37.5 points) at level 3 (including a capstone subject for non-language majors)

Variations to Major Requirements

  • Students who undertake a major in Chinese from entry point 1 (beginners level) must complete ten Chinese subjects (125 points) taken as Arts discipline subjects.
  • Students who undertake a major in Psychology must complete ten Psychology subjects (125 points)comprising eight subjects (100 points) taken as Arts discipline subjects and two subjects (25 points) at later years taken as breadth (12.50 at level 2 and 12.50 points at level 3).
  • Students who undertake a major in Economics will complete nine Economics subjects (112.5 points) comprising three subjects (37.5 points) taken as Arts discipline and six subjects (75 points) taken as breadth.

Please Note:

  • Students may complete a maximum of two majors.
  • Students may take no more than ten subjects (125 points) in any one discipline area.
  • 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.
  • It is not possible to complete a major and a minor in the same area of study.

Minor Requirements

Students may complete one minor. A minor consists of 75 points of study within a single discipline comprising:

  • Two subjects (25 points) at level 1
  • Two subjects (25 points) at level 2
  • Two subjects (25 points) at level 3

Capstone subjects are not available in the minor.

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
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, 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.

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:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • VCE units 3 & 4 with a study score of at least 25 in English/English Language/Literature or at least 30 in EAL; and
  • for applicants intending to major in Economics, at least 25 in VCE Units 3 & 4 Mathematical Methods (CAS) or Specialist Mathematics, or equivalent. OR
  • International Baccalaureate: At least Grade 4 in English. For students with English as their second language a pass in English B at the required level will satisfy the English prerequisite. Except where specified, IB subjects must be passed to at least Grade 4 Standard or Higher Level. Mathematical Studies is not deemed equivalent to VCE Mathematical Methods.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Admission and Selection into Course Policy.

4. The minimum English language requirements for this course are Band 6.5.

Note: Selection mode: CY12: ATAR and two stage process with middle band of approximately 20%. Non Y12: Entire academic record including GPA or STAT or SAT.
From 2009, consideration will be given to Access Melbourne applicants.

For information on admissions please visit:

Core Participation Requirements:

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.

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 and adhere to the expectations outlined in the Student Charter.

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.

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. 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 the Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours) The Honours program comprises a research project as well as specialist 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, usually upon completion of an Honours degree. 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.

Graduate Attributes:

The University of Melbourne educational experience prepares well-rounded graduates who are academically outstanding, practically grounded and socially responsible. Melbourne's graduates are distinguished by their broad outlook and openness to different perspectives.

Melbourne's degrees develop research and reasoning skills that equip graduates to be influential citizens with high leadership potential. The University's graduates engage with national and global issues and are attuned to social and cultural diversity. They have high levels of self-awareness and value their personal integrity and well-being.

Academic distinction

A Melbourne degree provides graduates with in-depth knowledge of their specialist disciplines and skills in examining issues with multiple disciplinary perspectives. Melbourn graduates are critical, creative thinkers with strong reasoning skills. They can apply knowledge, information and research skills to complex problems in a range of contexts and are effective oral and written communicators.

The Melbourne educational experience prepares graduates to be entrepreneurial and innovative thought-leaders. Melbourne graduates bring research and inquiry skills to challenges in their workplaces and communities. They are adept lifelong learners who generate bold and novel ideas by critically evaluating alternative possibilities and viewpoints.

Active citizenship

Melbourne graduates have engaged with contemporary local, national and global issues and developed an appreciation of the Asian region. They have a high regard for human rights, social inclusion, ethics and the environment. Melbourne graduates are aware of the social and cultural diversity in communities and can work collaboratively with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In particular, they have an understanding of and deep respect for Indigenous knowledge, culture and values.

The Melbourne experience supports a commitment to civic service in graduates' lives and careers, equipping them to be active, well-informed citizens who make substantial contributions to society. Graduates have the potential to be leaders in their professions and communities, with the capacity to work effectively across disciplines and cultures. Through advocacy and innovation they are able to lead change for a sustainable future.

Integrity and self-awareness

Melbourne graduates are motivated, self-directed and well-organised, with the ability to set goals and manage time and priorities. They are able to work effectively both independently and in groups. They are also highly self-aware and reflective, with skills in self-assessment, and place great importance on their personal and professional integrity.

The opportunities offered by the Melbourne experience help prepare graduates who are enthusiastic, self-assured and confident of their knowledge, yet flexible, adaptable and aware of their limitations. Melbourne's graduates are willing to explore, experiment and learn from mistakes. They have empathy and concern for the welfare of others and can manage their own well-being.

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