A Bachelor of Arts degree is one of the more traditional and popular degrees, though it has changed in shape and content throughout the years and from country to country. The BA today is made up of subjects with origins in the humanities; history, literature, languages and philosophy and the disciplines developed during the nineteenth century that we now know as the social sciences; economics, sociology, politics, psychology and geography. While universities package courses in a variety of ways, these and related disciplines are generally included in an Arts degree, even if they are not always located in an Arts Faculty.

Choosing a Major in the Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts (702), is one of the more open degrees offered by the BIOP. Rather than relying on a prescribed program of study, it offers students a range of choices. The degree offers majors in the disciplinary areas familiar from study at school, like English Literatures, History and Languages. Other disciplinary areas that might not be as familiar, include Philosophy, Sociology, Media and Cultural Studies, Politics and Science and Technology Studies. The study of a discipline gives students a developing set of skills while they acquire a set of conceptual frameworks and a body of knowledge interpreted using those frameworks. For example, within the study of 'history', students learn how to research and write history, as well as how to read what historians have thought about the past.

The Bachelor of Art also offers interdisciplinary majors. These are built around either a place (for example USA Studies or European Studies) or a theme (for example Aboriginal Studies or Gender Studies). These majors reach across disciplines to illustrate different ways an issue can be explored. Employment Relations, for example, draws from Economics, Management and Sociology. War and Society relies on Politics, History, Sociology and Literature. Interdisciplinary majors ask the students to step outside the comfort zone offered by disciplinary majors and offer challenging alternatives to traditional areas of study.

Most majors offered in the Bachelor of Arts require either 52 or 54 credit points although some require more (for example, those taking a Language as a beginner). Some majors are quite open in their requirements allowing students to navigate their way through the program by meeting credit point requirements at each level (for example, English Literatures and Philosophy). Others have core subject requirements to complete the major (for example Sociology and Employment Relations). All majors require at least a pass in 24 credit points (or three subjects) at 300 level from the subjects offered for the major. The requirements for each major are set out later in this Handbook.

Double Majors

Students can undertake a double major in their degree. As long as the first major is taken from those offered by the Faculty of Arts, the second major can be taken from Arts, or from any other faculty, provided students meet the requirements for that major. The most common second majors taken outside the Faculty of Arts include Economics, Geography, Legal Studies, Management, Marketing and Psychology. If the two majors have common subjects, students can count one subject twice towards the majors but cannot count the credit points twice towards those required for the degree.

Minors in the Bachelor of Arts

Students can also take minors as part of their degree program either from those offered by the Arts Faculty or those offered by other faculties provided they meet the requirements set by those faculties. Subjects taken as part of a minor cannot be cross counted into any other minor or major. Minors do not appear on the testamur but do appear on the transcript (i.e. the academic record).


See separate entry for the Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Advanced Standing

Information about Approved Credit Transfer Arrangements is available on the Advanced Standing page.

Entry Requirements / Assumed Knowledge

NSW HSC entry through UAC

Students apply through UAC and satisfy the UAI requirement for the year of application.
Assumed knowledge: any two units of English.

Other Secondary Qualifications

Students with secondary qualifications outside NSW will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Tertiary Qualifications

Applications will be considered from students with the following tertiary qualifications:
A completed Diploma or Advanced Diploma from TAFE or other accredited institutions;
Not less that one-sixth of a Bachelor degree from an approved BIOP;
Other tertiary courses approved by the BIOP.

Overseas Qualifications

Students with tertiary qualifications obtained overseas will be considered, provided that they satisfy BIOP's minimum admission requirements.

Alternative Entry (Domestic applicants)

Applicants who achieve an appropriate score in one of the following qualifications may be considered for admission:

Overseas Year 12, equivalent to Year 12 .

A Diploma or Foundation Studies Program from a recognised private institution.

for people over 21 years of age, or are 21 during the course of the program. 

Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) for people over 20 years of age on 1 March in the year preceding enrolment.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander alternative entry program

Course Requirements

To qualify for award of the degree of Bachelor of Arts course code 702 a student must complete a total of at least 144 credit points from subjects listed in the Course Structures of the Bachelor of Arts offered by member units of the Faculty of Arts and other subjects as approved by the Faculty.

The 144 credit points shall include:

    a) the subjects prescribed for one of the majors listed in the Course Structures for that degree and offered by member units of the Faculty of Arts;

    b) for majors offered by the member units of the Faculty of Arts 24 credit points at 300 level at a pass grade or better in subjects offered by member units of the Faculty of Arts;

    c) not more than 60 credit points in 100-level subjects.

Students may count no more than 26 credit points of PC (Pass Conceded) or PR (Pass Restricted) grades towards the 144 required for the degree.

Where a double major is taken, both shall meet the requirements of the majors as prescribed by the faculty. A candidate for course code 702 who has registered for two major studies, for which there are common subjects at any level may count one subject twice towards the requirements of the major studies, but may only count the credit points once towards the credit points required by the course.

Minor studies for course code 702 consists of a minimum of 28 credit points of which no more than 12 credit points at 100 level. Students may not cross count subjects from a nominated minor into any other minor or major.