Bachelor of Arts

Approved Abbreviation: BA

Western Sydney University Course Code: 1604.3

CRICOS Code: 040992A

Students should follow the course structure for the course version relevant to the year they commenced. This version applies to students whose commencement year for this course is 2007.

Commencement Year 2006 - 1604.2 Bachelor of Arts

Commencement Year 2005 - 1604.1 Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts allows students to select Humanities, Applied Humanities, Languages or Psychology as a key program. In addition to the key program, students are able to undertake additional areas of study in the form of a major or sub-major. The Humanities key program has majors in Art History and Cinema Studies; Asian Studies; Cultural and Social Analysis; English, Text and Writing; and History, Politics and Philosophy. Study in the Applied Humanities Key Program is available in Languages and in the Humanities major areas of study. The Languages Key Program has majors and sub-majors in specific named language sequences, and in TESOL; Interpreting and Translation; and English Linguistics.

Bachelor of Arts graduates are prepared for a very wide range of employment opportunities and are equipped with the communication and people skills, creativity and capacity for independent thought, flexibility and adaptability in new situations increasingly demanded by employers. Bachelor of Arts graduates find employment in an enormous diversity of areas including: communication and media industries; education; entertainment and arts administration; government, cultural, and heritage organisations; psychology and counselling; social and policy research and analysis; tourism and leisure industries; writing and publishing.

Careers in Teaching and Education:

Students wishing to be primary or secondary school teachers of English, History, Languages or Human Society and its Environment (which includes both history and social science units) should enrol in courses 1651 Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Primary Teaching) or 1652 Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Secondary Teaching). For further information concerning the requirements for teaching, students are advised to consult the Subject Content Requirements for Primary and Secondary Teaching NSW (Abridged) from the NSW Institute of Teachers

or the School of Education.

The Bachelor of Arts is a three-year degree offering students an opportunity to develop a depth of disciplinary expertise together with the breadth of vision afforded by cross-disciplinary approaches to the humanities. The Bachelor of Arts is also designed to provide knowledge, tools for thinking, and enhanced self-understanding, so as to form a basis for lifelong learning.

  • Director of Academic Program - Dr Dianne Dickenson

Study Mode
Three years full-time or six years part-time. Classes are generally offered during the day. For progression requirements consult UWS policy on the web at

The Key Program in Psychology offered within the Bachelor of Arts is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA) as an undergraduate three year sequence in Psychology.


Assumed knowledge: any two units of HSC English.

Recommended studies: HSC English Standard, or equivalent.

For admission to the Applied Humanities key program applicants must have completed a TAFE diploma (AQF Level 5, 2 years full-time or equivalent) or equivalent in a relevant area at credit level or above, and must nominate the Applied Humanities program on enrolment. TAFE program areas considered most compatible with the Bachelor of Arts studies are:

  • business and public adminstration
  • community services
  • health
  • tourism
  • hospitality
  • information technology
  • arts and media

Course Structure

Qualification for this award requires the successful completion of 240 credit points.

All students must enrol in and complete:

  • 40 credit points Bachelor of Arts Core
  • 120 credit point key program of Psychology or Languages or Humanities
  • 80 credit points of elective units

Electives may be used towards obtaining an additional approved major or sub-major.

Core Components

The basic structure of the Bachelor of Arts is the Level 1 core (40 credit points) and the key program (120 credit points).

The 40 credit points Level 1 core is made up of:

100958Australia and the World
100960Contemporary Society
100965Media and Visual Cultures

*Students please note from 2010 unit 100965.1 - Media and Visual Cultures is replaced by unit 100846 - Analytical Reading and Writing.

100968Texts and Traditions

Key Program

All students must complete a key program. Key programs available are:

KP1604AH2Applied Humanities

*The key program in Applied Humanities has special entry requirements.


Progression Rules

  • No more than 100 credit points of Level 1 units may be counted towards the degree.
  • The general pre-requisite for Level 2 and Level 3 units is the successful completion of at least 60 credite points of Level 1 units.*
  • Minimum 60 credit points of Level 3 units.

*There are particular exceptions in the case of the key programs in Languages and Psychology.


Students completing a key program in one area of study have the option of structuring their elective units into a additional major or sub-major taken from outside the key program.

Students who wish to undertake an additional major drawn from another key program are not required to undertake the core units for that key program before studying a major sequence.

The exception to this rule is Psychology, which must be studied in its entirety for reasons of external accreditation, and is not available as an additional major.

Key Program in Applied Humanities

The Applied Humanities key program is made up of two components combining TAFE and university study. The TAFE component is a Diploma (AQF Level 5 or higher). The university component is 120 credit points of study, comprising of an 80 credit point major and 40 credit point sub-major. Students must apply for academic credit for the Diploma component of this award when enrolling in the course.

Students may undertake this Key Program in the area of Humanities or Languages.

KP1604AH2Applied Humanities

For students choosing Humanities, their major is made up of the designated Level 1 unit for the major plus 70 credit points of Level 2 or 3 units including the Humanities Internship unit worth 10 credit points

100961Humanities Internship

Applied Humanities Majors

Note: Art History and Cinema Studies (available at Penrith only)

AH1604AH2Applied Humanities Art History and Cinema Studies
AH1604AS2Applied Humanities Asian Studies
AH1604CSA2Applied Humanities Cultural and Social Analysis
AH1604ETW2Applied Humanities English, Text and Writing
AH1604HPP2Applied Humanities History, Politics and Philosophy

Applied Humanities Sub-majors

The 40 credit point sub-major must be selected from one other of the Humanities major areas listed above.

The sub-major must be made up of no more than one Level 100 unit with the remaining 30 credit points made up of Level 200 or 300 units, or 40 credit points at Level 200 or 300.

AS1604AH2Applied Humanities Art History and Cinema Studies
AS1604AS2Applied Humanities Asian Studies
AS1604CSA2Applied Humanities Cultural and Social Analysis
AS1604ETW2Applied Humanities English, Text and Writing
AS1604HPP2Applied Humanities History, Politics and Philosophy

Applied Humanities - Majors and Sub-majors in Languages

Students completing the Applied Humanities key program in Languages must complete the mandatory core unit 100928.1 Linguistics plus three units chosen from the linguistics pool. The remaining 80 credit points can be structured to complete a major of 80 credit points in a named Language (consisting of 70 credit points in a recommended language sequence plus 10 credit points 100961.2 Humanities Internship)

AH1604LAN2Applied Humanities Languages

OR of two 40 credit point sub-majors: one from one of the language in Professional Contexts sub-pools, and one in a named language sequence.

AS1604LAN2Applied Humanities Languages

In general, units counted towards the requirements of one key program cannot be double-counted for credit towards another key program, major or sub-major.

Key Program in Humanities

The key program in Humanities consists of an 80 credit point major and 40 credit point sub-major.


Humanities Majors

The 80 credit point major must come from one of the following areas:

M1604AHCS2Art History and Cinema Studies

Note: Art History and Cinema Studies (available at Penrith only)

M1604AS2Asian Studies
M1604CSA2Cultural and Social Analysis
M1604ETW2English, Text and Writing
M1604HPP2History, Politics and Philosophy

Humanities Sub-majors

The sub-major must be made up of no more than one (1) Level 10 unit with the remaining 30 credit points made up of Level 200 or Level 300 units, or 40 credit points at Level 200 or Level 300.

S1604AHCS2Art History and Cinema Studies
S1604AS2Asian Studies
S1604CSA2Cultural and Social Analysis
S1604ETW2English, Text and Writing
S1604HPP2History, Politics and Philosophy

Key Program in Languages (Bankstown Campus only)


A key program in a language comprises of 160 credit points, made up of the 40 credit points Bachelor of Arts core units, plus 120 credit points in three areas of languages and linguistics study comprising: (i) a minimum of 40 credit points of studies in a Language other than English (ii) 40 credit points of studies in the Linguistics area of studies and (iii) the balance of 40 credit points may be used to complete a major in the same language, or a sub-major in another language or from further studies in a 'Language in professional contexts' area with a choice from a pool of units in TESOL and L2 Teaching, or Interpreting and Translation, or English Linguistics.

Students may complete an additional major or sub-major in another language or Linguistics or any other approved program using some or all of their 80 credit points of elective units.


Language Majors

Available language majors are:


Language Sub-majors

A sub-major in a specific language other than English is any sequence of 40 credit points at Level 200 and Level 300 (i.e. post-beginner, pos HSC level) including 101267.1 Language Skills 203: Listening and Speaking and 101268.1 Language Skills 204: Reading and Writing

Available language sub-majors are:


Language in professional context Sub-majors are:

S1604ELEnglish Linguistics
S1604INTRInterpreting and Translation
S1604TSL2TESOL and L2 Teaching

Language units may be taken as electives by students within the Bachelor of Arts, and from other courses, according to prior knowledge in the specific language chosen.

Key Program in Psychology

Psychology is the field of inquiry that uses scientific techniques and methods to understand and explain behaviour and experience. As a profession, it involves the application of psychological knowledge to practical problems in human behaviour. Units in the program are drawn from the following topic areas of psychology: history of psychology, biological psychology, learning, social psychology, lifespan development, sensation and perception, individual differences, personality and cognitive processes.


The Psychology key program offered within the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Social Sciences is accredited by the Australian Psychologists Accreditation Council (APAC) and the NSW Psychologist Registration Board as undergraduate three year sequence in Psychology. The Psychology key program prepares graduates for an accredited fourth year in Psychology such as Psychology Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology.

Social Ecology Elective Major (Penrith Campus)

Students in the Bachelor of Arts who choose to package their electives to obtain the named major or sub-major in Social Ecology must be enrolled in a Key Program in Humanities, Languages or Psychology. As an elective sequence, the Social Ecology Major and Sub-Major is not a required component for graduation from the Bachelor of Arts.

The Major and Sub-Major in Social Ecology is available as an elective package to students across all degrees. Students may also choose any Social Ecology unit as a single elective.

M1604SESocial Ecology

Students may take out a Social Ecology sub-major by completing 40 credit points from the recommended pool of units. The sub-major must have no more than one Level 1 unit, with the remaining three units drawn from the advanced (Level 2 and Level 3) pool.

SM1604SESocial Ecology

Major and Sub-major elective spaces

Elective units may be used toward obtaining an additional approved major (80 credit points) or sub-major (40 credit points).

Search for a major or sub-major

Western Sydney University offers majors and sub-majors in a range of areas including Sustainability and Indigenous Studies.

Indigenous Australian Studies Major

Indigenous Australian Studies Sub-major

Indigenous Australian Creative Expressions Sub-major

Indigenous Economics Sub-major

Business Sustainability Sub-major

Students can apply for an elective major or sub-major via MySR.

MyStudentRecords (MySR)

Western Sydney University Copyright © 2004-2016 ABN 53 014 069 881 CRICOS Provider No: 00917K Contact Us | Disclaimer | Emergency Help |