Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Teaching Primary)

Approved Abbreviation: BA

Western Sydney University Course Code: 1651.1

CRICOS Code: 061012B

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 2008.

Students must select Humanities, Islamic Studies, Languages or Psychology as a Key Program. In addition to the key program, students must study an Education Major sequence.. The Humanities Key Program has majors in Art History and Cinema Studies, Asian Studies and International Relations, Cultural and Social Analysis, English, Text and Writing and History, Politics and Philosophy. The Languages Key Program has majors and sub-majors in specific named language sequences, and in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Langueages (TESOL); Interpreting and Translation; and English Linguistics.

This BA (Pathway—Primary), followed by the Masters of Teaching (Primary) postgraduate qualification gives you direct access to a teaching career in four years with improved prospects for career advancement. The first three years of study in the Arts component will allow you to focus on a general program of your choice and to structure your units of study to gain the necessary learning areas to satisfy NSW Institute of Teachers discipline knowledge requirements for entry into teaching. The fourth year of study in the M.Teach will concentrate on the skills and knowledge needed to translate your expertise to a classroom setting.

As well as being equipped with all the necessary elements for initial teacher training, BA (Pathway—Primary) graduates will be 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.

The BA (Pathway - Primary) is a three-year degree offering students an opportunity to develop a depth of disciplinary experitise and academic preparation for a number of the key learning areas of the primary curriculum, together with a broad understanding of issues relating to education. The BA (Pathway - Primary) 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
  • Course Advisor(s) with signing rights - Assoc Prof Carol Liston

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


Assumed knowledge: two units of HSC English at Band 4; two units of HSC maths

Recommended studies: HSC English Standard, or equivalent.

Advanced Standing: Students may only receive recognition for prior learning if that prior learning can be directly specified as equivalent (in level and content area) to the component of their intended study in the BA (Pathway - Primary). For this reason, credit will not normally be granted for TAFE study.

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 Islamic Studies or Languages or Humanities
  • 80 credit point Education Major

Key Program

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

All students must complete a Key Program. Key Programs available are:

KP1604ISLAIslamic Studies

In addition to the BA core unit and the Key Program sequence, students must complete an 80 credit point Education Studies Major. Explanations of the Education major sequences can be found in the relevant section below.

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 credit 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, Islamic Studies and Psychology.

Bachelor of Arts (Pathway - Primary) Key Programs

Key Program in Humanities

Head of Program - Dr Penny Rossiter

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

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

M1604AHCS2Art History and Cinema Studies
M1604ASIRAsian Studies and International Relations
M1604CSA2Cultural and Social Analysis
M1604ETW3English, Text and Writing
M1604HPP3History, Politics and Philosophy

The 40 credit point sub-major comes from a Humanities major other than the area chosen for the Key Program, with the exception of students who have chosen the Humanities major area Asian Studies and International Relations, or students who have chosen the major area in English, Text and Writing.

  • *For students majoring in Asian Studies and International Relations, the Humanities submajor area may be replaced with a submajor in an Asian Language (Arabic, Japanese or Chinese).
  • *For students majoring in English, Text and Writing, the Humanities submajor may be replaced by a submajor in English Linguistics

S1604AHCS2Art History and Cinema Studies
S1604ASIRAsian Studies and International Relations
S1604CSA2Cultural and Social Analysis
S1604ETW3English, Text and Writing
S1604HPP3History, Politics and Philosophy

Key Program in Islamic Studies

KP1604ISLAIslamic Studies

Head of Program - Professor Nancy Wright

The Key Program in Islamic Studies offers students in-depth study by building on a solid theoretical foundation introduced in the first year, then moving progressively into topics and disciplines essential to an understanding of Islamic studies, past and present. The area of study balances text and context, as well as historical and modern Islamic studies and research methods. One of the keys to Islamic Studies is ‘relevance’ to the contemporary world, but relevance can only come from a sound comprehension of past traditions in Islamic scholarship and their socio-historical contexts. Preparation for graduate study is also a key objective of this program, with its focus on developing critical and interdisciplinary research skills in Islam through a combination of approaches.

The Key Program in Islamic Studies consists of an 80 credit point major and a 40 credit point sub-major in Arabic Language.

M1604ISLAIslamic Studies

Key Program in Languages


Head of Program - Ms Jeni Ryde

A Key Program in a language comprises of 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 Second Language (L2) teaching, or Interpreting and Translation, or English Linguistics.

Available Language majors:


Available Language sub-majors:


Sub-majors for Language in Professional contexts:

S1604INTRInterpreting and Translation
S1604ELEnglish Linguistics
S1604TSL2TESOL and L2 Teaching

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

Key Program in Psychology


Head of Program - Dr Glenn Newbery

The Psychology key program offered within the Bachelor of Arts 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.

Psychology is the field of inquiry that uses scientific techniques and methods to understand and explain behavior and experience. As a profession, it involves the application of psychological knowledge to practical problems in human behavior. 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 Key Program in Psychology requires the successful completion of the 40 credit point Bachelor of Arts core units plus the 120 credit points of units in the recommended sequence.

Compulsory Education Studies major

All students in the Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Teaching - Primary) must complete an Education Studies major.

M1651EDSTEducation Studies

Please note M1651EDST.1 has been replaced with M1023.1 for all current and continuing 1651 students. Please refer to this new unit structure below - M1023.1 for all your remaining Education Studies Major units.

M1023Education Studies

In the new structure you are able to complete 4 units at level 7 from the Master of Teaching (Primary) during your BA studies, enabling you to accelerate your study in the Master of Teaching (Primary).

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