Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Teaching Secondary)

Approved Abbreviation: BA

Western Sydney University Course Code: 1652.1

CRICOS Code: 061013A

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 can select Humanities, Islamic Studies, 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 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 Languages (TESOL); Interpreting and Translation; and English Linguistics.

This BA (Pathway—Secondary), followed by the Masters of Teaching (Secondary) 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—Secondary) 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—Secondary) is a three-year degree offering students an opportunity to develop a depth of disciplinary expertise, and to provide an opportunity for students to gain a basic understanding of issues relating to educuation, in the context of curricula in NSW. The BA (Pathway—Secondary) 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


Assumed knowledge: two units of HSC English at Band 4.

Recommended studies: HSC English Standard, or equivalent

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 points of elective units (which may be structured to satisfy the rules of the 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. Explenations for these Key Programs can be found under the listings below.

Key Programs available are:

KP1604ISLAIslamic Studies

*Students wishing to go on to qualify as School Counsellors must enrol in the Key Program of Psychology and should use their 80 credit points of elective to pick up their chosen principal teaching area (by study of units within the Bachelor of Arts, or from another course of study).

In addition to the BA core unit and the Key Program sequence, students enrolled in the Humanities, Islamic Studies or Languages Key Programs may choose to complete an 80 credit point Education Studies Major. Explanations of the Education major sequences can be found in the relevant section below

  • No more than 100 credit points of Level 1 units may be counted towards the degree
  • No less than 60 of the total 240 credit points must be at Level 3
  • The general pre-requisite for Level 2 and Level 3 units in the Humanities Key Program is the successful completion of at least 60 credit points of Level 1 units.

Advice is given below about how particular majors lead to particular areas of secondary teaching. Students should note that rules for secondary teacher accreditation in NSW are as follows:

  • For a first teaching area: a minimum of six sequential semester-long units in a designated area (eg English, History), with at least four of these at Level 2 or above
  • For a second teaching area: a minimum of four sequential semester-long units in a desingated area (eg English, History), with at least two of these at Level 2 or above

In the discussion about secondary teaching qualifications which accompanies each major below, the discussion is based on qualifications for a first teaching area only. Students can make the appropriate adjustments for a second teaching area as well as seek appropriate advice. Students must qualify in a first teaching area in order to have a second teaching area.


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.

Bachelor of Arts (Pathway—Secondary) Key Programs

Key Program in Humanities

Head of Program - Dr Sabrina Achilles

The Key Program in Humanities consists of an 80 credit point major and 40 credit point sub-major.

The 80 credit point Humanities 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 pf 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 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (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:

S1604ELEnglish Linguistics
S1604INTRInterpreting and Translation
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 Newbury

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.

Education Studies Major

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Teaching-Secondary)

  • Languages Key Program,
  • Humanities Key Program major areas of English, Text and Writing; or
  • History, Politics and Philosophy

may choose to structure their electives to complete an Education Studies major.

M1112Education Studies

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 majors and sub-majors

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)

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