Bachelor of Arts

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  • Objectives
    CSU’s flexible Bachelor of Arts course combines generalist skills and specialist vocational training in a combination chosen by the individual student. The Bachelor of Arts offers a diverse range of majors and minors to provide a good grounding for a career in many fields.
  • Academic title
    Bachelor of Arts
  • Course description
    About the course

    As a Bachelor of Arts graduate you will be valued by employers for your ability to gather information, think critically, assess and interpret evidence, and communicate clearly.
    Where it will take you

    Bachelor of Arts graduates often combine their degree with a postgraduate qualification in, for example, teaching, journalism, librarianship, management, psychology or criminology, to prepare themselves for specialised employment.

    A Bachelor of Arts followed by CSU's graduate entry Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) is a pathway to secondary teaching. Further study in the Master of Teaching (Primary) is another option for students looking to become primary teachers.

    Less traditional combinations have also become common, for example,

        * Bachelor of Arts graduates can now enter the accountancy profession through a postgraduate conversion course
        * the Bachelor of Arts is a path of entry to the medical schools at the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland and Flinders University.


        * Art History
        * English
        * History
        * Philosophy
        * Psychology
        * Sociology


        * Applied Psychology
        * Art History
        * Computing
        * Economics
        * English
        * Environmental Studies
        * Global Studies
        * History
        * Human Bioscience
        * Justice Studies
        * Law
        * Mathematics
        * Philosophy
        * Policy Studies
        * Politics
        * Sociology
        * Theology
        * Visual Culture
        * Writing

    Subject levels

        * no more than 10 Level 1 subjects (80 points) may be counted towards the Bachelor of Arts degree
        * at least five subjects (40 points) must be taken at Level 3,
        * and some subjects require successful completion of other prerequisite subjects. These prerequisites may be determined from the subject descriptions in the Handbook.

    Discipline restrictions

    No more than 13 subjects from a single discipline may be counted towards the Bachelor of Arts degree.

    A ‘discipline’ is defined as follows:

        * Art History – all subjects with ART or VIS codes, plus PHT107, PHT205 and PHT301
        * English – all subjects with LIT, WRT codes, plus COM123 and COM327
        * History – all subjects with HST codes, plus POL101, COM225 and COM226
        * Philosophy – all subjects with PHL codes, plus POL205
        * Psychology – all subjects with PSY codes
        * Sociology – all subjects with SOC codes, plus ANT160, SPE101 and COM219

    About the majors

    Art History
    The Art History major is designed to provide a thorough understanding of artworks, artists, and the role of art in society, in the past as well as the present. It introduces a range of theories about why art is produced and how it functions. Students develop their skills in looking at and analysing artworks, and in considering the social context of art and the biography and psychology of the artist. Practical studio skills or previous study in Art History are not essential.

        * Level 1 subjects give a general survey of international movements
        * Level 2 subjects offer a study of Australian art and its native and overseas influences
        * At Level 3, students specialise in periods and themes of particular interest

    The major recognises areas of arts practice beyond painting and sculpture. Consideration of other arts and mediums is integrated into the course, with specialised subjects in design, photography and electronic media. Questions about the role and function of the arts in today’s society and issues of gender, class and ethnicity are canvassed.

    Art History is of relevance to students training to be practitioners in the arts and to those intending to be teachers, arts administrators, librarians, and gallery and museum officers, as well as having a strong non-vocational attraction for art-lovers. Students proceeding to Honours in Art History at CSU have the opportunity to undertake curatorial studies and internships.

    All subjects in the major are available on campus or distance education.

    Students are provided with extensive study guides and readings. In addition, they have access to specially developed picture resources on the internet, video and CD-ROM.

    English as an academic discipline involves the study of literature in the English language. Although the reading of literature involves pleasure, it also demands rigour and critical intelligence. In particular, English develops attentiveness to the workings of language that is highly valued in many walks of life.

    First-year English subjects provide a broad history of the development of the literature of England until the 19th Century. Subsequently, attention moves to predominantly 19th and 20th Century literature, and to Ireland and to other parts of the world such as America and Australia, which produce literature in English. Subjects are also available on literary theory, children’s literature, creative writing and literature and film.

    We cannot understand current events, and our place in the world, without history. History’s concern with the past is essential to questions of identity and national roles. We all use images of the past as a basis for judgment, even if we do so in an unthinking way. The chief role of the academic discipline of history is to ensure that those images are as accurate as possible, based on rigorous study rather than myth or prejudice. History teaching also emphasises the importance of skills such as information seeking, critical thinking, interpreting evidence, and writing coherently and persuasively.

    The study of history is essential to understanding the major conflicts and problems of our time. This is true of particular current controversies and of perennial questions. There are national controversies which are dependent upon an understanding of history, such as whether or not Australia should become a republic. International issues, such as why Australian troops have been involved in a series of foreign conflicts, from the Boer War in the 19th Century to the invasion of Iraq in the new millennium, cannot be resolved without historical enquiry. Whenever assessing economic or political arguments, one needs a grasp of 20th Century history. This is all the more urgent in our own time, when mythical and ideological claims are being made and often passed off as ‘fact'. For instance, an historian is well able to explain why the border between East Timor and Australia has been undefined and disputed for decades, or why the golden-domed mosque in Jerusalem has become a symbol for competing nationalist claims in the Middle East. Without knowing the past, one cannot really understand these present issues. Historians are valued by the general community for their ability to look beyond the present, and cut away misconceptions.

    The study of past human activity ranges from history’s more traditional forms, emphasising politics and conflict, to social, economic and cultural concerns. Family and gender relations, race and ethnicity, class relations, the natural and built environment, and the everyday lives of ordinary people are among the fields which now provide the focus for some of the most stimulating work done by historians. The History major, which concentrates on 20th Century history, reflects this variety through its strengths in political, cultural and social history, Australian history and international history. Your study in history begins with introductory subjects at first level, thematic studies at second level and specialised in-depth studies, which build on existing work at third level.

    Studying history will enhance employment prospects in a variety of fields. Particular areas of employment include administration, the media, teaching, research, librarianship, archival, museum and heritage positions. History provides skills relevant to future employment – skills in information seeking, critical thinking, assessing, interpreting and judging evidence and writing abilities highly sought in today’s world of information and communication.

    Postgraduate diplomas in areas such as education, journalism, management, information management or curatorship add to the employability of history graduates. In addition, the history major can provide the basis for further study towards an Honours degree in history, and Master and Doctoral programs.

    Philosophy as an academic practice arises out of the attempt to answer questions that cannot be resolved simply by discovering more facts. Anyone who has ever asked themselves whether a loving God could allow suffering in the world, what the limits of loyalty to friends should be, or whether democracy is necessarily the best political system, has in fact been asking philosophical questions. Thus Philosophy arises from common questions and makes use of a standard way of approaching those questions. Over thousands of years of history Philosophy has developed a rich body of techniques and methods. In recent years philosophers have engaged with problems of ‘applied ethics’ such as business and professional morality, new technology, and rights of access to medical treatment. Philosophy emphasises clarity and economy of thought and expression, and especially the offering and evaluation of reasons in support of claims.

    The Philosophy major at Charles Sturt University gives students access to this rich body of philosophical method and discussion. It has an emphasis on ethics and social philosophy, enabling it to complement the professional disciplines taught within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

    The choice of Psychology as a major or minor is appealing to many students, due to its focus on human behaviour and thinking. A Psychology major offers a diversity of subject material, as psychologists have studied almost every aspect of human activity. Students learn psychology’s methods of enquiry as well as its discoveries.

    The Bachelor of Arts with a 10 subject accredited Psychology major is the first step toward a career in Psychology. To practise as a psychologist, you must comply with the requirements of the state registration board. The NSW Psychologists Registration Board requires an accredited four-year sequence of academic training in Psychology followed by two years of supervised experience, or a two-year accredited postgraduate degree in Psychology.

    The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the national organisation for psychologists. The requirements to become a full member of the APS are six years of university training (a four-year undergraduate qualification and a two-year postgraduate degree). Those with four years of training will be eligible to apply for Associate Membership. APS membership is not required for state practice, but it is recommended for professional development.

    Students may also take an eight-subject major (non-accredited) in Psychology.

    Sociology is the science of society, studying ways in which societies operate by focusing on their constituent parts, their structure and process. Sociologists are interested in small social units, families, gangs, communes, sports teams and so on, and the connection between these and large institutions such as political, economic and legal systems. Sociologists aim to achieve as comprehensive and profound an understanding as possible of the whole structure of the society, its strengths, weaknesses and problems, and of the forces that cause social problems.

    In simple terms, sociologists are interested in people and the way they relate to others. In studying social life, sociologists seek to understand human behaviour, identify the factors which guide or direct social life and the causes of problems, and attempt to provide explanations for the ills of modern societies, also proposing ways of responding to these social issues and problems. As a consequence, those who study Sociology are expected to acquire insights into the nature of their social surroundings and will be able to reach an informed opinion on contemporary social issues.

    They will also acquire analytical and critical skills that will be of use in their personal growth and development as well as in many fields of employment.
    Your course is recognised by industry

    The Bachelor of Arts is a nationally accredited and registered award in tertiary education. The Psychology major is accredited by the Australian Psychological Society.
    Graduation requirements

    To graduate, students must satisfactorily complete 192 points (normally equal to 24 subjects). No more than 64 points may be taken outside the Faculty of Arts.
    Further studies

    An Honours year is available
    Master of Arts (Honours)
    Doctor of Philosophy
    Graduate comment

    "I am very impressed by the quality of courses and subjects as well as the quality of teaching. As I am a mature aged student, it’s a big decision financially and mentally to study and you can have doubts, but the support and help I received from lecturers made me feel very comfortable. CSU has a lot to offer ... anyone who comes here would be doing themselves a favour."

    Madeline Denholm
    Bachelor of Arts

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