Specialisations, Majors, Minors and Electives
Behavioural Science #
Business and Communication Studies
Creative Arts and Culture
East Timor Language and Cultural Studies ^
Indigenous Studies ##
Psychology # *
Study of Religions
The majors and minors offered at each location are subject to staff availability.
* # Not permitted as majors together.
* * Internal quotas may apply.
* **Available only to students enrolled in the BTeach/BA (Technology) who study a sequence of twelve units in Design and Technology which is recognised as equivalent to a major and minor in Technology in the Bachelor of Arts.
* ## Available only to students enrolled in the BTeach/BA (Indigenous Studies).
* ^ Available only to students enrolled in the BTeach (Primary)(East Timor).
ARTS232 Volunteer Experience
Students in the Bachelor of Arts course are required to complete a Volunteer Experience unit to meet graduation requirements. This unit does not incur any HECS liability or fees. Students must enrol in this unit prior to commencing Volunteer Experience. Volunteer Experience requires the completion of a total of 15 days service to a community organisation usually by the end of year 2.
Elective Unit in Community-Based Experience (CBE) – offered in NSW
HUMA243 Community Based Experience (20 cp)
Students may be offered the opportunity to complete one elective unit (10 cp) in Community-based Experience, normally in the second or third year of the course. CBE must be in an area related to a major sequence being completed by the student. The CBE unit is graded Pass/Fail only.
Projects will be organised, supervised and assessed within the relevant School. On campuses where Community-based Experience is offered the Lecturer-in-Charge of CBE is able to provide a list of suggested projects, together with the names and contact arrangements of supervisors in particular discipline areas. Students may also suggest their own projects, which should be discussed with the relevant supervisor.
It is the responsibility of each student first to choose a subject and then contact the supervisor. Once a project is agreed upon, students complete the Project Agreement Form with the supervisor. This form must be submitted no later than the end of week 10 in Semester 1 to the Lecturer-in-Charge of
CBE will involve spending a minimum of 10 working days working in the community and preparing a report on the project undertaken. CBE may be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis, and is normally scheduled between early June and early August.
CBE aims to provide a balance between theory and practical application in many disciplines and to be an alternative focus to more traditional and formal learning. It may also assist students in making informed choices for career options and in widening their experiences in the diversity of Australian society.
Language Studies through the Victorian Universities' Language Consortium
The Victorian Universities' Languages Consortium was established in 1996 with membership including all universities in Victoria. One central aim of the Consortium is to facilitate and encourage cross-institutional enrolments in languages. Students wishing to undertake such studies should first seek approval from the relevant Course Coordinator or designated nominee. If approval is granted the student should then contact the host institution for an application form.
The following languages, taught at other universities, are available:
Ancient Greek La Trobe, Monash
Arabic Deakin, Melbourne
Chinese Ballarat, Deakin, La Trobe, Monash, RMIT, VUT
French La Trobe, Melbourne, Monash
German Melbourne, Monash
Greek (Modern) La Trobe, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT, VUT
Hebrew (Modern) Melbourne
Hindi La Trobe
Indonesian/Malay Deakin, La Trobe, Melbourne, Monash, VUT
Korean Monash, Swinburne
Latin La Trobe, Monash
Russian Melbourne, Monash
Sanskrit La Trobe
Spanish La Trobe, Melbourne, Monash, VUT
Vietnamese Monash, RMIT, Swinburne, VUT
Students should note that both ACU National and host universities retain the right to limit the number of students who may enrol in language courses under such arrangements.
Language Studies in New South Wales and Queensland
In New South Wales and Queensland students may undertake language studies cross-institutionally in languages not offered at ACU National, subject to the approval of the Course Co-ordinator.
Business and Communication Studies
The requirements are one major and two minors selected from the following sequences:
Major Minor 1 Minor 2
Business Studies* Business Studies
* * If Business Studies is not the selected major then a minor in Business Studies must be completed.
Creative Arts and Culture
To qualify for this stream students require either two majors or one major and two minors from the following sequences:
Communication (minor only) Media
Literature Visual Arts
Majors and Minors
The Asian Studies sequence is an interdisciplinary program drawing from humanities, arts and social sciences. It emphasises comparative approaches and historical and contemporary relations between societies and cultures in the Asian region. The intention of introductory units is to introduce students to the richness, diversity, dynamics and complexities of Asian societies and cultures. In advanced level units, students are provided with the opportunity to further develop historical, cultural, social, economic, geographical, philosophical and political insights necessary for understanding contemporary Asian societies and cultures and relations between nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Australian Studies sequence introduces students to a wide range of issues in Australian culture and history. There is a particular emphasis on the teaching of 'lost' histories: those, which for reasons of race, class or gender, have been ignored by traditional historians. There is also a special focus on the creative arts and their role in the development of Australian culture. Students may choose from a variety of units that offer regional as well as national perspectives. Prerequisites in other sequences may apply to some units. Details will be found in the Unit Descriptions.
The Behavioural Science sequence aims to introduce students to the content and methods of contemporary psychology. The emphasis of the course is on the dynamic and complex nature of human behaviour and how it is determined by the interaction of biological, cognitive, social and cultural factors. The content and sequencing of units has been designed to highlight the interplay between these factors and development, and are presented within a context of critical psychological enquiry. The intention in introductory level units is to enable students to study a range of topics selected from these four broad themes, which provide an integrative organisational framework for further theoretical elaboration in advanced level units.
It should be noted that the Behavioural Science major is not designed to prepare students for professional training in psychology, or to fulfil Australian Psychological Society requirements for membership.
The Business Studies sequences offer students the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of the fields of either Human Resource Management, Marketing or, at Brisbane Campus only, International Business. These sequences begin from a special foundation unit, with additional basic learning in a second fundamental area of business, and broaden to include a range of perspectives on the main concerns of each specialist field.
Students in Sydney undertake all three of the four units in Years 1 and 2 of the course at Strathfield Campus and all units in Years 3 and 4 of the course at North Sydney Campus.
The Communication sequence is designed to develop students' personal, academic, and vocational communication skills. Introductory units aim to develop students' abilities in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and in using word-processing and presentation software: abilities that are immediately applicable to university study. Advanced units aim to deepen abilities in interpersonal relations, to examine the values on which respect for persons is based, to offer students the opportunity to write creatively and to provide specific communication skills for the workplace and in using multimedia systems.
The computing sequence develops knowledge and skills in computing and communication systems, explores multimedia systems and introduces students to programming. The elective unit and ICT project allow each student to develop expertise in an area of particular interest. Students acquire up-to-date skills and use them to solve everyday problems in an ethical manner and learn to communicate and present their solutions effectively.
The major sequence in Drama aims to introduce students to the study of plays as texts for performance as well as to the changing conventions and techniques of dramatic presentation. Because drama is a fluid art form, which reshapes itself in response to complex social changes and pressures, there is an emphasis on relating dramatic texts and forms to historical and cultural forces and to evolving technologies. The general introduction to the nature and conventions of drama in the introductory level units leads to advanced level units, exploring in more depth traditional and contemporary texts and analysing the theory and processes of theatrical performance.
East Timor Language and Cultural Studies
The aim of the major sequence in East Timor Language and Cultural Studies is to provide an additional pathway to students studying primary education in Baucau, for the completion of the Diploma in Liberal Studies. It is intended that students will enrol in the Diploma in Liberal Studies which derives all of its units from the Bachelor of Arts.
The aim of the major sequence in Economics is to promote a knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the scope, content and methodology of mainstream, neo-classical economics in particular. Each of the eight units concentrates on developing the ability of students to analyse theoretical and applied aspects of the subject critically. In the introductory level units, the emphasis is on laying a solid foundation of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory and analysis. These units enable students to proceed to the remaining 6 units which stress analytical and policy issues; for example, Economic Systems and Development Economics.
Education (only offered as a Minor)
The units address the general concepts which underpin the field of education, the general principles on which education is based, and the study of the context of education in society. The sequence is ideal both for students who are preparing for teaching in schools and for those who may have an interest in non-school settings.
Family Studies is a multidisciplinary approach to research and theories about families, family members and interpersonal relationships. Units within the family studies sequence concentrate on issues that confront individuals or groups of people within a family or community setting. Family studies units focus on prevention, intervention and post intervention strategies from the perspectives of theology, sociology, psychology, youth studies and social work. Any human service worker would benefit enormously from the knowledge presented in this sequence.
Gender Studies (only offered as a Minor)
The Gender Studies sequence introduces students to the most significant debates within the Gender Studies area in both the Australian and global context. Questions regarding the changing nature of women's societal roles across cultures, classes and generations are fundamental to this sequence. The main theoretical frameworks that students will become acquainted with include anglophone and francophone feminist theories as well as subaltern and minority perspectives. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, the sequence will ground the discussion of these debates within specific social and cultural contexts. Sources including historical, scientific, literary, religious, psychological and sociological works and the creative arts will be used. The emphasis of the sequence is on the dynamic interaction between ideologies of femininity and masculinity and their concrete expression within day–to–day life. By the completion of the sequence students will be able to apply the various disciplines to specific historical, cultural and regional cases.
The Geography sequence aims to address the content and methodology of contemporary geography. The sequence emphasises the holistic nature of the discipline in a dynamic spatial and temporal context. Consequently the interaction of the physical and the human environment are pivotal studies within the sequence.
The geography sequence is designed to expose students to a range of applied environmental issues, provide a methodology for analysis and interpretation, and enable students to evaluate management strategies. These skills can then be applied in a range of applied professional situations.
The introductory level units provide a formative grounding in concepts and skills which are applied in subsequent units in the sequence. There is emphasis upon applied studies as the sequence progresses, with associated development of skills in data collection (in the field and from secondary sources), collation and analysis using spreadsheets, and interpretation. The sequence culminates in students undertaking a research study of their choosing. Field Trips are a requirement for all students in Geography. Students will need to pay a fee towards transport for the Field Trip.
The History sequence aims to introduce students to the nature of historical thinking and to develop skills in the analysis, synthesis and understanding of evidence in order to study how historians interpret and write about the past.
All students undertaking a major or minor in history must include at least one unit in Australian History at introductory level. Students undertaking a History major must take the compulsory unit in Historiography.
The Indigenous Studies sequence aims to introduce students to issues of identity, culture, history and identity as they relate to Australian Indigenous Communities. It focuses on the interrelationships between past, present and future, placing Indigenous issues within a local, regional, state and national context and identifying the contribution which Indigenous peoples make to Australian society. The sequence is available only to students enrolled in the BT/BA (Indigenous Studies) course.
The purpose of the Italian major sequence is to develop a student's functional usage and understanding of everyday Italian, with specific reference to speaking, reading, writing and comprehension.
The content and sequencing of the units has been designed to allow students to gradually develop competence in using the language and to acquire familiarity with salient aspects of both Italian and Italo–Australian culture and literature. The intention in 100-level units is to introduce students to the basic structures of Italian lexico–grammar, which are further developed in 200-level units.
In 300-level units, emphasis is placed on syntax and advanced written and oral expression. This allows students to read classical texts and to communicate in Italian in the workplace.
Japanese (only offered as a Minor)
The Japanese Language Studies sequence aims to give students a solid foundation in reading, writing, speaking and aural skills in contemporary Japanese language. The sequence is designed to give students maximum exposure to a wide range of language forms and the necessary practical situations to use those forms in a competent and meaningful way.
The content and sequencing of the units is organised to build upon the developmental nature of learning the Japanese language. Important socio–cultural elements also feature in the course content, encouraging students to use and understand the Japanese language in its appropriate context.
The 100 and 200-level units build the foundational elements of the Japanese language. The 300-level units extend language capabilities in a variety of different formats.
Students are able to enter the sequence at a level appropriate to their competence. Students with little or no knowledge of the language are able to complete a major or a minor by beginning with the basic units (Beginners' stream). Students who have completed Year 12 Japanese or who have equivalent qualifications are able to complete a major or minor by beginning with the unit JAPN102 Japanese 3. These students will need to complete the sequence by undertaking two additional units by cross-institutional studies.
Leisure Studies (only offered as a Minor)
This sequence aims to introduce students to the theories and concepts of contemporary leisure and recreation studies. Leisure and recreation concepts are central life interests in the context of contemporary Australian society and are directly related to 'quality of life' concerns. The sequence introduces students to a range of topics including fitness, nutrition, movement and the significance of leisure and recreation in a holistic approach to personal development.
The Literature major sequence aims to provide students with a sound working knowledge of literary texts in all genres and an awareness of a range of current critical approaches.
The introductory level units provide the basis for the development of critical and analytical skills through the study of a variety of texts, and include a focus on Australian literature.
At advanced level students may choose from Group A units, which are period studies, and Group B units, which represent a broad range of different critical perspectives: generic, thematic, ideological, comparative, and special – focus units.
Students undertaking a major in Literature may also include up to two cross–credited units, chosen from those listed below. Students undertaking a minor in Literature may include one cross– credited unit.
The units that comprise the major sequence in Mathematics have been designed to provide an in-depth study of mathematics appropriate for those intending to be secondary teachers of mathematics, or for those graduates who seek a career in another field which draws upon mathematical thought.
The Media sequence is designed to introduce students to studies in both processes and products in the electronic and print media and to the theories underpinning their roles in society. Introductory units are designed to develop analytical skills in media production and set the context for subsequent studies in broadcasting policy analysis. Units combining theory and practice will enable involvement in a variety of production processes and an application of these to media text analysis. This combination of media production and analysis is carried through to offer students with an opportunity to examine both media policy development and the effects of new communication technologies on the production process.
The Music major sequence is designed for students who have completed approved Year 12 studies in music, Australian Music Examination Board or Trinity College London Grade 6 Practical or Grade 5 Theory of Music, or equivalent, and for students who lack such a background.
Students entering the music sequence without background studies may undertake two of the introductory units Fundamentals of Music 1, Fundamentals of Music 2, and The Arts and Culture. No credit will be given for Fundamentals of Music units on the basis of pre–tertiary study.
The following minor sequence is recommended for students who lack background studies in music.
Any 2 of:
MUSC109 Introduction to Music Theory
MUSC110 Introduction to Writing Music
ARTS107 The Arts and Culture
and at least 2 advanced units chosen from any of the following areas:
1. Techniques and Theory of Music;
2. History of Music;
3. Liturgical Music.
Discrete major sequences may be taken in the broad areas of History of Music and Techniques and Theory of Music, but students may also complete majors and minors by mixing units from these two areas or from the area of Liturgical Music, subject to satisfying prerequisites for individual units.
The History of Music units include a full range of period studies covering the history of Western music, and units that are defined by geography and genre. By making a critical study of works by representative composers, and by examining the forces that have helped to shape music in the past, the student is expected to come to an intelligent understanding of the development of musical style. The units Music in Western Society and Music in non–Western Society provide an overview of music in Western and non–Western society, and provide an introduction to the sociology of music.
The Techniques and Theory of Music units provide a study of the materials of music from the standpoint of compositional technique. The contents of the units Music Language Studies 1–6 are period–based and relate to the period studies in the History of Music units. These units concentrate on aspects such as harmonic and contrapuntal analysis, and on exercises in original composition using the styles and forms studied. They include associated training in aural skills, sight–singing techniques, keyboard musicianship, and a study of musical scoring and arranging making use of appropriate computer programs.
Liturgical Music units are designed to focus on the repertoire and contextual use of liturgical music, and complement Liturgical Studies units available in the Theology sequence.
The sequence in Philosophy is designed to introduce students to the main areas of the discipline through a study of the ideas and arguments of some of the key figures in the history of Western thought, and through a consideration of the relevance of those ideas and arguments to contemporary philosophical debates.
The sequence seeks to develop skills in philosophical discourse and enquiry so that students can critically explore their own beliefs and the beliefs of others.
The introductory level units provide those undertaking the sequence, and other interested students, with a general introduction to the content and methods of philosophy.
A special feature of the sequence is the attention given to the logical status of, and justification for, the fundamental beliefs of the Christian tradition. Some of these beliefs are considered in their own right in such units as Faith and Reason and Metaphysics. Throughout the sequence reference is made to the implications that historical and contemporary philosophical debates have for the Christian faith.
Politics (only offered as a Minor)
Politics is an enquiry into the decision–making process: how particular societies and persons develop structures and arrangements to resolve the problems of conflict, resource allocation and culture. Because the nature of politics is broad, dealing with the inter-relationships which exist in the personal and social world, it is a discipline that overlaps with other major humanities or social science subjects.
The study of politics will give students the opportunity to examine the theories, institutional arrangements, issues and cultural factors that affect the decision-making process. The latter part of the sequence offers opportunities to explore the political process in specific areas.
The Psychology sequence provides students with a comprehensive and systematic study of human behaviour. The emphasis is on the dynamic nature of human behaviour and the interaction of biological, social and cultural factors that influence behaviour at all levels and at all stages of the life span.
The introductory level units lay out a fundamental conceptual foundation dealing with general theoretical approaches to the study of human behaviour. The units are intended to introduce the student to the theories, content and methods of psychological enquiry sufficient to sustain a more substantial understanding at later year levels. The advanced level units are designed to reflect major themes in Psychology. To satisfy the requirements of an Australian Psychological Society three-year sequence in Psychology, students must complete a major study in this area.
Students who complete the Psychology sequence are eligible to apply for fourth year courses in Psychological Science, for example, Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) and Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology.
The Science Studies sequence is designed to enable students to develop an appreciation of scientific principles and applications. Throughout the sequence students will be encouraged to consider the role of science in society. The two introductory level units provide a basic study in biological and physical science.
Sociology is concerned with critically analysing the institutions and ways of life that constitute modern societies. The sequence begins by studying a broad range of topics and debates in the discipline. Advanced level units are more specialised, focusing on areas that are of crucial interest to sociologists, such as developments in sociological theory, the methods of research, and the problems and possibilities that confront particular groups of persons and organisations in societies like our own.
Study of Religions (only offered as a Minor)
The sequence in Study of Religions enables student to undertake a minor in units concerned with the diversity of religious experience and expression in different belief systems and interfaith relations and dialogue. The offering of the sequence distinctively tailors ACU programs to meet the needs of future teachers seeking employment in Catholic and Christian schools. 'Study of Religions' assists students to engage with the major religious traditions of our world and appreciate their impact on Australian society.
The sequence in Theological Studies enables students undertaking the general Bachelor of Arts degree to follow a major or minor sequence consisting of a variety of units from the theological disciplines.
Visual Arts is offered as a major or minor sequence in the BA course. Both sequences are designed to cater for a diversity of interests among students and combine practical experiences in studio production together with theoretical studies in art and design history and theory.
The introductory level studio-based units provide fundamental knowledge and skills selected from a range of media areas. ARTS109 2D Studies 1 and ARTS113 2D Studies 2 provide experiences selected from amongst drawing, painting, print-making, photography or a combination of these. ARTS110 3D/4D Object Design 1 and ARTS114 3D/4D Object Design 2 provide experiences selected from amongst sculpture, film, video, ceramics, etc. or a combination of these.
The art history and theory units investigate key issues in art and design history, theory and criticism.
Youth Work (only offered as a Minor)
Students in the Bachelor of Social Science and Bachelor of Arts (Melbourne) may complete a minor study sequence in Youth Work. The units in this sequence aim to allow students to develop an understanding of the Youth Work sector and the concept of adolescent development, including the various frameworks for understanding the phenomenon of young people's development. The importance of youth research and the essential principles of ethical youth work practice are investigated.
240 cp (Pass)
Minimum duration: 3 years full-time or equivalent part-time.
80 cp (Honours)
Minimum duration: 1 year full-time or equivalent part-time.
Course available at:
Sydney (Strathfield), NSW
EFTSL value of units: All 10 cp units in this course have an EFTSL value of 0.125. Units with a cp value of a multiple of 10 have corresponding EFTSL values.
“Major”: 80 cp in prescribed units in one discipline or approved interdisciplinary area, normally including at least 10 cp at introductory level and at least 60 cp at advanced level.
“Minor”: 40 cp in prescribed units in one discipline or approved interdisciplinary area, normally including at least 10 cp at introductory level and at least 20 cp at advanced level.
“Specialisation”: 160 cp in prescribed units in nominated specialist fields of disciplinary focus.
2. Requirements for Completion of the Pass Degree
2.1 To qualify for the Pass degree, a student must complete:
1. 240 cp from the Schedule of Unit Offerings, consisting of:
1. 160 cp from:
1. 2 Majors; or
2. 1 Major and 2 Minors
2. at least 20 cp from Mission-focussed Units;5
3. not more than 60 cp from Electives;6
2. ARTS232 Volunteer Experience.7
2.2 Unless otherwise specified, students must complete a unit or units at an introductory level (100-level) in an approved sequence before undertaking advanced level units (200 or 300-level) in that sequence. Any additional prerequisites for individual units are shown in brackets after the unit in the Schedule of Unit Offering.
2.3 A student may complete a Specialisation in accordance with the requirements set out in the Schedule of Unit Offerings.
3. Requirements for Completion of the Honours Degree
To qualify for the Honours degree a student must, in addition to satisfying the requirements of the Pass degree, complete 80cp from the Schedule of Honours Units, consisting of:
1. 20 cp at fourth year level, appropriate to the discipline of the Honours thesis;
2. 10 cp in Research Methodology/Research Seminar; and
3. 50 cp from the Thesis.
Schedule of Unit Offerings
Prerequisite (Pre), co-requisite (Co) and incompatible (Inc) units are indicated in parentheses where applicable.
Unit Code Credit Points Unit Name
ARTS324 10 Art and Spirit
BUSN202 10 Professional Ethics (Inc: BUSO203 Business Ethics and INFO206 Ethics and Informatics)
ENGL213 10 Sacred Australia
ENGL226 10 The Book of Books: The Bible and Its Uses in Western Literature
ENVI201 10 The Australian Environment: Values and Ethics
HIST227 10 Human Rights in History
MUSC120/220 10 Music and Liturgy
PHIL100 10 Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry
PHIL101 10 Reason and Argument
PHIL102 10 Theories of Human Nature
PHIL103 10 Origin of Western Philosophy
PHIL104 10 Introduction to Ethics
PHIL105 10 Values and Beliefs
SOCI209 10 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity in Australia (Pre: 10cp of 100 level Sociology or Australian Studies units)
THBS100 10 Introduction to the Bible
THCT100 10 What Christians Believe
THCT101 10 The Church in History
Unit Code Credit Points Unit Name
ARTS232 0 Volunteer Experience
Community Based Experience (NSW only)
Unit Code Credit Points Unit Name
HUMA243 10 Community-Based Experience8
Business and Communication Studies (NSW only)
Completion of either
1. a Major in Business Studies;
2. a Minor in Communication; and
3. a Minor in one of Behavioural Science, Computing, Economics or Mathematics;
1. a Major in Economics;
2. a Minor in Communication; and
3. a Minor in Business Studies.
Creative Arts and Culture (Queensland and Victoria only)
Completion of either
1. two Majors selected from Drama, Literature, Media*, Music or Visual Arts;
1. a Major in one of Drama, Literature, Media*, Music or Visual Arts; and
2. two Minors selected from Communication, Drama, Literature, Media, Music or Visual Arts.
5 A Mission-focussed Unit may contribute to a major.
6 A student may undertake units, other than those required for the selected Major, listed in the Schedule of Unit Offerings or from other disciplines within the Faculty (subject to campus availability, unit limitations and provided that prerequisite and co-requisite requirements are met).
7 Volunteer Experience is normally to be completed by the end of Year 2.
8 Note: Available in NSW only.