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Bachelor of Arts

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Bachelor of Arts enables students to pursue areas about which they are passionate while gaining relevant, transferrable and valuable career skills for life. The course promotes critical thinking, community engagement and creative practices and provides the scope to build strong intellectual capabilities and a broad knowledge of the liberal arts as well as a deepened understanding through the study of majors.

Students focus on their areas of interest through the selection of eight-unit majors in the disciplines of Art and Design, Communication and Cultural Studies, Contemporary Music, Governance and Society, History, Media Studies, Psychology, and Writing, with the freedom to combine these majors with others offered by the University. Majors are available on campus and/or by distance education or a combination of both.

Specialist streams (made up of a minimum of four units) are also available for students to pursue languages (currently Mandarin) and community engaged learning. Students can also elect to undertake a professional placement to gain experience in the workplace and to establish professional contacts.

In addition to the command of their chosen disciplines, graduates develop cultural awareness, intellectual rigour, critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills. This benefits their future workplaces, whether they choose to work in service to the public, in business organisations, in education, as a writer or cultural producer, or to build their career in another field.

Majors are available both on campus and by distance education or a combination of both.

Students of the Bachelor of Arts may exit the program early with an Associate Degree of Creative Writing, following successful completion of 16 required units.

Career opportunities

Graduates are equipped with transferable skills that are relevant and valuable to many careers. They may find employment, for example, in communication industries, community relations, journalism, cultural policy, management and administration, education, publishing, public service, multimedia design, creative and cultural industries, politics, social justice and human rights.

Professional placement

Professional placement provides students with the opportunity to gain experience in the workplace and to establish contacts. In the Bachelor of Arts, students can undertake learning opportunities in the community through a number of units as well as through assessment opportunities. A particular stream in community engaged learning enables students to work with a community partner on a project of mutual benefit. Students in the writing major may seek placement in the writing, publishing and media industries, while students undertaking history may seek placement in heritage and historical museums or associations. Students in the communication and cultural studies major may seek professional placement with a community organisation working in an area of their interest. The unit Community History Project enables students to do a collaborative project with community partners. Other opportunities for community-engaged learning exist within the degree depending on units chosen. 

Major areas of study

Art and Design includes units that focus on art and design for publication, graphic design, digital art and photography. (Lismore)

Communication and Cultural Studies enables students to connect their everyday life, personal, community and vocational interests to the broader issues and challenges of the 21st century. It equips students with a combination of critical and creative thinking skills and abilities. Cultural studies offers an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of culture, communication and society through textual analysis, cultural theory, media analysis and understanding how meaning is made through power, identity and place. Cultural studies empower diversity, social inclusion and ethical and innovative scholarship that guides and informs how we live, work and learn. (Lismore, Gold Coast, Distance education)

Contemporary Music students learn about contemporary music theory and styles, music technology and the internet, songwriting, sound theory and recording technique, and global perspectives in music. (Lismore)

Governance and Society brings together two key strands in the arts and humanities. The approach is multidisciplinary — drawing on politics and sociology to consider contemporary issues in society and provide insights into events that influence the world in which we live. Staff have expertise in each of the discipline areas and share a commitment to interpreting past and contemporary society by using a range of theoretical and methodological approaches. (Lismore, Distance education)

History is a dialogue between the past and present. Historians explore the diversity of human experience to draw out patterns and ideas that help us understand the world today. This major focuses on the knowledge and critical skills of the discipline that can be applied to the study of the past in all its dimensions, including important professional skills such as communication, analysis, critical thinking, and interpretation. Students have the opportunity to undertake independent research projects relevant to their own interests. (Lismore, Distance education)

Media Studies enables students to learn to think critically and creatively about themselves, their workplace and their community in a national and global context. With a strong emphasis on digital media production and analysis for screen, print and online environments, Media Studies equips students with a range of practical skills appropriate to an increasingly technological world. (Lismore, Distance education)

Psychology includes a strong emphasis on demonstrating the links between theory, research and application. A problem-solving approach to teaching involves students generating solutions to real-world problems using their psychological knowledge. The major includes studies in fundamental areas of psychology including biological bases of behaviour, perception, learning, memory and cognition, and lifespan developmental psychology. (Distance education)

Writing enables students to pursue their passion for writing in a supportive, inter-disciplinary environment which promotes the type of creative learning needed by cutting-edge writers. Students acquire skills in writing genres including novels, short stories, writing for performance, feature and investigative journalism and essay writing as well as editing and publishing. (Lismore, Distance education)

Additional majors — may also be selected from a wide range offered across the University including education, law and justice, organisational management, sustainability, Indigenous studies and more. See University-wide majors.

Streams — may also be selected including community engaged learning and languages (currently Mandarin). 

Assessment methods

The assessment methods used in this course vary from unit to unit and connect with the types of learning outcomes for each unit and the course as a whole. Assessment tasks may include essays, reports, presentations, role plays, group work, reflective logbooks, creative production and experiential learning on campus or in the community. 

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Our distance education study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive a combination of podcast or video-linked lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Classes provide opportunities for engaging students in learning and discussion and the course includes a number of field trips and on-campus events which are open to students studying either on-campus or by distance education.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Bachelor of Arts degree a candidate shall successfully complete not less than twenty-four (24) units comprising:
    1. All units listed in Part A of the Schedule of Units; and
    2. at least one of the eight (8) unit majors from Part B of the Schedule and one of the four (4) unit streams from Part D of the Schedule and seven (7) electives; or
    3. at least one of the eight (8) unit majors from Part B of the Schedule; and both of the four (4) unit streams from Part D of the Schedule and three (3) electives; or
    4. at least one of the eight (8) unit majors from Part B of the Schedule and eleven (11) electives; or
    5. at least one of the eight (8) unit majors from Part B of the Schedule and another eight (8) unit major from Part B of the Schedule or from Part C, or an eight (8) unit major from the University-wide Majors and three (3) electives.
  2. No unit will be credited to more than one major.
  3. To be eligible for the award of the Associate Degree of Creative Writing a candidate shall successfully complete not less than sixteen units comprising:
    1. all units listed in Part A of the Schedule of Units attached to the rules for the Associate Degree of Creative Writing;
    2. eight (8) units of study from Part B of the Schedule of Units attached to the rules for the Associate Degree of Creative Writing;
    3. three (3) units from Part C of the Schedule of Units attached to the Rules for the Associate Degree of Creative Writing.
  4. A candidate who while enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts has completed the requirements of the Associate Degree of Creative Writing may elect to be awarded the Associate Degree of Creative Writing following withdrawal from candidature from the Bachelor of Arts.

Advanced standing

Candidates who completed an Associate Degree of Creative Writing or the Associate Degree of Arts may be granted advanced standing for up to sixteen (16) units towards the Bachelor of Arts.

Schedule of units


How to apply

Domestic students

International students

Confirm you meet the entry requirements including English language and academic entry and any specific pre-requisites.

Southern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form.

Additional information on how to apply is available at SCU International. Please note applicants from some countries need to go through an Education Agent.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'