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Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary)

2015 | 2016 | 2017

About this course

This combined degree prepares graduates to teach in up to two secondary teaching areas in English, mathematics, modern history, biology, chemistry, environmental science, physical education, geography, society and culture and Aboriginal studies. Alternatively, students can study one secondary teaching area, or an area of interest through 10 specialisations to increase employment opportunities. This is in addition to studies in literacy and numeracy, equity and diversity, supporting learners with diverse needs, assessment, and the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education.

Students complete a number of professional teaching experiences to put theory into practice and to observe and reflect on the dynamics of the education environment. They will graduate as teachers who understand the attributes of inclusive education, the development and learning of young people, and the importance of life-long learning.

Entry into our teaching degrees is based on an indicative ATAR of 70 or OP of 13 with no additional prerequisite entry requirements. Our education degrees are combined with a Bachelor of Arts to ensure a comprehensive foundation for our education students in relevant discipline areas like mathematics, English and science.

Career opportunities

Secondary school teacher in schools and colleges. Graduates can teach in one or two of the following areas: biology; chemistry; earth and environmental science; English; mathematics; personal development, health and physical education; modern history; and geography. If graduates wish to teach society and culture or Aboriginal Studies they must also have completed modern history or geography. 

Professional recognition

Courses have accreditation with the NSW Education Standards Authority  (NESA) and the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT). Courses have national accreditation through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Usually, Australian teacher qualifications are recognised internationally, but students need to check with potential employers and teacher registration authorities in other countries regarding accreditation requirements.

The Australian Government has introduced a Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (LANTITE), effective from July 2016. All Initial Teacher Education students across Australia will need to successfully complete the national literacy and numeracy test (LANTITE) prior to completing their course. In line with accreditation requirements, at SCU the test needs to be successfully completed prior to undertaking the final professional experience placement.

Professional placement

Students complete significant blocks of in-school supervised professional experiences throughout the degree to demonstrate their capabilities as teachers.

Major areas of study

Students can tailor the course to study two of the following teaching majors or one teaching major with an additional specialisation.

Teaching majors1 (and locations: L = Lismore, O = Online)

  • Biology (L, O2)
  • Chemistry (L)
  • Earth and Environmental Science (L, O3)
  • English (O)
  • Mathematics (O)
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (L)
  • Modern History (O)
  • Geography (L, O)
  • Society and Culture (for students who complete Modern History or Geography) (L, O)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (for students who complete Modern History or Geography) (O)

The Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) is primarily delivered in online mode. 

1 All teaching subjects have two curriculum specialisation units and some may  require attendance at a compulsory on-campus workshop. The workshops vary between one to two days depending on the teaching major.

2 Two units are each offered as a three-week intensive and both include one week at the University’s National Marine Science Centre, Coffs Harbour. Contact the University for more details.

3 One unit is offered as a three-week intensive that includes a one-week field trip. Contact the University for more details.

Assessment methods

The assessment methods used in this course vary from unit to unit. Most units have progressive assessment with grades typically allocated across a combination of assessment tasks due at different times during the study period. Some units may also include a formal examination at the end of the study period. Assessment requirements for each unit are advised in writing to students at the commencement of each study period with clear guidelines, due dates, and the weighting for each assessment task.

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 online 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. Online students may be required to attend one to three day workshops in curriculum areas that involve practical components.

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, email, phone, and one-on-one support.

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


Admission requirements

  1. Applicants for admission to candidature at a New South Wales campus of Southern Cross University must have satisfied requirements specified by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards for admission to an initial teacher education course that is approved for the purposes of enabling graduates to apply for registration as a teacher in New South Wales.
  2. Applicants for admission to candidature at a Queensland campus of Southern Cross University must have satisfied requirements specified by the Queensland College of Teachers for admission to an initial teacher education course that is approved for the purposes of enabling graduates to apply for registration as a teacher in Queensland.
  3. To meet the University’s minimum English Language Proficiency requirement an applicant must satisfy one of the following criteria:
    1. have completed senior secondary study to the equivalent of the Australian year 12 or have completed at least one year of full-time study (or equivalent part-time study) at AQF diploma equivalent or higher where:
      1. the country where those studies were undertaken is listed in Schedule A of the Rules Relating to Awards – Rule 2; and
      2. the language of instruction was English; or
    2. achieved a minimum test score, within two (2) years of the date of application for admission, equal to or above the minimum listed below:
      1. International English Language Test System (IELTS). The applicant must have a minimum overall score of 7.5, including a minimum result of 8.0 in both the speaking and listening modules and 7.0 in reading and writing; or
      2. International Second Language Proficiency Rating (ISLPR). The applicant must have a score of at least 4+ in each of the four areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
    3. successfully completed SCU’s Preparing for Success Program.
    For the purposes of satisfying English Language Proficiency requirements for admission, applicants will only be considered on the above criteria and will not be considered on the basis of other criteria established by the Rules Relating to Awards – Rule 2, Section 1 – English Language Proficiency Subsection.

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) a candidate shall successfully complete:
    1. Not less than thirty-two (32) units comprising:
      1. all eleven (11) units listed in Part A of the Schedule of Units; and
      2. one First Teaching Subject from Part B of the Schedule of Units; and
      3. the remaining units from Part B and/or Part C and/or Part D of the Schedule of Units as approved by the Head of School from the School of Education.
    2. Both components of the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) as required by the Federal Government.
  2. A candidate who while enrolled for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) has completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Educational Studies may elect to be awarded the Bachelor of Educational Studies following withdrawal from candidature for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary).
  3. A candidate who while enrolled for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) has completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts may elect to be awarded the Bachelor of Arts following withdrawal from candidature for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary).
  4. Permission to undertake a professional experience placement will at all times be at the discretion of the Head of School.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent Requirements apply to this course as defined on the Student Access and Inclusion website. If you have a disability or health condition which may impact on your ability to meet these requirements please refer to the Student Access and Inclusion website for further information and contact details.

Advanced standing

  1. Practising Primary and Secondary teachers who have conditional or provisional registration in Australia will be granted advanced standing for up to twenty-three (23) units. Candidates must then complete a minimum of six (6) units in a Secondary Teaching Subject Area as approved by the Head of School, two (2) sequential curriculum specialisation units from Part B which are related to their Teaching Subject and EDU10716 Professional Development in Education.
  2. Applicants with a three year undergraduate degree will be granted sixteen (16) units of advanced standing if the degree contains an acceptable BOSTES undergraduate requirement for entry to Secondary teaching.

Schedule of units

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How to apply

Entry into our teaching degrees is based on an indicative ATAR of 70 or OP of 13 with no additional prerequisite entry requirements.

Courses accredited by BOSTES have national accreditation through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Domestic students

Applications for this course are made directly to SCU via our online application service.

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'