Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2015 Contents HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES 117
To compare entry difficulty at different institutions, see the
‘How tough is it to get in?’ tables in Section 4.
The introduction of the Australian Curriculum has seen history
being taught as a stand-alone subject up to Year 10 in every
school across the country, while the second phase follows on with
an emphasis on geography and the arts. It is hoped that this will
have a flow-on effect, with more students continuing the study of
the humanities into university.
The Australian Government has introduced a number of
initiatives in recent years to encourage Australians to embrace
their ties within the Asia-Pacific region, with calls for universities
to increase courses in areas such as Asian cultural studies and
provide greater opportunities for student exchange across the
Amid some educators’ concerns that the more vocational
‘creative industries’ will impact on enrolment and course numbers
in the humanities and social sciences, measures are being taken
to emphasise the value of the generalist humanities degrees.
This has seen universities introduce internship components, final-
year capstone subjects to reinforce the knowledge learned over
the course of the degree, concurrent language diplomas and
A university model similar to some overseas systems has the
potential to become more common in the field. It involves
completing a generalist undergraduate degree (such as arts),
followed by a more specific professional graduate program to
qualify for a specific career.
Ilanna — Bachelor of Arts (Global) (Honours)
Why did you choose to study
humanities and social sciences?
I was attracted by the broad base and
flexibility of an arts degree as I wanted to
keep my options open and not enter into
a degree that was limiting in its subjects
and career focus. I was really interested
in humanities, and arts provided an
opportunity for me to explore the subject areas best suited to
both my personal interests and academic abilities. This meant
that I could pursue a double major in politics and international
studies as well as a minor in Italian. I believe that you should
be encouraged to study subjects that allow you to engage
with the world and be open to a range of different careers. For
this reason, an arts degree proved to be the perfect fit for me.
What was the best thing about your course?
The best thing was the enjoyment I received from my double
major in politics and international studies. My study areas
allowed me to develop a more informed opinion and fostered
my ability to attend to and critically analyse issues affecting
our world today. Another defining element is the opportunity
the course offers for overseas study — I was fortunate to go
on exchange twice during my degree and it proved to be an
invaluable experience. An arts degree is unrestricting, and the
skills and knowledge you gain are highly transferable to the
What was the worst thing about your course?
My experience doing an arts degree was positive overall, but
if I was to identify one limitation it would be that subjects don’t
offer work or internship experiences.
What did your course involve?
The course involved tutorials and lectures with a low number
of contact hours, which leaves you ample time to study and
engage in extracurricular activities.
What advice would you give to students considering
studying humanities and social sciences?
Be open-minded in your first year of study and choose
subjects from a broad range of areas to determine your true
passion. Due to the broad focus of an arts degree, make sure
you take initiative and engage in extracurricular activities. Get
involved in university societies and work opportunities that
relate to your studies. I was interested in immigration so I
became a volunteer tutor for refugees, an experience that
was an incredible asset to my degree. In regards to the actual
subject content, make sure you do your readings — this is key
to doing well and will alleviate unnecessary stress.
Have you completed further study?
My passion and interest in politics led me to complete my
honours year. My arts degree had been so intellectually
enriching that it inspired me to engage in further research and
consolidate the skills and knowledge base I had gained in
arts. After this experience I then began my masters in
secondary teaching. My arts degree laid the foundation for me
to pursue postgraduate study and has been an invaluable
asset to my present studies.
GUG 2015.book Page 117 Friday, June 13, 2014 11:51 AM
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