Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation)

Available to:
Domestic students only.
  • North Sydney

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time.

First round applications close 31 October 2020.

Domestic students


The Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation) provides students with a rigorous and stimulating intellectual program in which they engage with western philosophy, history, literature, politics, art and culture, and develop a deep understanding of the great works, ideas and movements within the western intellectual tradition in the core of the program. Students also take a major in one of Drama, English, History, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, Psychology, Sociology, Theological Studies, or Visual Arts. The degree fosters skills that prepare students for leadership roles in the private and public sectors including government, business, social enterprise and the Arts.

Offers will be made to applicants based on high ATAR results and will also be assessed against other criteria, namely “Ramsay Attributes” (i.e. potential to make a positive contribution in Australia and the world as demonstrated through resume, references and a personal statement).

ACU is offering 30 scholarships to students undertaking this degree, funded by the Ramsay Centre, each valued at up to $90,000 ($30,000 per year of the degree). Students eligible for scholarship will be selected by a committee, comprising senior ACU and Ramsay Centre staff.

Applicants who wish to be considered for a scholarship, will need to meet the essential requirements for admission to the BAWC:

  1. Provide details of their academic achievements, leadership experience and community engagement activities using the Applicant Resume Form;
  2. Provide a 1000-1500 word essay in response to the following question: How should champions of Western Civilisation reply to its critics today?
  3. Attend an interview

The Applicant Resume Form and essay response should be uploaded as a part of the application to study.

Scholarship applicants will also:

  1. be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident at the time of application;
  2. in the ordinary course:
    1. complete year 12 in the year of application; or
    2. have completed year 12 in the year preceding the year of application;

Course duration

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time.

Campus availability and study mode

Campus availability

  • North Sydney (Attendance)

Study mode definitions

Attendance: Face-to-face and/or via video conference, at an ACU campus or another location.

Multi-mode: A combination of Online and Attendance (including examinations, practicums, residentials, etc.).

Online: Fully online (including assessments).

Sample Course Map

Year – Study Period Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4
Year 1 - Semester 1 WCIV100
The Desire to Understand: Introducing the Western Intellectual Tradition
The Birth of Politics: Origins of Western Political Thought
Form and Beauty: Origins of Western Art and Architecture
Major 1
Year 1 - Semester 2 WLIT100
Greek and Roman Classics: Origins of Western Literature
Thinking the Real: Metaphysics
Major 2 Major 3
Year 2 - Semester 1 WLIT200
Medieval and Renaissance Masterpieces: The Rise of the English Literary Tradition
The Rise of Liberalism: Authority, Society, and Freedom
Doctrine, Myth and History: Religion and the West
Major 4
Year 2 - Semester 2 WLIT201
The Age of the Novel: 1600-1900
Truth and Knowledge in Western Philosophy
Elective Major 5
Year 3 - Semester 1 WLIT300
Romanticism to Postmodernism: Movements toward the Literary Present
Politics and People in British, American and Australian Democracies
Making a Difference: Community Engagement in Local,
National and International Contexts
Major 6
Year 3 - Semester 2 WCIV301
Scientific Revolutions and the Western World
The Good, the Right and the Beautiful: Western Ethics and Aesthetics
Major 7 Major 8

'Pre:' – indicates a unit that must be completed before the next unit can be undertaken (prerequisite).
A blank cell indicates that there are no additional units required for that study period.
This is a sample program only and units will vary between states. Please refer to the handbook for the prerequisite units and the current listing.

Deferment, credit points & course units


Deferment is NOT available.

Credit Points


Majors and Minors

SequenceSydney (Strathfield), NSW
Western Civilisation major
Drama major
Politics and International Relationsmajor
Theological Studiesmajor
Visual Artsmajor



The major sequence in Drama provides students with a comprehensive overview of theatrical literature and history and a grounding in production work. Through performances, workshops and practical classes, ACU’s Drama sequence develops skills in many areas including theatre production, stage management, direction, and acting, as well as knowledge of theatre history and repertoire. Students who complete a major in drama possess transferrable skills in communication and public speaking and can seek employment in the performing arts industry or use the skills developed in other professional contexts. When combined with an appropriate tertiary teaching qualification, the drama major is a pathway to becoming a secondary-school drama teacher. You do not need any previous theatre experience and there are no prerequisites for studying introductory Drama at ACU.


The History sequence brings the past to life by introducing students to a diverse range of societies and cultures that have shaped the modern world. History at ACU has an exciting and innovative global focus. Students will have opportunities to study European, American, Australian, Indigenous, Asian and Ancient history, and to engage with key themes such as war and peace, race and class, gender and sexuality, violence and terrorism, and film and popular culture. In exploring the people, ideas and events that have defined the past and given meaning to the present, students will develop critical skills that will equip them for rich and rewarding professional careers. With world-class analytical, written and communication skills, History graduates have gone on to exciting employment in a number of areas, including politics and policy-making, foreign affairs and diplomacy, journalism and public relations, heritage and museums, and schools and universities.


Through the study of a broad range of literary texts and approaches to reading them, the English major familiarises students with literary traditions and contemporary literary cultures. This major will reveal the varied ways in which people have lived, thought, felt and imagined, opening up new worlds of understanding. Students will develop vital transferrable skills in effective reading, writing, analysis and interpretation that will equip them for rewarding careers in teaching, journalism, the media, and other professions that require articulate and culturally literate graduates.


The Philosophy sequence introduces students to serious and detailed thinking about the really big questions concerning reality as a whole, human nature, ethics, language, religion, truth and knowledge, logic, beauty and justice. The study of Philosophy, in both its historical and contemporary dimensions, assists students to develop critical thinking skills and clarity of thought, through which they learn to assess the strengths and weaknesses of complex arguments while also honing verbal and written communication skills. Employers across a very broad range of industries (including education, business, public administration, law, media and technology) report that they highly value the kinds of adaptable skills and attributes possessed by Philosophy graduates.

Politics and International Relations

Politics and International Relations is the study of power, violence and justice in our world. The questions of who gets what, why and how much, are persistent concerns plaguing all societies. In a world increasingly short of resources, individuals and nations now frequently do battle with each other to secure their own prosperity and peace. By looking at how these battles are won and lost, the discipline of Politics and International Relations gives students insight into the workings of diplomacy, warfare, elections, the global economy, the nature of political parties, and the rise and fall of great powers. From everyday politics at the local level to the politics among nations, the Politics and International Relations major at ACU will offer students interested in world affairs the conceptual tools to think critically and act decisively in a world that is ever changing. Graduates find employment within the public service, NGOs, international organisations such as the UN, as well as in the private sector.


Sociology is one of the most relevant disciplines for understanding complex social, cultural, and political phenomena today. Often cited as the "Queen of Disciplines" due to it producing a number of key ideas used by many subjects that study society and culture, sociology offers students a range of exciting theoretical, methodological, and conceptual tools for an understanding of human action, social and systemic change, institutions, and the deeper meanings of life. With subject matter such as globalisation, religion, health, work and economy, social movements, gender, and culture, sociologists are often crucially involved in a number of key debates around the ideas and events that impact on real people and their communities. All of these areas are a part of the sociology sequence at the ACU. Operating in both government and private industry, sociologists are employed in a variety of roles that centre on people and their environments including community project officers, policy planners and researchers, marketers and social media publicists. Sociology at the ACU helps students acquire high-order transferrable skills in reasoning, theorising, communicating, and research to do with a broader and deeper perspective of events, all of which are highly sought after by employers.

Theological Studies

A major/minor in Theological Studies helps to cultivate an adult faith and deeper spirituality. Theology gives new enthusiasm, fresh insight and deeper understanding to the gift of faith, and greater depth to spiritual experience.
Key themes in Theological Studies include: the person and work of Jesus Christ; the Word of God in the Scriptures; the sacraments and the Church’s liturgy; and the values, practices, responsibilities and traditions of a Christian way of life. It relates faith, spirituality and scholarship to a concern for human flourishing, the common good, the dignity of the human person, and stewardship of the environment and all creation.
Various theological approaches will be considered in the light of contemporary worldviews and interfaith dialogue. Students can examine the theme of social justice and its importance in the mission and teaching of Jesus, a study which assists students in thinking critically about the world around them.

Visual Arts

The BA Visual Arts major provides a mix of studio-based fine art and art and design history and theory electives. Emphasis is placed on students experiencing a range of professional practice opportunities such as entering their work in art competitions, writing publish ready interviews, articles and art reviews and presenting their artwork in group exhibitions in the ACU gallery. Students are trained by staff who are active practitioners in their field and benefit from small class sizes in an intimate studio environment. Students on an education pathway chose units in the visual arts major that will prepare them for primary and secondary level teaching. The art history and theory units have resulted in career outcomes as freelance art reviewers, educational officers in galleries and research assistant positions in academia. The practical art units have resulted in students working toward solo exhibitions and curating group shows of their peers’ work in artist-run spaces.

Exit Point

Diploma in Liberal Arts

80 cp
Duration: 1 year full-time

Course Units (Subjects)

Schedule of Unit Offerings

Start dates

North Sydney
  • Semester 1 - February
  • Semester 2 - Not on offer

Course costs

  • Average first year fee: $6680 Commonwealth Supported (indicative only; subject to passage of legislation)

Important Note on Fees

All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

  • the number of units studied per semester;
  • the choice of major or specialisation; and
  • elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.

Essential requirements for admission

Applicants must comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy that includes meeting a minimum ATAR requirement.

To be eligible for admission to the course, an applicant must have completed the following prerequisites at year 12 level, or equivalent:

New South Wales

  • Prerequisites: English (Advanced) (Band 2) or English (EAL) (Band 4)

Entry into this course is based on a combination of a written submission (personal statement essay), an interview and academic performance. Applicants are assessed on a combination of:

  1. written submission of a personal statement,
  2. ATAR-Selection Rank including adjustment factors, International Baccalaureate (IB), or equivalent, and
  3. interview.

*Disclaimer: The Course entry requirements above are for 2021 Admission. Refer to your relevant Tertiary Admission Centre website for future years' entry requirements.

Admission criteria

The table below shows the range of ATARs/OPs (excludes adjustment factors) and Selection Ranks (may include adjustment factors) achieved by students who were accepted into this course last year. These may vary from year to year. Learn more about admission to ACU.

This is a new course. There is no historical admission criteria for this course

Further information

Inherent Requirements

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit. Learn more about inherent requirements and how they affect you, and explore the requirements for your course.

Applying for admission

Direct Applications

Career paths

Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation) program will be recognised by their skills to think systematically and critically; gather and evaluate evidence from many and diverse sources; communicate clearly; and apply ethical principles to decision making for a variety of professions and industries. Possible employment options for graduates are diverse and can depend on the choice of majors or specialisations. Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation) graduates are also well-placed to continue their studies in Arts Honours programs or in a range of postgraduate disciplines through their demonstrable research, analytical and communications skills gained from this undergraduate program.

English language requirements

Overall score of 6.0. Individual score of 6.0 in writing and speaking, and 5.5 in listening and reading.
Entry into this course is based on a combination of a written submission (personal statement essay), an interview and academic performance. Applicants are assessed on a combination of:

  • written submission of a personal statement,
  • ATAR-Selection Rank including adjustment factors, International Baccalaureate (IB), or equivalent, and
  • interview.

Pathways to further study

Bachelor degree graduates may be eligible to progress to honours study or to a range of postgraduate coursework programs, eg Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas and, through them to coursework Master’s degree programs.

Contacts for future students


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