BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University

Bachelor of Arts Monash - Fact Sheet

Are you looking to do a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University?

Let us indulge you with all you need to know about studying a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University — including its classes, assessments, culture and more! 

So let’s see what Monash has in store for us! 

What is a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University?
Areas of Study and Majors
How to Get into a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University? 

Simply put, a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University is a 3-year degree that opens doors to many different areas of arts, humanities and social sciences. It’s a degree you can never get bored of, especially if you love learning about new and fascinating ideas, cultures and places. 

With over 40 specialisations you can choose from, the sky really is the limit at Monash University. These areas of study can range from the typical arts majors such as politics, human rights, international relations and film studies to more specialised niches such as Indigenous history, Indonesian studies, Korean studies and more. You’re spoiled for options at Monash!

And that’s not it! What’s special about Monash’s arts degree is its Global Immersion Guarantee, which funds first year students to study overseas.

Monash is all about learning through experience and with this golden opportunity, you can enrich your global perspective about the topics that fuel your interest and gain practical experience that makes your employers go “Wow, I might actually hire him/her”. 

It almost sounds too good to be true, but let’s see what else Monash offers! 

Other Arts Degree Options

If you want to check out similar Arts degrees at other universities, show some love to these articles of ours: 

Career Paths 

Monash’s Arts degree and its many, many areas of study mean that your career opportunities are endless. Even if you do not land a job that fits your specialisation, Monash embeds the essential research, evaluation and communication skills to prepare their graduates for any job available, no matter how complex and challenging it may be. 

As such, you may even find yourself a job that you’ve never ever dreamt of having! Some graduates found themselves working for the United Nations, while others founded their own national company. Isn’t that exciting? 

Ultimately, there are three kinds of career pathways you can go into. These are: 

Types of Career PathwaysCareers
Working with people- Communications Specialist
- Marketing Specialist
- Director
- Curator
- Educator
- Business Manager
Environmental management- Environmental consultant
- Urban planning 
- Health assessment and advisor
- Sustainability consultor 
- Tourism advisor 
Politics- Foreign affairs ambassador
- International relations ambassador 
- Politician 
- Policymaker
- Journalist
- Social justice forerunner 
- Human rights representative 

For a closer look at where Monash Arts Graduates are now, sneak a peek here!

Areas of Study and Majors

Monash has over 40 different areas of study to choose from! In your three year degree, you can choose to do two areas of study.

This is not to be confused with majors, as majors make up the areas of study. Check out the full list of the 40 areas of study Monash provides on page 22. 

While Monash’s areas of study provide the flexibility you need to expand your knowledge and experience, there are some fixed units you will need to complete. 

Course Structure

A three year Arts degree at Monash has 24 units that you have to do. This includes: 

A major: 1st area of study

Contains 8 units — All 8 units have to be from your 1st chosen area of study (eg. anthropology, literary studies, history, politics and more)

Compulsory units include: 

  • Gateway: First year unit that introduce basic fundamentals
  • Cornerstone: Second year unit that consolidates your knowledge of your major 
  • Capstone: Third year unit where you engage in advanced critical thinking in a research project or internship. 

A minor: 2nd area of study

Contains 4 units — All 4 units have to be from your 2nd chosen area of study 

  • Compulsory units may have one or two gateway units
  • Compulsory units do not include cornerstone or capstone units

Arts Electives and Signature Elements

Contains 4 units 

Minimum 2 of 4 units are from the following signature elements choices:

  • Global immersion Guarantee: Study abroad for a short trip or a semester long session. 
  • Intercultural expertise: Train your cultural competence in international work environments 
  • Professional experience: Gain practical experience through internships and placements 
  • Innovation capability: Practice your creative and enterprising skills 

Free electives: 

  • 8 units 
  • Can be an Arts or other faculty area of study 

You don’t have to decide on your majors or minors in the first year! You can always choose what you want to specialise in your second year.

Alternatively, you can also make up your 2nd major out of 8 free electives that can be from the Arts, Business, IT or Science Faculty. 

What It’s Like as an International Relations Major/Film Studies Minor 

Meet Cynthia, a Bachelor of Arts graduate from Monash University who is here to share her experiences with undertaking an International Relations Major and Film Studies Minor. 

Bachelor of Arts Monash - Quote

Cynthia says that the vibes can be very different between the two areas of study. “For International Relations, it felt more serious. It wasn’t that the lecturers were boring but there were more serious topics and more on critical thinking and formulating articles.” 


“We talked about foreign policies, political concepts, cultural and social ideas which was very interesting in the period I was studying as it was when Trump was entering the game so there were a lot of discussions about that in class,” Cynthia described.


On the flip side, other Arts areas of study can be quite fun.


“For Media and Film, there was also critical thinking but it wasn’t as serious. It was more engaging and thinking about culture and media and communications so it was quite fun. We talked more about the media and entertainment industry because we did a lot of film studies so looking at how the news formulate and construct stories, it’s quite interesting.”  

Are there any exchange programs available?

Absolutely! Monash’s Global Immersion Guarantee provides different exchange programs for each area of study you choose, so pick carefully.

Our sources tell us that travelling abroad to study is a different experience to learning in Monash as you gain more information and practical insight into an entirely new culture! 

But you have to get in quick — there are only a limited number of programs that you can attend and there is a vigorous screening process as well. Be sure to check your notifications and emails about such opportunities. 

If you’re too excited to wait, check out their Global Immersion Guarantee program here!

Are there built-in internships?

Yes! In your final year, you can choose to do an internship as a ‘Signature Elements’ unit. 

Monash does its best to find internships in Australia and overseas that match your preferences and skills. Some of the places students found an internship at include: 

    • Liver Performance Australia
    • Channel 7 
    • Ernst & Young 
    • Melbourne Writers Festival
    • Oxfam
    • Global Poverty Project in New York
    • Penang House of Music in Malaysia 
    • Creative Innovation Global 

And more!

Find out all you need to know about internships here!


How to Get into a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University

The Bachelor of Arts at Monash is offered at two of its campuses. At the Caulfield campus, the ATAR cut off is 75 and is also the same for the Clayton Campus.

Alternate Pathway

Don’t fret if you don’t get the ATAR you need! Monash’s Diploma of Arts is another way you can get into their Bachelor of Arts program. 

The Diploma of Arts program is an 18 month program that is made up of two parts.

In the first part, you’ll be doing core arts subjects in a stream of your choosing for 9 months. The streams you can choose are either Psychology (if you want to become a psychologist) or Sociology (if you’re interested in politics, social studies and media).

The second part is also 9 months long but you’ll be doing the same first year subjects as your Bachelor of Arts peers after choosing your specialisation. 

At the end of the Diploma, you can start your second year in the Bachelor of Arts program at Monash! 

For more information about the Diploma program, check it out here!

Are there any prerequisites? 

Luckily for you, Monash’s Arts degree only has prerequisites for English. For Units 3 and 4, applicants must score at least a 27 in English (EAL) or 25 in other English subjects that are not EAL.

What scholarships are available? 

Monash’s Arts Faculty delivers three types of scholarships that are awarded to students with the highest academic achievements. Let’s check them out below: 

Centrally awarded scholarships 

300 scholarships are available to help domestic and international students achieve their greatest. Scholarships application times roll out 4 times a year. 

Faculty funded scholarships 

The Faculty of Arts Graduate Research Scholarship Scheme provides a varying number of scholarships every year but you can apply for these scholarships anytime! There are three categories of this scholarship type:

    • Faculty of Arts Research Living Allowance (FARLA): Allowance for living conditions in proportion to your Research Training Program (RTP) salary. 
    • Faculty of Arts Research Scholarship (FARS): Allowance for 12 months stay at Research Training Program (RTP). 
    • Faculty of Arts International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (FAIRPS): Allowance for tuition fees abroad and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) 
Other scholarship schemes

These scholarships are funded by various organisations and donors. 

Try and see if you can apply for any of these scholarships here.

What’s the Teaching Format?

Monash’s Arts degree is delivered as 2 semesters per year — one in February and one in July. 

Class Structure

Classes vary according to the area of study that you choose, but typically involves lectures, tutorials, workshops and occasionally intensives. 

Bachelor of Arts Monash - Class Structure


Lectures are held once a week per unit and are usually 1 to 2 hours long with around 150 people attending them.

Presentations by esteemed academics will usually be carried out but the schedule does vary according to the major you pick. For example, film and media units may be two hours long, where the first hour involves watching a movie and the second hour includes a lecture about the film.


One hour tutorials occur once a week per unit. They are usually smaller and resemble your high school classroom where you start with a summary of what you’ve learned in your lecture before separating into groups to have discussions.

Towards the end of the tutorial, you may come back together again to discuss as a class. The work does again depend on your tutor though, as sometimes you may be given a worksheet or class questions to do that are based on your out of class readings. 


Seminars are hybrids of lectures and tutorials that go on for 2 to 3 hours. Sounds draining I know but the good news is, if you have a seminar, you do not have a lecture or tutorial in that same week.

You usually listen to presentations and take part in group discussions in these seminars. A good tip is to contribute all you can, as you can gain participation points as part of your assessment. 


Intensives are carried out by some units and they often take place in the weekends for the whole day.

Although studying during the weekend is an unpopular opinion, it can be quite fun to learn about the concepts in more depth than you normally would in other classes. It’s also pretty productive as you can talk about looming assignments as a class. 

How much time do you spend on campus?

If you schedule your time well, you can find yourself going to campus at least 3 times a week. Monash’s Arts classes are pretty spread out, so there’s no avoiding campus everyday of the week. 

Remember, this does not count the time spent outside of class on readings, assessments, homework and more! Arts degrees are notorious for their many, many readings and Monash’s Arts degree is no different. 

What are the assessments like?

The typical assessments you’ll be assigned as an Arts student at Monash are reports, essays and presentations 


Big reports are usually divided into two or three different parts to be completed throughout your semester. You’re not alone! Monash knows that these 2,000 to 10,000 word reports can be too big for one person to complete, so it’s often a group report.

You will often need to apply concepts you’ve learnt in class to formulate an idea or argument for a topic.

These topics are not strictly set by your lecturer but a variety of options are provided to help spark your inspiration and pick one focus. This can involve a lot of literature readings around 10 to 20 resources each report, so get ready for a good night’s reading. 


Essays are similar to reports in that you make your own idea or argument out of the concepts you learnt in class.

But unlike reports that are more professional and follow a certain structure, essays differ with their more natural and clear flow. It also tends to be more opinion based and argumentative with literary evidence that supports your point. 


Presentations can either be a group or individual project. Here, you can voice your own interpretations of the class content while learning new ideas and perspectives from your classmates.

Other times, your tutor may ask you to summarise a concept or a reading and explain it to your peers to encourage you to learn independently, rather than depending on your teachers. It’s a great way to gear you for the real world!

Skills You Refine and Learn 

Bachelor of Arts Monash - Skills

Monash’s Arts degree cultivates both soft and hard skills to prepare you for a diverse array of jobs that may not be related to what you study itself. Ultimately, an arts degree at Monash can help you become a more critical, creative and versatile employee that adapts to any opportunity that comes to them!

With its global opportunities, Monash University opens your mind to the many cultural perspectives and interpretations that pervade the work environments you may find yourself in, training your cultural competence and openness. This is balanced with critical thinking to help you form your own ideas and solutions that give you the independence to work as either a leader or team player. 

Monash’s Arts degree also encourages its students to think outside of the box to become the forerunners of creative solutions. Communication skills are definitely important here when presenting your new ideas in an engaging and understandable way to potential clients.

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

How large is the Arts Faculty? 

Monash’s Arts Faculty consists of five schools in both Caulfield and Clayton campuses, along with its School of Arts and Social Sciences in Malaysia. These five schools include: 

    • School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics (LLCL)
    • School of Media, Film and Journalism (MFJ) 
    • School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies (SOPHIS) 
    • School of Social Sciences (SOSS) 
    • Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance 

For more details about the schools, explore this link!

What’s the culture like? 

The Arts students at Monash are very welcoming and friendly. First years may be shy at first to share their opinions in class but you’ll find yourself in a whizzing storm of discussions soon enough!

Because the Arts cohort is very diverse, you’ll always be entertained by new ideas and perspectives in a safe and comfortable environment. Here, your teachers really encourage you to speak up for yourself!

There are also plenty of opportunities to build lifelong friendships with classmates who share the same passions as you.

There are many different activities and societies you can participate in but if you’re not the society type, you can always mingle around to meet people and understand different cultures in the big space in Monash Clayton campus where events are usually held. 

Societies You Can Join

Society of Arts Students has over 1600 members, making it one of the biggest societies at Monash’s Clayton campus that you can join! Have fun at their vast array of events throughout the semester such as Trivia Night, SAS Camp and more! 

Check out their Facebook here!

Are there any mentorship programs available? 

Yes! There is a peer mentoring program designed for first year Arts students at Monash where you are allocated a senior peer mentor and a group of your peers on your very first day of university.

Your mentor will often be a senior from your faculty who can help guide your through the maze that is university life! Programs, resources, student services at Monash are just the little bit that they provide information on.

Check out Monash’s Art peer mentoring program here!

Kate Lynn Law graduated in 2017 with an all rounders HSC award and an ATAR of 97.65. Passionate about mentoring, she enjoys working with high school students to improve their academic, work and life skills in preparation for the HSC and what comes next. An avid blogger, Kate had administered a creative writing page for over 2000 people since 2013, writing to an international audience since her early teenage years. 


45,861 students have a head start...

Get exclusive study content & advice from our team of experts delivered weekly to your inbox!

AOS Website Asset 2

Want to study Arts & Social Sciences?

Discover how we can help you!

AOS Website Asset 1