Bachelor of Arts


With 30 major subjects to choose from and spanning the humanities, social sciences, languages and creative arts, UC Arts students can follow their passion and gain valuable skills.

Over the three years of your degree, you will gain the critical thinking, creative problem solving, and communication skills that employers want. Unique practical experiences such as internships are on offer too.

Features of the Bachelor of Arts (BA) at UC

  • Flexible degree so you can specialise or study a wide variety of topics
  • Develops skills recruiters want – research, writing, critical thinking, analysis and communication
  • Option of an internship course in second and third year to gain practical experience
  • A wide range of scholarship, postgraduate and career opportunities are available.

Entry requirements

Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for a Bachelor's degree. Domestic applicants over 20 who do not hold University Entrance, or equivalent, may gain admission by providing evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For information on gaining admission to UC please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Recommended preparation

All Arts subjects, including languages, can be started at first-year level without previous knowledge of the subject. A good standard of oral and written English is important. 

Successful study to Year 13 is recommended for advanced Mathematics courses.

Qualification structure and duration

The Bachelor of Arts requires a minimum total of 360 points:

  • at least 255 points from Arts courses
  • 15 points from a prescribed list of courses**
  • the remaining 90 points can be from either Arts courses or courses from other degrees.

A minimum of 225 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level.

** Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Arts*

Year 1Year 2Year 3
    Arts major courses
    Arts minor courses
    Other Arts courses
    Courses from Arts or other degrees
(1) Students must complete at least 15 points from a list of courses in Schedule C of the Regulations for the Bachelor of Arts. These points can be completed during any year of the degree.
Please note: some majors have different requirements. For all major requirements and more information go to the Regulations for the Bachelor of Arts.
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points (or more).
This diagram is an example only - other combinations are possible.
* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

Double Degrees

It is possible to combine an Arts degree with other degrees such as the Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Health SciencesBachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Science.

If you are considering a double degree you should get advice from a College of Arts Student Advisor or the Liaison team.

Find out more information about Double degrees.

Subjects and courses

The Bachelor of Arts is a highly flexible degree that allows a wide range of choices from major and minor Arts subjects, as well as subjects from other degrees.

All BA students must also complete 15 points from a list of courses in the BA Schedule at any year of their studies.**

** Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

Majors and minors

BA students specialise in two areas:

  • either a major and a minor subject
  • or two majors (a double major).

Each major has specific course requirements, but all consist of a minimum of 135 points in a single Arts subject. Of these, at least 60 points must be at 300-level and at least 45 points at 200-level. 

A minor consists of a minimum of 75 points in a single Arts subject or minor subject from the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), including at least 45 points above 100-level. 

Note: students should include first-year courses that allow them to advance to 200-level in at least two, and preferably three, subjects.

Major or minor subjects

Minor-only subjects

* Not open to new enrolments in 2018.

Other subjects

BA students can also select courses from other degrees, that count as a credit towards a Bachelor of Arts degree (but not towards their major/minor subject):


Bachelor of Arts internships combine theory and practice and count towards your degree. UC offers internship papers at 200 and 300-level. 

Further study

The College of Arts has a wide range of options for postgraduate and graduate study with excellent research facilities. These include specialised research centres such as the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific StudiesSocial Science Research CentreNew Zealand Centre for Human-Animal StudiesTe Awatea Violence Research Centre and National Centre for Research on Europe. See the complete list of UC research institutes and centres

Graduate and postgraduate qualifications

** Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

Career opportunities

BA internships combine theory and practice and count towards your degree. Participants gain a valuable taste of the professional world, apply their knowledge in real scenarios and explore potential career options.

Arts graduates enjoy a raft of exciting career destinations, for instance in media, government, international relations, arts, culture, heritage, archives, politics, public policy, writing, editing, PR, communications, conservation, tourism, teaching, community development, publishing, design, business, advertising or marketing.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Arts. For more information on facilities, resources and staff see the College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata.

For more general information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office (new students), or a College of Arts Student Advisor (advancing students).

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Tiana Reaich-Jang

Tiana Reaich-Jang

'I have been able to shape my degree to study what I love and be an individual from the others...'

Jeremy Johnson

Jeremy Johnson

'There are great opportunities in Christchurch...'