Undergraduate study centres on a core curriculum covering a breadth of subjects, including Language, Literature, History, Philosophy, Theology, Mathematics and Science. Its aim is not the accumulation of knowledge but the cultivation of wisdom – not the filling of a pail, in W.B.Yeats’ words, but the lighting of a fire. The Liberal Arts not only impart certain fundamental skills – such as the powers of analysis and synthesis; proficiency in reading, writing and speaking; and intellectual balance and the arts of communication through exposure to varied cultures and languages -they also provide an invaluable preparation for life as well as for the workplace.
Australian universities do not offer an integrated education in the Liberal Arts, characterised by a core curriculum – embracing both the arts and sciences – which all students undertake. Yet such an education is of powerful and enduring value, as shown by the effectiveness of graduates in the marketplace. More than half of the Fortune 500 CEOs, for example, have a degree in the Liberal Arts. In addition, such graduates are recognised for their ability to gain admission to the most prestigious universities for postgraduate degrees.
Full-time students, studying four disciplines per semester, will finish the BA degree in three years. Time frames for part-time and miscellaneous students will vary. For the first two years, full-time students will study four of the five core disciplines, Theology, Philosophy, History and Literature. In their third year, students undertaking the Bachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts are required to complete two Science subjects, and may elect to complete a major (total of eight subjects) in an area of study.