Bachelor of Education (Secondary: Humanities and Social Sciences) and Bachelor of Arts

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

This five-year combined degree will give you a professional qualification to teach in secondary schools in the areas of humanities and social sciences.

You will gain a strong practical and theoretical preparation for teaching. The course covers professional teaching, special education, international education, and information and communications technology.

School observations and practice teaching are integral components of the professional experiences in this degree. Professional teaching experiences and internships are offered in partnership with participating schools and will provide you with the opportunity to develop your teaching skills and professional understanding of how to work in schools.

In your first year you will engage in a broad tertiary education, studying units from the Sydney School of Education and Social Work and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

You may choose your major from one of the following teaching areas: Aboriginal studies, Commerce, Economics, English, Drama, History (modern or ancient), Languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew (modern or classical), Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Modern Greek or Spanish.

You will also complete at least two years of study, which can be extended to a minor, in a second teaching area chosen from the list above, or from mathematics, business studies, teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), or geography.

Why study with us?

1. The University of Sydney is world renowned for education, ranked 11th in the world*, with our rigorous and innovative courses employing the latest teaching approaches and placing significant emphasis on professional experience.

2. Awarded an Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) ranking of 4 for our education research, you will learn from academics at the forefront of innovative, cross-disciplinary and transformative research in this internationally recognised degree.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017


What is a major?

All students need to complete at least one major for the requirements of their Bachelor of Arts degree. This major must be in an area offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and relate directly to the first teaching area. A major is usually a three-year defined sequence of study, generally comprising specified units of study in a particular subject area. Majors are included on students' testamurs. In most cases a major consists of at least 36 credit points in senior (2000/3000-level) units of study from a single subject area of study which relates to the first teaching area. The exact requirements for majors may differ between subject areas. Most majors require the completion of at least two junior (1000-level) prerequisite units of study (6 credit points each). These junior units may be prerequisites for the major itself and/or for senior units within the major's subject area. Junior units may be used as prerequisites for majors or senior elective units in more than one subject area. Students may obtain a second major and this must relate to their second teaching area.

Further course information

Course opportunities

The Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education: Humanities and Social Sciences) and Bachelor of Arts combined course includes significant professional experience placements in schools. The placements begin in the third year of the course and the amount of responsibility and duration of the placements progressively increases until the final placement in which students are competent to teach under minimal supervision.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Teacher in areas including English, drama, history, mathematics, TESOL, geography, economics and languages, corporate trainer and development manager, curriculum consultant, educational administrator, educational researcher, government policy
adviser, human resource manager.

Course accreditation

Our undergraduate Education courses are accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Further study

Eligible candidates may apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program with the Sydney School of Education and Social Work comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master's degrees include capstone independent research projects, supervised by experts in the field of study, which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

About honours

Honours is available to meritorious students, in either Education or the Bachelor of Arts. Honours in Education requires the completion of an alternative 12 credit-point honours pathway described in the Bachelor of Education (Secondary: Humanities and Social Sciences) Table of units. Completion of the degree is required in the minimum standard full-time duration.


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is on the basis of a secondary school leaving qualification such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (including national and international equivalents), tertiary study or an approved preparation program. English language requirements must be met where these are not demonstrated by sufficient qualifications taught in English. Special admission pathways are open for domestic mature-aged applicants who do not possess a school leaving qualification, educationally disadvantaged applicants and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Applicants are ranked by merit and offers for available places are issued according to the ranking.

Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students

The requirement to complete literacy and numeracy testing applies to all students enrolled in the BEd (Primary); BEd (Health and PE); BEd (Secondary:Humanities and Social Sciences)/BA; BEd (Secondary: Maths)/BSc; BEd (Secondary: Science)/BSc; and all Master of Teaching programs except MTeach (Early Childhood).

Information about LANTITES for students commencing their studies in 2017 and beyond will be required to have successfully completed testing as follows:

All BEd students commencing their studies in 2017 and beyond will be expected to sit and pass the test within the first two years of candidature.

Useful links

To register to take the test, go to

For information about teacher-accreditation requirements in NSW, including the testing, go to the website of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) at

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Prospective domestic students apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for a Commonwealth supported place. Refer to the UAC website for key dates.

Current students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the transferring courses page.

Current students applying to transfer from a diploma to a bachelor's degree must apply through UAC.

For other useful information, visit our how to apply page.

Assumed knowledge

Teacher education students seeking employment as secondary teachers in NSW schools must have achieved a Higher School Certificate minimum Band 4 in English (Advanced), English (Standard) or English as a Second Language.

International students

How to apply

Visit the how to apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply now’ button on the right-hand side of this course page.