Diploma of Arts

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

The Diploma of Arts is designed to provide candidates who have already completed a bachelor's degree in a different field, with an academic foundation in the humanities. The diploma allows you to progress to an honours year or further postgraduate study in your chosen field. An Arts qualification is ideal for those who wish to develop personal and professional skills as a basis for employment or as a foundation for postgraduate study. The additional honours year provides outstanding candidates with the opportunity for focused study and research, working under the supervision of an academic staff member who is an expert in the field.

Please note: The units of study listed below are subject to change and are to be used as a guide only.

Course outline

Study plan

Candidates of the Diploma of Arts undertake units of study to a value of 48 credit points (cp) of up to three-years part-time. A typical unit of study has a value of 6cp. At least 36 senior cp must be undertaken in a specific subject area.


What is a major?

A major is usually a two-year defined sequence of study, generally comprising specified units of study in a particular subject area. Majors are included on students' testamurs. The Diploma of Arts requires that students complete one major from the subject areas taught by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Social Sciences. A major consists of 36 credit points (cp) in senior (2000/3000-level) units of study (6cp each) from a single subject area of study. 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 (6cp each). A major requires the completion of 24 senior credit points chosen from units of study listed in the table for that major.

Core majors

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and performance-related activities prescribed for their units of study.

What is an elective?

An elective is a unit of study within a degree, usually an option within a course. Electives allow more detailed study of a particular subject. Electives can be selected from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences or from other faculties within the university (subject to permission from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences).

Course opportunities

Most subject areas within the Diploma of Arts allow for students to take part in an international exchange.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Career opportunities for graduates of the Diploma of Arts depend on the area of study undertaken. A diploma is often a springboard to a postgraduate degree or a way of focusing your study in a particular area by doing a short course.

Further study

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

About honours

An honours year in the Arts is both a preparation for postgraduate study and a capstone to an undergraduate degree. Honours can be the culmination of your formal education, an experience that extends your intellectual range, hones your research abilities, as well as analytical and communication techniques, and helps you to develop the personal and professional skills needed to see a research project though to completion. Honours can also be the first step on a path to a career as an academic or professional researcher. An honours year typically comprises seminar classes and work toward a short thesis on an independent research project under the supervision of an academic staff member who is an expert in the field of your research.


Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, you must either:

* be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or combined degree at the University of Sydney, other than undergraduate degrees or combined degrees offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences ( includes all combined degrees with a Bachelor of Arts component and the Bachelor of Liberal Studies); or
• be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or combined degree at another recognised tertiary institution; or
• have been awarded, or be eligible for the award of an undergraduate degree from a recognised tertiary institution.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application.

Please note: not all courses are offered in the July semester intake.

Assumed knowledge

Depends on subjects selected. Most subject areas in Arts require no previous knowledge. Please see the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Handbook for details.

International students

How to apply

Not available to International Students