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Planning your units of study

Majors and minors

Your major, or specialisation (for postgraduate coursework students), is a particular subject area that you choose to specialise in during your award course, such as History, Physics or Public health. To achieve a major, you need to complete the required number of credit points and specific units of study within that one subject area. This is set out in the course resolutions in your handbook.

Any majors you achieve are indicated on your testamur and academic transcript.

If your course requires you to select one or more major(s), you will be prompted to do so as part of your enrolment.

A minor is also an area of specialisation but requires completion of fewer units of study and, unlike your major, isn’t recorded on your testamur or academic transcript.

Choosing a major

Start thinking about your major(s) in your first year, as most majors have a compulsory number of junior credit points. These junior units are often prerequisites for units you’ll need to take later on.

Once you’re familiar with the requirements for achieving majors in you course, look at the subject areas to see what interests you most or what areas may meet your future goals. For example, some postgraduate courses require certain majors in your undergraduate degree.

You should then look in detail at the units in your chosen subject area, to see which ones are compulsory and whether you need to complete them in specific years.

There are two types of majors available to most students enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

A Table A major is a major in a subject area taught within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In most courses, it is compulsory to complete a Table A major.

A Table B major is a major in a subject area taught within another faculty. The subject areas from other faculties available to students within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are listed in the handbook.

If you commenced your undergraduate degree before 2014, you may be able to cross list certain units of study. This means you have may have a choice of which major a unit of study counts towards.

While a stream defines the primary disciplinary focus of your course (such as Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering), a major is an optional area of specialisation within your course (both Civil and Mechanical Engineers may choose to major in Environmental Engineering, for example). 

Majors align with particular engineering streams, which are outlined in the Engineering aligned majors page

If you would like to upgrade to a Space major, apply using the changing stream form. You need an annual average mark of at least 75.

If you would like to change your stream, you will need to apply online.

If you’re undertaking the Bachelor of Health Sciences, you will complete two majors: Health Sciences and a second major.

When you enrol, you need to select your second major. You can change your second major later, but it’s important you discuss this with your year coordinator.

The faculty handbook has detailed information about the majors available to you.

If you’re undertaking the Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience, you will need to select a major in your third year of study. You will be able to focus on an area of study from one of the four key majors: Animal Genetics and Biotechnology; Animal Health and Disease; Animal Production Systems; or Wildlife Conservation.

If you are undertaking the Bachelor of Visual Arts, you may be able to vary your major provided that the faculty is satisfied that you have appropriate skills. This may be determined at an interview.

To vary your major, you need to apply for special permission to enrol in units of study for your new major. Your request needs to be submitted two weeks before the commencement of the semester for which the variation is to be effective and supported by uploading a portfolio of your recent artwork.

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Last updated: 27 July 2017

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