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How to choose between a liberal or professional degree

22 September 2017
Get to know the types of courses available to you

Whether you’ve had your career path mapped out since childhood, or you’re convinced that your dream job doesn’t exist yet, we’re giving you the tools you need to future-proof your learning.

So you’ve put in the hard yards. Thirteen years of schooling is finally coming to an end and you’re on the homestretch to completing the HSC… but where to next? You’re left with a decision: do you choose a professional degree that will lead you down a specific career path, or do you cultivate your passions with a flexible liberal degree?

What is a liberal degree?

Liberal degrees include Arts, Science, Commerce and combined versions of these degrees. They are highly flexible, allowing you to follow your interests and learn with a multidisciplinary approach. You are exposed to a wide variety of ideas and disciplines, developing generalist knowledge alongside disciplinary expertise through your major and minor (or double major).

Future-proof your career by preparing for more than just one

There’s a lot of pressure on school leavers to make significant decisions about their future. However, the idea that what you decide to study now will set your career path in stone isn’t necessarily true. In fact, many of our liberal degrees offer the flexibility you need to follow your interests and gain real world experiences to prepare you for your dream job - whatever that may be.

The combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies is the perfect example of cross-disciplinary learning. Not only will you have the flexibility to take majors from two different faculties, but the time within your degree to take full advantage of exchange and real-world industry, community and research challenges - including the option to complete an honours year within your fourth year. These programs enable you to gain critical workplace experience and cultivate global perspectives, ensuring you’re prepared for a wide range of dynamic and challenging careers.

Cultivate your passions by designing your own course

With over 100 major and minor subjects ranging from architecture, sociology and marketing to neuroscience, nutrition and software development, the possibilities of a combined liberal degree and an Advanced Studies degree are endless. Being able to design your own course based on your personal interests could be an empowering step forward into the professional job market. By completing a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies, for example, you will gain essential knowledge in fundamental sciences without having to give up your interest in marketing. Expanding your education with a second field of study will prepare you for a range of positions in a variety of industries.

Choosing a professional degree

Professional degrees are accredited degrees which lead to professional registration. These are generally much more structured in comparison to liberal degrees, often with compulsory placements, which develop the knowledge and skillset necessary to prepare you for a career in a specific field and to gain registration with the industry’s accrediting body.