Warning! This degree has changed. Read the transition arrangements.

Degree structure

Degree details


Graduates of the Murdoch University Bachelor of Arts demonstrate a broad and coherent understanding of:

  1. the theoretical perspectives and methods of enquiry of a discipline
  2. the diversity of social, human and natural phenomena and the multiple perspectives (including inter-disciplinary perspectives) which can be brought to bear in social and creative enquiry
  3. global perspectives including an awareness of and respect for the historical, social, biological, cultural, and economic interdependence of global life.


Graduates of the Murdoch University Bachelor of Arts are effective communicators who demonstrate:

  1. proficiency in producing written arguments and/or creative artefacts consistent with the norms and standards of a discipline
  2. capacity for persuasive oral communication appropriate to a range of audiences.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts gather, synthesise and critically evaluate ideas and information from a range of sources demonstrating:

  1. analytical, creative and conceptual thinking
  2. a variety of methods for research and practice appropriate to the discipline.


Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts demonstrate confidence and competence in applying knowledge and skills to practice through:

  1. a capacity for self-directed independent enquiry
  2. critical self-reflection
  3. creative problem solving
  4. a global perspective incorporating an appreciation of cultural and disciplinary differences.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts have well developed interpersonal and collaborative skills including the demonstrated capacity to:

  1. give and receive critical feedback
  2. work effectively within team environments
  3. respect the thoughts and opinions of others.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts demonstrate ethical thinking and practice through social and creative enquiry which recognises diversity and the rights and perspectives of others.

With a Murdoch University Bachelor of Arts degree, your choices of career are almost limitless. With highly developed skills in research, critical thinking, synthesis and evaluation, and expertise in your chosen specialisation (Major), you will be very desirable to a wide range of employers. Murdoch University has been given a five star graduate employment rating by students in the popular Good Universities Guide 2015. Murdoch's emphasis on high quality teaching and leading edge research, as well as links with industry ensure it can provide students with a well-rounded and relevant education which gives you the edge as you embark on your chosen career paths.

As a graduate of the BA Security, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism studies, you may choose to pursue employment in a range of Government agencies, such as Australian Federal Police, ASIO and ASIS, AUSAid, Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Defence, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Attorney-General's Office and so on. There is also a demand for knowledgeable graduates across the private sector, with companies whose interests focus globally, particularly in areas where security and terrorism has been a recent and volatile issue.

Graduates of the BA International Aid and Development graduate with skills in economic and social policy are likely to be employed in a range of organisations such as AUSAID or development related non-governmental organisations. 

Sustainability and Sustainable Development is an emerging growth industry and profession. Graduates progress to successful careers in the State and Commonwealth public sectors; local councils and non-government organisations (NGOs); research institutes; national and international aid organisations; as well as in industry, tourism, media, education and resource sectors of the economy.

The BA in Community Development degree aims to develop your skills and abilities in communication, critical thinking, ethics and social justice as well as developing more specific knowledge related to Community Development. Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts in Community Development will be suitable candidates for a wide range of careers in community services and welfare groups, government departments, and not-for-profit organisations. 

Higher education via OUA

2 OUA Undergraduate subjects at pass level OR equivalent

Higher education

Transferring from another degree or university

If you have successfully completed university studies equivalent to at least 2 units (6 Murdoch credit points) you can apply to transfer to Murdoch University using your previous studies. To be eligible for the degree, you need to have passed units to a high standard and may be required to provide a personal statement upon application.

Secondary education

School leavers gain an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) from four degree subjects completed during Year 12, or OP (Overall Positions) in Queensland.

To apply to Murdoch University after Year 12, you must achieve English competency and have achieved your WA Certificate of Education (WACE) or its interstate equivalent along with the ATAR (or OP) relevant for your chosen degree.

An ATAR of 70.00 or higher (or a Queensland Overall Position of 14 or less) is required for admission to a Commonwealth Support Place in this degree.

VET studies

If you have successfully completed a Certificate IV or higher you can apply for admission into a Commonwealth Support Place.

Work and Life

  • Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)
    • STAT is a national test for mature age people designed to assess aptitude for learning in a tertiary environment. It is not a test of your knowledge on specific academic subjects. It is recognised in all Australian states. You must achieve a minimum of 140 in the Written English and 135 in the Qualitative or Multiple Choice sections of the STAT to gain entry to Murdoch.
  • Completed secondary education more than two years ago
  • Enabling Programs

Additional information

English Proficiency Requirements

To demonstrate English language competency you will need a scaled mark of at least 50 in  ATAR English, Literature or English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD).

Students may be eligible for credit for previous studies.
When applying for credit, students will need to provide documentation, including original transcripts of academic records or certified copies, subject outlines and an explanation of the grading system.
This must be sent to the Open Universities Support Office at Murdoch University. Please note that credit cannot be gained for subjects completed more than 10 years ago.

To obtain an Application for Advanced Standing Form, please download it from this website:

Note: Students must be enrolled in a Murdoch subject before any Advanced Standing application will be assessed.

The Murdoch University Bachelor of Arts is an undergraduate award which normally requires 3 years of full-time study or part-time equivalent. In your first year of study you will develop the essential skills of critical thinking, research, evaluation and reflection. You will continue to apply and develop these skills throughout your degree. You will gain in-depth knowledge of your chosen specialisation in your Major subjects.

Your first year (Part I) consists of a combination of Major subjects (Core), a Transition subject (Core), a Breadth subject (Core), specified electives and your choice of general elective subjects. Years two and three (Part II) of your degree comprise the balance of your degree and consists of the Major subjects (which give you the in-depth knowledge of your chosen specialisation), Research Skills subjects (Core), Breadth Subjects (Core) and your own choice of general elective subjects.

The four Majors that Murdoch University offers through OUA enable you to develop expertise in in Security, Terrorism and Counterterrorism; International Aid and Development; Community Development; and Sustainable Development. You can choose to study a single major or combine two for a double major.

Recommended Study Pattern

Recommended Study Pattern for this degree is dependent on the selected major.

Please see the links below.

Bachelor of Arts major in Sustainable Development Recommended Study Pattern (PDF, 114 Kb)

Bachelor of Arts major in Security, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism Recommended Study Pattern (PDF, 115 Kb)

Bachelor of Arts major in International Aid and Development Recommended Study Pattern (PDF, 115, Kb)

Bachelor of Arts major in Community Development Recommended Study Pattern (PDF, 115 Kb)

Award Requirements

To qualify for the Bachelor of Arts at Murdoch University, students must complete 72 credit points (24 subjects).

The Murdoch Degree Framework

(72 Points of Credit:  24 points at Part I, 48 points at Part II)
A Murdoch University degree is structured around four key elements:

  • transition to university,
  • research skills,
  • breadth of knowledge, and
  • depth of knowledge (the chosen Major).

Degree Structures
Murdoch’s degree structures combine all the required elements to make a student knowledgeable, experienced, confident and successful within a chosen career:
Each level of an undergraduate degree requires 24 credit points, the equivalent of a year of full-time study.  Taking a combined degree introduces additional credit point requirements to your qualification.
Transition to University
Each degree includes a transition subject, helping students develop the key academic skills to succeed in a chosen field. Students entering Murdoch with advanced standing will still be required to complete this subject or demonstrate achievement of the subject’s learning outcomes.
Research Skills
Second and third year subjects focus on the research skills relevant to the chosen degree.  Research, communication and problem solving abilities are highly valued by employers, so we aim to ‘future proof’ your education with skills for undertaking life-long learning.
These skills involve:

  • Identifying research
  • Using appropriate methodology to find, record and organise research data;
  • Critically evaluating and interpreting available information;
  • Managing the research process and organising information;
  • Communicating research findings with the appropriate language and context.

Breadth of Knowledge
Often, the best solutions appear when people apply knowledge in new ways or work with a team to bring different skills together. Breadth studies introduces students to knowledge outside a chosen discipline, teaching students to understand how others think and solve problems.

For detailed information go to this website: http://our.murdoch.edu.au/OUA/

Choose your subjects


Students can choose to study from these four Bachelor of Arts Majors:

  • Sustainable Development
  • Security, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism
  • International Aid and Development
  • Community Development

Please Note: Units which appear in a major and the breadth unit list may only be counted towards the requirements of the major.

Students are recommended to Register with Murdoch University before starting their Part 2 subjects to receive enrolment advice.

A fee of $250 is payable on registration.
To obtain an Application for Registration Form, please download the form from this website:

Changes to Bachelor of Arts degrees at Murdoch University in 2017

The Bachelor of Arts (Security, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism major) has undergone a major change in 2017. The following units have been retired and replaced by new units.

  • POL224 International Relations Theory and Practice is replaced by POL232 Military Force and Counterterrorism
  • POL344 Australian Foreign & Security Policy is replaced by POL335 Policing, Intelligence and Counterterrorism
  • POL312 Regional Rivals: China and its Neighbours is replaced by POL334 Middle East Politics and Security

The discontinued units will still be credited as before, or students can take the new units that have replaced them.

If you have any queries about any of these changes, you can ask a question in Murdoch’s ‘MyAnswers’, providing your student number and identifying your degree (or intended degree).
You may also directly contact the Academic Chair of the degree in which you wish to graduate.

Academic Chair for Community Development major: Dr David Palmer - D.Palmer@Murdoch.edu.au/ Tel: +61 8 93602288

Academic Chair for International Aid and Development, and Sustainable Development majors: Alan Johnstone - A.Johnstone@Murdoch.edu.au/ Tel: +61 8 93606278

Academic Chair for Security, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism major: Dr Ian Wilson - I.Wilson@murdoch.edu.au / Tel: +61 8 93602500