What is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree?
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What is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree?

What is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree?

When you think of a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, a few subjects may come to mind.

For instance, literature, fashion design and journalism.

What you may not have realised, however, is that a Bachelor of Arts degree doesn’t always refer to hands-on artsy areas.

In fact, this degree delves into various subjects such as humanities, history, social sciences, communications and foreign languages.

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A Bachelor of Arts degree involves many different subject areas such as art history, biochemistry and astronomy. Source: Apu Gomes/AFP

Bachelor of Arts (BA) defined

Depending on your university, an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree takes three to four years to complete.

A BA degree differs from a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree as it focuses on abstract or theoretical topics that require critical thinking like English literature or political science.

Whereas if you’d prefer a narrower focus in your study and would rather gain technical or scientific knowledge to succeed in fields like data analytics or health information management, then you’ll be interested in a Bachelor of Science (BSc).

You may notice that some BSc and BA subjects overlap. For example, you can get a BSc in Astronomy or a BA in Astronomy.

In this case, a BA in Astronomy focuses more on theoretical knowledge, and a BSc in Astronomy focuses more on technical knowledge and practical experience.

BA courses also tend to have fewer hours of teaching than a BSc degree which means you can embrace your individual study style and create a timetable to work around your schedule. 

Typically, those who opt for a BA are creative-minded and philosophically inclined. Nonetheless, this degree type will suit anyone who prefers writing essays to spending the majority of their time conducting experiments in the lab.

And if you think the fewer hours of teaching is a plus, make sure that you have enough self-discipline to motivate yourself to study; otherwise, you could fall behind!

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A Bachelor of Arts degree may be your start to a prosperous career. Source: Ed Jones/AFP

Benefits of a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree

A Bachelor of Arts degree is all about theoretical knowledge and will get you to think outside the box and hone your creative problem-solving skills. 

According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) President Lynn Pasquerella, this can be a great advantage because critical thinking stemming from a liberal arts education is “more valuable than ever.”

“In a world that is increasingly globally interdependent, and where rapidly changing technology means rapid obsolescence, the best that we can offer students today is the capacity to work with others who are different from themselves in diverse teams,” she said.

“And to be adaptable and flexible in a world where the jobs of the future have not yet been invented.”

The multidisciplinary nature of liberal arts courses equips graduates not only with vast knowledge but a multitude of skills that can be applied across industries.

An AACU report also indicated that 93 percent of employers value soft skills such as creativity and problem-solving more than a candidate’s undergraduate major. 

To employers, liberal arts graduates have the right skills and attitude to be moulded into resilient employees.

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What types of BA degrees can you do? Source: Tyler Kaufman North America Getty Images/ AFP

The different types of Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees

Now that you know what a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is, here are a few undergraduate study areas you could enroll for this year or next:

  • BA in Religious Studies
  • BA in History
  • BA in Computer Science
  • BA in Biochemistry
  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BA in Comparative Literature
  • BA in Astronomy
  • BA in Mathematics
  • BA in Geography
  • BA in Media and Communications
  • BA in Italian/French/German/Portuguese
  • BA in English Language
  • BA in Fine Arts

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