Take the lead and broaden your career prospects by studying for a Bachelor of Arts at UNSW Canberra. This undergraduate degree will enrich your understanding of the world and challenge you to think outside the box. If you're a creative problem solver then this multifaceted Arts degree could be for you.

Degree type

Undergraduate  (ATAR Indicative 75.00)


3 years full-time

Commencing terms

Semester 1

Program code



Delivery mode

On campus

Learn to lead

A UNSW Canberra the Bachelor of Arts degree gives you strong communication and research skills - essential attributes of effective leaders in the Australian Defence Force. This degree enriches your understanding of how human beings make and debate life’s meaning and values. Students develop their capacity for critical analysis and argument as well as an awareness of the value of language as a political, intellectual, creative and communicative tool. The diverse range of courses and electives form pathways for majors in: 

  • Business  

  • English & Media Studies  

  • Geography  

  • History 

  • Indonesian Studies  

  • International & Political Studies (IPS).

World-class teaching & facilities

The UNSW Canberra School of Humanities & Social Sciences is recognised for academic excellence in both research and teaching. We offer an outstanding higher education experience for our unique and diverse student population, with the best university teacher-to-student ratio in Australia. Our researchers and teaching staff are experts in their fields and are dedicated to developing future global leaders in defence and industry. 

UNSW Canberra is home to several unique state-of-the-art facilities. When you study with us, you’ll have exclusive access to the UNSW Canberra Academy Library Special Collections. Items of national significance include more than 300 manuscript collections, 13,000 rare items and papers of the former Prime Minister John Howard.

What our students say

“Studying at UNSW Canberra as a Trainee Officer has provided me with an amazing opportunity to study with world-class lecturers. The small class sizes have helped me to gain a more thorough understanding of course content.”

Jade Burton, Bachelor of Arts Student 

Arts & humanities in an ADF Career

Arts degrees are flexible, allowing you to choose from a variety of study areas and keep your options open. The skills you develop in critical thinking, leadership, and management are transferable and will equip you for an exciting and fulfilling career in the Australian Defence Force within the Navy, Army or Air Force.

  • The study of business broadly covers economics, accounting, management, and human resources, setting you up with fundamental skills to propel you into a successful career. By studying business, you’ll explore various key management skills and develop practical knowledge of strategy, leadership, effective decision-making, and other fundamental managerial concepts.

  • English and Media Studies sets you up with sophisticated knowledge of the world’s literary heritage and contemporary culture, spanning across classical heroic epics to contemporary social media. Throughout this major, you’ll ask yourself questions such as ‘how does language persuade and move us?’ and ‘how does culture respond to or imagine war?’.  

  • Geography is the study of both the physical and human environments that we live in, encompassing the interactions we experience day-to-day with nature and other people. Through the use of techniques like Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing, geography enables us to analyse our environment and society, bridging the gap between social and natural sciences.

  • History seeks to understand individual and group behaviour and explain the forces that have shaped human civilisation through social change, wars, revolutions, and popular movements. Historical analysis examines the relationships between past events and the present, providing you with fundamental skills in how to assimilate and weight evidence, analyse problems, and balance different points of view.

  • Indonesia is one of Australia’s most important neighbouring countries. Indonesian studies will help you develop the ability to read, write, speak, and understand the standard Indonesian language, while also exposing you to a broad overview of Indonesian society and culture. No prior Indonesian knowledge is required.

  • International & Political Studies (IPS) involves the study of power and norms in a dynamic and rapidly changing global environment. IPS aims to cover the major factors, ideas and key issues of domestic, regional, and global politics, international relations, and ethical thought, all of which have a profound impact on Australia’s national security and place in the world. 

  • Chief of the Defence Force Program

    The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) programs offer the opportunity for students entering UNSW Canberra with a high Entrance Rank, and who maintain a high level of performance in their studies, to undertake research in a range of disciplines that will develop their critical thinking and independent research skills beyond that available in the standard bachelor degree programs.

    The range of CDF programs is characterised by the inclusion of specialist courses in critical analysis and/or research methods appropriate to the area of study. All programs also include discipline-specific research projects. The research projects will be supervised by academic staff from the relevant discipline. With the approval of the Head of School, multi- or cross-disciplinary projects may be undertaken. Students in the research courses may work independently or as part of a team, depending on the nature of the project undertaken, though all students will submit an individual assessment. The final assessment will be based on a written paper or report and oral presentations. 

    Throughout the program, students will be engaged in cohort activities so as to develop and maintain their interest and continuing involvement in the program via invited lectures, seminars, general reading and social events.

Key contacts

Student Enquiries

E: sascanberra@unsw.edu.au
T: (02) 5114 5000 

Available to
ADFA Trainee Officers
ADF Current Serving Members

Assumed knowledge

Additional selection criteria
Defence Force Recruiting process