Expand your Arts degree with the Bachelor of Advanced Studies

22 December 2020
Meet Anthony Segaert, Josh Ng and Jamaica Leech
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (BAS) students Anthony, Josh and Jamaica explain how the BAS has unleashed the potential of their Arts degree.

The Bachelor of Advanced Studies is an additional year of study which can be added to liberal studies and other selected degrees, including the Bachelor of Arts, to allow you to combine interests across disciplines and apply your study to real-world projects. You’ll graduate with two degrees, instead of one, and a combination of interdisciplinary skills and knowledge which will uniquely equip you to tackle the modern complex problems you'll face, whatever you do after university.

Within the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies combined degree, you can also undertake a number of streams which have separate entry and provide more volume and depth of study than a major or minor. These include Languages, Media and Communications, International and Global Studies, and Politics and International Relations. These streams all involve the undertaking of an additional second major, which can be from anywhere within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences or the Shared Pool of majors and minors, to relate the stream to another area of interest.

Anthony Segaert, Josh Ng and Jamaica Leech all study in the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies in various streams and years of study, and talk about the extra value that the BAS has added to their arts degree.

Anthony Segaert is a third year Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (International and Global Studies) student with a second major in History and a minor in French.

The best part about studying International and Global Studies (INGS) is the compulsory exchange. The best time to do that is first semester of fourth year where it fits best within your structure of learning overall.

I loved Economics, History, Legal Studies, French, and Geography at school. I couldn’t think of another degree that combined all my interests so well! I’m keen on getting involved in journalism and media, but I thought it was important to understand the world better before reporting on it. There’s real value in a broad liberal arts education and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

One thing that always strikes me as quite extraordinary while walking down Eastern Avenue is that I’m part of a university, and faculty, that is much bigger than myself. Our uni is loaded with history. The people who have made a serious impact on the world are the same people who studied at Fisher Library, debated ideas at Manning and relaxed in the Quad. There’s something special about that legacy.

Read the news. This degree combines the theory with the reality – you need to connect what you’re learning in class to a broader contemporary context. And to do that, you need to know what’s happening in the world.

Josh Ng is a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications) student with a second major in Theatre and Performance Studies.

One thing about the Bachelor of Arts and Advanced Studies is there’s plenty of room to integrate your interests into your degree. And for me, that’s meant the ability to write some pretty zesty essays and actually have them contribute towards my degree.

I have a passion for communicating with people. I believe that, as social beings, articulation and conversation are humanity’s best friends (and the closest we can ever come to mind-reading and perfect mutual understanding with another person). I also have a personal interest in performance, podcasting and voiceover work, so picking Media and Theatre majors just seemed logical to me.

The location. For me at least, it’s easy to get to. Just one train ride and a short walk until I reach campus. The uni itself is also really aesthetic, so once you get there (or after your classes) it’s actually just a nice place to chill and even do photoshoots in.

Keep up any pre-existing personal hobbies or interests that you bring to your uni life. This degree (and especially this combination of majors in my opinion) will give you several opportunities to use/write about things in the world that you’re already interested in. It’s the only time that you can write about Unus Annus and YouTube Rewind in an essay that will ultimately help you get a qualification at the end of your tertiary education.

Jamaica Leech is a first year Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Politics and International Relations) student with a second major in American Studies.

One thing I really love about my degree is how much more informed it has made me in regard to world issues. I think there’s a lot that goes on that we aren’t necessarily informed about by the media, and I think it’s our job to educate ourselves on such issues, so I really like that.

I chose to major in American Studies as the United States is arguably the world's largest superpower. We are all so fixated on what the US will do next. Its politics, foreign policy, leaders and popular culture have all worked together to build the nation’s dominant and yet elusive identity. Despite the nation leading the charge of globalisation, the US is still incredibly unique. We consume the spectacle that is America every day. By majoring in American Studies, I hope to better understand the complexities of the nation.

Even with COVID, I have still been able to form amazing connections with friends all around the world. This is not only to the credit of social media but all the incredible events hosted by USYD societies whether they be online or in person. The welcome parties, first year camps, webinars and zoom trivia and games nights have all provided me with a close knit community. Join the USYD Facebook group for your cohort, and on that, just find degree buddies! And don’t be afraid to talk in tutes!

When undertaking American Studies, I would advise you to soak up as much knowledge as you can - high and low data. Ask questions, pay attention to popular culture and current affairs. More specifically, watch the news, read the works of American novelists (i.e. Jonathan Franzen) and scroll social media. Most importantly in all of this, you must form your own opinion and be able to distinguish fact from fiction, particularly when we are living in an era where fake news runs rampant.

Find out how you can enrol or transfer into a Bachelor of Advanced Studies.

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