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Why study with us?

  • #23 in the world

    The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences ranked 23rd in the world in the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

  • #1 in Australia

    Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 4th in the world for employability by the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022.


In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely. 

This course will be available for students to study remotely during 2022 if they are unable to undertake face-to-face study. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the degree may not be available to be studied remotely. For the latest updates on course availability, visit the COVID-19 information page

About this course

The Diploma of Arts is designed to provide candidates who have already completed a bachelor's degree in a different field, with an academic foundation in the humanities. The diploma allows you to progress to further postgraduate study in your chosen field.

An Arts qualification is ideal for those who wish to develop personal and professional skills as a basis for employment or as a foundation for postgraduate study.

Subject areas
Shared pool

The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

Your fee

How to apply

You apply directly to the University via the online application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 11 February of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

This course is currently not available to international students. 

Starting date

What you'll study

Candidates of the Diploma of Arts may undertake units undertake units of study to a value of 48 credit points of up to three-years part-time. A typical unit of study has a value of 6 credit points. The Diploma can be completed in three ways:

(a) completion of a selected major (48 credit points), or

(b) completion of a selected minor, and 12 credit points of diploma electives, or

(c) completion of 48 credit points of diploma electives.

Units of study are to be chosen from any of the subject areas listed below, which may include an optional major or minor.

  • American Studies
  • Ancient History
  • Archaeology
  • Art History
  • Australian Literature (minor only)
  • Asian Studies
  • Biblical Studies and Classical Hebrew
  • Celtic Studies (minor only)
  • Cultural Studies
  • Diversity Studies (minor only)
  • Digital Cultures
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Jewish Civilisation Thought and Culture
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Studies in Religion
  • Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Writing Studies

Units of Study

Completion requirement

Under normal progression, a full-time student completes prescribed units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester. Part-time students may undertake prescribed units of study up to the value of 12 credit points per semester. You are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for your units of study.

Capstone (compulsory project)

Assumed knowledge

Depends on subjects selected. Please see the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Handbook for details.

Admission criteria

To be eligible for admission, you must either:

  • be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree or combined degree program at the University of Sydney and have approval for concurrent enrolment from the Deans of the Faculties and have completed one year fulltime (or equivalent part time) study; or
  • be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree or combined degree program at another recognised tertiary institution and have completed one year fulltime (or equivalent part time) study; or
  • have been awarded, or be eligible for the award of, an undergraduate degree from a recognised tertiary institution.

Credit for previous study

If you’ve already completed university-level or equivalent subjects, you may be able to apply for credit for previous study.

Option to combine with

Career Pathways

Career opportunities for graduates of the Diploma of Arts depend on the area of study undertaken. A diploma is often a springboard to a postgraduate degree or a way of focusing your study in a particular area by doing a short course.

Future study options

The diploma allows you to progress to an honours year or further postgraduate study in your chosen field, pending completion of any undergraduate bachelor-level qualification.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.