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Planning your course

Liberal studies and specialist degrees

If you are commencing a liberal studies or specialist degree, as part of your degree you will need to complete:

  • a major
  • a second major or a minor
  • Open Learning Environment (OLE) units
  • a 3000-level project-based unit that is usually part of your major in the third year of your degree.

Some liberal studies and specialist degrees also have additional core units of study that you will need to complete.

Follow the steps below to plan your course, and refer to the additional information for your faculty or school.

If you commenced one of our liberal studies degrees before 2018, or are starting in a combined degree other than the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, the below information isn't relevant for you. You will need to check your handbook and our additional information to help plan your course.


Choose a primary major or program

The majors or programs available are outlined in your handbook. You need to select your major or program from your home faculty or school (Table A).

Primary major

Your major will consist of eight units of study (48 credit points). It will include first-year units of study, as well as a project-based unit.

You will need to select your major when you complete your enrolment. You may be able to change your selection later on, but this may impact the length of your degree.


Some courses offer programs or specialisations instead of majors. This includes some specialist or combined degrees, or some streams within a liberal studies degree. A program will usually consist of at least 10 units of study.


Choose 6 credit points of Open Learning Environment (OLE) units

It’s best to plan when you want to complete your OLE units, even if you don’t do them in your first year of study.

There are more than 100 OLE units to choose from. These are listed in Table O and can be found in the Interdisciplinary Studies Handbook.


Choose your second major or a minor

In addition to your primary major/program, you can choose to take a second major, or a minimum of one minor of six units of study (36 credit points). This can be chosen from Table A, or you can choose from a variety of disciplines outside your faculty or school (Table S).

It is important you check the requirements for your course in your handbook, as some courses will require that you complete a second major (such as four-year degrees).


Choose your project-based units and international experience

Project-based units and international experiences are generally completed in the later years of your degree, however, it is important to think about your options early on when planning your course.

Project-based units

These units are usually completed in your third year of study as part of your major. Project-based units give you the opportunity to work across cultural, disciplinary or professional boundaries and may be offered as placements, internships and mobility experiences.

International experience

Typically taken from your second year, global opportunities include overseas field schools, global professional placements, and short-term, semester or year-long exchanges with more than 300 partner universities worldwide.


Choose advanced coursework or honours

If you are studying a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies, your fourth year will include advanced coursework and projects.

Alternatively, you may want to complete independent research through honours.

Use our Course planner (pdf, 1.6MB) to help you plan your studies.

If you're studying in the Business School, log into Canvas and use our undergraduate progression examples to help you plan your studies.

You can find course planners to help you plan your studies in the course and unit of study portal (CUSP).

You can use our sample degree plans (pdf, 1.9MB) to help you plan your studies.

Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science

If you're in one these degrees, you can use the Science course planner to help plan out your degree. The planner will guide you through the rules and requirements of your degree, and if you need further advice about your studies, you can save this plan to take along to an appointment with an academic advisor.


If you are studying psychology, use our guide on studying psychology (pdf, 127KB) to help plan your studies.

Use our course planner (pdf, 888KB) to help you plan your studies.

Plan your liberal studies or specialist degree guide

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Last updated: 13 March 2024

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