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Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)


Many secondary students are good at both Arts and Science subjects, and feel they have to make a choice between the two when they go to university.

No longer! – Otago now offers a combined Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree.

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Expertise in the Arts and Sciences

Science is rapidly changing the way we live and work. But these developments also require us to think carefully about their implications.

The new Bachelor of Arts and Science recognises that tackling big world issues of health, security, food production and climate change (to name just a few) requires multi-faceted solutions.

These solutions may include new technology and scientific breakthroughs, but an understanding of their impact on people and society is also needed.

There are no straightforward answers to questions around issues such as these. That’s why our best graduates need to have an understanding of science and technology along with an understanding of the opportunities and costs for humanity that scientific developments can bring.

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The Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) at a glance

How long will it take?

The BASc will normally take four years, although students who are prepared to take on a higher workload can finish in three and a half years.

What is the structure of the degree?

Students need to choose two specialist areas for their degree: one from Arts and one from Sciences (or Applied Sciences). These two specialist areas are called major subjects, and each major usually consists of nine to eleven papers.

If they wish, students can also choose a minor subject, which is usually five papers.

Each paper has a points value (usually 18 points) and in total the degree requires 480 points (approximately 27 papers). This must include at least 216 points for papers from Arts and Music and 216 points for papers from Science (or Applied Science).

Current students who are interested in a Bachelor of Arts and Science

Current students who are interested in a Bachelor of Arts and Science should contact our Humanities Course advisers.

Check out the degree regulations and apply for the BASc

Check out the degree regulations and apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science.

Capable students who wish to undertake further study, at honours or graduate level, will be able to do this in either of the fields in which they have majored.

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What will the BASc give you?

The BASc enables graduates to present themselves to employers, and the world at large, as people who have real expertise in both the sciences and the humanities. Graduates' scientific capabilities will go hand-in-hand with knowledge of human history, how people think, and how societies function.

The degree takes less time than is required for a co-joint or double degree, so graduates will be able to enter the workforce sooner.

Need more information or help?

If you need help putting your degree together you can ask a teacher or careers advisor at your school to help, or contact one of our helpful University of Otago Schools’ Liaison Officers.

Contact our Schools' Liaison Officers