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Bachelor of Arts (BA)

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A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree lets you explore a range of subjects, from politics, philosophy and history, to criminology, anthropology, music, English and more. The Otago BA is designed to be flexible – giving you the freedom to change your major or minor subjects.

The BA opens up a diverse range of career pathways – it teaches you critical thinking, and how to harness your imagination and empathy to become a great leader and valued team member in any industry.

Turn your passion into a career. Study a BA at Otago.

Learn more about the Otago BA

Study Arts at Otago, where 95% of students go directly into work or further study. Learn more about the Otago BA below.

Giving you the career skills our world needs
Why Otago?

Minor subjects

Selecting a minor subject is not compulsory and there may be other combinations of papers more appropriate to your degree. There are no particular subject requirements for the other papers of your degree, but if you wish you may have another subject specified as a minor subject in your degree by passing the prescribed papers for any of the listed subjects.



“When I started studying for my major, I initially focussed on Archaeology, but after my first year, I decided to follow a Social Anthropology route instead, as I’ve always had a strong interest in learning about human evolution and cultures. University opened up an entirely different range of experiences, including the opportunity to study abroad for a year in Brazil and the US.”

Edward Ennion-Dickison

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Anthropology and Politics

Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)

  1. Structure of the Programme

    Every degree programme shall consist of papers worth not less that 360 points,

    1. shall include at least 180 points for papers above 100-level, of which at least 72 points shall be for papers above 200-level,
    2. shall satisfy at least one of the major subject requirements listed above. No paper above 200-level may count for more than one Major Subject Requirement,
    3. may include one or more optional minor subjects which satisfy the Minor Subject Requirements listed in Arts and Music Schedule A, or Science Schedule A, or Commerce Schedule A, or BHealSc Schedule Part 2. No paper may count for both a Major and a Minor Subject Requirement or for more than one Minor Subject Requirement unless that paper is at 100- or 200-level and is specified as compulsory for both Requirements.
    4. may include papers which are not listed in Arts and Music Schedule C
      1. up to 90 points; or
      2. as specified in the Arts and Music Major Subject Requirements; or
      3. as specified in the Minor Subject Requirements.

  2. Prerequisites, Corequisites and Restrictions

    1. Every programme of study shall satisfy the requirements for prerequisites, corequisites, and restrictions set out in the Prescriptions (published in the Guide to Enrolment).
    2. A candidate with outstanding results in a subject prior to entering the University may be permitted by the Head of Department concerned to enrol for a paper at 200-level without having satisfied the normal prerequisites. In such cases the candidate shall not be credited with the prerequisite papers, but shall be exempted from including those papers in a Major Subject Requirement. A candidate may not, having passed any such paper at 200-level, enrol subsequently for any paper for which the exemption has been given.

  3. Cross Credits

    A candidate who is enrolled for the degree concurrently with another degree, or who has completed one degree and is proceeding with the other, may cross credit 100- and 200-level papers which are common to both degrees up to a maximum of 126 points where the other degree is a three-year degree and up to a maximum of 180 points where the other degree is longer than a three-year degree.

  4. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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