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Courses & study options

Are you ready to discover the enduring insights of the greatest thinkers, poets and artists of Western civilization? Are you curious about the forces and factors that enabled distinctively Western achievements, such as those that led to the birth of modern science in the West?

Through the study of great works of art, literature, religion, science, philosophy and politics, you will become part of a conversation about ideas that have changed the world as we know it. The skills you acquire from participating in this conversation will equip you for meeting the contemporary challenges humanity faces today with insight, open-mindedness, and the ability to reflect on the nature of what is true, right, and good.

In a learning environment of small, focused groups, you will join a conversation that has been going on since the days of Plato and Aristotle in which you will hear from diverse voices within and beyond it. And you will grapple with abiding questions that touch upon our deepest humanistic concerns — about love, death, truth, justice, beauty, democracy, and the challenges of being and becoming an individual within a society. 

A degree for the intellectually fearless

Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation

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Application information

UOW Ramsay Scholarship

The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation has generously donated thirty unique scholarship opportunities of $30,000 per annum for up to five years. This covers a full range of study options including; a 3 year single degree; a 3 year degree plus an honours year; or a full 5-year double-degree program. Scholarship recipients will enjoy access to a dedicated study lounge, small class sizes, academic mentoring and an international return airfare for an approved overseas experience as part of your studies.

You are strongly encouraged to apply for this scholarship opportunity if you are a high-achieving student applying to study the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation, and believe you demonstrate the UOW Ramsay Scholar Attributes*. UOW Ramsay Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of an interview with the scholarship panel.

Scholarship eligibility

To be eligible for the UOW Ramsay Scholarship, applicants: 

  • must enrol in the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation as a single degree or double degree;
  • must enrol and remain enrolled as a full-time student in a Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation;
  • will normally be in Year 12; or have completed Year 12 within the past 12 months at the time of application;
  • will normally be aged 16-21 when the scholarship commences;
  • must be an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Resident.

How to apply

To apply for a UOW Ramsay Scholarship, applicants will have previously completed the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation online application. Applicants will then be required to complete the UOW Ramsay Scholarship online application.

Application period:  20 July - 19 August (5PM AEST) 2020.

The scholarship application requires applicants to submit a cover letter and resume outlining any extra-curricular activities or other achievements. The Scholarship Panel will consider the essay you submitted as part of your application to study.

Applications will be considered based on:

  • the essay submitted for the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation course application
  • a cover letter and resume outlining any extracurricular activities or other achievements
  • an on-campus interview comprised of a small group session and an individual interview with a Scholarship Panel, at which the panel will assess applicants against the UOW Ramsay Scholar Attributes*

Refer to the key dates tab for interview and offer dates. 

* UOW Ramsay Scholar attributes

Passionate, engaged, entrepreneurial, and responsible, UOW Ramsay Scholars are tolerant and collaborative contributors to their communities and workplaces. They are creative and critical thinkers who challenge and cross boundaries. They contribute effectively and independently to discussion and debate, while demonstrating self-awareness, a desire to empower others, and qualities such as empathy, humility and diplomacy. UOW Ramsay Scholars are the exemplar of UOW graduates: intellectually fearless and socially connected leaders.

 

Overseas Experience

UOW Ramsay Scholarship recipients will receive an international return airfare for an approved overseas experience as part of their studies.

Study Abroad or Exchange Program

Eligible students may also opt to undertake a Study Abroad or Exchange program within their chosen major or double degree, after completion of the BAWCIV core subjects. Students should consult with the Head of School to determine eligibility before submitting an application.

Find out more about study abroad and exchange programs.

 

Study the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation as a double degree combination with the Bachelor of LawsBachelor of International StudiesBachelor of Creative Arts, or Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Course UOW course code UAC course code CRICOS Campus Duration Start date
Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation 3019   753100 099633D Wollongong 3 years FT/EqP Autumn session
Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation/
Bachelor of Laws
3023  751230 099637M Wollongong 5 years FT/EqP Autumn session
Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation/
Bachelor of Creative Arts
3021  751901 099636A Wollongong 5 years FT/EqP Autumn session
Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation/
Bachelor of International Studies
3022  751902 099635B Wollongong 5 years FT/EqP Autumn session
Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation/
Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics
3024  751903 099638K Wollongong 5 years FT/EqP Autumn session
Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation (Honours)  3020 N/A 099634C Wollongong 1 year FT/EqP Autumn session

See UOW key dates calendar for autumn session start date.

Q: What is distinctive about the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation?

A: We have designed a curriculum that takes students on a chronologically ordered journey through great periods and epochs of intellectual and artistic change in the West and challenges them to think for themselves.

At each stage of their journey, students will engage directly – in depth and detail – with exemplary classic works and masterpieces of Western art and literature. By learning directly from these works, students will cultivate open, critical minds. Our ambition is to put students into a live conversation with the great minds of the past so they can understand what those minds have to say to us today.

Philosophical reflection and analysis are also at the heart of our program. By joining the great conversation, our students will grapple with concepts they may not otherwise question, such as ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of religion and political philosophy.

By becoming acquainted with foundational epistemological and metaphysical debates such as those between rationalists and empiricists, idealists and realists, students will confront questions about the nature of the self, truth and reason.

Q: What is the origin of Western Civilisation degrees?

A: Western civilisation degrees have a special provenance and proud history. The first of their kind, a degree called Contemporary Civilisation in the West, was created for Columbia College of Columbia University in 1919.

It was born out of an effort to restore public faith in Western Civilisation's powerful artistic, literary and philosophical heritage after German forces had tragically misused the "defence of western civilisation" as justification for atrocities committed during the Great War.

This liberal arts degree was designed to teach ‘student officers about the civilisation they had been tasked with defending’ during WWI. The course evolved into a peace studies degree and later became part of Columbia University’s core curriculum. It continues to be one of Columbia University’s most successful and valued programs of study to this day.

Q: What kind of student will study the new degree?

A: Students who are intellectually curious and interested in asking questions about received views and assumptions.

Our liberal arts program takes inspiration from the American Philosopher, Robert Hutchins, and his idea of the great conversation. Hutchins wrote in 1952, “Nothing is to remain undiscussed. Everybody is to speak [their] mind. No proposition is to be left unexamined.”

Students will be confronted with questions about the very idea of Western civilisation and its influences on contemporary thought and practice. A major aim of the degree is for students to ask fundamental questions about what they are studying and to give reasons for the views they adopt.

Our ambition is to instil a spirit of open questioning in all of our students and to equip our students to reason about and evaluate possible answers to those difficult questions.

As with our other arts and humanities offerings, they will learn how to think, not what to think.

Q: What is the application process to study the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation?

A: Refer to the 'How to apply' and 'Scholarships' tabs for detail.

Q: Can new students defer an offer?

A: Yes, new students can defer an offer to study the degree however scholarship offers cannot be deferred.

Q: Can this degree be studied part-time?

A: Yes, the degree can be completed part-time however only full-time students are eligible to receive a scholarship.

Q: Can students undertake the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation as part of a double degree program?

A: Yes, students are able to study the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation as a double degree combination with the Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of International Studies, Bachelor of Creative Arts, or Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Q: Will mature aged applicants be considered for a place in the degree?

A: Yes, mature aged applicants are invited to apply.

Q: Who will teach the new degree?

A: From 2019 to 2021, UOW will hire nine academics to teach the new degree. A global search will be conducted for the best and most suitable academic talent.

These colleagues will have the normal UOW academic contracts, including normal loading for research, and will accrue research leave entitlement at the normal rate.

Q: Where will graduates expect to find employment?

A: Graduates will be prepared for the future with invaluable transferrable skills. There is a demonstrated need for erudite graduates who can think and reason critically and creatively and who can communicate clearly. They will be well placed to be leaders in the knowledge economy, ready for careers in sectors including civil society, business and government, and ready to tackle the challenges facing Australia and the world.

More information on career opportunities is available here.

Q: What is the criteria to become a UOW Ramsay Scholar?

A:  Applicants must enrol in the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation as a single degree or double degree; enrol and remain enrolled as a full-time student in a Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation; will normally be in Year 12; or have completed Year 12 within the past 12 months at the time of application; will normally be aged 16-21 when the scholarship commences; and must be an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Resident.

Q: What is the process for the degree and scholarship applications?

A: Applications for the degree will be considered based on academic performance, a written submission (essay) and a phone interview. Applicants for the scholarship, will be considered based on eligibility criteria, the degree submission essay and on-campus interview.  For full application process please see ‘how to apply’ and ‘scholarships’ tab.

Q: What is the value of the scholarship?

A: The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation have generously donated thirty unique scholarship opportunities of $30,000 per annum for up to five years. This covers a full range of study options including; a 3 year single degree; a 3 year degree plus an honours year; or a full 5-year double-degree program.

Q: What is involved in the scholarship interview?

A: The scholarship panel will be comprised of representatives from UOW, the Ramsay Centre and external organisations. The panel will be chaired by the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts.

The process includes a small group session and an individual interview with panel members. The panel will assess students against a variety of criteria, including the UOW Ramsay Attributes.

Q: What are the UOW Ramsay Attributes?

A: Passionate, engaged, entrepreneurial, and responsible, UOW Ramsay Scholars are tolerant and collaborative contributors to their communities and workplaces. They are creative and critical thinkers who challenge and cross boundaries.

They contribute effectively and independently to discussion and debate, while demonstrating self-awareness, a desire to empower others, and qualities such as empathy, humility and diplomacy.

UOW Ramsay Scholars are the exemplar of UOW graduates: intellectually fearless and socially connected leaders.

Q: Will my scholarship be impacted if I study part-time?

A: The degree can be completed part-time but the scholarship is only available to full-time students.

Q: How do students receive the scholarship?

A: Two lump-sum payments will be made per year, shortly after Autumn and Spring session census dates.

Q: I applied for entry to the degree and the scholarship; I have an offer to study the degree but I was not awarded a scholarship, can I still study the degree?

A: Yes. There is no requirement to be a scholarship recipient in order to study the degree.

Q: How does the accommodation component of the scholarship work?

A: On campus accommodation will be guaranteed for all UOW Ramsay Scholars for the full duration of the scholarship. While UOW Ramsay Scholars are encouraged to take up this offer, it is not mandatory.

Q: Is the scholarship open to international students?

A: Only domestic students are eligible for the Ramsay Scholarship, however international students are encouraged to apply to study the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation degree.

“This Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation offers a welcome chance for students to make sustained contact with great works and through that to explore questions that matter for the world.” Baroness Onora O’NeillMember of the House of Lords, President of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, former Principal of Newnham College of the University of Cambridge
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