BA DegreesIndicative Curriculum: BA (Western Civilisation)

In late 2017, the Ramsay Centre invited a group of major Australian universities to respond to a Letter of Invitation to partner with the Ramsay Centre. A key part of the process was the challenge we presented to the universities to develop integrated degree programs focused on seminal texts of the Western tradition.

Many of these texts are already studied in different departments in our universities, but they are not normally brought together in an integrated program that requires undergraduate students to read across a wide variety of genres and discipline areas.

An integrated program makes the large sweep of the Western tradition an object of study in itself – something not normally available in our largest universities, although such programs are a prominent feature in the landscape of American higher education (at institutions like Columbia College, New York, the University of Chicago, St John’s College, Annapolis, and Notre Dame, Indiana).

What follows is an indicative 16-course integrated humanities program of the kind we hope to see offered by our partnering universities, and that reflects in many details the responses we received from them.

The program would form a core part of a 24-course Bachelor of Arts degree or double degree (e.g. BA/LAW) but leave room for an outside major and electives (e.g. Asian Studies, Philosophy, History) or a second degree. Four of the courses listed (one per semester in first and third year) could be substituted by another Arts or second-degree elective.

See attached Indicative Curriculum BA Western Civilisation

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If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility"
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow