Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation)/Master of Teaching (Secondary)

Study a rich liberal arts degree alongside an initial teacher education qualification with some of the brightest students and scholars in Australia.

The Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation)/Master of Teaching (Secondary) is a double degree for students who wish to pursue a multidisciplinary Bachelor of Arts centred on key texts of the Western intellectual tradition, followed by a Master of Teaching (Secondary) enabling them to become fully qualified secondary teachers in two teaching areas. Our course is accelerated and will see you graduate in 4.5 years.

We are committed to a personal learning approach and the 14 core units of the Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation) will be delivered in small seminars of around 10 students, allowing in-depth, guided discussion. You will develop highly valued professional skills, such as clear communication, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and problem solving – skills that will empower you to become a confident, adaptable teacher who is able to meet the needs of all students in the classroom.

This course is offered at our North Sydney Campus. The Master of Teaching (Secondary) units can be undertaken at the Strathfield, Melbourne or Brisbane campuses, or online.

Applications for Semester 1 2023 will open in August.

Register your interest

Teaching areas

Depending on your choice of major or minors, this course will prepare you to teach in two specialist areas – English and one of the following:

  • archaeology
  • drama
  • economics
  • geography, environment and society
  • history
  • mathematics
  • study of religions
  • visual arts.

Course structure

To graduate from this course, you must complete all units from the Schedule of Unit Offerings outlined in the course handbook on the ACU website and at least 80 days of professional experience placement (mentored teaching experience in schools).

The Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation) component of the program comprises:

  • 14 Western civilisation units
  • one community engagement unit
  • either one arts major (eight units), or one arts minor (four units) with four arts elective units
  • one arts elective unit.

The Master of Teaching (Secondary) component of the program comprises:

  • 10 education studies and effective teaching units
  • four curriculum studies units
  • two education elective units.

In order to graduate, you must also successfully complete all components of the ‘Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education’ (LANTITE) prior to your final professional experience.

Professional experience

As a graduate of this course, you will have a strong grounding in secondary education curriculum and pedagogy, and you will have the confidence and practical experience to teach in your specialist teaching area. You will build your skills and practice through 80 days of supervised professional experience. 

Professional recognition

Graduates are eligible for registration as a secondary teacher in government, independent, Catholic or other faith-based schools, and a range of secondary education settings.

International opportunities

You will have the opportunity to study abroad for up to one semester at ACU’s Rome Campus. As a foundational site of Western culture, Rome offers an unparalleled context for the serious study of the Western intellectual tradition. With interdisciplinary intensive units in history, philosophy, religion, politics, art and literature, you will be able to explore Western civilisation at its very heart. You can elect to attend all or part of ACU’s Semester in Rome program as part of your course of study.


Thanks to the generous terms of the philanthropic agreement between ACU and the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, scholarships valued at $135,000 ($30,000 per year) are available to high-achieving Australian citizens or permanent residents. These scholarships support students with living expenses and include an early payment to help offset start-up costs such as relocation and accommodation. Scholarship recipients are also eligible for additional funding for an optional international study experience.


The Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation)/Master of Teaching (Secondary) is available to domestic students on a Commonwealth Supported Place basis, and to international full-fee paying students. To be eligible for admission to the course, you must comply with the ACU Admission to Coursework Programs Policy and must have completed the following prerequisites at Year 12 level or equivalent: NSW English (Advanced) (Band 2) or English (EAL) (Band 4).

ACU Ramsay Scholarships are available to Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents who meet the required criteria of (a) high academic ability and (b) potential to contribute positively to Australia and the world. You will need to demonstrate your suitability for teaching as part of the admission process.

How to apply

Applications can be made through UAC or directly to ACU. Applicants are assessed on the following criteria to determine suitability for this course:

  • sample of academic work
  • ATAR/selection rank, International Baccalaureate (IB) or equivalent
  • performance at interview, and
  • demonstrated suitability for teaching, as evidenced by completion of the relevant state assessment, which will be provided in the application process.

Visit for more information.

Additional entry requirements

Students will require a Working with Children Check to be enrolled in this degree.

Flexibility in enrolment

This course is available for midyear entry and can be taken full-time or part-time.

Sample course map

Sample course map with a first teaching area (other than English) and English as a second teaching area.

Year – Study period Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5
Year 1 Semester 1 The Desire to Understand: Introducing the Western intellectual Tradition. The Birth of Politics: Origins of Western Political Thought Form and Beauty: Origins of Western Art and Architecture Major Unit 1  
Year 1 – Semester 2 Greek and Roman Classics: Origins of Western Literature Thinking the Real: Western Metaphysics Major Unit 2 Major Unit 3  Literacy and Numeracy Diagnostic and
Literacy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students
Year 2 – Semester 1 Medieval and Renaissance Masterpieces: the Rise of the English literacy tradition The Rise of Liberalism: Authority, Society and Freedom Doctrine, Myth and History: Religion and the West Major Unit 4  
Year 2 – Semester 2 The Age of the Novel: 1600 – 1900 Truth and Knowledge in Western Philosophy Arts Elective Major Unit 5  
Year 3 – Semester 1 Romanticism to Postmodernism: Movements Toward the Literacy Present Politics and people in British, American and Australian Democracies
Making a difference: Community Engagement in Local, National and International Contexts Major Unit 6  
Year 3 – Semester 2 Scientific Revolutions and the Western World The Good, the right and the Beautiful: Western Ethics and Aesthetics Major Unit 7 Major Unit 8  
Year 4 – Semester 1 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (Teaching Area 1) Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (Teaching Area 2) Foundations of Teaching 2: The Nature of learning Effective Teaching 1: Professional Practices (25 Days Professional placement)  
Year 4 – Winter Term Foundations of Teaching 1: Understanding Adolescents Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories, Cultures and Education Literacy and Numeracy across the Secondary Curriculum    
Year 4 – Semester 2 Special Education ad Inclusive Practice Literacy and Numeracy across the Secondary Curriculum Education Elective Effective Teaching 2: Engaging Learners (25 Days Professional placement)  
Year 5 – Summer 21st Century Skills across the secondary curriculum Education Elective Foundations of Teaching 1: Understanding Adolescents    
Year 5 – Semester 1 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 2 (Teaching Area 1) Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 2 (Teaching Area 2) Applied Educational Assessment across the secondary curriculum    
Year 5 – Winter Education Elective Effective Teaching 3: Teacher Inquiry and Evidence based practice (30 days professional placement)      

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