Bachelor of Arts - Regional Differences - Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa

In universities in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the B.A. degree can be taken over three years of full-time study. Students must pursue at least one major area of study, and that subject is studied in all of the three years. At some universities students may choose to pursue a second major; alternatively, the remainder of the degree is taken up with a minor area of study (in the first two years) and other individual or stream-based subjects make up the degree. Unlike in other countries, students do not receive an overall grade for their Bachelor of Arts degree with varying levels of honours. Instead, students have the option, after their third year of study and provided they have achieved a minimum average grade in their major area, of a further one year honours course. Thus, to achieve an honours degree, an extra "postgraduate" year must be completed; see Bachelor's degree: Honours Degrees and academic distinctions.

Canadian colleges and universities typically offer a 4 year B.A. and an honours designation can be earned through specified course work, a high grade average, and possibly the completion of a thesis or dissertation. On graduation, students are permitted to append the post-nominal letters "B.A." to their name and those who have successfully completed the honours year may style themselves "B.A. (Hons.)", depending on the style of the granting university. For further clarification, the H.B.A. is not an actual degree, but the name of a program and a stylized version of the Bachelor of Arts that is received upon successful completion of the Richard Ivey School of Business.

In general, in all four countries, the B.A. (Hons.) degree is the basic qualification required to pursue higher degrees by research, including the M.A. and Ph.D degrees. In Canada, a B.A. with a high grade average is also sufficient for graduate studies and the B.A. degree is typically accepted for entry into professional programs such as law or an M.B.A. program.

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