Bachelor of Arts Degree - BA

What is a BA and why choose this degree?

Bachelor of Arts Degree - BA

Bachelor of Arts

What is a BA degree and why should I choose to study this degree at university?

The Bachelor of Arts (BA), sometimes known as liberal arts or humanities, is one of the oldest and best-known university degrees. Arts refers to all those subjects or disciplines which study aspects of human behaviour and culture, such as languages, politics, philosophy, history, music, geography, religion, anthropology and sociology. The BA also allows access to professional training in areas such as law, psychology, teaching, theology, social work, nursing and librarianship. 

What can I do with a BA?

One of the advantages of doing a BA is that it allows students to choose from a wide variety of subjects in first year. You don't have to choose your major subjects in first year but you can pick and choose from a range of subjects.  Even if you choose a specialised BA degree for example, BPsych or Law, you can easily move between degrees if you change your mind later. A BA is really broad foundation and once you have a completed your degree (and depending on the subjects which you choose), you can study towards a professional qualification in, for example psychology, teaching, law, journalism and even in business. If you would like to tailor your degree more towards media studies, then choose subjects that include languages and communication studies. If you are more interested in going into the diplomatic services then choose subjects such as international relations and political science. If you want a career to do with psychology then choose subjects subjects such as psychology and sociology.  


3 years

Why do a Bachelor of Arts?

  • If you are genuinely interested in people and society both past and present
  • If you are a critical and independent thinker
  • If you want a flexible degree with a wide range of subjects to choose from
  • If you want to shape and construct your own career path
  • If you want to follow a professional degree after your undergraduate study in completed (for example, Psychology, Law, Teaching, etc)
  • If you would like to do postgraduate study for example, Honours (Hons), Masters (MA) and beyond.

 Subjects in a BA?

You can choose from a range of subjects in your BA, including:

Psychology Anthropology Geography Philosophy
Communications Communications or Journalism History Political science
English African Studies International Relations Social Work
Philosophy Archaeology Literature Public administration
Criminology Anthropology Library science Performing Arts
Sociology Economics Literature Psychology
Political Science Film Mathematics Sociology


Where can I study a BA degree?

University of Johannesburg

North-West University

Tshwane University of Technology

University of Pretoria

University of Limpopo

University of the Free State

Rhodes University

University of KwaZulu-Natal

University of the Witwatersrand

University of Cape Town

Sol Plaatjies University

University of Pretoria


Examples of careers followed by BA students:

A BA degree is a springboard to many careers in education, business and the social sciences. These are some common examples:


Addictions Counsellor
Conservator and Curator
Demographic Analyst
Environmental Social Science Researcher and Assistant
Human Resources Manager or Personnel Manager
Industrial Psychologist
Job Analyst
Law Careers
Librarian and Information Worker
Management Consultant
Market Researcher
Museum Careers
Organisation and Work Study Officer
Personnel Consultant
Policy Maker and Analyst
Political Scientist
Polygraph Examiner

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