Arts is a degree that is guaranteed to sharpen your critical thinking skills, inspire your inner-creative and diversify your career options. And The University of Queensland (UQ) has the arts graduates to prove it. From Lachlan Snow, Musica Viva's QLD State Manager to Ann Sherry, the CEO of Carnival Australia – it’s pretty clear that arts is a degree that will take you places.
So from criminology and sport studies to mathematics and music, we take a look at 10 majors from The University of Queensland you might not have considered for your arts degree.
Knowing how to navigate the political waters of international relations has become particularly important as our world becomes more integrated, connected and globalised than ever before.
From diplomacy and foreign policy development to peacekeeping and human rights advocacy, this international relations major could be the gateway to your career in this dynamic discipline.
Studying international relations will teach you to scrutinise and dissect the complex ways in which countries interact, encouraging you to consider the social, political, economic and cultural ramifications of international affairs.
Such skills could lead to the following career paths:
As one of the most universally appreciated and evocative forms of art, it’s no surprise that majoring in music is a fascinating and exciting academic foray.
You’ll learn how to appreciate music on a critical and analytical level, explore different genres and their cultural importance and historical roots, as well as develop your music literacy and composition skills.
This major has two streams, one for musicology and music historians and the other for professional music educators. Depending on which stream you choose it will open up a variety of career opportunities for you, which include working as a:
Economics might be an unlikely major to consider in an arts degree, but an understanding of how economic factors underpin an individual’s, company’s or even government’s decision-making processes is a powerful thing to have up your sleeve.
In short, economics determines much of the global, social and political landscape of today, making this major almost indispensible if you’re considering working in government, finance or foreign affairs.
It covers topics such as financial markets and institutions, managerial economics, macroeconomics and microeconomics.
Seriously consider economics as your major if you’re interested in working in the following sectors:
If you’re a sports fanatic that has a keen appreciation for the social, economic and health benefits of competitive sports, majoring in sport studies could be the perfect stepping stone for you.
From national competitions like the NRL and A-League to world-stage events like the Tour de France and Olympic Games, studying sports as your major could unlock a number of exciting career opportunities that’ll have you managing, planning, covering and promoting the sports you’re passionate about.
Subjects in this major address the sociology of sport and the development of the sports and leisure industries, and will encourage you to critically analyse the historical, economic and physiological dimensions of the professional sports industry.
Pick this major if you’re interested in working as a:
The seemingly unorthodox choice of including a major in mathematics is certain to give you an edge over other arts students.
Currently, demand is at an all-time high for skilled mathematicians; and as statistics and big data continue to play a crucial role across a range of sectors, this demand is only going to grow. So if you’re looking to position yourself in an area that screams growth, mathematics is a safe bet.
The major will initially take you through foundational topics such as calculus, linear algebra and differential equations, and in your senior years you’ll move onto more advanced applications such as coding and cryptology.
By picking mathematics as your major, you will be able to work in:
China’s astronomical growth over the past decade, combined with Australia’s geographical proximity to this rising super power, makes Chinese arguably the most versatile and career-savvy major available to arts students.
With over a billion Mandarin speakers in the world today, learning how to speak fluently in Chinese languages and dialects is highly advantageous to professionals working across finance, media, business, diplomacy and international affairs.
Study this major if you’re interested in working as a:
Fascinated by the social dimensions of crime? Major in criminology to explore everything from crime prevention and policing to criminal psychology and the socioeconomic drivers of crime.
The major will sharpen your critical thinking skills and encourage you to examine the complex interplay between the criminal justice system, public policies, and criminal activities and trends.
From petty theft and vandalism through to organised crime and drug trafficking, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of the complete cycle of crime.
Pick this major if you’re interested in working as a:
If you’re passionate about reshaping Australia’s policies to make us a more progressive, economically stable and innovative nation, this major needs to be at the top of your list.
Picking public policy will open your eyes to the complex interplay between the political, economic and social dimensions of public policy. The major addresses everything from environmental policy and Indigenous rights through to foreign affairs and the principles of social research.
Studying this major may qualify you to work as a:
With the renewed threat of insurgency and terrorism in the Middle East, humanitarian crises in central Africa, and the dangers of nuclear exchange in South Asia, it’s never been more important for government and international agencies to find meaningful ways of promoting peace and regional stability.
The major covers conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peace-building strategies for the 21st century, and will open up career opportunities with governments, NGOs and international organisations such as the United Nations.
Make peace and conflict studies your major if you’re interested in pursuing a career as a:
If you believe that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, then majoring in journalism could be a perfect fit.
Ever since the birth of social media, and thanks to the ubiquity of broadband internet, the fourth estate has undergone a tremendous change that has seen the news become instantaneous, digitalised and globally delivered.
Now more than ever, journalists need to be inquisitive, and critical thinkers – skills that can be honed with a BA majoring in journalism.
In this major, you can study in the areas of global journalism, mass communication, digital media. It prepares graduates for jobs where critical understanding, flexibility, research, analytical and communication skills are required (including careers in journalism, digital media strategy, the media and entertainment industry, and mass communication).
A major in journalism can help you work as a:
It’s pretty clear that there’s much more to an arts degree than meets the eye. If you don’t want to pigeonhole your career options, and want a degree that offers the ultimate in versatility, freedom of choice and razor-sharp analytical skills, look no further than a Bachelor of Arts degree. And with over 40 majors on offer at The University of Queensland, it’s easier than ever to pursue your passions, get job-ready and do what you love!
Interested in more art majors? Check out the 40+ art majors on offer at The University of Queensland.
This article was written in partnership with The University of Queensland.