Defining an Arts program is problematic given the huge range of types of Arts programs on offer. The Bachelor of Arts is not a universally defined program. A Bachelor of Arts in one institution actually might be described as a Bachelor of Social Sciences in another. In some cases, it is used by non-Arts related program.
A clear and true definition of Arts degrees is an elusive thing. The forerunner report "The Lettered Country", (Pascoe, McIntyre, Ainley, & Williamson, 2003) took as its focus Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and defined the Arts degree as "all those bachelor programs in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, variously called a BA, BSocSci, or BA (specific field)" (Pascoe, McIntyre, Ainley, & Williamson, 2003, p. 7). That report referred to DEST data using the codes associated "the definition of the BA is the field of study described by government statisticians as 'Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences', or, since 2001, 'Culture and Society'"(Pascoe, McIntyre, Ainley, & Williamson, 2003, p. 10 Section 2)
The change in coding from field of study code to field of education coding in 2001 meant that the new Society and Culture code now also includes focused on Law, Economics, and Human Services programs. It also does not include data on Media and Communication programs, as these are categorised under the 'Creative Arts' coding. Many institutions include Media and Communication programs as part of their Arts offerings.
Duplicating the approach used for "The Lettered Country" was therefore not appropriate for this scoping exercise.
For the purposes of this study, an Arts program is taken from the DEST "Society and Culture" Coding that includes:
Arts programs described in this report are programs that are
It therefore excludes programs like Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), as well as Bachelors of Creative Arts, Performance Arts (including Music) and accredited programs such as Bachelors of Police Studies and Social Work.
As a working definition for this project and for the report, the term "Arts" therefore refers to those programs that adhere to the broader definition of humanities and social science programs with the delimiters described above, and could include professional, vocational, or technical curricula.
The term "Bachelor of Arts" refers to programs that follow the above criteria and, in addition, adhere to a "liberal Arts notion" i.e. a tertiary curriculum that is
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