Breadth Frequently Asked Questions

What is a breadth subject?

A breadth subject is any subject you undertake that contributes to your breadth studies. This includes University Breadth Subjects (UBS).

What is a University Breadth Subject?

A "University Breadth Subject" (UBS) is a subject that has been specially developed for the Melbourne Curriculum and examines current critical issues using techniques and approaches from multiple disciplines. All University Breadth Subjects can contribute to your breadth studies and are available to all New Generation degree students (including Engineering).

What are core disciplines?

Core disciplines are the main study areas of each Melbourne degree.

What are levels?

Subject levels indicate the complexity of the subject content, with level 1 being the least complex and level 3 the most. The levels are based on the year of a degree in which each subject is usually undertaken. Level 1 subjects are generally undertaken in first year, level 2 in second year and level 3 in third year.

The higher the level, the more likely it is that the subject will have prerequisites.

What is a Melbourne degree?

Previously referred to as new Generation degrees, Melbourne degrees are the three-year programs that were introduced to the University in 2008. There are six undergraduate Melbourne degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Biomedicine
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Environments
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Science

The 2008 revised Bachelor of Engineering is not technically a Melbourne degree, but shares many similarities, including the capacity for breadth studies.

What are prerequisites?

A prerequisite is usually a subject that must be successfully completed before you enrol in another, more advanced subject. Prerequisites ensure that all students who enrol in a subject have sufficient background knowledge to cope with the subject content. If you haven't completed a stated prerequisite, you will not be permitted to enrol in the subject as it is anticipated that you will find the content too difficult.

Prerequisites are listed near the top of each subject entry in the Handbook (below 'Time commitment').

What are corequisites?

A corequisite is very similar to a prerequisite (see above), but the difference is that a corequisite may be studied at the same time as the subject that requires it. You will normally only be permitted to enrol in a subject that requires a corequisite, if you are concurrently enrolled in that corequisite subject (although it may also be possible for you to have completed a corequisite beforehand).

Corequisites are listed near the top of each subject entry in the Handbook (below 'Prerequisites').

The subject I was planning to do is no longer running, now what?

While the vast majority of subjects at the University will be available by the time you get to them, occasionally a subject may be discontinued. This has always happened and can occur for any number of reasons.

In nearly every case, where a subject is no longer available, an equivalent will be offered in its place. However, it's a good idea to have other options in mind, just in case. When you're planning your breadth studies, give yourself a couple of alternatives.

Will my breadth studies affect my GPA/application for graduate study?

When selecting you for a graduate course, most faculties will consider the studies you have completed that are directly relevant to the study area. However, in some cases, a GPA may be calculated using all of your studies.

Because these practices vary, you should check with the selecting faculty whether or not breadth will be used in a GPA calculation.

Can I change my breadth study areas?

Yes. As long as you meet all the breadth requirements for your degree, you can change the areas of your breadth studies.

Current (pre-2011) students - Do I have to study a track?

Not unless you would like to. If you still have room within your degree to complete one or more of the new tracks then you are welcome to enrol in them. Contact your Student Centre to discuss your options.

New and current (from 2011) students - Do I have to study a track?

Tracks are not compulsory, but we would strongly recommend you consider taking at least one. Each breadth track has been constructed to give you a meaningful and coherent set of studies that will provide you with insight into a particular domain, theme, topic or issue. You may wish to use the suggested breadth tracks as a guide to help you craft your own breadth study package.

Can I choose any of the breadth tracks?

Not all of the breadth tracks are suitable for all degrees. The detail of each track will include instructions that will indicate whether or not it is available in your particular degree.

Are there prerequisites for the breadth tracks?

Each breadth track is self-contained: in other words the second subject has only the first as a prerequisite, and the third subject has only the first and/or second as prerequisite. However, in some cases the first subject in the track may have prerequisites such as Maths or Chemistry studies in Year 12.

How do I enrol in a track?

There is no formal process to enrol in a particular track. You simply need to select the subjects that contribute to it. If you need help selecting particular subjects, refer to the online Student System help pages and videos. Otherwise,

Will a track appear on my transcript?

No. Tracks represent a suggested package of subjects that will ensure your breadth studies are meaningful and coherent - they are not the equivalent of a major.

I started my degree before 2011. What rules should I be following?

You may complete your degree using any set of rules that were in place during your period of enrolment.

There are very limited exceptions to this. For example, students who have completed more than 37.5 points of first year breadth will not be able to complete under the new breadth rules.

In addition, some students who have been approved to take more than 300 points in their degree and still wish to do so may not be able to complete under the new breadth rules. If you're unsure, please get in touch with your Student Centre for advice.

Where can I find Tracks for my course?

The full range of breadth tracks are available in the Handbook.