Bachelor of Applied Leadership and Critical Thinking
A Degree for a New World
The Academy’s foundation principles of academic enrichment, professional and personal development and community engagement provides the perfect base upon which to build this innovative degree.
The Bachelor of Applied Leadership and Critical Thinking (BALCT) is not a stand-alone degree, it is designed to be combined with any Bachelor degree at Western, following receipt of Academic Standing on your core degree. The BALCT consists of 8 units which can be taken after you complete your Bachelor degree as an additional year of study, during Summer sessions* or in block mode prior to the commencement of the Autumn and Spring sessions.
This degree is not compulsory, but we encourage students who want to feel challenged, and who are looking to 'stand-out' from their peers, to enrol in the program. Enrolling in the BALCT guarantees entry into The Academy.
This course is underpinned by internships, international and transformative educational experiences, student-led projects and local community engagement. Emerge with a sound balance of theory, practical experiences and critical thinking skills.
*not all units are available during Summer sessions
Benefits of undertaking the BALCT
Total of eight units and graduate with two degrees: These can be taken concurrently with your undergraduate degree by completing units in Summer sessions or during Semester 1 and Semester 2 (in block-mode format), or as an additional year of study (full-time)
Block-mode teaching: Under a block-mode model, units are taught as two full days over the semester, commencing the week before Spring semester starts to avoid time-tabling clashes
No exams: Students will undertake innovative assessments such as green papers, white papers and writing their own inaugural speech, rather than traditional essays and sit-down exams
Self-paced: Complete assessments at your own pace – work around pre-existing commitments and other unit assessments
Interactive teaching style: A focus on problem-based learn with interactive in-class activities
Start at any-time during your degree: You can commence studying units at the start of any semester (including summer session) whilst completing your undergraduate degree. You don’t have to be a first year student
Transformative Thinking: Adapting to and anticipating change and the need for innovation.
‘Mistakeability’: Learning and taking direction from one’s mistakes and errors.
Aesthetics: Appreciating the importance of both functionality and beauty.
New literacies: Not just strong reading, writing and advocacy skills, but understanding literacy within the everchanging technological environment.
Working in teams: Co-operative relationship skills across disciplines, cultures and experiences.
Creativity and entrepreneurship: Innovation, creative and critical thinking, systems thinking and risk taking.
People-centred thinking: Placing people and their needs at the centre of your work.
Blank canvas innovation: Being able to start and develop the innovation and creativity process with minimal resources.
Ethical leadership: Building a frame of reference in which to reflect on morals, confronting challenges, and understanding that leadership is a process.
The course structure is outlined in the BALCT Handbook (opens in a new window), where you can view all of the units (subjects) you will be studying.
The ATAR requirement for the Bachelor of Applied Leadership and Critical Thinking is 85.00. As a new student, you can enrol in the BALCT from the first semester at the University, but should seek advice from your Academic Course Advisor or The Academy’s Academic Coordinator. Students must maintain a GPA of 5.0.
All units in the BALCT are delivered on the Parramatta Campus. If you enrol in the BALCT you will be invited to become a member of The Academy.
... during interview processes it regularly is a key point of conversation...
The BALCT has been such a valuable tool in my entry to the creative media industry. During interview processes it regularly is a key point of conversation, as it piques employers’ interest and is always noted on my CV. Beyond the BALCT being a very impressive sounding degree to have under your belt for only another 12 months of study, the subjects themselves have contributed to many other facets of my life besides my career. Topics on creativity, critical thinking, ethics and community engagement were a huge source of inspiration while building my confidence to seize any opportunity that comes my way.
...skills that will be vital to a changing world and working environment...
I study the BALCT because it is an opportunity for me to build skills that will be vital to adapting to a changing world and working environments which require competencies in teamwork, critical thinking, public relations, ethical frameworks and leadership. These skills are actively taught by and interwoven in the units offered and I therefore will have a skill-set and experience that goes beyond the bounds of my main degree upon graduating.
...employers are looking for their employees to be innovative, creative and use critical thinking...
Initially I enrolled in this degree in order to get credit for an international trip, however, the more I learnt, the more I realised how valuable this could be in the future for me. More than ever, employers are looking for their employees to be innovative, creative and use critical thinking to apply themselves in the best possible way. I think that having demonstrated I can do this, will give me an edge over others when competing for jobs, but also when I am in a job, making the best difference I can.