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Course summary

Teachers can have lasting impact on the lives of their students, and the very best can inspire students toward greatness.

This combined degree qualifies you to teach up to two secondary teaching areas. Areas include Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, English, Mathematics, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Physics, Modern History, Geography, Society and Culture and Aboriginal Studies.

Your foundation year will feature units across the general capabilities and broader school curriculum. This is in addition to core studies in literacy and numeracy, equity and diversity, supporting learners with diverse needs, assessment, and the use of information and communications technology in education.

You'll complete a program of in-school professional teaching experiences, culminating in an extended in-school development experience to demonstrate your capabilities as a secondary school teacher. Combined volunteer activities and embedded site visits will provide you with a deep understanding about the role of a teacher.

As you will be interacting with young people, upon enrolment you will be expected to apply and attain a valid Working with Children Check for your state or territory. See professional experience requirements.

As a graduate you'll be qualified to teach secondary school Australia-wide, including Queensland and NSW. Please note your application must include a personal statement outlining your non-academic capabilities. See education non-academic requirements.



4.5 years minimum for students commencing Session 2

Coffs Harbour1, 2
Gold Coast1, 2
Lismore1, 2
Online1, 2

Students can tailor the course to study two of the following teaching majors or one teaching major with a specialisation and electives.

Teaching majors (and locations: L = Lismore, O = Online)

  • Biology (L, O)*
  • Chemistry (L)
  • Physics (O)
  • Earth and Environmental Science (L, O)**
  • English (O)
  • Mathematics (O)
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (L)
  • Modern History (O)
  • Geography (L, O)
  • Society and Culture (for students who complete Modern History or Geography) (L, O)

The Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) is primarily delivered in online mode. 

Please note: some units require attendance at on-campus workshops.

* Two units are each offered as a three-week intensive and both include one week at the University’s National Marine Science Centre, Coffs Harbour. Contact the University for more details.

** One unit is offered as a three-week intensive that includes a one-week field trip.

All students will need to successfully complete the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (LANTITE) prior to undertaking the first professional experience placement.

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Demonstrate analytical thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Demonstrate cognitive and technical skills which show broad understanding and depth relevant to the education profession.


Demonstrate an ability to identify and solve problems with intellectual independence.

Demonstrate an ability to develop innovative and creative responses to challenges in an educational setting.

Ethical practice

Demonstrate knowledge of ethical, legal and human rights principles in education settings.

Demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to legislative requirements and codes of conduct relevant to the education profession.

Knowledge of a discipline

Demonstrate broad and coherent knowledge and understanding of the relevant curriculum frameworks.

Demonstrate a solid knowledge of the pedagogy of effective educational practice.

Lifelong learning

Demonstrate the capacity for self-reflective learning and critical thinking with responsibility and accountability in professional practice.

Demonstrate skills in maintaining or advancing information and literacy skills to keep currency with pedagogical practice and professional development.

Communication and social skills

Communicate clearly, coherently and independently with exposition of knowledge and ideas in both oral and written forms.

Demonstrate teamwork skills and leadership in professional and learning community settings.

Cultural competence

Demonstrate an understanding of and respect for diversity in others and self identify and apply proactive and inclusive strategies to encourage and support student engagement.

The assessment methods used in this course vary from unit to unit. Most units have progressive assessment with grades typically allocated across a combination of assessment tasks due at different times during the study period. Some units may also include a formal examination at the end of the study period. Assessment requirements for each unit are advised in writing to students at the commencement of each study period with clear guidelines, due dates, and the weighting for each assessment task.

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities and video linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Our online study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive a combination of podcast or video linked lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. Online students may be required to attend one to three-day workshops in curriculum areas that involve practical components.

Graduates may find employment as a secondary school teacher in schools and colleges. Graduates can teach in up to two subjects: English, Mathematics, Modern History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Environmental Science, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education and Geography. If graduates wish to teach Society and Culture or Aboriginal Studies they must also have completed Modern History or Geography.

Students complete a program of in-school professional teaching experiences during the course, culminating in an extended in-school development experience, to demonstrate their capabilities as secondary school teachers.

This course is currently undergoing its five-year reaccreditation with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) for national accreditation through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Usually, Australian teacher qualifications are recognised internationally, but students need to check with potential employers and teacher registration authorities in other countries regarding accreditation requirements.

All Initial Teacher Education students across Australia need to successfully complete the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (LANTITE). At Southern Cross University the test needs to be successfully completed prior to undertaking the first professional experience placement.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'