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Interesting degrees at UQ you might not know exist

Study tips
Published 2 Jun, 2023  ·  8-minute read

You’ve heard of a Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Laws. But what about those other programs – the ones that stray from the beaten path? The lesser-known (but equally as important) degrees.

If you're thinking 'I don't know what to study at university', perhaps it's time to think outside the box and start exploring the less conventional and more niche degrees out there.

After all, when it comes to choosing which university fits your interests, it’s important to do your research. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you by delving into some of the interesting bachelor's degrees at UQ you may not have stumbled across yet.

This list may help you find a new study area that piques your interest. Or maybe you know what you’re interested in, but just haven’t found one of those niche degrees that aligns with your passion.

Either way, we hope this article gives you a more holistic view of what UQ has to offer budding undergrads.

Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Honours)

This degree is for the big thinkers and keen problem solvers.

A Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Honours) is a 4-year program spanning several disciplines. You’ll learn about future global challenges and address the world’s most pressing problems. You’ll hone your decision-making, research and analysing skills, preparing you for leadership careers in sectors such as business, politics and not-for-profit.

In your first year, you’ll receive a well-rounded introduction to politics, philosophy and economics before having the option to choose one as your major in your second year. If you don’t select a major, you’ll instead take a range of electives across these disciplines. This level of flexibility appeals to many students, as it allows them to explore all 3 areas before deciding which they want to specialise in, or if they’d prefer to continue learning a balanced combination of the trio.

A Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Honours) is a competitive course to undertake, requiring an ATAR of 94 (based on the Semester 1 2024 intake). However, UQ is the only university in Queensland to offer this program, making it highly desirable for ambitious students who are constantly looking at the big picture and who wish to instigate impactful political and social change.

Students sitting with laptop in discussion

Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice

It may not be all high-speed chases, gruesome murder scenes and psychologically thrilling interrogations like CSI would have you believe, but criminology is still a super fascinating field of study. UQ’s Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice covers criminal law, criminal justice and criminological research methods. It prepares students for a challenging and rewarding career preventing and controlling crime, and navigating the criminal justice system.

During your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with and learn from industry professionals and undertake an industry research project in the final year of your degree. You’ll study a mixture of law, politics and sociology courses to gain a better understanding of the impact of crime on society. This is the only criminology undergraduate degree in the world that has 3 years of laws and professional practice built into the program, making it a truly unique learning experience.

The knowledge and skills you develop in this program can lead to an exciting range of careers in policy, policing, courts, border security and intelligence agencies.

Find out more about careers in criminology.

The Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice ATAR entry threshold at UQ is 76, based on the lowest ATAR entry in Semester 1, 2024. This may vary from year to year. Other entry requirements apply.

Bachelor of Veterinary Technology

So, you’ve heard of becoming a vet, but what about a vet tech? The major difference between UQ’s Bachelor of Veterinary Technology and Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) is that veterinary science allows you to become a qualified vet, whereas veterinary technology equips you to become a para-veterinary healthcare specialist (a fancy term for a vet tech – not to be confused with a vet nurse).

Vet techs support veterinarians to help diagnose illnesses and injuries in animals. As a vet tech, you can work in an array of settings including veterinary clinics, specialist hospitals, zoos or educational centres.

Explore the types of jobs you can pursue with a degree in veterinary technology.

In the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology, you’ll study basic sciences alongside animal handling, welfare, behaviour, nutrition and disease. You’ll cover a wide range of small and large animals, focusing mainly on companion and production animals, but you can also choose electives covering native wildlife.

You’ll complete your program at UQ’s Gatton campus, undertake plenty of practical placements in your third year to develop real world skills, and have the opportunity to add an honours year onto your bachelor’s.

The Bachelor of Veterinary Technology is much less competitive to get into than the Bachelor of Veterinary Science, and so many students who don’t quite reach the ATAR required to apply for the latter use the veterinary technology program as a pathway.

The Bachelor of Veterinary Technology ATAR entry threshold at UQ is 75, while the Bachelor of Vet Science (Honours) ATAR entry threshold is 98.25. This is based on the lowest ATAR entry in Semester 1, 2024. This may vary from year to year. Other entry requirements apply.

Bachelor of Agribusiness

So, you’ve heard of straight up ag, and you’ve definitely heard of business, but what about today’s power couple – agribusiness?

Don’t let the hybrid name put you off – agribusiness is one of the most interesting subjects to study at university right now. It’s both incredibly practical, and incredibly important, especially with the increasing demand on the food production industry globally, and the rate at which weather events are affecting crop yields nationally.

The Bachelor of Agribusiness focuses on the commercial side of agriculture in Australia and internationally. You’ll learn how to connect producers with consumers by studying marketing, finance and management. You’ll look closely at the agricultural value chain, discuss sustainability and explore how the latest technologies can increase efficiency in agricultural production.

Learn more about agribusiness and the types of careers you can pursue in this field.

Even though this isn't really classified as a niche degree anymore, UQ's offering is unique in calibre. According to the QS World University Rankings 2024, UQ is rated 1 in Australia for agriculture and forestry, making graduates from this program highly desirable to employers.

UQ's Bachelor of Agribusiness requires an ATAR of at least 72 (based on Semester 1 2024 intake). You can combine the Bachelor of Agribusiness with two other programs – agricultural science or wildlife science – to undertake a dual degree, enhancing your knowledge and specialisation upon graduation.

Three people work on farming machinery in a green field

Bachelor of Wildlife Science

Ever dreamed of becoming a park ranger, working in the exciting ecotourism sector, or protecting threatened species? The Bachelor of Wildlife Science might be your calling.

This program combines essential theory with continual hands-on experience in zoos, sanctuaries, government agencies, welfare organisations and wildlife parks. There’s also an opportunity to study internationally.

You’ll learn about native and exotic amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, and develop skills in creating and evaluating wildlife management programs, field monitoring, hypothesis modelling, and data analysis and synthesis.

Learn more about the type of research you could take part in while studying wildlife science at UQ.

If you want to play a pivotal role in protecting our native wildlife and educating the larger public on its importance, studying the Bachelor of Wildlife Science is a great place to start.

To apply for the Bachelor of Wildlife Science, you should aim for an ATAR of at least 73 (based on the Semester 1 2024 intake). Those who maintain a GPA of at least 5 throughout the 3-year program will be able to enrol in an additional honours year, where you can undertake an independent research project within the Wildlife Science field. Honours will help you really hone in on a specialisation and contribute valuable research to wildlife conservation and protection efforts.

Watch Meet Angus, he studies Wildlife Science on YouTube.

Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education (Honours)

UQ’s Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education (Honours) is the program for aspiring physical education teachers. This 4-year bachelor’s provides hands-on practical teaching experience, including a full school term of placement, and is the longest-running university-based physical education program in Australia. Pretty impressive, right?

That’s not where we pull up stumps though – you’ll also learn and train in Olympic-standard sporting facilities, including an aquatic centre, an athletics centre, a fitness centre, and tennis courts.

UQ is number 1 in Australia and number 2 in the world for sports-related subjects, according to the QS World University Rankings 2024. You’ll be bumping shoulders with elite athletes on St Lucia campus, and even Olympians. Who knows, you may get the chance to inspire the next Australian gold medallist for the Olympics right here in Brisbane in 2032, by studying to teach a new generation about the importance of biology, health, wellness, physical activity and teamwork.

Find out more about what it’s like to study the Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education (Honours) from a UQ graduate.

To gain entry to this highly sought-after program, you’ll need an ATAR of at least 75, based on the lowest ATAR entry in Semester 1, 2024.

A woman teaches a boy how to serve on a tennis court

Still unsure what to study? You might prefer a program that provides you with a lot of flexibility and exploration opportunities. Read our article What to study when you don't know what to study for suggestions.

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