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Bachelor of Arts: A complete list of subjects


According to a Times of India survey, more than 78.9% of 4.1 crore higher education students are enrolled at the undergraduate level, and more than one crore of those students are pursuing a BA. The BA, or Bachelor of Arts, is a three-year undergraduate program that emphasizes many academic disciplines. There are six semesters in all. Students are exposed to a wide range of subjects in the BA, allowing them to comprehend the vast span of this stream.

In the initial year of their Bachelor of Arts (BA) program, students typically engage in a broad spectrum of general subjects to establish a comprehensive academic foundation. Courses often include English literature, history, political science, and a language elective. These subjects serve as a fundamental exploration into diverse disciplines, fostering critical thinking skills, effective communication, and cultural sensitivity. As students progress through their academic journey, the curriculum evolves to encompass more specialized or core subjects aligned with their chosen major or area of concentration. This strategic progression ensures a well-rounded education, equipping students with a diverse skill set and a nuanced understanding of various fields within the arts and humanities.

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This articles is trying to explore what BA students learn in each year to give you a comprehensive understanding of the BA subjects.

Bachelor of Arts: First-year syllabus 

In India, students who want to explore a variety of humanities and social science specialties frequently opt for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. A solid grasp of these areas is often provided by the first-year curriculum, encouraging analytical and critical thinking abilities. 

Students are introduced to a well-rounded curriculum that covers a variety of courses throughout the first semester. The curriculum might contain: 

  1. English Language and Literature: Students learn about language structure, communication techniques, and literary analysis in English Language and Literature. 
  2. History: Students study past societies, events, and their effects on the present as they study history. Topics might cover ancient civilizations, early modern history, or Indian history. 
  3. Political Science: An introduction to political theories, governance systems, and global politics. Students investigate ideas like international relations, power, and democracy. 
  4. Economics: The course may address the fundamentals of economics, such as supply and demand, market systems, and macroeconomic ideas.
  5. Language (Regional/Foreign): Depending on the region, students might study a regional language or a foreign language. 
  6. Elective Course: This could range from philosophy to fine arts, allowing students to choose an area of interest. 
  7. Environmental Studies: An introduction to environmental issues, conservation, and sustainable practices. 

The overall goal of the first-year BA syllabus is to lay a solid basis for future exploration. By integrating literary, historical, political, economic, psychological, and sociological views, it fosters a holistic education and develops well-rounded individuals with a deeper grasp of their surroundings. 

What will I learn in my BA first year? 

You will normally be introduced to a wide range of disciplines that establish the groundwork for your academic journey in the first year of a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program. The first two semesters are meant to give you a well-rounded education and help you hone your analytical, communication, and critical thinking abilities. 

  1. English Language and Literature: The goal of the English Language and Literature course is to improve your reading, writing, and comprehension abilities. You’ll explore various literary genres and analyze texts to develop a deeper understanding of language and storytelling. 
  2. History: History courses delve into different periods and events, helping you grasp the evolution of societies, cultures, and ideologies. You’ll gain knowledge of historical document interpretation and the historical circumstances that influenced human history. 
  3. Psychology: You learn the fundamentals of human behavior, cognition, and emotions in an introductory psychology course. To comprehend how the mind works, you will learn about psychological theories and research techniques. 
  4. Economics: The basic ideas of supply, demand, market mechanisms, and macroeconomic considerations are introduced in economics. This topic offers knowledge about how economies work and the effects of economic choices.
  5. Political Science: International relations, government, and political philosophy are all topics covered in political science courses. You’ll investigate the mechanisms behind political systems, beliefs, and mechanisms of power. 

Types of subjects in BA first year 

General topics: General topics provide a thorough comprehension of many different facets of knowledge and serve as the foundation of a BA program. These courses aim to develop critical thinking skills and a respect for several academic disciplines by exposing students to a broad range of concepts and viewpoints. These are some examples of general topics: 

  • English: Enhancing language proficiency, communication skills, and literary analysis. 
  • Mathematics: Developing logical reasoning and quantitative skills. 
  • Social Sciences: Introducing concepts from sociology, psychology, and political science. 
  • Natural Sciences: Providing a basic understanding of scientific principles and methods. 

Core subjects

Core subjects constitute the fundamental components of the BA program and are closely related to the major or concentration a student chooses. These subjects delve deeper into specific areas of study and lay the groundwork for advanced courses in subsequent years.

Core subjects often include: 

  • Introduction to Philosophy: Exploring fundamental philosophical concepts and critical thinking. 
  • History of Art: Examining the evolution of art forms and their cultural significance. 
  • Introduction to Economics: Covering basic economic principles and theories. 
  • Literature of a Specific Era: Focusing on the literature of a particular period. 

Discipline-specific subjects

Discipline-specific subjects are centered around the chosen major or concentration. These subjects offer in-depth exploration of a particular field of study, allowing students to acquire specialized knowledge and skills.

Examples of discipline-specific subjects include: 

  • Psychology of Human Behavior: Investigating psychological theories and their practical applications. 
  • Comparative Politics: Analyzing political systems across different countries. 
  • World Religions: Studying the beliefs, practices, and cultural contexts of various religions. 

Skill enhancement subjects

Skill enhancement subjects are designed to equip students with practical skills that are valuable in both their academic pursuits and future careers. These subjects focus on developing skills such as research, communication, and critical analysis.

Examples of skill enhancement subjects include: 

  • Research Methods: Teaching students how to conduct thorough research and analyze data. 
  • Public Speaking: Enhancing communication and presentation skills. 
  • Creative Writing: Cultivating the ability to express oneself effectively through written words. 

How will first-year subjects help in subsequent semesters in BA? 

First-year subjects in a BA program establish a solid academic foundation that significantly aids in subsequent semesters. They introduce fundamental concepts, critical thinking skills, and subject-specific knowledge essential for advanced coursework. For instance, mastering introductory courses in literature or history provides context for in-depth analysis in later semesters. Additionally, acquiring basic research and writing skills from the outset enhances academic performance across all subjects. The first year’s comprehensive understanding fosters seamless progression, enabling students to tackle more complex topics and engage in higher-level discussions throughout their BA journey. 

Bachelor of Arts: Second-year syllabus

The six semesters of the BA curriculum are spread out in order to provide students with a deeper grasp of the course they decide to pursue. Bachelor of Arts can be pursued in different combinations. BA syllabus depends on the combination chosen by the student. The BA curriculum emphasizes a thorough grasp of a range of subjects.

Bachelor of Arts- English (BA)

Students can obtain major credits in English through this online program by studying topics including comparative literature, women writers of English, and world literature.

  • World Literature
  • Functional English
  • Political Theory
  • Sociology in India
  • Environmental Science

Bachelor of Arts- Political Science (BA)

Students can obtain major credits in Political Science through this online program by studying political processes, political theory, gender and politics, and other topics.

  • Political Theory
  • Sociology in India
  • World Literature
  • Functional English
  • Environmental Science

Bachelor of Arts- Sociology (BA)

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Through studying rural and urban sociology, social issues, social demography, and other topics, students can acquire major credits in sociology through this online program.

  • Sociology in India
  • Political Theory
  • World Literature
  • Functional English
  • Environmental Science

Bachelor of Arts- Economics (BA)

A Bachelor of Arts in Economics program typically covers a wide range of topics that provide a solid foundation in economics and related subjects.

  • Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • Econometrics
  • International Economics
  • Public Finance

Bachelor of Arts- Journalism and Mass Communication (BA)

A Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication program typically covers a diverse range of topics that provide a comprehensive understanding of media, communication, journalism, and related fields. 

  • Media Ethics and Law
  • Reporting and Editing
  • Media Research
  • Digital Media Production
  • Public Relations and Corporate Communication

BA second-year subjects

The disciplines that are given in BA differ depending on the course of study. Since the disciplines in the Arts stream are multidisciplinary, there are several specializations one might pursue while earning a BA degree. A variety of academic, integrative, and skill-based courses make up the Bachelor of Arts program, which has a broad focus. The program has a mix of different types of courses in each of the six semesters. However, the total number of credits to study in each subject is 4 credits, and in the semester is 20 credits. 

Introducing the students to the fundamental themes and subjects of the fields of English literature, sociology, and political science, is intended to provide the students with the knowledge and abilities needed to comprehend and assess their reality. However, this program often covers a few important fields. Following is a list of the main Bachelor of Arts subjects you will take, along with the BA disciplines you will be learning.

List of all subjects in the Bachelor of Art third semester

  • Comparative Political Analysis: In this subject, political structures from various situations are analyzed and compared.
  • Rural Sociology: This subject explores the complexities of rural communities and looks at social concerns there.
  • Essays and Poetry: This subject explores the world of literature, concentrating on the writing and study of essays and poetry.
  • Academic Writing: This will help you improve your academic communication abilities, which are necessary for quality academic writing.
  • Digital Fluency: The subject develops your capacity to move about and communicate successfully online in a technologically enhanced society.

List of all subjects in the Bachelor of Art fourth semester

  • New Literature in English: You will be introduced to contemporary English literary works on the subject, which will also provide you with information on current literary trends and issues.
  • Literary Terms, Forms, and Movements: The subject expands your knowledge of literary analysis by diving into the subtleties of literary devices, forms, and movements.
  • Women Writing in English:  The subject emphasizes women’s voices in English literature by concentrating on the writings of female authors.
  • Classical Indian Political Thought: The subject provides information about the development of political thought in India by examining past political ideas in that nation.
  • Urban Sociology: The complexity of urban societies is examined in this subject through an examination of urbanization, social structures, and urban dynamics.

Types of subjects in BA second year

Some of the popular subjects in BA second year of the BA program at Sikkim Manipal University’s online program include world literature, digital fluency, India’s foreign policy in a globalized world, sociology of change & development, and theories of international relations, among others. Here are the types of subjects in the BA second-year curriculum:

General subjects

These subjects promote interdisciplinary thinking by offering a wider viewpoint. The use of literature, history, or philosophy as topics might help students make connections between many fields of study. They introduce students to several fields of study and subjects, developing their knowledge and comprehension of scientific and social problems.

Core subjects

A core course is one that candidates must absolutely take as part of the application process. These courses, which are available in the program’s first four semesters, are designed to give you a solid foundation in the humanities and social sciences by introducing you to language and literature (in English or, to start, Indian languages like Hindi, Sanskrit, and Urdu) and the fields of study in those fields.

Discipline-specific subjects

Discipline Specific Electives are elective courses that may be provided by the primary discipline/subject of study. The university may also provide interdisciplinary elective courses that are discipline-related. They may also be specialists, advanced, or supporting. These topics explore certain subfields of your chosen major in greater depth. For instance, if sociology is your major, you could study themes like urban and rural sociology.

Skill enhancement subjects

In addition to ability enhancement courses, there are skill enhancement courses (SECs). In a practical, functional area of daily life, these courses aim to develop a specific skill set. Beginning with the third semester, these courses are available. Each semester, a variety of SECs are available. These courses can be selected from a selection of programs that aim to impart value- and/or skill-based information.

How will an online BA from SMU help?

A reputable university’s online BA program, like the one offered by SMU, has various benefits for you as it helps to enhance your career. This Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) online Bachelor of Arts (BA) with a blend of English, Sociology, and Political Science is created for students wishing to build competence in different fields & disciplines to succeed in the fast-paced world. Over the course of three years, there are six semesters in this UGC-recognized program. 

Students will receive in-depth knowledge and skills in English literature, political science, and sociology through this program, and they may explore professional prospects that are in line with their interests and academic specialities. A critical step in determining your academic career is figuring out the BA course selections. You are given the opportunity to study specialized fields, develop key abilities, and explore the core subjects for your BA second and third-year, thanks to this procedure. 

You will graduate from our online BA program with the skills and knowledge needed to launch a successful career in a variety of employment sectors. After students complete their programs, Online Manipal offers placement services to help students with career options. To improve learners’ prospects of finding work, the placement cell implements activities that are centered on skill development and assessment.

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In conclusion, the journey through a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program is a dynamic and transformative expedition spanning three distinctive years. The carefully curated subject lists in the first year lay the groundwork, fostering foundational knowledge, critical thinking, and a broad understanding of various disciplines. As students progress into the subsequent years, the subject lists evolve, offering a nuanced exploration of their chosen major or concentration. The second and third years of the BA program delve deeper into specialized subjects, honing expertise and refining skills, ultimately culminating in a comprehensive and well-rounded academic experience. This progressive structure not only encourages intellectual growth and personal development but also empowers students to navigate the complexities of their chosen fields with depth and proficiency. The three-year BA subject list, collectively, epitomize the essence of a holistic education—imbuing students with a wealth of knowledge, fostering interdisciplinary connections, and preparing them for a future of continual learning and meaningful contributions in their chosen fields.


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • Online Bachelor of Arts
  • online degree
  • Sikkim Manipal University

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