Re-enrolment time: What subjects should I take for breadth?

There are seemingly endless possibilities for breadth. From a biomedicine student wishing to pursue a language to a commerce student wanting to release their inner Tina Fey in Spontaneous Drama, there really is something for everyone!

This is both a good and bad thing. The choice can certainly seem overwhelming. Reading all the descriptions for potential breadth subjects for my second year took up a significant chunk of my study (read: procrastination) time.

In terms of my breadth experience, in Semester One I completed Principles of Business Law, offered by the Law School. The subject was very popular and interesting, with minimal assessment throughout semester (yay for two open book, multiple choice tests!). However, the exam is worth 80%, so some hard-core study is required. In Semester Two, I had an absolutely fantastic time taking Spontaneous Drama: Improvisation and Communities, offered by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. I enjoyed putting together my own improvised performance as well as learning about many improvisers and styles. These two examples highlight what I believe to be a good option for breadth – having a taste of the postgrad life by sampling subjects offered by the graduate schools, that don’t have a corresponding bachelor degree.

I have done my research and compiled some other options for you to consider…


While Arts does allow you to major in several languages, other undergrad degrees don’t have that option. You can start a language from the very beginning at level one, or enter at a later entry point (check out the handbook. You can use the ‘Language Placement Test’ result or your VCE study score). Choosing a language provides consistency to your breadth subjects. Note that languages are challenging and do require a high level of commitment – but the opportunities that result are endless!

Note: if you can’t fit a language into your degree, consider applying for a concurrent diploma in a language. See Sonia’s post here.

Breadth Tracks

If you can’t quite roll that French ‘r’, but want to have some consistency to your breadth subjects, you could consider a breadth track. These can be found through a search of the University handbook:

arrow 1

Just select the “Breadth Tracks” option, type an area of interest and click “Go”!

E.g. typing in ‘law’ brings up the following:

breadth post 2

Alternatively, select “all breadth tracks” in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen to see all of them!

arrow 2

 Or just have fun!

It can be a lot of fun just going where the wind takes you and even going a bit out of your comfort zone for breadth. Evidently, business law and improvisation don’t have much in common, but both subjects were out of my comfort zone and I immensely enjoyed them both. See the picture above, but choose “find breadth subjects” and browse to your heart’s content.

Things to Consider

  • Some majors (popular example: Psychology) and minors require that you use your breadth subjects to undertake subjects required for the major. Check these requirements in advance of selecting your subjects.
  • Consider what postgrad degree you would like to pursue, if you intend to stick around at Unimelb for more than three years (and who wouldn’t want to?). If you want to do the JD, for example, you could try out the law breadth track.
  • If you’re feeling stuck, consult with an adviser at your student centre. Individual 20-minute appointments can be booked via the Student Advising System (SAS). These are extremely helpful and the advisers are very knowledgeable of all things subject-related. I am by no means an expert on university subjects – this post is designed to be a springboard for breadth ideas rather than comprehensive advice!

Don’t hold your breadth – get choosing!
– Bella


*Editor’s (Travis) note: Spanish is an amazing breadth. Do it.

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