University of Sydney Handbooks - 2013 Archive

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Australian Literature

The Australian Literature program is situated within the Department of English and forms part of the School of Letters, Art and Media. In addition to the English major, the Department of English offers a separate major in Australian literature, whose units of study have their own code (ASLT).

The structure of the ASLT major is designed both to provide a comprehensive study of Australian literature and also to articulate with the ENGL major for ENGL students wishing to take individual ASLT units. ENGL students wishing to take individual ASLT units must respect the prerequisites within the English major.

The Australian Literature program commences at senior level after the completion of two junior units of study (12 credit points). Students majoring in Australian Literature will normally have completed 12 junior credit points from Table A. They are then required to complete 36 credit points from senior units of study listed in the subject area, a minimum of 18 of which must be from ASLT units of study. Students are offered a wide range of approaches to the discipline and are prepared for entry into an honours year in which they specialise in an area of their choice. Senior level units are normally rotated on a two-year basis to allow full-time students a larger number of choices in their two senior years. Students majoring in other disciplines may also return to individual Australian Literature (ASLT) units of study at later stages in their degree.

The Australian Literature resources Room (N411) is situated on level 4 of the John Woolley Building. This is a valuable collection of reference works and files relating to Australian Literature designed for the use of students, staff and visiting scholars. It includes works of Australian poetry, prose, drama and fiction, reference books of literary criticism and literary history, doctoral theses, and files of the leading Australian literary journalists.

Requirements for a major
For a major in Australian Literature students must complete the following:

  • 12 credit points of junior units of study from Table A.
  • 36 credit points from senior units of study listed in the subject area, of which at least 3 units of study (18 credit points) must be selected from ASLT units of study.

Refer to Table A in this Handbook for units of study available in the current year.

Up to 18 credit points of units from approved cross-listed units of study may be counted towards the major.

Refer to Table A in this Handbook for cross-listed units of study available in the current year.


Honours in Australian Literature allows students to specialise further in their area of interest. It offers students the opportunity to work independently and creatively in a community of scholars that includes both their peers and the staff of the department. A number of Honours graduates each year continue on to postgraduate study in Australia or abroad.

Students wishing to enter Honours in 2013 must have achieved grades of Credit or above in eight senior level Australian Literature or English units, one of which is compulsory: ENGL3655 The Literary in Theory. During their honours year students will write a thesis of 15,000 words as well as completing three honours options.

Refer to the degree resolutions in this Handbook and to the Faculty Admissions Policy for Honours:

Contact/Further Information

Department website:

Convenor: Professor Robert Dixon
Phone: +61 2 9036 7231