University Diploma: Arts

Number of credits required from Athabasca University: 24 credits.

Maximum credit awarded in this program for prior learning through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) processes: 0 credits.

Program Learning Outcomes

As a result of completing this program, students should be able to

  • think critically regarding the logical adequacy of arguments, propositions, and theories advanced in the humanities and social sciences.
  • achieve success as an independent learner in a variety of disciplines, with emphasis on humanities and social science areas of study.
  • assess the adequacy of evidence provided for propositions and theories in the humanities and social sciences and, if evidence is lacking, identify the evidence required that would support the proposition or theory.
  • accumulate information through library research and other forms of research pertinent to the proof or refutation of a thesis.
  • write and speak clearly and persuasively in support of ideas and concepts that meet the criteria for logical consistency and sufficiency of evidence.
  • demonstrate breadth of knowledge primarily in selected areas of the humanities and social sciences and secondarily in the sciences and apply that knowledge in practical contexts.
  • demonstrate appreciation for, and understanding of, social and cultural diversity in contemporary life and as reflected in the fields of the humanities and social sciences.
  • solve specific problems posed in fields of the humanities and social sciences through critical thinking coupled with the accumulation of empirical evidence.
  • demonstrate a knowledge of the principles of research and an understanding of the rationales for the use of specific research methods.
  • demonstrate a facility in the use of mathematics as a means of describing and interpreting evidence.
  • recognize the role and ethical responsibilities of the individual relative to other individuals and societal institutions.
  • identify and participate in the role of the university in contemporary life as a repository of knowledge and skills, a refuge for the germination of ideas, and as an agent of social and cultural criticism and change.
  • celebrate lifelong human learning as a means of achieving individual development and cultural progress.

Possible Career Options

The University Diploma in Arts is intended as an intermediate credential in recognition of the achievement of basic intellectual objectives and as a foundation for further study in the humanities and social sciences. As such, it provides an intermediate step towards a wide variety of careers that require general intellectual abilities.

Possible Further Education Options

At Athabasca University

These are not extensive lists. Some career and education options may require advanced degrees, further training or experience. For help identifying more options, visit

For program information, visit

For contact information, visit

Office of the Vice-President, Academic. Last updated February 2005.
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Updated June 29 2017 by Web Strategy, Advancement